Political and Economic Thought and Practice in Nineteenth-Century France and the Colonization of Algeria

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A reexamination of the place of Algeria in this history and to consider the manner in which the colonial past has seeped more generally from the conscious European memory. At the same time, contemporary race and politics in Europe can only be fully understood in conjunction with knowlege of these backgrounds and it requires that a different view of the way in which the imperialist experience has been an instrumental influence on perceptions taken.


“This is a knowledgeable and richly detailed study of the complex and often ambiguous relationship between France and Algeria in the nineteenth century. While the impact of French colonisation on Algeria has been amply documented elsewhere, the significance of the Algerian adventure for France itself has been less thoroughly explored. Kay Adamson’s book helps to fill this gap. It is particularly informative on economic aspects of the Franco-Algerian relationship, showing how the colonial project was viewed within the theory and practice of French political economy, with special emphasis on the Saint-Simonians. The importance of Algeria for the French military is also examined, with close consideration of the pivotal role of Bugeaud. In addition, aspects of the political nexus between France and Algeria are explored, notably in eruptions of late nineteenth century antisemitism on both sides of the Mediterranean.” – A. G. Hargreaves

“ ... provides a very interesting discussion of nineteenth-century French conceptions of France’s own identity and of the larger world-view which went with these, which will be of particular interest to scholars concerned with the origins and nature of Orientalism. In addition, the account of the earlier French ideas of ‘the Mediterranean” is especially pertinent to contemporary debates in connection with the European Unions’ launching of the ‘Euro-Mediterranean Partnership’ in 1995 ... Comparatively little is published in English about Algeria that is original, scholarly and thoughtful. This, in my opinion, is all three.” – Hugh Roberts

Table of Contents

Preface by Michael Brett
Part 1: France and Algeria in 1840

1. Thomas Bugeaud: Colonization, conquest and the maintenance of order in France and Algeria
2. Adolphe Blanqui: French political economy in the first half of the 19th century and economic issues of colonization and growth
3. Prosper Enfantin: the colonization of Algeria and Saint-Simonian ideas and practice

Part Two: Republic or Empire: The building of colonial Algeria
4. Economic developments in France and Algeria from the Second Empire to the 1890s
5. The impact on Algeria of political changes in France from 1848 to the 1890s
6. The 1898 Election

Part Three: Identity and Memory
7. The Man of the Mediterranean

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