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The French RepublicHistory, Values, Debates$
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Edward Ducler Berenson, Vincent Duclert, and Christophe Prochasson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449017

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449017.001.0001

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The Republic and the Indigènes

The Republic and the Indigènes

(p.223) 25 The Republic and the Indigènes
The French Republic

Emmanuelle Saada

, Renée Champion, Edward Goldhammer
Cornell University Press

This chapter argues that France's situation with the indigènes reveals a powerful way to understand two essential features of the republican regime: how it dealt with “otherness,” and precisely what it meant to belong to the body of French citizens. Throughout its history, the imperial Republic not only excluded natives from the ranks of French citizens by defining them in terms of their customary legal status; it also violated some of its most fundamental principles by imposing on its subjects a set of repressive measures alien to the traditions of republican law. These measures were embodied in the Code de l'indigénat, voted by Parliament in 1881 for Algeria, and then extended to all colonies populated by “subjects.” The chapter thus explores the contradictory nature of the Republic's hesitance to extend the universality of its values to the indigènes.

Keywords:   otherness, colonial subject, colonization, indigènes, Code de l'indigénat, citizenship, nationality, republican regime

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