“Algeria for the Algerians”

Public Education and Settler Identity in the Early Third Republic

in French Politics, Culture & Society
Kyle Francis John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNYkafandco@gmail.com

Search for other papers by Kyle Francis in
Current site
Google Scholar
Restricted access


This article uses an 1881 revolt by settler students at the normal school of Algiers to explore issues of settler identity formation, anticlericalism, and racism. It argues that in the early Third Republic, settlers began to see the public school as a key site for creating a distinctly “Algerian” identity, one that excluded both Algerian Muslims and even new arrivals from the metropole. In this effort, settlers sought to implement radical versions of French republicanism and anticlericalism that were in reality highly restrictive, as they combined both metropolitan disdain for Catholicism and colonial scorn towards Islam. The investigations precipitated by the revolt reveal a colony and metropole whose fundamental concepts took shape in circuit between France and Algeria. The version of republicanism that emerged in Algeria served as an important precursor for the exclusive republicanism and its prohibitions on the public expression of faith in the ascendency in France today.

Contributor Notes

Kyle Francis is an independent historian. He received his Ph.D. from the Graduate Center, CUNY. E-mail: kafandco@gmail.com

  • Collapse
  • Expand


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 425 209 12
Full Text Views 60 25 3
PDF Downloads 73 24 5