An insult. A diplomatic crisis. A French king eager to cement his power. Many different factors led to the French invasion of Algeria in June 1830, but the result was the establishment of a French colony in North Africa that would last 132 years. For more than a century, Algeria was marked by sharp divisions between its European colonizers and the mainly Muslim people who had occupied the land prior to the arrival of French troops. Discrimination, prejudice, and injustice separated these two groups until a war for independence began on November 1, 1954. After nearly eight years of violence, Algeria became an independent nation in 1962, but a half century later, it remains a country haunted by violence and struggling to achieve stability and prosperity for its people. Read about this conflict in The Algerian War.
Heather Lehr Wagner is an editor and writer of numerous books exploring social and political issues. She earned a B.A. in political science from Duke University and an M.A. in government from the College of William and Mary.