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Barei, Geoffrey (2003) Britain and Algeria, 1945-1965. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00028773

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Abstract

Algeria's achievement of independence in 1962, after a bloody war served as an inspiration to the rest of Africa still under colonial rule. As a result, many studies have been done on French colonial rule in Algeria, and the latter's resistance to it. But, these studies have not fully attempted to link the implications of French decolonisation of Algeria to British decolonisation of her African territories, hence this study attempts to fill this gap. The thesis is about Britain and the Algerian war, with particular reference to Britain in Africa. It deals with decolonisation and the "wind of change" and presents the history of North Africa in the context of Africa as a whole. From its beginning in 1954, the Algerian war has occupied a unique place in the history of decolonisation. Its repercussions for French colonial policy were followed with keen interest by the British, who like the French had a huge empire in Africa, and also had potential trouble spots of the magnitude of the Algerian quagmire. The thesis begins with a description of the post-war international situation, in which America and the Soviet Union emerged as the two super-powers, while the resources of the old imperial powers of Britain and France did not match the growing needs of government in their colonial possessions. They were put on the defensive by nationalism in Asia and Africa, supported by American anti-colonialism. The outbreak of the Cold War and the fear of communism seemed to provide them with some justification for resisting demands for independence, but made America all the more anxious for the "end of empire," to win the battle of third world "hearts and minds." The thesis investigates the extent to which British and French colonial policies had an influence on each other during the period of decolonisation. Against this background, the thesis traces the history of the war in Algeria, 1954-62, and the post-war settlement down to 1965, together with the histories of French and British decolonisation in Africa over the same period, in order to follow the history of British concern with the problem. It shows how this concern was at its height under the Macmillan government, but came down to the promotion of British business interests after the end of the war, when Algeria's internal problems and continued dependence on France reduced the fear that it would seek to cause difficulties for the colonial powers in Africa.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00028773
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:02
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/28773

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