Politics and Empire in Nineteenth-Century France
This concluding chapter summarizes key themes and presents some final thoughts. This book has argued that the origins of French Algeria lay in the contested political culture of the postrevolutionary period. Rather than attributing imperial expansion to the triumph of a particular party or ideology, it sought to demonstrate how conflicts over the sources of sovereignty and definitions of citizenship pushed France back onto the colonial stage after the imperial collapse of the eighteenth century. While the cultural origins of French Algeria certainly had a great deal to do with nationalism, grandeur, and French self-image, these were not conceived solely or even always primarily in terms of the racialized binary between colonizer and colonized. Instead, images of Algeria and its conquest were embedded within broader domestic contests over citizenship, sovereignty, and empire.
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