French North Africa

French conquests in North Africa

Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia in the 19th century
LocationNorth Africa
Result French victory

 Ottoman Empire

Moroccan rebels
Casualties and losses

3,336 killed in action,
92,329 dead in the hospital (1830–51)[1]

9,445 dead (1911–34)
500,000–1,000,000 dead (1830–75)[2]
100,000 dead (1911–34)[3]

French North Africa was a collection of territories in North Africa controlled by France, centering on French Algeria. At its height, it comprised most of the Maghreb.

The origins of French North Africa lay in the decline of the Ottoman Empire, which had loosely controlled the area since the 16th century. In 1830, the French captured Algiers; and, from 1848 until independence in 1962, Algeria was treated as an integral part of France.[4] Seeking to expand their influence beyond Algeria, the French established protectorates to the east and west of it. The French protectorate of Tunisia was established in 1881, following a military invasion,[5] the French protectorate in Morocco in 1912. These lasted until 1955, in the case of Morocco, and 1956, when full Tunisian independence arrived.

Until its independence, French Algeria had been a part of metropolitan France (i.e., not an overseas territory), since before the First World War.

French North Africa came to an end soon after the Évian Accords of March 1962, which led to the Algerian independence referendum of July 1962.[6]

See also


  1. The Making of Contemporary Algeria, 1830-1987.
  2. Phases of Terrorism in the Age of Globalization: From Christopher Columbus to Osama bin Laden.
  3. Gershovich, Moshe (2012). French Military Rule in Morocco: Colonialism and its Consequences. Routledge. p. 74. ISBN 9781136325878.
  4. J. D. Fage, Roland Anthony Oliver, The Cambridge History of Africa, vol. 6 (1985), p. 159
  5. William E. Watson, Tricolor and Crescent: France and the Islamic World (2003), p. 28
  6. Serge Berstein, The Republic of de Gaulle 1958-1969 (1993), p. 54

Further reading

  • Edwards, Albert, Sketches of French North Africa (2009)
  • Gottmann, Jean, Economic problems of French North Africa (1943)*Liebesny, Herbert J., The Government of French North Africa (1943)
  • Thomas, Martin, French Empire Between the Wars (2005)
  • Wallerstein, Immanuel M., Africa: The Politics of Independence and Unity (1961)
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