In the course of two thousand years, despite the warlike nature of the population, Algeria never governed itself, but subsequently belonged to foreign conquerors: Carthage, Rome, Vandals, Byzantium, Arabs, Turks and French. Its major cities, Algiers, Oran, Constantina, Bona, are foreign. In its territory there are no large indigenous cities, such as Tunis and Fez, centers of Muslim civilization; and there are therefore no organized indigenous bourgeoisies. Indigenous Algeria is rural par excellence. All these circumstances are of great importance.
This extraordinary situation has deep causes: geographical, political and also economic. Stretching out to the edge of the desert, Algeria has none of those conditions of varied crops which constitute the individual prosperity of the peasant. It has great agricultural products: olive oil, wine, citrus fruits, first fruits, cork, vegetable horsehair, alpha and wool; but, to be put into value, these products require large-scale cultivation and organization for export, that is, strong capital and an outlet in foreign markets. For Algeria 2017, please check mathgeneral.com.
The study of mineral wealth leads to the same conclusions. There is no hard coal (almost unproductive mine in Kénatsa) and oil (the tastes of the Oranese have given negative results); the uidians they are too irregular to be used as a source of energy. Therefore, the foundations for a true industrial life are lacking. There are, however, significant mineral products. North Africa has the richest phosphate deposits in the world and Algeria contains a good part of it, especially in the Tebessa region (the Kouif, the Djebel-Ong), but it has not made the same profit as its neighbors., Tunisia and Morocco, not being favored by the mining legislation, which is the same as that of the metropolis. It also has considerable iron deposits (Moctael-Hadid, Beni Saf, l’Ouenza) and important mines of lead and zinc (Bou-Thaleb, Guergour, etc.). The mining industry has developed above all in the department of Constantine, either because the subsoil is perhaps richer in minerals, or because the prospecteurs established in Tunisia, with a recent mining law, have crossed the border. However, such riches cannot be used as long as they remain in Algeria; the raw ore must be sent to European industrial centers. The prospecteurs found the galleries of the Roman mines, which Rome had left them; no pickaxe had been given since those days.
Algeria has enjoyed great prosperity every time it has been part of a political and economic complex that goes beyond the frontiers of North Africa; so it was under the Roman Empire. so it is now under French rule.
The colony has a budget of 834 million.
In 1925 the trade balance looked like this: imports 3 billion and 275 million, of which 2 billion and 702 million from the metropolis; exports 2 billion and 404 million, of which 1 billion and 726 million to the metropolis.
Algeria is the basis of French domination in North Africa, because it has a European population of 872,431 residents (1926 census). This success must undoubtedly be attributed to official colonization, which was done systematically. All the criticisms leveled at official colonization, on particular issues, are unjustified: the state has shown its usual unavoidable deficiencies there too; but in a Muslim country nothing could have been done without official colonization, which made the lands susceptible to adaptation. The settlers, while not remaining where the administration had placed them, did not leave the country, they created wealth there and increased in number.
Official colonization and the political regime confer pre-eminence on the French element. There are numerous Italian settlers and even more Spanish; but African life, so different from that of Europe, soon causes these elements, whatever their origin, to merge into a common Algerian sentiment. The Italians are numerous; there are 15,500 in the department of Constantina, 11,000 in that of Algiers, about 10,000 in that of Oran; grouped mainly in the cities, they are traders, employees, contractors, employees of small industries or exercising various trades. There are many bricklayers, and even more fishermen, almost all from southern Italy. Despite its division into departments, Algeria has a local parliament: the financial delegations.
Among the natives, the Israelites are the only ones who have accepted European life in all respects. The others, namely Muslims, are 5,147,385 in number.
The distinction between those who speak Berber and those who speak Arabic is very profound, constituting a radical difference, not only in language, but also in way of life. An indigenous saying, born after the great war, compares the Berbers and Arabs to the French and the Germans. Other subdivisions also contribute to the disintegration: the Mzabites, for example, represent an important and clearly distinct element (see sahara). Certain Muslims, much less numerous than the Israelites, manage to conquer wealth, a place in the bosom of the bourgeoisie and a European culture. In Algeria, Muslims tend towards French naturalization; but they are hampered by their “individual status”, that is, by the legal differences existing between Islamic legislation and the civil code. The fact that Europeans, representing just one fifth of the population, occupy a politically and socially privileged place in a Muslim grouping appears to be a unique phenomenon in Islam, the consequences of which are very sensible. In the long run, daily contact in school, in the streets, in business (not in the home) produces a slow metamorphosis, which is felt when, leaving Algeria, one passes to other countries of Islam, even if close. nu ṣṣ ms ĕ lm ī n “half-Muslim”.
Algiers was conquered in 1830; but the spirit of colonization was awakened much later, that is to say in 1872, when the scourge of phylloxera fell on French vineyards. It is remarkable that in Algeria, as elsewhere, the establishment of the colonial empire of France is especially due to the Third Republic.
English Southern Africa is, with Algeria, the only part of the black continent where the European has taken root. Cape Town was founded in 1650, which is two centuries before Algiers. Now, while in Southern Africa the European population today is 1,521,635 residents (Boers and English), in Algeria it has reached over one million, with immigration from Morocco and Tunisia. Someone rightly drew attention to the fact that the European colony of Southern Africa was founded and can sustain itself without any military aid from the metropolis; this is certainly not the case in Algeria; but it remains to be seen whether this constitutes a harm or an advantage.
Of the primary schools, 663 are reserved for indigenous Muslims and 110 are mixed. The university (Algiers) is made up of 4 faculties.