The Algerian War and its legacy

Course Dates: 29/02/20
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street

Between 1954 and 1962 France fought a desperate war to try to maintain its grip on Algeria, with dramatic human and political consequences, which are felt to this day in both countries. Tutor: Sebastien Ardouin.


What is the course about?

This course will analyse the factors that led to the Algerian War; why the French authorities desperately tried to keep Algeria French, fighting a doomed war, before realising, under de Gaulle, that the only viable option was the independence of its colony; and the political and socio-economic consequences and memories of the conflict in both France and Algeria.

What will we cover?

- The political and socio-economic situation in Algeria before the war
- The myth of French Algeria
- The rise of Algerian nationalism
- The early stages of the war and its intensification, 1954-58
- The events of 13th May 1958 and their consequences
- De Gaulle in power and the search for a solution
- Towards the independence
- The consequences and legacy of the Algerian War in France and Algeria.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

-Analyse and compare the situation of the Muslim and the European communities in Algeria before the Independence War.
-Explain why in the mid-1950s most politicians and the military believed it was essential France
-Analyse why public opinion changed in France with regards to the idea of the independence of Algeria
-Discuss constructively the consequences of the crisis of 13th May 1958
-Analyse the main obstacles to de Gaulle’s policy
-Assess the consequences of the war in both Algeria and France.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

Some background knowledge about France would be useful but is not essential.
A good standard of English is required.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The course will be a combination of lecture, backed by PowerPoint presentation, and discussions in large groups. Handouts will be available. Material to prepare the discussion will be handed out during the course.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Please bring a pen and paper.
Books will be recommended but students are not required to purchase them if they do not wish.
This is not an examined course.
There are no extra costs.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

For further information about other courses on European or World history, please visit the college website:

Tutor Biographies
Sebastien Ardouin

After under- and post-graduate studies in Politics and History in both France and the UK, Sébastien settled in London. He has been teaching at the City Lit since 2001. Over the years, he has covered many different subjects, including politics, history, economy and culture of Latin America, French modern history, European history, global issues and current affairs. In his classes, Sébastien hopes to give learners the skills, tools and information that can help them not only to make sense of the world we live in but also to understand the origins of the key issues we face.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: HH610

Sat, day, 29 Feb - 29 Feb '20

Duration: 1 session

Full fee: £59.00
Senior fee: £47.00
Concession: £30.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Download form & post

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2652

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.