Algeria Old History

By | January 2, 2023

Algeria is an independent nation in Northern Africa. With the capital city of Algiers, Algeria 2020 population is estimated at 43,851,055 according to countryaah. The indigenous people of the Berber developed early agriculture and livestock management in today’s Algeria and neighboring areas of North Africa. The area was colonized by both Phoenicians and Romans, and in the 600s the Arabs came. With them came Islam and the Arabic language and culture. Arab dynasties ruled until 1527, when the Ottoman (Turkish) kingdom took over. After three centuries during the Ottomans, Algeria became a French colony in the 1830s and remained there until independence in 1962.

  • Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Algeria, covering history, economy, and social conditions.

Rock paintings in Tassili in the Sahara show that hunters lived there during the younger Stone Age and that there were plenty of elephants, buffalo, giraffes and other animals in what is now infertile desert. From the hunter culture, the Berber also developed livestock and agriculture. For Algeria political system, please check cancermatters.

In the 8th century BC, the Phoenicians of the eastern Mediterranean began to colonize the coastal land and established the port city of Carthage (today’s Tunisia), which became the center of a trading power with control over most of the North African coast, with colonies in Spain and Sicily, among others. To the west of Carthage, in present-day Algeria, lay the Berber empires of Numidia and Mauritania (which also included the northern part of present-day Morocco). After Carthage’s fall in 146 BC, the area fell under Roman control and became a barley from which grain, fruits, grapes and olive oil were exported. One of the great theologians of Christianity, the Church Father Augustine, lived in Numidia 354–430 AD. In the early 400s, the Vandals (a Germanic people) occupied the area, and in 534 it came under the Austro-Roman Empire, Byzantium.

Arab conquest

In the middle of the 6th century, the Arab conquest of Maghreb, which is the name of the Arabs in North West Africa, began. The region began to be Arabized and Islamized during periods of mutual cooperation and conflict with the Berbers. The coastal population was slowly assimilated by the Arabs, while inland inland Berber resisted.

In the 9th century, the city of Alger was founded in a place where the Phoenicians established a colony. For five centuries thereafter, Arab dynasties ruled. During the Almohads, the area from the middle of the 12th century experienced a long flowering period, but gradually the country was divided. Threatened by Spanish conquest, the people of Algiers in 1527 requested assistance from the Ottoman Empire.

Under the 300-year rule of the Ottomans, Algeria, like other North African countries, developed into a feared pirate state. An Algerian hijacker fleet ravaged up in Iceland in the early 17th century. The piracy partially legitimized France’s military ascent in 1830 near Algiers.

French colony

The French had intended to settle for the coastal land, but strong opposition from the mountain people drove them to widen their occupation. It was a conquest that lasted for decades and claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. The land of the conquered was distributed to French colonists who came in large crowds. Old social patterns were broken and rural Algeria became cheap labor.

Algeria became a French colony in 1834, but later gained status as an integral part of France. The colonists, who at the turn of the 1900 were at least half a million, remained essentially French citizens and had their own representatives in the Paris National Assembly. The indigenous majority of the population did not become citizens. Few Muslims were part of the economic progress.

After the First World War (1914–1918), nationalist trends emerged among Muslim Algerians who studied in France or participated in the war on France’s side. During the Second World War (1939-1945), the demands for increased autonomy or independence grew. But France was reluctant and the French colonists who ruled in Algiers opposed all concessions. After the French police shot down hundreds of protesters during the unrest in the city of Sétif in 1945, riots erupted, which were extinguished with force. It triggered violent acts on both sides, including bombs against Algerian villages and assaults on colonists. Many thousands of Muslims and hundreds of Europeans lost their lives in events that came to be regarded as a turning point in Franco-Algerian relations.

War of liberation

The guerrilla movement The National Liberation Front (FLN) started a liberation war against the French colonial power in 1954. FLN received support from all Muslim communities in the colony. The fight also united clans in the interior of the country who were at odds with each other. The approximately one million French colonists opposed Algerian independence. Their field call “A French Algeria!” (Algérie française) was also adopted by parts of the French army. The open war soon erupted with terror against civilians from both directions.

In 1958, civilian and military “Algérie française” supporters seized power in Alger with the consent of the army. They demanded General Charles de Gaulle as leader of France in the belief that he would crush the FLN and keep Algeria French. But the coup men lost. When de Gaulle became President of France in 1959, he spoke about the Algerians’ right to their future. His policies won the support of French voters who hated the colonists’ right-wing terrorist movement OAS and its attacks in Algeria and Paris. When French generals made another coup attempt in Algeria, France’s army was loyal to the president. The Evian Treaty in March 1962 recognized Algeria as independent.



Russian state visit

President Dmitry Medvedev visits Algeria to sign a major agreement on Algerian arms purchases.


Terrorist attacks on the military

The militant Islamist group Aqim kills eleven paramilitary police in an attack near the Mali border.


Deputy Prime Minister post is established

Interior Minister Noureddine Yazid Zerhouni is assigned the new post of Deputy Prime Minister.

Several ministers fired

President Bouteflika will kick off energy, communications, health and trade ministers and appoint a new management for the oil and gas company Sonatrach (see January 2010).


The national police chief shot dead

A disgruntled former close employee is reportedly behind the murder of National Police Chief Ali Tounsi.


Ministerial visit from China

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi visits Algeria. The two countries enter into an agreement on closer economic cooperation.

Corruption charges against oil companies

The head of the state oil and gas company Sonatrach is arrested along with twelve of his closest employees, suspected of corruption. The manager and several of his employees are later sentenced to prison and fined for bribery.

Algeria Old History