Algeria History - Muslim Age

Algeria History – Muslim Age

The expansionist movement of the Muslims, which shortly after Muhammad’s death had led to rapid conquests in Anterior Asia and Egypt, naturally had to flow into the regions of North Africa owned more or less nominally by the weak Byzantine Empire. Already during the ‛Omar caliphate (634-644), the Arabs made two expeditions, the first to Cyrenaica, the second to Tripoli and Sabratha, with points in Fezzān; at the time of ‛Othmān (644-656), a third expedition arrived in the territories of present-day Tunisia and achieved successes, bringing back spoils, but without establishing a stable dominion. Having ascended the Caliphal throne in 661 Mo‛āwiyah I, who founded the Umayyad dynasty, the expeditions to Barbary were resumed and then pushed further west, in the territories of today’s Algeria and Morocco. Dīnār Abū ‘l-Muhāgir and the famous general ‛Oqbah ibn Nāfi‛, a figure of an ardent Muslim warrior, partly magnified by legend, who founded Kairuan (al-Qairawān) as a stable base of operations for Muslims, played a notable part in them, and he made rapid victorious runs as far as the Atlantic, until returning towards the east he perished with all his people in an ambush set upon him in Tehūdhā, north-east of Biscra, by one of the Berber chiefs, Coseila (Kusailah). With the Muslims withdrawn, Coseila was able to establish a Berber kingdom that included parts of eastern Algeria and Tunisia, a kingdom against which the efforts of the Arabs returned to the rescue were concentrated; they, defeated and killed Coseila, later had to fight against the Byzantines and even more against the famous queen of Aurès, called al-Kāhinah, in whose figure the legend personified the resistance of the Berbers to the Arab conquerors. These, overcome this obstacle, were able in the early years of the century. VIII establish their dominion in Tunisia and Algeria, partly Islamize the Berbers and lead them, with the aim of the booty, to the conquest of Spain, which began in 711; conquest for which the Berbers provided most of the troops. However, the Arab domination of the North African regions was not to last peacefully for long. The spirit of independence of the Berbers, the harassment and haughtiness of the rulers, who constituted the privileged class among them, and the spread, which took place in many regions of Barbary, of the heterodox doctrines of the Khārigiti provoked revolts and then a general uprising, which, which broke out around 740, caused serious defeats to the Arabs, and for some time annulled their dominion. However, they managed, through long struggles, to re-establish it in eastern Barbary, but in Algeria and Morocco, states were formed, in the second half of the eighth century, independent states from the ‛abbāside caliphate, such as the Ibāḍite one of the Rustemids which had its center in Tihāret (Tiaret, in the department of Oran), and the ṣuphrite of the Banū Ifren, which had its center in Tilimsān (Tlemcen), later occupied by Idrīs ibn ‛Abd Allāh, founder of the state of the Idrīsites in Morocco. The following century saw the affirmation of the Aghlabite dynasty, which, having its center in Tunisia, extended its dominion also to eastern Algeria, despite being exposed to frequent revolts. Meanwhile, towards the end of the century. IX and in the first years of the century. X, they spread, especially among the Berbers Ketāmah (in the province of Constantina), the Shiite doctrines which prepared the advent of a new dynasty, that of the Fāṭimites, which around 909 put an end to the Aghlabite reign and that of the Rustemids. The authority of the Fāṭimites thus asserted itself over a large part of Barbary, had the support of the great Berber group of the Algerian Ṣanhāgiah; he nearly succumbed to the serious Khārigita revolt, led by Abu Yazīd, which was eventually suffocated by the intervention of the chief Ṣanhāgiah Zīrī ibn Mannād. But the Fāṭimites had for some time already tended to transport their dominion to the East and to impose Shiite doctrines there; conquered Egypt, in 973 they established the center of their empire there, abandoning Barbary which thus saw the dominion of the Arabs disappear, whose enormous conquest effort was exhausted, despite having had notable effects on the history and civilization of those regions which had by now been Islamized and therefore attracted into the orbit of the eastern world. The Zīrīti princes remained in the Ifrīqiyah, as administrators and representatives of the Fāṭimiti; in the central Maghreb, favored by the Zīrīti themselves, the Ḥammāditi state was formed, which had its center at Qal‛at Banī Ḥammād and then in Bejaia, and in some period it was quite flourishing. These two dynasties represent the era of the domination of the Berber Ṣanhāgiah in Algeria, which shortly after the middle of the following century was exposed, like other regions of North Africa, to the terrible Hilālian invasion (v. and at some time it was quite flourishing. These two dynasties represent the era of the domination of the Berber Ṣanhāgiah in Algeria, which shortly after the middle of the following century was exposed, like other regions of North Africa, to the terrible Hilālian invasion (v.benī hilāl), which dealt a serious blow to the prosperity of the country, introduced nomadism in many regions and accentuated Arabization. Even in the midst of the disorder caused by the introduction of this new ethnic element in the Berber team, events were preparing for Morocco that led to the foundation of two great Berber empires, that of the Almoravids (see), which also dominated Algeria for some time. western; and subsequently that of the Almohads (v.), which extended its dominion from the Atlantic to Sirtica and gave birth to remarkable works of civilization. However, under the successors of the great Almohad ruler ‛Abd al-Mu’min, Barbary was troubled for a long time by the serious riots of the Banū Ghāniyahs. During the century XIII, with the decline and then the collapse of the Almohad empire, three new states came to be constituted, that of the Ḥafṣids (descendants of Abū Ḥafṣ, one of the companions of Ibn Tūmart, the Mahdī of the Almohads), based in Tunis; that of the ‛Abd al-Wāditi (v.), Berbers Zenātah, in western Algeria, centered in Tlemcen; and that of the Merīnids, also Berbers Zenātah, to Morocco (see these entries); states that had some element of civilization and splendor, but which spent, for over two centuries, the greater part of their activity in sterile struggles for supremacy, between perennial riots and troubles. For Algeria religion, please check

Algeria, like other neighboring regions, came out completely prostrate. In the century XVI then Spanish conquests are carried out and then the Turkish authority is established, which made it one of the most feared Barbary states, which up to the French conquest seriously disturbed the life of the Mediterranean populations. The Spaniards, following the vigorous impulse that had led them to expel the Moors from their peninsula and to eliminate piracy, occupied many points of the coast from Morocco to Tripoli: Melilla, Mers el-Kebir, Oran, Bugia soon fell into their hands. ; Algiers, Ténès, Tlemcen and other cities made an act of submission to them; in the port of Algiers they took possession of an islet and built the fortress of the “Peñon”, which was a guarantee against the city and against the pirates. If the generous effort of the Hispano-Portuguese in North Africa had been validly seconded by the intervention of all Christian states, probably the regions from Cyrenaica to Morocco, even if Islamized, would have been brought back into the orbit of Western civilization, avoiding the long and disastrous period of life of the Barbary states. However, the threat of the other power hung over Spanish domination which, having established itself in the Near East, tended to expand in Europe and the Mediterranean: that is, the Ottoman Turks. Hordes of daring and bloody corsairs worked for them, a hodgepodge of Turks and Greek and other renegades, led by skilled leaders, who tried to occupy the regions of North Africa taking advantage of the anarchy that reigned there among the Berber leaders, and the reaction of the Muslim populations against the Christian occupation; they ended up constituting states under the protection of the Porte, which represented moral support for them and, when needed, supplied them with strength. The two brothers ‛Arūǵ and Khair ad-dīn, known in Europe as” the Barbarossa brothers “, remained famous in these enterprises. The first in 1516 took possession of Shershāl (Cherchell) and Algiers; then of Ténès and Tlemcen. Besieged by the Spaniards in this last city, he was forced to flee, reached and killed. His brother Khair ad-dīn, threatened by revolts, offered the sovereignty of the conquered territories to the Turkish sultan Selīm I, who conferred on him the title of pasha and beylerbey and sent him reinforcements. Despite the efforts of the Spaniards, including the great expedition led by Charles V in 1541 and which ended in disaster due to the storm that destroyed the fleet, the Barbarian state of Algiers was maintained, and the Spaniards were subsequently expelled from the occupied countries (except from Oran, where they remained until 1708 and then reoccupied from 1732 to 1792), it strengthened and expanded. Its history up to the French occupation of 1830 is a whole series of pirate enterprises that sowed massacres and mourning in the Mediterranean, of fights with the other Barbary state of Tunis and with the Moroccan sultans, of vain attempts by the Christian powers to destroy those dens of brigands, and internal upheavals based on massacres and horrible crimes.

Running was the state’s main means of subsistence and wealth for many individuals, and it was expertly organized like a real industry. Especially raged in the century. XVII; it was somewhat attenuated in the eighteenth century due to the resistance or the negotiations of some Christian states; he became hardened during the Napoleonic period. The occupation of Algiers, carried out by France in 1830, put an end to the Turkish domination; but once this was eliminated, the new conquerors soon found themselves facing the indigenous resistance which was much more difficult to overcome. The most important phase of it is represented by the long and perilous struggle that took place in western Algeria against the famous Emir Abd el-Kader (v.), A struggle in which Marshal Bugeaud, the Duke of Auṃale, among others took part. and General Lamoricière, and which gave rise to notable feats of arms and ended in 1847 with the surrender of the emir (see below). In 1857, when the Kabilia of the Jurgiura (Djurdjura) was subdued, the conquest was completed. But not long after, namely in 1871, a great revolt bloodied the whole area of ​​Great and Little Kabylia and the southern part of the province of Constantina; revolt that is commonly attributed to errors of government, although in North African countries the foreign dominations that have established themselves there have been subjected over and over again to similar difficulties, when they found themselves engaged elsewhere or in some way weakened or prostrated; so as to be able to find in such events a kind of historical law full of warnings. The defeat of France in Europe had its repercussions in the revolt of eastern Algeria, which was with great difficulty tamed. From the coastal region (the Tell) the French occupation gradually extended to the second zone (the highlands) and then to the third, that is to the desert, through military exploits, skilled political actions and cultural preparation, of which we have seen the fruits during the World War when, despite the fact that France was deeply committed and in grave danger in Europe, the Algerian colony, making a notable exception to the millenary North African history, remained calm and indeed contributed to the victory of the motherland.

Algeria History - Muslim Age

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