IMPACT OF IDEAS ON THE ALGERIAN INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT
This research paper deals with the influence of ideas and ideology on the development of the Algerian independence movement. In the first phase of that movement beginning in the late 19th century and leading up to the Algerian War (1954-1961), a combination of Algerian nationalism and Western political thought (primarily French) played an important role in fueling Algerian demands for greater autonomy or independence from France. During the War, nationalism of a bitter and savage variety helped weld unity among the Algerian population and nationalist ideology in the form of propaganda helped the Algerian Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN) to end the war and grant Algerian independence despite the fact that the French army at all times had military superiority over the nationalists. A distinctive Algerian brand of Marxist socialism appealed to many nationalist intellectuals and workers, but was largely suppressed by the Algerian military junta which controlled the nationalist movement during the later phases of the war. Pan-Arabism was employed by the FLN to obtain arms and diplomatic support from abroad but played only a minor role in the outcome. Pan-Islamic ideas only became prominent in the form of Muslim fundamentalism long after Algeria achieved its independence.
Berger defines Pan-Arabism as "chiefly a political movement among Arabic-speaking peoples to achieve independence of foreign influence and some degree of unity among Arab states on a secular basis" (317). Pan-Islamism he defines as "a fundamentalist reassertion of the political unity of all Moslems irrespective of nationality, and of the applicability of Islamic doctrine to all human affairs" (317)
Because of its tortured history, nationalism, often in an extreme form, has characterized Algerian political life. In 1990, the population of Algeria was roughly 80 percent Arab and 20 percent Berber and about ...