Coup d' eventail : the Maghreb, the French, and imperial pretext
Walker, Timothy John
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This thesis examines the experience of the men and women of the Maghreb through an analysis of regionally-based writers, historians, and cultural and geopolitical analysts, as well as alternative sources detailing salient factors involved in this era. The Maghreb, a region of North Africa consisting of three nations, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, experienced well over a century of colonial rule by the French. The colonial era lasted from the early 1800's to the culmination of the French-Algerian War in 1962. France was determined to establish Algeria as an integral component of the French empire and the cornerstone for an economic and cultural expansion known as Eurafrique that would allow for the dominance of the African continent. Additionally, French Protectorates were established in the flanking nations of Morocco and Tunisia, resulting in absolute regional dominance. An interdisciplinary analysis merging the literary, cultural, and geopolitical history of the region provides the reader with an opportunity to evaluate multiple perspectives of this turbulent era. Further, it provides one with a practical foundation from which an objective critique of ongoing strife between the globalizing influences, for good or bad, of the West and the traditions and cultures of the Muslim world can be effectively based. Ultimately, this study reveals that French imperial pretext failed due to a combination of tragic miscalculations regarding basic geopolitical, cultural, and traditional traits of the Maghreb.