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By Osama Abi-Mershed

Among 1830 and 1870, French military officials serving within the colonial places of work of Arab Affairs profoundly altered the process political decision-making in Algeria. Guided by way of 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 indicates the evolution of this civilizing undertaking in Algeria, and illustrates how those forty years have been decisive in shaping the vital ideological tenets in French colonization of the region.This ebook bargains 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 center Easterners and North Africans, but additionally what dynamics have been enthusiastic about the imposition or neighborhood adoptions of ecu cultural norms and the way the colonial come 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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On one level, the military’s recurrent trespasses upon public policy making after 1830 were strategic reflexes, triggered by the combined brunt of anticolonial unrest and inopportune metropolitan directives. For the inveterate commanders of the Army of Africa—les Africains as they came to be known—there was supreme logic and justification in stripping inexperienced Parisian ministers of the treacherous administration of Algeria’s Muslims. Yet, aside from their strict concerns with the security of the French enclaves, there was also a doctrinal and philosophical backbone to the generals’ grab for political power in Algiers.

After 1825, many Polytechniciens and liberal opponents of the reactionary monarchy rallied around Prosper Enfantin (1796–1864), the charismatic “Supreme Father” of the Saint-Simonian school. However, Enfantin’s public denunciations of the nation’s antiquated institutions Never the Twain Shall Meet? 27 and mores incurred civic outcry and legal injunctions against his group. The Supreme Father and his followers then set their utopian sights upon more welcoming lands, namely Egypt and the Ottoman Empire.

If the lower classes of French society were thus perfected through their association with the industrial elite, so, too, were subordinate races or nationalities redeemed through contact with technologically advanced cultures. 47 Association with Europeans was therefore indispensable for the lesser races to “unmire” their history. Colonial association, indeed, brought mutual opportunities and rewards. It replenished Europe’s industrial capacity and material well-being and ensured the peaceful extension of its cultural radiance to the unenlightened regions of the world, a causality frequently brandished by Saint-Simon’s disciples when emphasizing the Never the Twain Shall Meet?

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