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By Sword and PlowFrance and the Conquest of Algeria$
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Jennifer E. Sessions

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449758

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449758.001.0001

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The Empire of Virtue

The Empire of Virtue

Colonialism in the Age of Abolition

(p.177) 4 The Empire of Virtue
By Sword and Plow

Jennifer E. Sessions

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses the new system of colonization that French thinkers and policymakers envisioned and sought to implement in Algeria. Under this new system, colonial emigration would provide an outlet for elements that posed a threat to public order at home; European immigrants would provide free labor to the colonies; and the growth of settler societies would increase the scope of global trade. Equally important, the new colonial emigrants were expected to settle not in cities, but on the land. The resulting colonial society would be essentially rural, and agriculture and civic virtue would flourish in place of the corruptions of urban, industrial life. The goal of this kind of agrarian colonization was summed up in the phrase that would be applied to French policy in Algeria throughout the nineteenth century: “peuplement et fertilisation” (settlement and fertilization).

Keywords:   Algieria, French colony, colonization policy, colonialism, imperialism, colonial emigration, European immigrants

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