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How important in relation to other factors was De Gaulle in the achievement of independence in Algeria?

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Introduction

Rachel L Higson 12 O How important in relation to other factors was De Gaulle in the achievement of independence in Algeria? Algeria underwent a long struggle to gain independence from France. Its people had seemed to be happy with the colonisation of its country until France was occupied by Germany in the Second World War. This defeat along with others in Vietnam and other colonies proved to the Algerians that France was not the superpower they had once believed it was, and nationalist feelings began to grow. As the nationalist movement grew it became known as the FLN. At first its support was very small, many Algerians cautious of the extremists, they were happy with the peace that they lived with although they were exploited, not many complained. The FLN decided they had to become more radical to get noticed, and in November 1954 the insurrection began. The leadership of the FLN consisted of two groups, the internals and externals. The FLN were at first badly armed with less that 50% of guerrilla fighters armed but with slowly increasing numbers. The FLN had split the country into sections with one leader in charge of each; they had planned to cause chaos in each wilaya so the French couldn't cope However in ...read more.

Middle

International opinion was going against the French, with the Americans opposed to empires and other countries appalled at the actions taken by the army. In 1956 the FLN took dramatic action. The battle of Algiers was a terrorist attack carried out on the capital city of Algiers by the FLN. They had previously attacked villages, but had grown to realise that if any one was to take them seriously they would need to be more dramatic. To increase international and French attention to their struggle, the FLN decided to bring the conflict to the cities and also call a general strike timed to coincide with the UN debate on Algeria which was imposed on all Muslim workers. The attack was launched on the 30th of September 1956. The FLN had started using women to carry weapons and carry out attacks, as the French were less suspicious of them. On the 30th September, 3 women all carrying bombs in their bags targeted 3 locations, the Air - France terminal, the fashionable milk bar, where a lot of 'Pieds-Noirs' were known to socialise and the place Bugeaud. They left their bags out of site, and left the area, moments later there were large explosions. ...read more.

Conclusion

Many thought of him as a traitor, and numerous assassination attempts were made to get rid of him. In 1961 the referendum was held, although the FLN boycotted it 75% vote for independence although only 60% of people voted. The FLN was slowly becoming weaker at the hands of De Gaulle, and internal divisions began to take place. The leaders in prison were not affected by the splits, and Ben Bella was the man to hold the groups together. The evian agreement was made to assure that settlers in Algeria would have the rights to dual citizenship and they would enjoy normal civil and political rights and their properties would be safe. Arguments were also taking place regarding who should own the sahara desert, De Gaulle finally broke the deadlock by announcing his willingness to give up the desert. The evian agreement called an immediate cease fire, which was not respected by the army's OAS rebel group, who attacked yet more Algerians. The agreement also confirmed that Algeria and France would still trade with each other; with the signing of the Evian Agreement on April the 7th 1962 Algeria was granted its independence. De Gaulle had broken the stalemate and negotiated a peaceful route to independence for the Algerians. 1 ...read more.

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