VII. The Contemporary Period, 1945–2000 > E. The Middle East and North Africa, 1945–2000 > 4. North Africa, 1945–2000 > b. Algeria
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See 1945, May 8)
b. Algeria
1945, Aug
Muslim Algerians received the right to elect 13 members to the French constituent assembly (the same number of seats granted to the colonists).  1
1946, June
Formation of the Mouvement pour le Triomphe des Libertés Democratiques (MTLD) under the leadership of Messali al-Hajj. Before the war for independence, Hajj's party had been the most extreme Muslim party that the colonial regime tolerated. It split up in 1955 over the question of violent resistance, which Messali originally denounced. He then formed a new party, the Mouvement National Algérien (MNA).  2
1947, Sept. 20
The Algerian Statute, passed in France by the first National Assembly of the Fourth Republic. The act provided for an Algerian assembly in which power was unequally distributed between the colonists (60 seats for 60,000 electors) and Muslims (60 seats for 1.3 million electors). The Algerian administration remained under the control of the governor-general, who was responsible to the French ministry of the interior and not to the Algerian assembly.  3
Unhappiness with the Algerian Statute, combined with the rigging of elections for the Algerian assembly, once and for all turned the Muslim political parties away from compromise and toward a policy of armed struggle.  4
1954, Oct
Formation of the FRONT DE LIBÉRATION NATIONALE (FLN), which became the leading party in the armed struggle against the French authorities.  5
THE ALGERIAN WAR FOR INDEPENDENCE (See 1954–69) started (Oct. 31, 1954) with a series of raids organized by the FLN. The war exacted a heavy toll in casualties. The Algerian government later estimated that over 1 million Algerians perished during the conflict. French authorities listed their own casualties at 26,000. The Algerian countryside was particularly scarred by the war. The French uprooted about one-third of the rural population (2.3 million peasants) and transferred them to “regroupment villages” where they lived under close supervision.  6
1956, June 13
Rejection by Ferhat Abbas of a French offer for a cease-fire unless France conceded Algerian sovereignty and independence beforehand.  7
Oct. 22
French operatives kidnapped Ben Bella, Ait Ahmad, Muhammad Khidar, and Muhammad Boudiaf, four of the most important leaders in the FLN. They had boarded a plane in Rabat that, in midflight, was forced to land in Algiers, where they were arrested.  8
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.