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By Osama Abi-Mershed

Among 1830 and 1870, French military officials serving within the colonial workplaces of Arab Affairs profoundly altered the process political decision-making in Algeria. Guided through the modernizing ideologies of the Saint-Simonian college of their improvement and implementation of colonial coverage, the officials articulated a brand new doctrine and framework for governing the Muslim and eu populations of Algeria. Apostles of Modernity exhibits the evolution of this civilizing venture in Algeria, and illustrates how those forty years have been decisive in shaping the critical ideological tenets in French colonization of the region.This booklet deals a rethinking of 19th-century French colonial historical past. It unearths not just what the increase of Europe implied for the cultural identities of non-elite heart Easterners and North Africans, but in addition what dynamics have been excited about the imposition or neighborhood adoptions of ecu cultural norms and the way the colonial stumble upon impacted the cultural identities of the colonizers themselves.

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Extra resources for Apostles of Modernity: Saint-Simonians and the Civilizing Mission in Algeria

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By 1848, they were largely in charge of the Ministry of War’s Arab Directorates in Algiers and Paris, and, by 1861, they were literally dictating the course of policy on Algeria. 3 In the interceding years, they managed to rede- 18 Chapter One fi ne France’s local priorities and interests, articulate a new doctrine and framework for its colonial administration, and overturn the executive procedures for the political and cultural assimilation of Algeria. Their alternative program for “controlled association” with Algeria’s Muslims culminated in 1863 with Emperor Napoleon’s personal endorsement of a semiautonomous Arab protectorate in the colony’s interior.

The Times, July 14, 1830 ; “We dance on a volcano,” commented Count Salvandy on May 31, 1830, as he refl ected on his government’s calculated gamble to stave off a deepening political crisis. 2 He had learned, a week earlier, of the departure of the expeditionary contingents for North Africa, mustered since April in towns and cities across southern Provence. King Charles X was staking his throne on a risky and dubious military action against the Ottoman Regency of Algiers. ” In the cabinet, Minister Jules de Polignac spoke less of national honor or civilizing goals, but, rather, enumerated to his peers the many strategic and political gains to be had with the taking of Algiers: returning France to the premier ranks of European power, frustrating British ascendance in the Mediterranean, distracting the restless army from domestic politics, and boosting the sagging popularity of the government.

Gustave d’Eichthal, 183239 The popularity of Saint-Simonian notions of association within the corps of colonial officers predated the invasion of the Ottoman Regency of Algiers and was particularly pronounced among graduates of the École Polytechnique, the premier military academy in Restoration France. Henri de Saint-Simon’s (1760–1825) visionary theories for postrevolutionary rejuvenation were bound to attract the young generation of cadets reared on imperial nostalgia and sensitized to the homeland’s precipitous fall from the ranks of the powerful in 1815.

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