French Harkis soldiers.
The overthrow of colonialism depended upon the development of nationalism, which marked a break with primary forms of resistance to colonialism in nineteenth-and early-twentieth-century northern Africa. Initial resistance was based on regional and Muslim solidarity, like the resistance of ‘Abd al-Qadir to the French in Algeria between 1830 and 1847. Meanwhile, in Tunisia and Egypt, there was a renewal of ideological leadership through the development of nationalist ideologies and the reform of Islamic thought. Nationalist and Islamist ideologies were formulated by those exposed to modern European thought and appealed to new social categories created by the modernizing programs of African state builders such as Tunisia’s Ahmed Bey and Egypt’s Muhammad ‘Ali. Educated in Western languages and political concepts, administrators, professionals, and entrepreneurs identified their interests within the nation-state. They provided the personnel of the colonial state system after the French occupation of Tunisia in 1881 ...read more