Labor, Emigration, and Citizenship
This chapter considers the efforts to regulate emigration to Algeria. Almost immediately after Algiers's capitulation in 1830, French officials, especially in large towns, began to dream of sending the poor and unemployed to Algeria. Officials of the new colonial state, however, feared that unrestricted emigration would simply displace social and political problems from metropole to colony. Efforts to find an equilibrium between the countervailing priorities of these diverse state agents highlight the tensions that emerged between metropolitan and imperial reform movements, as well as between the different branches of the expanding French imperial state and emigrants themselves. Adding these conflicts to the better-known struggles between civilian and military authorities in North Africa, especially the colonization services and the Bureaux arabes, will yield a better understanding of the Algerian colonial state as a trans-Mediterranean entity that sought to regulate the movements and behavior of European emigrants as much as those of indigenous Algerians.
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