France and the positive past

In 1830 French armies in Algeria started what was to be a long history of imperialism. Algeria was to become a full-on French province, much like Normandy. Indeed, the new colony attracted many French people. Algeria soon developed a new French population that considered itself indigenous. The process of decolonisation, however, is perhaps one of the horrors of the decade, resulting in an eight year struggle, ending in a popular referendum that declared Algeria an independant state. Now a law has been passed in French parliament that notes that "school programs recognize in particular the positive character of the French overseas presence, notably in North Africa." Although President Jaques Chirac has called the law a "big screw-up", it maintains.

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