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The Virtues of ViolenceDemocracy Against Disintegration in Modern France$
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Kevin Duong

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190058418

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190058418.001.0001

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From Glory to Total War in Algeria

From Glory to Total War in Algeria

Chapter:
(p.53) 2 From Glory to Total War in Algeria
Source:
The Virtues of Violence
Author(s):

Kevin Duong

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190058418.003.0003

This chapter analyzes the relationship between Tocqueville’s passion for glory and his endorsement of total war in Algeria. It is now commonplace to acknowledge Alexis de Tocqueville’s support for Algerian colonization. Less well understood, however, is why he also endorsed the French strategy of “total war” in the regency. How was Tocqueville’s liberalism linked to the specific shape of violence in Algeria? This chapter situates Tocqueville’s Algerian writings in the intersecting intellectual contexts of the 1840s to argue that his apologies for total war were shaped by the lingering legacies of revolutionary republicanism and Bonapartism which defined glory in terms of national defense. By tethering modern liberty to this conception of glory, Tocqueville provided resources for rationalizing settlerism’s exterminationist violence.

Keywords:   glory, total war, Alexis de Tocqueville, France, colonization, Algeria, July Monarchy, liberalism, political violence, settler colonialism

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