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De Gaulle And The Granting Of Independence To Algeria

1348 words - 5 pages

de Gaulle and the Granting of Independence to Algeria

Charles de Gaulle played a vital role in the decolonisation of
Algeria. There were a number of factors that lead up to independence
of Algeria for example the FLN.

The FLN were the foundation of the nationalist movement, after seeing
France occupied by Germany in the Second World War the Algerians
realised that the French were not unbeatable, and set about to over
throw the French and reclaim their country, which was occupied by both
colons and the French army.

In order to try and gain independence the FLN resorted to terrorism
starting in 1954, attacking European settlements, their tactics were
responded to with a massive show of force by the French Army. They had
previously been defeated in Indo-China in 1940, Vietnam in 1954 and
the Suez in 1956. They were determined to defeat the rising
opposition. Their actions were aggressive and overpowering. Whole
villages were arrested and their citizens tortured. The majority of
Algerians had previously kept out of the action and stayed quiet,
however the French Armies actions had a reverse effect, instead of
crushing the FLN as it had intended to, it in fact made them stronger,
as more and more Muslims flocked to join the FLN. The army were
becoming increasingly distant from the French Government and
increasingly weaker.

When the French army attacked a terrorist stronghold in Tunisia there
was massive media attention and the UN had to get involved. The attack
had been carried out without the permission or the knowledge of the
Government. The events unfolding in Algeria were also catching the eye
of other nations, the USA was opposed to empires, and wanted all
countries to decolonise providing there was not a threat of communism
taking over. However it is argued that the USA would not interfere as
they didn't want to risk the relationships with France, a major
European power and a member of NATO. The USSR also did not interfere
for the similar reasons, it would have been a bonus for them had the
French turned against the USA, and so they didn't want to break
relations. Although international opinion was ignored there was public
uproar in France. Mothers didn't see the purpose of their sons dying
for an unworthy cause, and public opinion was vastly turning against
the fighting to keep hold of Algeria. Before the Battle of Algiers the
French people had not know that the Algerians were unhappy with the
system as they had no reason to believe there was any trouble. However
as events unfolded awareness grew, and so did the discontent.

The war was costing France a vast amount of money, which was already
sparse after the destruction caused by the two world wars and it was
becoming increasingly obvious that the Prime Minister Pierre Pflimin
couldn't cope with the situation or...

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