Essays on economic development: pre-independent Algeria at the beginning of the 1900s

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Constantine, Argelia
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This thesis examines rural settlement in the department of Constantine in French Algeria at the turn of the twentieth century, shedding light onto the mechanisms through which its agrarian structure was altered. Historians argue that the Algerian economy was transformed during French colonization. With the arrival of the French in the 1830s, the colonial administration aimed to establish a settler rural society based on smallholdings and family farms. Instead, it resulted in a speculative cash crop production colony based on relatively large estates devoted mainly to the cultivation of wheat and wine. It is frequently argued that colonialism forged a dual economy between an Algerian or indigenous “traditional” subsistence rural sector and a settler “modern” export-led one. Additionally, the progressive tendency towards large cash crop estates led to the “crowding out” or decline of smallholding settlers. Thus, on the eve of Independence in 1962, the country was not only endowed with high levels of land inequality and a dual economy and society, but it became clear that the colonial administration had failed to achieve what it had initially hoped for: a smallholding family farm type of settler economy.
Mención Internacional en el título de doctor
Desarrollo económico, Argelia, Época colonial
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