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Why did France put so many resources into fighting Algeria in comparison to its other former colonial holdings? Was there anything unique about the French-Algerian relationship. On Wikipedia it says that France regarded Algeria in a way similar t how the USA think of Hawaii and Alaska. Is this true? If it is, why?

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Algeria was the closest colony to France. Some French hoped of it ultimately becoming a part of France (as opposed to just a colony). –  American Luke Nov 11 '12 at 0:59
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Algeria was more then a colony, there were French Départements in Algeria, from 1848 on until 1962 it was an integral part of the French motherland.

See Wikipedia or the french wikipedia article for the French départements in Algeria

This does not mean, that Algerians were full citizens.

See also Process of Colonization:

Algeria was formally declared to be a part of France and was again divided into three departments, the government of which was placed into the hands of European settlers.

The tension between the French and the Arabs started to grow. The French neglected the Arabs and in July of 1864, Senatus Consulte declared all Moslems to be French subjects, meaning the Muslims were not to be citizens. This way, the Arabs could keep their Muslim religion and the Koran law, and were subject to special police regulations, including the infamous code de l’indigenat. In order for Arabs to become full-blooded French citizens, they had to give up their personal status, which not many were willing to do.

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Algeria was considered a "back door" to France, from the south. In the hands of a hostile country, England, Germany, or even Libya/Egypt, it was seen as a potential invasion route to France. On the other hand, if France retained a foothold in Africa through Algeria, it could continue to influence its former colonies in "French West Africa" (which it does to a small degree, to this day).

France looked at Algeria that way an American might see Latin America through the Monroe Doctrine: a "no fly" zone for hostile foreign countries. Algeria is the part of Africa that is closest to France.

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more reference please? –  Louis Rhys Nov 12 '12 at 2:44
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The other answers pointed out very correctly that Algiers was legally considered a part of France. What must be added is that there was a very large body of French colonists in Algiers, which was not the case with the other French possession, whatever their legal status.

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