1962- Algerian Granted Independance


In the 1950s, the Algerian FLN launched a rebellion against French rule. The resistance gained momentum and in 1959, French President Charles de Gaulle proposed a referendum for Algerian independence. Despite opposition and revolts from French nationalists, including the OAS, Algerians overwhelmingly voted for independence in July 1962. Two months later, Ahmed Ben Bella, a FLN leader, became the first Premier of the newly independent Algeria, marking a new era in the nation's history.

In the 1950s, Algerian nationalists, organized within the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN), initiated an armed rebellion against French rule in Algeria. Born out of deep-seated frustration over the systemic inequities of French colonial rule, the rebellion was a manifestation of Algeria's long-held aspirations for sovereignty.

As the decade unfolded, the rebellion gained significant momentum, with the FLN orchestrating a series of attacks against French military and civilian targets. These actions ignited a brutal and protracted conflict that became emblematic of the struggle for self-determination in the post-World War II era. Despite initial French attempts to quell the uprising, the resistance expanded, winning sympathy and support from across the world, especially from emerging nations that had recently freed themselves from the shackles of colonialism.

Charles de Gaulle, who assumed the presidency of France in 1959, recognized the escalating situation in Algeria. Acknowledging the changing dynamics of the conflict, as well as the growing international criticism of France's colonial endeavors, De Gaulle proposed a novel solution. He offered Algeria the option of a referendum to determine whether the people desired independence from France. This move marked a significant shift in French policy and a tacit recognition of the powerful momentum the independence movement had gained.

Following De Gaulle's offer, cease-fire negotiations commenced between the French government and the FLN. However, these negotiations were not without obstacles. French nationalists, particularly those who saw Algeria as an integral part of France, vehemently opposed the peace process. These factions staged two significant revolts in Algeria aimed at derailing the negotiations and maintaining French control.

The first revolt transpired in 1960, followed by a more organized and substantial uprising in 1961 led by the Organisation de l'Armée Secrète (OAS). The OAS, composed primarily of French military personnel and civilians, vehemently opposed Algerian independence. While the revolt was suppressed within days, the OAS continued its campaign against the peace process, staging attacks and conducting sabotage operations until the bitter end.

Despite these efforts to derail the process, the course of history was inexorable. On July 1, 1962, Algerians voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence in the referendum proposed by De Gaulle. The result was a profound validation of the aspirations of the Algerian people and a critical blow to the French colonial project. Two days later, on July 3rd, Algeria officially declared its independence, marking the end of 132 years of French rule.

In September of the same year, Ahmed Ben Bella, one of the original leaders of the FLN, became the first Premier of independent Algeria, marking the onset of a new era. His ascent to power signaled the consolidation of the FLN's political authority in the new nation.