What problems did Algeria have when it gained its independence?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

When Algeria achieved independence in 1962, it encountered a whole new set of problems. Almost immediately after the ratification of the Evian Accords, retaliatory killings against Algerian Muslims who had served with French forces began.

Furthermore, Algeria was left without much in the way of economic and bureaucratic infrastructures after...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

When Algeria achieved independence in 1962, it encountered a whole new set of problems. Almost immediately after the ratification of the Evian Accords, retaliatory killings against Algerian Muslims who had served with French forces began.

Furthermore, Algeria was left without much in the way of economic and bureaucratic infrastructures after independence. During its time under French rule, most administrative and managerial professions had been filled by pied-noirs (Algerian-born Europeans). French policy denied North Africans and Muslims full access to education and professional occupations. The sudden departure of Europeans deprived Algeria of an educated and professional class. This greatly hampered the newly independent country's ability to rebuild after the war and distribute much-needed goods and services. It also resulted in massive unemployment.

In an attempt to address this problem, the new president of Algeria, Ahmed Ben Bella, implemented a policy through which the state would support workers. They wanted to help them take direct control over agricultural and industrial operations. This movement, which became known as autogestion, was meant to nationalize such operations and simultaneously keep them under the control of local workers. It proved to be an utter failure, as corruption, theft, and bureaucratic incompetence stymied its actual implementation.

Furthermore, internal political rivalries became a major problem for Algeria. Bella banned the activities of his leftist detractors and had their leaders arrested. His party, the FLN, soon grew to completely dominate the government. In 1963, Bella had a new constitution drafted and ratified; with it, he greatly consolidated his power. This move led to revolts and insurgencies in various parts of the country. In 1965, Bella was ousted in a coup d'état and the country fell under the control of the military.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team