By Sword and Plow: France and the Conquest of Algeria by Jennifer E. SessionsBy Sword and Plow: France and the Conquest of Algeria by Jennifer E. Sessions

By Sword and Plow: France and the Conquest of Algeria

byJennifer E. Sessions

Paperback | November 20, 2014

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In 1830, with France's colonial empire in ruins, Charles X ordered his army to invade Ottoman Algiers. Victory did not salvage his regime from revolution, but it began the French conquest of Algeria, which was continued and consolidated by the succeeding July Monarchy. In By Sword and Plow, Jennifer E. Sessions explains why France chose first to conquer Algeria and then to transform it into its only large-scale settler colony. Deftly reconstructing the political culture of mid-nineteenth-century France, she also sheds light on policies whose long-term consequences remain a source of social, cultural, and political tensions in France and its former colony.

In Sessions's view, French expansion in North Africa was rooted in contests over sovereignty and male citizenship in the wake of the Atlantic revolutions of the eighteenth century. The French monarchy embraced warfare as a means to legitimize new forms of rule, incorporating the Algerian army into royal iconography and public festivals. Colorful broadsides, songs, and plays depicted the men of the Armée d'Afrique as citizen soldiers. Social reformers and colonial theorists formulated plans to settle Algeria with European emigrants. The propaganda used to recruit settlers featured imagery celebrating Algeria's agricultural potential, but the male emigrants who responded were primarily poor, urban laborers who saw the colony as a place to exercise what they saw as their right to work. Generously illustrated with examples of this imperialist iconography, Sessions's work connects a wide-ranging culture of empire to specific policies of colonization during a pivotal period in the genesis of modern France.

Jennifer E. Sessions is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Crossing Borders Program at the University of Iowa.
Title:By Sword and Plow: France and the Conquest of AlgeriaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.85 inPublished:November 20, 2014Publisher:Cornell University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801456525

ISBN - 13:9780801456527

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Cultural Origins of French AlgeriaPart I: By the Sword
1. A Tale of Two Despots: The Invasion of Algeria and the Revolution of 1830
2. Empire of Merit: The July Monarchy and the Algerian War
3. The Blood of Brothers: Bonapartism and the Popular Culture of ConquestPart II. By the Plow
4. The Empire of Virtue: Colonialism in the Age of Abolition
5. Selling Algeria: Speculation and the Colonial Landscape
6. Settling Algeria: Labor, Emigration, and CitizenshipConclusion: Politics and Empire in Nineteenth-Century FranceSelected Bibliography of Primary Sources

Editorial Reviews

"Sessions has written an exemplary cultural history of empire that impresses by her range of sources, subtle analysis, and the unity of the argument from beginning to end."