Civilizing through Cork: Conservationism and la Mission Civilisatrice in French Colonial Algeria

Civilizing through Cork: Conservationism and la Mission Civilisatrice in French Colonial Algeria Abstract The French occupation of Algeria began in 1830 and lasted over 130 years. In the decades following the initial conquest, French imperial agents emphasized the colonial enterprise's social and environmental aims. Claiming that centuries of misuse and abuse had decimated Algeria's environment, they presented the colonial project as an opportunity to adapt indigenous inhabitants to more sustainable uses of land. This civilizing mission helped elevate Algerian cork production into one of the colony's most profitable industries. In the process, it had a detrimental impact on Algerian forests and mobile pastoralists. This article uses cork as a case study to explore the meaning of the French civilizing ethic and its role in France's occupation of Algeria. It makes three main claims. First, it argues that the nineteenth-century French civilizing mission combined social and environmental values, perceptions, and concerns. Second, it demonstrates that this ethic was a guiding factor in the French conquest of Algeria. Finally, it posits that the Algerian cork industry succeeded in part because it purported to embody the French colonial mission's social and environmental ideals. INTRODUCTION On September 19, 1860, Napoleon III stood before a crowded banquet hall in Algiers, the capital of French colonial Algeria, and proclaimed, “Providence has called on us to spread throughout this land the benefits of civilization.”1 This effort, he explained, would involve mining “all the treasures of its earth” that “a poor government would leave sterile.” The French emperor's connection of imperialism's social and environmental aims would have resonated with his audience of colonial dignitaries. In the mid-nineteenth century, the French civilizing mission matured in the context of animated discourse about progress, privatization, resource exploitation, deforestation, and environmental decline. It drew strength from these themes as well as from the French colonial experience in Algeria. This study explores the role and application of the civilizing mission in nineteenth-century French imperialism. As this investigation shows, la mission civilisatrice, through its broad application and its integration of social and environmental ideals, played a central role in the legitimization of France's presence and policies in Algeria. The civilizing mission has long been a well-trodden theme of history, but there has been relatively little research linking its social and environmental dimensions. Recent scholarship has shown that French environmental consciousness developed long before contemporary environmentalist movements, and perhaps before the advent of American environmentalism.2 Contemporary historiography has exposed the centrality of French forestry in the formulation of French conservationism and distinguished it from other models, such as German forestry.3 In addition, scholars have investigated civilizing and assimilation initiatives in Algeria, and several studies have specifically addressed the role of land use, especially expropriation, in the French conquest of Algeria.4 But few have considered the connection between French social and environmental motivations in the colonial context. Likewise, the Algerian cork industry and its significance within the French colonial mission have received little scholarly attention.5 This study complements previous scholarship by illuminating key environmental aspects of the French colonial experience in Algeria. More broadly, it offers critical insight into the relationship between environment and empire. This study makes three main claims. First, it argues that the nineteenth-century French civilizing mission combined social and environmental values, perceptions, and concerns. Second, it demonstrates that this mission civilisatrice was a guiding factor in the French conquest of Algeria. Finally, it posits that the Algerian cork industry succeeded in part because it purported to serve the French colonial mission's social and environmental aims. Figure 1. View largeDownload slide Map of Algeria. Credit: The author, 2017. Figure 1. View largeDownload slide Map of Algeria. Credit: The author, 2017. French troops arrived on the coast of Algeria in the summer of 1830, inaugurating an era of colonial domination that would last over 130 years. On paper, the colony sparkled with opportunity. It encompassed nearly 100,000 square miles, making it over four times the size of continental France (figure 1). In reality, the occupation of Algeria forced France to confront a hostile foreign environment as well as a hostile foreign population. While its northern regions shared some of the ecological features of Mediterranean France, such as open forests and shrublands, there were also important distinctions. Algeria's plant life, soil composition, climate, and precipitation patterns all varied markedly from those features of French Provence, 500 miles to the north. Beyond Algeria's coastal regions, environmental differences were even more pronounced. Rolling plains bled into arid steppes, mountains, and ultimately the Sahara Desert that covered seven-eighths of the country. Prior to the French conquest, the northern part of this region had comprised the Regency of Algiers. Nominally under the control of the Ottoman empire, its administration and population were decidedly cosmopolitan. Merchants, foreign officials, and Turkish soldiers mingled with local inhabitants in the central port city of Algiers. Semiautonomous tribal groups that practiced agriculture, mobile pastoralism, or both, inhabited much of the rest of the territory. Nineteenth-century French imperial agents in Algeria viewed resource extraction and the civilizing mission as compatible, if not complementary. They insisted that European settlers' appreciation for colonial resources would make them better environmental stewards than their indigenous neighbors. In addition, sources promoting la mission civilisatrice frequently characterized imperialism as a catalyst for environmental conservation, maintaining that France possessed the scientific knowledge and the power to implement modern sustainable practices in the colonial setting. In general, French imperialists depicted precolonial Algeria as a morass of bad habits and environmental decline that could be redeemed by adapting its inhabitants to new and better uses of land. These social and environmental perspectives were instrumental in elevating Algerian cork production into one of the colony's most profitable industries. Used almost exclusively for making wine stoppers, cork is a relatively minor global commodity. The cork oak, or Quercus suber, is one of the few large plants that thrive in the hot, dry calcareous soils of the Mediterranean zone, and it is found throughout the region.6 Cork trees are naturally insulated by a layer of porous suberized tissue that protects them from fire and allows them to survive in an environment of low moisture, intense sun, and nutrient-poor soil.7 Since antiquity, the Quercus suber has been harvested for this layer. Once the cork layer is removed, it can regenerate. Cork oaks are long lived, with a potential life span of three hundred years or more. In most commercial cork forests, a tree's cork layer is harvested repeatedly throughout its life, sometimes for a period of over two hundred years.8 The sustainability of a cork farm depends on a number of factors, however, including the way cork is extracted, the scheduling of extractions, the broader woodland system, and external influences. The Quercus suber begins to produce cork at a young age, but this “virgin” cork is slow growing, thin, and not commercially viable. Only once a tree reaches maturity, at twenty to thirty years, can the cork layer be removed and the tree used for commercial purposes. At that point, the original virgin cork is extracted and discarded, allowing a new layer to grow. The tree's cork is then harvested for commercial use every eight or nine years (figure 2). Thus a virgin cork tree will be approximately thirty-eight years old when it begins to provide commercial revenue. Because cork ventures operate on such a slow scale and are limited to the use of mature trees, farmers typically work with preexisting cork forests, rather than planting new stands. Figure 2. View largeDownload slide Workers cutting bark from a cork oak (Quercus suber). Credit: The American Cyclopædia, vol. 5 (1879), 356. Available at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: AmCyc_Cork_-_Cork_Tree_-_Cutting_Bark.jpg. Figure 2. View largeDownload slide Workers cutting bark from a cork oak (Quercus suber). Credit: The American Cyclopædia, vol. 5 (1879), 356. Available at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: AmCyc_Cork_-_Cork_Tree_-_Cutting_Bark.jpg. In the early nineteenth century, the global demand for cork was on the rise, and a steady supply of cork was critical for wine-loving France.9 French foresters championed cork farming in Mediterranean contexts; they considered it an exemplary use of forest resources because it did not necessarily kill the tree. Yet their attempts to promote cork production in metropolitan France floundered. In a typical reaction to this initiative, one official in the Provençal village of Charleval stated bluntly, “Nobody wants this type of woods!”10 In contrast, for French colonials in Algeria, cork's pedigree of sustainability neatly complemented its promise to spread civilization throughout the countryside. Officials, intellectuals, and entrepreneurs championed cork plantations as ideal laboratories for cultivating civilization because they bridged settler and indigenous zones and engaged both parties. Together, they cast cork as a model colonial enterprise. SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL NARRATIVES The French colonial experiment in Algeria unfolded against a backdrop of animated social and environmental discourse. In the eighteenth century, Enlightenment figures such as Montesquieu and Adam Smith encouraged the representation of human history as a narrative of progress, a march toward a more perfect future.11 This philosophy gained appeal in the nineteenth century when developments such as industrialization, European expansion, and scientific theories of evolution seemed to provide evidence of human advancement. The theory of progress supported colonialism by presenting colonized peoples, especially mobile pastoral groups, as belonging to an earlier, more primitive stage of civilization than the settled, industrialized societies of Europe. It influenced a number of early colonial agents in Algeria including the utopian socialist Saint-Simonians, who hoped to use the colony to carry out their vision of an ideal society. The Enlightenment also gave birth to a narrative of long-term Mediterranean environmental decline.12 This theory drew on classical sources including Herodotus, Strabo, Tacitus, Pliny, Ptolemy, and others, who had characterized the Mediterranean world—and North Africa in particular—as a fertile breadbasket.13 Classicist artists reinforced the image by depicting the ancient Mediterranean world as lush, fertile, and heavily forested (figure 3). Contrasting these features with the Mediterranean landscapes of their day, Enlightenment thinkers concluded that the region had been ruined by centuries of human use and abuse. Contemporary environmental phenomena seemed to support this declensionist narrative. In southern France, major floods heralded the new century in 1795, 1802, and 1806 when a monstrous storm rained hail the size of eggs, drowning riverbeds, fields and pastures, and destroying forests, vines, and olive trees.14 When floods did not drench the region, it appeared desiccated by drought. Then in 1816 Europe suffered from prolonged frosty temperatures and gloomy weather in what became known as “the year without a summer.”15 French environmental concerns were compounded by the very real spectacle of deforestation. The extent of French forests shrunk steadily throughout the early modern period, reaching an all-time low in the 1820s.16 Figure 3. View largeDownload slide “Landscape with the Ashes of Phocion,” Nicolas Poussin (1648). Credit: Walker Art Gallery. Figure 3. View largeDownload slide “Landscape with the Ashes of Phocion,” Nicolas Poussin (1648). Credit: Walker Art Gallery. In the nineteenth century, French scientists and scholars increasingly presented the narrative of Mediterranean environmental decline in the framework of progress and civilization. They considered both droughts and floods in the Mediterranean region to be exacerbated by human practices such as the deeply rooted tradition of mobile pastoralism that they linked to the spread of wildfires and deforestation.17 They also cited “the year without a summer” as evidence of human-caused climate change, although scholars now explain it through the eruption of the tropical volcano Tambora.18 This perspective inspired pessimistic forecasts about the societal consequences of environmental change. Jacques-Joseph Baudrillart, a prominent French agronomist, proffered a particularly dire warning in 1823. Calling forest destruction “the natural result of the augmentation of the population and the progress of luxury and civilization,” he predicted that it would herald “the decadence of nations and the appearance of deserts.”19 Alarmed by such gloomy environmental prognostications, scientists, intellectuals, and officials pressed for stronger forest administration. In 1827 they succeeded in passing an expansive new national forest code. The French Forest Code of 1827 reflected the social and environmental concerns of its time. Designed to promote sustainable exploitation, the new code significantly improved and expanded the French forest regime. It afforded the state greater oversight of woodlands, tightened regulations, increased surveillance, and instituted a vast bureaucracy of forest agents trained in the precepts of modern forest science. The code also targeted lifestyles and traditional practices deemed less environmentally and socially progressive. Conceived in the lush high-growth forests surrounding the French Forest School at Nancy, it cast the sparse open woodlands of the Mediterranean world as severely deforested and degraded. In an effort at environmental revival, it tightened restrictions on sheep and goat grazing, banned forest grazing altogether, and outlawed the practice of burning for pasture. It also privileged agriculture and other rural industries, including logging, over pastoralism.20 If these features made the 1827 code a bitter pill for the largely pastoral population of southern France, then it proved all the more unpalatable for the indigenous inhabitants of Algeria. THE COLONIAL CONTEXT Plagued by political instability in France and persistent resistance from the indigenous population, the French conquest of Algeria proceeded slowly and fitfully. Many remote regions did not fall until the second half of the nineteenth century, and the French never gained full authority in the desert zones south of the Atlas Mountains. The French state conceived Algeria as a settler colony, encouraging European civilians to help establish, consolidate, and expand the colonial presence by making Algeria their home. Yet the early years of the occupation brought fewer settlers than hoped. When Algeria became an official province of France in 1848, formally ending military rule, it hosted just over 115,000 settlers, barely augmenting the indigenous population of 1.5 million.21 The vast majority of Europeans, moreover, settled in cities, leaving the countryside largely untouched and uncontrolled.22 The French administration supported investigations and intellectual endeavors aimed at improving its grasp of the region's environment and population. While such initiatives represented a genuine effort at information gathering, they also drew heavily on predominant narratives of progress, civilization, and environmental decline. In 1840, 1841, and 1842, the government funded a series of scientific missions, modeled on those completed in Egypt and the Peloponnese earlier in the century, with the ambitious goal of elucidating and classifying all aspects of Algerian culture, history, and geography.23 The results of these expeditions, published in multiple volumes under the title Exploration scientifique de l'Algérie, inferred a long history of forest destruction for the region, claiming that Algeria was once “not nearly so devoid of forests as it is now.”24 Similarly, another official study determined, “More than any other country, Algeria must have in distant times been covered with forests. One finds irrevocable indications of this in all its provinces.”25 Experts maintained that, while various parts of the Mediterranean world had been heavily and uniformly forested as recently as the sixteenth century, North Africa's ecological decline had begun much earlier, with the arrival of Arab tribes.26 Some took care to distinguish this narrative from Europe's own history of deforestation and its association with industrialization and advancement. Addressing this apparent contradiction, one report actually attributed Algeria's environmental transformation to a lack of civilization, remarking, “It is not in Algeria as in Europe, where the progress of civilization was the cause of deforestation. There, a thousand needs to satisfy either in construction or in industry; here, other uses depending on barbarity, always in accord with the interests of men.”27 Even as they bemoaned the environmental cost of indigenous habits, colonial agents emphasized Algeria's environmental potential. Reports encouraged interest in settlement and colonial agriculture by promoting the “fecundity” of Algerian soil.28 In addition to highlighting the potential value of the colony's extensive cork forests, they provided promising production estimates for a multitude of crops such as grain, cotton, and tobacco. At the same time, they warned that, if left unchecked, traditional practices would “destroy precious resources for the future.”29 As one official put it, “This green, wooded country would soon be converted into a sterile and burning desert.”30 Some presented environmental policy as a standard for the entire colonial mission. In 1842 the minister of war highlighted the “necessity of conserving trees and brush” and of developing forest plantations vital to “the success of all colonization.”31 The same concerns could still be heard over a quarter of a century later. In a tract titled Boisement et colonization (Forestation and Colonization), French émigré François Trottier claimed that a thriving forest economy was vital to the “physical and moral” health of its inhabitants and warned, “The deforestation of a country is thus the most active cause of its depopulation.”32 Likewise, agronomist F. Rubio de la Trehonnais asserted in an 1867 report to Algeria's governor-general, “Societies cannot exist without wood.”33 Back in France, the conquest of Algeria inspired a renewed interest within the French intellectual community in the history, languages, religion, and culture of the Middle East and North Africa.34 Nineteenth-century French orientalists revived the works of medieval Muslim scholars, such as the Tunisian historian-sociologist Ibn Khaldun, through translations and commentaries. Their interpretations eschewed “an exact reproduction of ideas uttered in the text,” opting instead to integrate the sources with contemporary values.35 For example, Prolégomènes, a translation of Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddimah by the prominent orientalist William de Slane, supports the idea of progress by casting nomadism as an earlier, more primitive stage of society.36 In a key passage, Ibn Khaldun explains through the pen of Slane, “I have placed nomadism before sedentary life because (in the order of time) it has preceded all of the forms that the latter can take.”37 Later, Slane's translation states, “The habits and morals of nomadic life have made the Arabs a crude and savage people. [… ] Such a disposition prevents the progress of civilization.”38 The text continues, “As much as sedentary life promotes the progress of civilization, nomadism opposes it.” Slane even claims in his introduction to the text that “tracing the progress of civilization” formed Ibn Khaldun's main purpose in composing it.39 Ibn Khaldun's original work, however, depicted history as cyclical. He believed that empires would rise and then inevitably descend into chaos, and he presented a relatively nuanced picture of nomadic and sedentary groups that acknowledged strengths and weaknesses within both lifestyles.40 In contrast, Slane's version emphasizes progress and advancement, and it casts mobile pastoralists not only as more primitive, but also as a threat to human civilization. French representations of Algerian nomads included environmental dimensions as well. Drawing on contemporary declensionist narratives, they used their sources as evidence that medieval Arab invasions had precipitated North Africa's environmental decline.41 Slane's translation of Ibn Khaldun's history of the Arabs (Kitāb al-ʻIbar) has them cutting down all the trees, destroying civilization, and transforming much of North Africa “into desert” during the invasions of the ninth to twelfth centuries.42 The title of one chapter, in a telling interpretation of the original text, reads, “Every country conquered by the Arabs is soon destroyed.”43 Orientalist interpretations of Ibn Khaldun and other medieval Islamic sources fueled the perception that a deeply rooted dichotomy existed between North Africa's mobile and sedentary population. This Kabyle myth, as contemporary scholars have termed it, cast Berbers, or “Kabyles,” as the region's true natives and branded Arabs as relative newcomers and outsiders.44 It also idealized Berbers as sedentary, law-abiding, industrious agriculturalists, in contrast to the “indolent,” destructive nomadic Arabs, who, according to one mid-nineteenth-century study, spent “nine months of the year [… ] concerned with nothing but their own pleasures.”45 In the early decades of the occupation, the Kabyle myth crystalized into an indelible part of the French colonial imaginary. Even Alexis de Tocqueville, a harsh critic of his society and an advocate for justice and equality, accepted it implicitly. In his “First Letter on Algeria,” published in 1837, Tocqueville advised the new colonial administration to “focus above all on questions of civil and commercial equity” with Berbers while emphasizing “political and religious questions” with Arabs, because their “soul is even more mobile than their dwellings.”46 Echoing Slane's translation of Ibn Khaldun, Tocqueville highlighted the “anarchy” of nomadic groups and claimed that they “have a multitude of vices and virtues that [… ] belong to the stage of civilization at which they find themselves.”47 For many nineteenth-century French colonials, the social and environmental ideals of la mission civilisatrice provided a compelling justification for French imperialism. From the outset, French agents in Algeria distinguished their mission from other imperialist ventures by emphasizing its altruistic aims. As one official explained in 1833, “It is by enlightening the populations, by civilizing them, that we wish to colonize today.”48 Most agreed that the first step toward civilization was sedentarization. According to General Thomas-Robert Bugeaud, a pivotal leader of the Algerian conquest who later served as governor-general, “The best way to change [the natives] is to sedentarize them.”49 With this goal in mind, he urged fellow colonial agents to “work actively to modify” indigenous practices. In the early decades of colonial rule, the utopian socialist Saint-Simonians emerged as self-proclaimed spokesmen for the indigenous population. Restyling Algerian nomads as France's own noble savages, they embraced indigenous inhabitants, preached peace, and promoted the gospel of civilization. The Saint-Simonians included members of France's political and intellectual elite, and their initiatives to uplift indigenous Algerians made a significant impact on French public opinion, especially when such efforts seemed to work. Prosper Enfantin, a leader in the Saint-Simonian movement, joined the state-sponsored information-gathering expedition of 1840 to 1842, and his romanticization of indigenous tribes pervaded its official report.50 Enfantin also presented his observations in an independent publication, Colonisation de l'Algérie. Then, in 1859, Henri Duveyrier, the son of another prominent Saint-Simonian, set off on a three-year trek through the Sahara with a member of the notorious Tuareg tribe as his guide. When he returned unscathed and proceeded to write Exploration du Sahara: Les Touareg du Nord, in which he described his hosts as “hospitable, generous, kind and peaceful,” many began to question the perception of nomads as hostile and dangerous.51 Nonetheless, Saint-Simonians still viewed sedentarization as a precondition to civilization.52 In Colonisation de l'Algérie, Enfantin advocated reorienting indigenous tribes toward sedentary agricultural production. Instructing his compatriots to “build towns, improve agriculture, [and] create commercial relations,” he aimed to civilize Algerian nomads by encouraging them to settle.53 Such ideals permeated the highest levels of the French administrative hierarchy. Following a brief tour of Algeria in 1860, French emperor Napoleon III christened it an “Arab Kingdom” and declared, “The natives, like the settlers, have a legal right to my protection, and I am just as much the emperor of the Arabs as the emperor of the French.”54 In the decade that followed, Napoleon III pursued policies aimed at assimilating indigenous Algerians into French colonial society. In place of the civil administration he had helped to institute less than a decade before, the emperor restored the full authority of the military through the offices of the governor-general and the Arab Bureaus that he considered more sympathetic toward the indigenous population.55 On June 22, 1863, under his administration, the French parliament passed a law designed to stop colonists from usurping tribal lands. For the first time since the French conquest, indigenous tribes were formally recognized as “the owners of the territories in which they exercise permanent and traditional use.”56 The law, however, clearly favored Algeria's sedentary inhabitants, the so-called Kabyles. Its treatment of mobile pastoral groups, whose use of land was seasonal, was deliberately ambiguous. In addition, the law discouraged communal pastoralism by mandating the division of all tribal lands among members into small individual plots.57 Affirming French dedication to civilization as well as sedentarization, Napoleon III aimed to steer indigenous Algerians along the road of progress, by force if necessary. French social and environmental values influenced colonial property administration in other ways as well. At the time of the French invasion, the inhabitants of Algeria recognized several categories of land ownership including private property (mulk), collective or communal property (arch), state property, and unclaimed land. These divisions and their associated usage rights had origins in local customs, Ottoman law, and Islamic tradition. Early French colonial officials made a distinct effort to comprehend Algeria's traditional forms of property ownership and its methods of land management and exploitation.58 In some places, they even preserved precolonial structures, especially where a lack of access, resources, or control made colonization undesirable or impracticable. The lack of a French presence notwithstanding, the colonial administration generally designated such territories as “mixed communities” (communes mixtes), a label that suggested integration, coexistence, and assimilation. In practice, most colonial officials were either ill informed about local property traditions or explicitly critical of them.59 The colonial administration increasingly adopted the perspective that “property exists only exceptionally among the Arabs,” a myth that fed on and perpetuated predominant social and environmental biases.60 Such reasoning encouraged settlers to move in and claim Algerian land. Colonial perceptions also drew on contemporary discourse regarding property ownership and the trend toward privatization. For many observers, the Algerian environment was a classic consequence of what Garrett Hardin would later term “the tragedy of the commons”; it reflected centuries of communal use and abuse.61 Advocates argued that Algerian land could be saved only by converting it to private property with European caretakers. Such environmental perspectives, together with the pressure of a growing settler population, provided powerful motivation for the colonial administration to free up land for European exploitation. The rapid and widespread alienation of cork forests was one major consequence of this push. THE ALGERIAN CORK INDUSTRY Spokesmen for the social and environmental dimensions of la mission civilisatrice reserved special mention for Kabylia, a remote swath of territory stretching inland from the Mediterranean coast, much of it cloaked in cork forests. Early reports praised it as “an almost inexhaustible mine of wood,” an “immense resource,” with “riches” equal to those of any other part of the colony.62 These “riches” included some of the colony's most extensive and pristine cork forests. Kabylia, however, was also home to mobile pastoral tribes resistant to French control. While the task of subduing—not to mention civilizing—the region's population posed significant challenges, many considered it worth the effort.63 For some, Kabylia represented an ideal arena to showcase the achievements of modern sustainable silviculture. Others envisioned training local inhabitants to help cultivate its untapped supply of cork.64 Passing through Kabylia in 1846, French general Marie-Théodore Périgot shrugged off the obstacles to conquest, predicting that the region would “one day” be part of “a great homogenous state whose civilizing influences will [… ] associate this beautiful part of the world with the great task of assimilation.”65 Over the next two decades, la mission civilisatrice drove the subjugation of Kabylia and, consequently, the growth of the Algerian cork industry. The French government began to sell cork concessions shortly after the initial conquest.66 Concessions became more commonplace and systematic following the passage of the Law of June 16, 1851, that gave the administration formal ownership of all of Algeria's woodlands.67 In 1861 a commission of concessionaires requested an extension of their lease, originally set at forty years. Using the rhetoric of sustainability, they argued that the necessity of leaving trees unproductive for eight, or “even a dozen years in some cases,” made their business unprofitable.68 The governor consequently extended the term to ninety years, and the decade that followed witnessed the greatest rise ever in the number of concessions.69 In the late 1860s, French authorities began selling cork forests permanently to former concessionaires, spurring another boom in the lease or sale of cork-producing lands.70 By the late nineteenth century, France had alienated nearly all of Algeria's cork forests, the majority of which lay in the hands of large-scale entrepreneurs who had become some of the most powerful members of Algerian society.71 At the turn of the twentieth century, cork trees were producing an annual profit of 5 million francs, a sixth of Algeria's total forest revenue.72 Cork plantations were hybrid spaces where colonials and the colonized interacted, worked together, and faced common environmental challenges. Local tribes supplied much of the labor for cork extraction, and they regularly assisted in incidences of wildfire. Cork farmers were conscious of their unique relationship with indigenous groups, and they commonly weaved the language of la mission civilisatrice into their enterprise. In the words of one early proponent of the cork industry, employing “Arabs” in the absence of sufficient European laborers would greatly benefit “the civilization of indigenes” and would have “an immense influence on the acceleration of [their] assimilation with us.”73 The colonial forest service quickly embraced this logic. In 1849 a report on the countryside surrounding Bougie described an abundance of cork stands ripe for cultivation as well as a population of “Kabyles” who were “perfectly submissive and could be employed in forest exploitation, if overseen by intelligent workers.”74 Cork moguls continued to use civilizing rhetoric even after their enterprise had become successful. In 1865 a league of cork farmers begged the emperor to give them lands ceded to indigenous tribes because, in their words, “The cork industry, more than any other, is incontestably that which creates the greatest relations between the European and the native.”75 They also argued that their enterprise alone would ultimately facilitate “the assimilation of the two races.” The following year, another union of cork concessionaires made a similar case in petitioning the state for ownership of their land, rather than concessions. “Understanding that it is in his interest to assimilate the natives,” they explained, the owner “gives them work appropriate to their tastes, and in a short amount of time, well-being reigns and harmony returns to places touched by hatred; the races come together to become, with time, no more than a single, same family of good and loyal Frenchmen.”76 The petitioners also cited the environmental advantages of privatization, noting, “Ownership alone would give us the right and the means to use our land and its resources for the benefit of the common good, which is identical to our own.” Around the same time, Pierre Besson, a particularly ambitious entrepreneur, requested government permission to reserve all of the cork forests of lesser Kabylia for commercial exploitation. He asserted that harnessing the resource potential of its lush, extensive forests not only would be profitable for his own enterprise, but also would bring prosperity to local Algerians and “give them an interest in the conservation of forests.”77 Swayed by such rhetoric, the minister of war approved the request, granting Besson and Company a vast concession in the region. In practice, Algerian cork plantations were hardly harmonious assimilation mills, and cork farmers represented some of the indigenous population's greatest critics. Many blamed local tribes for acts of destruction and sabotage on their land. Following an 1863 fire that had ravaged their crop, a group of cork concessionaires expressed no doubts about the source of the blaze. “Arab fanaticism,” they cried, “has sworn a war of extermination against French colonial establishments. [… ] Our plantations above all have excited its wrath: having barely begun our enterprise, we already sense this ferocious hatred whose weapon is fire.”78 The preponderance of wildfires in cork forests indicates that some members of the local population did set fires to protest the occupying French.79 Pastoral groups inhabiting these territories, however, also used fire for domestic purposes, such as cooking and heating, and industrial ones, such as revitalizing pasturelands. The French administration criminalized all of these practices because of their perceived environmental impact. As the century progressed, official reports increasingly conflated arson and accidental fires, viewing both as equally destructive and tending to blame indigenous groups regardless.80 For settlers, foresters, and colonial officials alike, the preponderance of wildfires served to confirm indigenous inhabitants' poor environmental habits, primitive nature, and need of civilizing. Concessionaires also complained that tribes were misusing territory that had been granted to them. In 1866 a near hysterical account appeared in the journal Moniteur de l'Algérie, reporting that the inhabitants of Kabylia were unceremoniously stripping all of their precious cork trees “for an immediate profit” through tanning.81 Even Algerians who were not actively destroying forest resources were accused of doing so indirectly. Cork farmers expressed particular opposition toward local pastoralists' tradition of forest grazing, viewing it as a prime factor in the degradation of cork trees before and during the French occupation. Hence even in their opposition, cork planters tended to reference the French civilizing mission by casting indigenous groups as primitive, ignorant, and environmentally destructive. For their part, French colonial officials were mindful of their civilizing duties in responding to such concerns and evaluating indigenous crimes. In continental France, following the terms of the 1827 Forest Code, perpetrators of forest offenses such as illegally gathering wood or damaging trees typically paid a fine. In the Algerian context, however, cork concessionaires successfully promoted corvée labor as an alternative to fines. Forced labor, they argued, would better compensate them for their losses while educating indigenous perpetrators about proper forest maintenance. In an 1873 letter to the governor supporting this initiative, a local bureaucrat pointed out that such a system would have “from all points of view, an excellent result.”82 According to him, it would help safeguard cork forests, generate profit for both settlers and “indigenes,” and serve to civilize the latter. The state's use of forced labor in this context persisted in spite of staunch indigenous opposition. In a typical case, two Algerians found guilty of damaging a stand of cork trees were saddled with two months of hard labor. They begged to pay a fine instead, claiming that they did not have the “resources” to work for that amount of time.83 While the forest administration acknowledged that indigenous offenders often preferred to pay their indemnity in cash, it still supported the ruling, claiming a superior understanding of social and environmental affairs. The Algerian cork industry represented a rare point of consensus for settlers, foresters, colonial officials, and the French central administration. Although these groups debated the minutiae of methods, policies, and legislation, they agreed on cork's potential to civilize indigenous Algerians and to promote the sustainable exploitation of woodlands. Colonial agents continued to champion cork's capabilities even in the face of social and environmental evidence to the contrary. At the outset of the cork boom in the 1870s, a prominent forest advocate listed indigenous pastoralism, fire, and cork exploitation as “the three great plagues that we must fight” in Algeria's forests.84 Indeed, the late nineteenth century witnessed an increase in the number and intensity of wildfires.85 Meanwhile, cork moguls devoured Algerian woodlands through sloppy, unsustainable extraction methods aimed at maximizing short-term profits. By the early twentieth century, Algeria had lost over half of its forest cover since the colonial conquest, with the greatest losses in Kabylia and other cork-producing regions.86 Over the same period, Algeria's mobile pastoral population declined significantly, together with pastoralists' access to and ability to impact Algerian woodlands. In 1911 the number of sheep owned by indigenous Algerians was half of what it had been in 1870.87 The vast majority of these pastoralists, moreover, had been relocated away from cork forests and fertile regions to the sparsely vegetated High Plateaus, the Atlas Mountains, and the Sahara (figure 4).88 Figure 4. View largeDownload slide Map of Algeria’s Tribal Distribution, 1971. Credit: US Central Intelligence Agency. Reproduced courtesy of University of Texas Libraries. Figure 4. View largeDownload slide Map of Algeria’s Tribal Distribution, 1971. Credit: US Central Intelligence Agency. Reproduced courtesy of University of Texas Libraries. THE LEGACY OF CORK Imperial agents' enduring support for cork cultivation in Algeria is indicative of the nature and value of the French civilizing ethic. This mission united settlers and officials in Algeria, as well as intellectuals and the central administration back in France. In the Algerian case, it was informed by the belief that the Mediterranean world had suffered severe ecological destruction, largely at the hands of nomadic pastoralists, which could be mitigated through modern enlightened administration. The cork industry thrived in the colonial context, while failing in France, largely because, in the eyes of French imperialists, it embodied the social and environmental aspects of la mission civilisatrice. It promised to uplift indigenous inhabitants by engaging them in sustainable, scientific, “civilized” uses of land. The history of Algeria's cork industry illustrates the critical role of social and environmental ideals in guiding nineteenth-century French colonial policy. The success of this commodity indicates that the French administration took environmental concerns seriously and sought to achieve sustainable environmental exploitation. It also suggests that at least some colonial agents were sincerely guided by the desire to redeem Algeria's environment and population. In an ironic turn for those French imperialists who genuinely sought to implement social sustainable practices through support for cork, however, this venture ultimately had a negative impact on Algeria's indigenous inhabitants and environment. It forced the former to relinquish traditional lands and practices, and it contributed to deforestation as well as, through privatization, decreased state protection of woodlands. The nineteenth-century cork boom served to marginalize indigenous pastoralists while sapping the colony's environmental resources, but it ultimately failed to destroy either. Today, over half a century after independence, Algeria is the fourth largest cork producer worldwide, following Portugal, Spain, and Morocco.89 Although greatly transformed, Algeria's contemporary cork industry remains a product of its past and of the cultural, political, ideological, and environmental factors that shaped its development. Andrea E. Duffy teaches history and directs the International Studies major in the College of Liberal Arts, Dean's Office, Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, CO, 80523-1701. Her forthcoming book, Nomad's Land, examines the relationship between nineteenth-century French environmental policy and Mediterranean pastoralism. Notes A number of people provided valuable feedback on this article. In particular, I would like to thank the editors of Environmental History, my anonymous reviewers, my fellow participants in the workshop “African Environments and Their Populations” hosted by Georgetown University, and my wonderful husband John. 1. Speech by Emperor Napoleon III, September 19, 1860. Printed in Louis Napoléon III, Discours, messages, lettres et proclamations de S. M. Napoléon III, vol. 1, 170. Also referenced in Projet de Décret sur le Cantonnement des Indigènes (Alger: Imprimerie de A. Bourget, Rue Sainte, No. 2, 1861), i; Archives Nationales d'Outre-Mer (hereafter ANOM) ALG/GGA/1K309. This and all subsequent translations are mine unless otherwise noted. 2. See Caroline Ford, Natural Interests (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2016); and Char Miller, Gifford Pinchot and the Making of Modern Environmentalism (Washington, DC: Island Press, 2001). 3. Kieko Matteson, Forests in Revolutionary France: Conservation, Community, and Conflict, 1669–1848 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015); Tamara L. Whited, Forests and Peasant Politics in Modern France (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000). 4. For civilizing and assimilation policies, see especially Osama Abi-Mershed, Apostles of Modernity: Saint-Simonians and the Civilizing Mission in Algeria (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010); Julia Clancy-Smith, Rebel and Saint: Muslim Notables, Populist Protest, Colonial Encounters (Algeria and Tunisia, 1800–1904) (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994); Alice Conklin, A Mission to Civilize: The Republican Idea of Empire in France and West Africa, 1895–1930 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997); Patricia Lorcin, Imperial Identities: Stereotyping, Prejudice and Race in Colonial Algeria (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1995); and David Prochaska, Making Algeria French: Colonialism in Bône, 1870–1920 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002). For land use and expropriation, see Diana K. Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome: Environmental History and French Colonial Expansion in North Africa (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2007); Jennifer E. Sessions, By Sword and Plow: France and the Conquest of Algeria (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2011); and Henry Sivak, “Law, Territory, and the Legal Geography of French Rule in Algeria: The Forestry Domain, 1830–1903” (PhD diss., UCLA, 2008). 5. In this respect, this article builds on the work of Diana K. Davis, Caroline Ford, and David Prochaska. 6. Augusta Costa and Graça Oliveira, “Cork Oak (Quercus suber L.): A Case of Sustainable Bark Harvesting in Southern Europe,” in Ecological Sustainability for Non-timber Forest Products: , Dynamics and Case Studies of Harvesting, ed. Charlie M. Shakleton, Ashok K. Pandey, and Tamara Ticktin (New York: Routledge, 2015), 180; B. de la Grye, “L'exploitation du liège,” Revue des Eaux et Forêts (1880): 406–7; James Aronson, João Santos Pereira, and Juli G. Pausas, Cork Oak Woodlands on the Edge: Ecology, Adaptive Management, and Restoration (Washington, DC: Island Press, 2012), 73. 7. Costa and Oliviera, “Cork Oak (Quercus suber L.),” 180; A. Barberis, S. Dettori, and M. R. Filigheddu, “Management Problems in Mediterranean Cork Oak Forests: Post-fire Recovery,” Journal of Arid Environments 54 (2003): 565–69. 8. Costa and Oliviera, “Cork Oak (Quercus suber L.),” 180, 188, 191; A. M. Vicente and F. R. Alés, “Long Term Persistence of Dehesas: Evidences from History,” Agroforestry Systems 67 (2006): 19–28. 9. Helena Pereira, Cork: Biology, Production and Uses (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2011), 1. 10. Archives départmentales des Bouches-du-Rhône (hereafter, BDR) 7 M 163, First File: Charleval, ca. 1821. See also Costa and Oliveira, “Cork Oak (Quercus suber L.),” 189. 11. Progress and Its Discontents, ed. Gabriel Almond, Marvin Chodorow, and Roy H. Pearce (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982); ibid., “Progress and Its Discontents,” Bulletin of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 35, no. 3 (1981): 4–23; Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome, 65. 12. A. T. Grove and Oliver Rackham, The Nature of Mediterranean Europe: An Ecological History (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2001), chap. 1; Caroline Ford, “Reforestation, Landscape Conservation, and the Anxieties of Empire in French Colonial Algeria,” The American Historical Review 113, no. 2 (2008): 346; and Diana K. Davis, “Desert ‘Wastes' of the Maghreb: Desertification Narratives in French Colonial Environmental History of North Africa,” Cultural Geographies 11, no. 4 (2004): 362. 13. Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome, 8. 14. BDR 7 M 135: Agricultural Calamities, 1802–96, First File. 15. Brian M. Fagan, The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History 1300–1850 (New York: Basic Books, 2002), 167–80; William K. Klingaman and Nicholas P. Klingaman, The Year Without Summer: 1816 and the Volcano That Darkened the World and Changed History (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2013). 16. At this time, French forests shrunk to 24,000 square miles (6.3 million hectares). By contrast, they were estimated at twice that amount in the mid-seventeenth century. See Carol Kieko Matteson, Forests in Revolutionary France (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 159. Xavier de Planhol locates the nadir of French forests slightly later, in 1840. See Xavier de Planhol, An Historical Geography of France, trans. Janet Lloyd (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press; Paris: Éditions de la Maison des sciences de l'homme, 1994), 359. 17. See especially Alexandre Surell, Étude sur les Torrents des Hautes-Alpes (Dunod, 1841); and Charles de Ribbe, La Provence du Point de Vue des Bois, des Torrents, et des Inondations Avant et Après 1789 (Paris: Guillaumin, 1857). 18. Grove and Rackham, The Nature of Mediterranean Europe, 10; Gillen D'Arcy Wood, Tambora: The Eruption That Changed the World (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014). 19. Jacques-Joseph Baudrillart, Traité général des eaux et forêts, chasses et pêches, Tome II: Dictionnaire général raisonné et historique des eaux et forêts (Paris, 1823), 3. 20. Code forestier (du 21 mai 1827), Art. 63, 90, 110, and 119. 21. Sessions, By Sword and Plow, 217; Achille Fillias, État actuel de l'Algérie: Géographie physique et politique, description, population, mœurs et coutumes, commerce et industrie, administration, dictionnaire de toutes les localités (Alger: Tissier, 1862), 6–7. 22. Sessions, By Sword and Plow, 216. 23. Exploration scientifique de l'Algérie; Numa Broc, “Les grandes missions scientifiques françaises au XIXe siècle (Morée, Algérie, Mexique) et leurs travaux géographiques,” Revue d'Histoire des Sciences 34, no. 3 (1981): 327; Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome, 36. 24. Henri Jean François Edmond Pellisier de Reynaud, Mémoires historiques et géographiques sur l'Algérie, vol. 6 in the series “Exploration scientifique de l'Algérie pendant les années 1840, 1841, 1842, publiée par ordre du Gouvernement et avec le concours d'une commission académique” (Paris: Imprimerie Royale, 1844), 307. 25. ANOM F/80/1785, M. de Bassano, “Examen de la question forestière dans la Subdivision de Bône” (February 8, 1846). 26. Ford, Natural Interests, 43–54. 27. ANOM F/80/1785, M. de Bassano, “Examen de la question forestière dans la Subdivision de Bône” (February 8, 1846). 28. Fillias, État actuel de l'Algérie, 10–11. 29. ANOM FM F80981, Letter: Inspecteur Général Directeur des Finances to Monsieur le Maréchal Gouverneur Général de l'Algérie (Algiers, June 16, 1840). 30. ANOM FM F80981, Letter: Conseiller d'État to Ministre Secrétaire d'État de la Guerre (Paris, April 24, 1838). 31. ANOM ALG/GGA/P14, Letter: Ministre of War (Algérie) to Gouverneur Général de l'Algérie (August 26, 1842). 32. François Trottier, Boisement et colonisation: Rôle de l'eucalyptus en Algérie au point de vue des besoins locaux de l'exportation et du développement de la population (Alger: Imprimerie de l'Association Ouvriere V. Aillaud, 1876), 26–27. 33. ANOM BIB/AOM/B6787, F. Robiou de la Trehonnais, “Rapport: L'Agriculture en Algérie” (1867), 3. 34. Prominent French orientalists were Silvestre de Sacy, his student William de Slane, and Joseph de Hammer, among others. For a critical survey of these scholars and their interpretations, see Abdelmajid Hannoum, Violent Modernity: France in Algeria (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010), 60–69; and Edmund Burke, “The Sociology of Islam,” in Genealogies of Orientalism: History, Theory, Politics, ed. Edmund Burke and David Prochaska (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2008), 154–73. For a general description of the Orientalist renaissance in European literature, see Zachary Lockman, Contending Visions of the Middle East: The History and Politics of Orientalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 67–69. 35. William de Slane, Histoire des Berbères et des dynasties musulmans de l’Afrique septentriontale par Ibn Khaldoun (Alger: Imprimerie du Gouvernement, 1852), i. Quoted in and translated by Hannoum, Violent Modernity, 64. 36. Mohammed Boukhobza, “Nomadisme et colonisation: Analyse des mécanismes de déstructuration et de disparition de la société pastorale traditionnelle en Algérie,” Thèse du troisième cycle (Paris, 1976), 2; Yves Lacoste, Ibn Khaldun: The Birth of History and the Past of the Third World (London: Verso, 1984), 146, 150. 37. William de Slane, Prolégomènes historique d'Ibn Khaldun (Algiers: Imprimerie du Gouvernement, 1863), 85. 38. Ibid., 310. 39. Ibid., cxi. 40. Ibn Khaldun's مقدمة (Muqaddimah) was originally published in 1377. Today, the best English translation is Ibn Khaldun, The Muqaddimah, an Introduction to History, ed. N. J. Dawood, trans. Franz Rosenthal (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969). 41. Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome, 97; Hannoum, Violent Modernity, 64. 42. Slane, Prolégomènes historique d'Ibn Khaldun, 45, 164. See also Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome, 56. 43. Slane, Prolégomènes historique d'Ibn Khaldun, 310; Ibn Khaldun, Muqaddimah 2.26. Slane's choice of the word “country” (pays) is key because it places emphasis on the land, whereas the original Arabic word (أوطان) has a broader meaning that includes human ties to territory, as in “homeland.” By comparison, Franz Rosenthal, in the definitive English edition, translates this chapter title as “Places That Succumb to the Bedouins Are Quickly Ruined.” Ibn Khaldun, The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History, trans. Franz Rosenthal (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967), 118. 44. Ford, “Reforestation,” 347–8; Hannoum, Violent Modernity, 66–67; Lacoste, Ibn Khaldun: The Birth of History; and Lorcin, Imperial Identities, 2; Charles-Robert Ageron, Histoire de l'Algérie contemporaine, Tome II: De l'insurrection de 1871 au déclenchement de la guerre de libération (1954) (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1979), 138–40; Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome, 57. 45. Fillias, État actuel de l'Algérie, 65. 46. Alexis de Tocqueville, Writings on Empire and Slavery, ed. and trans. Jennifer Pitts (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), 21. 47. Ibid., 9–10. 48. ANOM F8010, Ministère de la Guerre, Rapport sur la colonisation de l'ex-Régence d'Alger par Mr de la P. (November 1833). Quoted in and translated by Abi-Mershed, Apostles of Modernity, 13. 49. Quoted in Enfantin, Colonisation de l’Algérie, 481. 50. “Exploration scientifique de l'Algérie.” 51. Henri Duveyrier, Exploration du Sahara: Les Touareg du Nord (Paris, 1864). See also Michael Asher, Death in the Sahara (New York: Skyhorse, 2008), 18–20. Spurred by this romanticized image of the Bedouin, a French surveying expedition ventured into the Sahara in 1880, only to meet disaster at the hands of the same Tuareg tribe. See J. V. Barbier, A travers le Sahara—Les missions de Colonel Flatters d'Après des documents absolument inédits (Paris, 1884); Daniel Grévoz, Sahara 1830–1881: Les mirages français et la tragédie Flatters (Paris: L'Harmattan, 2000). 52. See Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome, 52–53; Abi-Mershed, Apostles of Modernity; Michael Heffernan and Keith Sutton, “The Landscape of Colonialism: The Impact of French Colonial Rule on the Algerian Rural Settlement Pattern, 1830–1987,” in Colonialism and Development in the Contemporary World, ed. Christopher Dixon and Michael Heffernan (London: Mansell, 1991), 121–52. 53. Enfantin, Colonisation de l’Algérie. 42, 481. 54. ANOM F801679, Letter: Napoléon III to Jean-Jacques Pélissier, Gouverneur Général de l'Algérie (November 1, 1861). Quoted in Charles-André Julien, Histoire de l’Algérie contemporaine, Tome I: La conquête et les débuts de la colonisation (1827-1871) (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1964), 425; Abi-Mershed, Apostles of Modernity, 167; and Georges Spillmann, Napoléon III et le royaume arabe d'Algérie (Paris: Académie des Sciences d'Outre-Mer, 1975), 26–27. See also Charles-Robert Ageron, Modern Algeria: A History from 1830 to the Present, trans. Michael Brett (Trenton: Africa World Press, 1991), 36, 38; Lorcin, Imperial Identities, 76; Julien, Histoire de l’Algérie contemporaine, 425; and Annie Rey-Goldzeiguer, Le royaume arabe: La politique algérienne de Napoléon III 1861–1870 (Alger: SNED, 1977). 55. Julien, Histoire de l’Algérie contemporaine, 419; Ageron, Modern Algeria, 36–38; Lorcin, Imperial Identities, 77. 56. Projet de Sénatus-consulte relatif à la constitution de la propriété en Algérie, Article 1. Printed in Statistique et documents relatifs au Sénatus-consulte sur la propriété arabe, 45. 57. Projet de Sénatus-consulte, Art. 2, 3, & 7. This article nullified Article 14 of the law of June 16, 1851. 58. See, for example, A. D. Combe, Conservateur des Forêts, “Les forêts de l'Algérie” (Alger: Imprimerie de Giralt, 1889), 14, 16. ANOM BIB AOM B6904. See also Julien, Histoire de l’Algérie contemporaine, 404. 59. Ford, “Reforestation,” 343–44, 357. 60. Fillias, État actuel de l'Algérie, 79. 61. Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science 162 (1968): 1243–48. 62. Ernest Carette, Études sur la Kabylie, Vol. 4 in the subseries “Sciences historiques et géographiques” of the series “Exploration scientifique de l'Algérie” (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1848), 245. Quoted in and translated by Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome, 37; ANOM ALG/GGA/P9A, Report, 14 mars 1845. The ambiguity of forest reports continued into the later decades of the nineteenth century because much of Algeria remained unsurveyed. See, for example, ANOM ALG/GGA/P9A, Algérie, Province de Constantine, Service des Forêts, Conservation de Constantine, “Forêts de l'Algérie, Statistique Générale,” Fait et Dressé par l'Inspecteur Hors de Conservateur des Forêts, Constantine le 5 juin 1868; ANOM ALG/GGA/10H78, “Notes sur la Kabylie (Cercle de Dellys),” June 20, 1846. 63. ANOM ALG/GGA/10H78, L'Atlas: Journal Démocratique de l'Algérie, 16 avril 1851. 64. ANOM ALG/GGA/F801787, “Note sur la mise en valeur des forets de Chêne-liège de la petite Kabylie, par la société Besson et Compagnie associée aux Indigènes,” January 31, 1866. 65. ANOM ALG/GGA/10H78, “Notes sur la Kabylie” (Cercle de Dellys), June 20, 1846. 66. In my archival research, the earliest concession I found was completed in October 1839, near La Calle, when the French administration's control and knowledge of Algerian forests were both still very limited. ANOM FM F80981, Third File: “La Calle: Concessions: Six-cent hectares de chênes-liège à la Calle, concédés à Mr Verjon.” According to Eugène Battistini, the earliest profitable cork-oak concessions were made in the late 1840s. Eugène Battistini, Les forêts de chêne-liège de l'Algérie (Alger: Victor Heintz, 1937). Cited in Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome, 84. 67. For early cases, see ANOM FM F80981 (Algiers, October 29, 1839); ANOM FM F80971 (Blidah & Medea, 24 novembre 1853); ANOM ALG/GGA/1I181 (Blidah, 13 octobre 1862); ANOM FM F80980 (Algiers, August 2, 1858); ANOM FM F80175; ANOM FM F801786; ANOM FM F801787; and ANOM FM F80986. 68. ALG/GGA/P18A, “Observations concernant le Cahier des charges générales pour l'exploitation des Forets de Chêne-Liège en Algérie” (1861). 69. ANOM FM F80 1785 ; ANOM FM F80 1786, First File: “Proposition de soumettre à l'examen du Conseil Consultatif un projet de décret ayant pour objet de porter de 40 à 90 ans la durée des concessions d'exploitations de chênes-liège faites par décisions Ministérielles dans la Province de Constantine.” For concessions in the 1860s, see ANOM ALG/GGA/P9A; ANOM ALG/GGA/P10; ANOM ALG/GGA/P60; ANOM FM F80971; ANOM ALG/GGA/ 1 I 181; ANOM FM F80980; MI 18 Miom/78; ANOM FM F801786; and ANOM FM F801787. 70. ANOM FM F801786, “Aliénation des forêts de Chênes-liège en Algérie: Projet de décret arête par la Commission dans la Séance du 3 avril 1869”; ANOM FM F801787, “Note relative à la destruction par les insurges des Établissements et de la forêt de la Compagnie Besson-Leconstrurier, ainsi qu'aux indemnités à réclamer.” 71. Julien, Histoire de l’Algérie contemporaine, 406–9, 436–38; Ageron, Les Algériens musulmans, I: 109–10; and Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome, 84–85. 72. Ferdinand Allard, Les forêts et le régime forestier en Provence, thèse pour le doctorat ès sciences politiques et économiques (A. Rousseau, 1901), 8, 15. 73. ANOM FM F80981, Third File, “La Calle: Concessions: Six-cent hectares de chênes-liège à la Calle, concédés à Mr Verjon” (1839). 74. ANOM FM F80986, Letter: Minister of War to Gouverneur Général de l'Algérie (Paris, January 5, 1849). 75. ANOM MI 18 Miom/78, 4. “Deuxième pétition à l'Empereur, a lui présentée lors de son voyage en Algérie. Les Concessionnaires de forêts de Chênes liège, en Algérie, à Sa Majesté Napoléon III” (Constantine, 30 mai 1865). 76. ANOM F801785, “Société Civil des Lièges de l'Ouidère (6e Lot de l'Edough—Algérie), Enquête générale sur les incendies de Forêts: Observations présentées par le Conseil d'Administration à Son Excellence Monsieur le Maréchal de France Gouverneur Général de l'Algérie, sur le rapport de la Commission des Incendies, réunie à Constantine en Janvier dernier” (1866), 8–10. 77. ANOM FM F801787, “Note: Sur la mise en valeur des forêts de chênes-liège de la petite Kabylie, par la société Besson et Compagnie associée aux Indigènes.” 78. ANOM FM F801785. 79. Prochaska, Making Algeria French, 242; H. Marc, Notes Sur Les Forêts de l'Algérie (Paris: Larose, 1930). 80. Andrea E. Duffy, “Fighting Fire with Fire: Mobile Pastoralists and French Discourse on Wildfires in Nineteenth-Century Algeria,” Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities 3 (2016): 71–87. 81. “Destruction des chênes-liège par les indigènes,” Bulletin de la Ligue du Reboisement de l'Algérie 49/50 (1886): 999; ANOM BIB AOM B7990. 82. ANOM ALG/GGA/P60, Letter: Prefecture of Constantine, Bureau du Secrétariat, to Gouverneur Général de l'Algérie (Constantine, April 4, 1873). 83. ANOM ALG/GGA/P60, Letter: Conservateur des Forêts, to Gouverneur Général de l'Algérie (Constantine, June 5, 1889). 84. Trottier, Boisement et colonisation, 6. 85. Duffy, “Fighting Fire with Fire,” 81–82. 86. ANOM BIB AOM B6896, René Rousseau, “Contribution à l'étude de la question forestière en Algérie” (Alger, 1931), 1, 4–5; Theodore Salisbury Woolsey, French Forests and Forestry: Tunisia, Algeria, Corsica, with a Translation of the Algerian Code of 1903 (New York: J. Wiley & Sons, 1917), 50; Ford, “Reforestation,” 348; Davis, “Desert ‘Wastes' of the Maghreb,” 370. 87. Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome, 100. Davis cites Frank White, The Vegetation of Africa: A Descriptive Memoir to Accompany the UNESCU/AETFAT/UNSO Vegetation Map of Africa (Paris: UNESCO, 1983), 225–31. 88. Boukhobza, “Nomadisme et colonisation,” 157–60. 89. “Cork Production,” Cork Quality Council, accessed August 10, 2017, http://www.corkqc.com/production/production2.htm. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society for Environmental History and the Forest History Society. All rights reserved. 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Civilizing through Cork: Conservationism and la Mission Civilisatrice in French Colonial Algeria

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Abstract The French occupation of Algeria began in 1830 and lasted over 130 years. In the decades following the initial conquest, French imperial agents emphasized the colonial enterprise's social and environmental aims. Claiming that centuries of misuse and abuse had decimated Algeria's environment, they presented the colonial project as an opportunity to adapt indigenous inhabitants to more sustainable uses of land. This civilizing mission helped elevate Algerian cork production into one of the colony's most profitable industries. In the process, it had a detrimental impact on Algerian forests and mobile pastoralists. This article uses cork as a case study to explore the meaning of the French civilizing ethic and its role in France's occupation of Algeria. It makes three main claims. First, it argues that the nineteenth-century French civilizing mission combined social and environmental values, perceptions, and concerns. Second, it demonstrates that this ethic was a guiding factor in the French conquest of Algeria. Finally, it posits that the Algerian cork industry succeeded in part because it purported to embody the French colonial mission's social and environmental ideals. INTRODUCTION On September 19, 1860, Napoleon III stood before a crowded banquet hall in Algiers, the capital of French colonial Algeria, and proclaimed, “Providence has called on us to spread throughout this land the benefits of civilization.”1 This effort, he explained, would involve mining “all the treasures of its earth” that “a poor government would leave sterile.” The French emperor's connection of imperialism's social and environmental aims would have resonated with his audience of colonial dignitaries. In the mid-nineteenth century, the French civilizing mission matured in the context of animated discourse about progress, privatization, resource exploitation, deforestation, and environmental decline. It drew strength from these themes as well as from the French colonial experience in Algeria. This study explores the role and application of the civilizing mission in nineteenth-century French imperialism. As this investigation shows, la mission civilisatrice, through its broad application and its integration of social and environmental ideals, played a central role in the legitimization of France's presence and policies in Algeria. The civilizing mission has long been a well-trodden theme of history, but there has been relatively little research linking its social and environmental dimensions. Recent scholarship has shown that French environmental consciousness developed long before contemporary environmentalist movements, and perhaps before the advent of American environmentalism.2 Contemporary historiography has exposed the centrality of French forestry in the formulation of French conservationism and distinguished it from other models, such as German forestry.3 In addition, scholars have investigated civilizing and assimilation initiatives in Algeria, and several studies have specifically addressed the role of land use, especially expropriation, in the French conquest of Algeria.4 But few have considered the connection between French social and environmental motivations in the colonial context. Likewise, the Algerian cork industry and its significance within the French colonial mission have received little scholarly attention.5 This study complements previous scholarship by illuminating key environmental aspects of the French colonial experience in Algeria. More broadly, it offers critical insight into the relationship between environment and empire. This study makes three main claims. First, it argues that the nineteenth-century French civilizing mission combined social and environmental values, perceptions, and concerns. Second, it demonstrates that this mission civilisatrice was a guiding factor in the French conquest of Algeria. Finally, it posits that the Algerian cork industry succeeded in part because it purported to serve the French colonial mission's social and environmental aims. Figure 1. View largeDownload slide Map of Algeria. Credit: The author, 2017. Figure 1. View largeDownload slide Map of Algeria. Credit: The author, 2017. French troops arrived on the coast of Algeria in the summer of 1830, inaugurating an era of colonial domination that would last over 130 years. On paper, the colony sparkled with opportunity. It encompassed nearly 100,000 square miles, making it over four times the size of continental France (figure 1). In reality, the occupation of Algeria forced France to confront a hostile foreign environment as well as a hostile foreign population. While its northern regions shared some of the ecological features of Mediterranean France, such as open forests and shrublands, there were also important distinctions. Algeria's plant life, soil composition, climate, and precipitation patterns all varied markedly from those features of French Provence, 500 miles to the north. Beyond Algeria's coastal regions, environmental differences were even more pronounced. Rolling plains bled into arid steppes, mountains, and ultimately the Sahara Desert that covered seven-eighths of the country. Prior to the French conquest, the northern part of this region had comprised the Regency of Algiers. Nominally under the control of the Ottoman empire, its administration and population were decidedly cosmopolitan. Merchants, foreign officials, and Turkish soldiers mingled with local inhabitants in the central port city of Algiers. Semiautonomous tribal groups that practiced agriculture, mobile pastoralism, or both, inhabited much of the rest of the territory. Nineteenth-century French imperial agents in Algeria viewed resource extraction and the civilizing mission as compatible, if not complementary. They insisted that European settlers' appreciation for colonial resources would make them better environmental stewards than their indigenous neighbors. In addition, sources promoting la mission civilisatrice frequently characterized imperialism as a catalyst for environmental conservation, maintaining that France possessed the scientific knowledge and the power to implement modern sustainable practices in the colonial setting. In general, French imperialists depicted precolonial Algeria as a morass of bad habits and environmental decline that could be redeemed by adapting its inhabitants to new and better uses of land. These social and environmental perspectives were instrumental in elevating Algerian cork production into one of the colony's most profitable industries. Used almost exclusively for making wine stoppers, cork is a relatively minor global commodity. The cork oak, or Quercus suber, is one of the few large plants that thrive in the hot, dry calcareous soils of the Mediterranean zone, and it is found throughout the region.6 Cork trees are naturally insulated by a layer of porous suberized tissue that protects them from fire and allows them to survive in an environment of low moisture, intense sun, and nutrient-poor soil.7 Since antiquity, the Quercus suber has been harvested for this layer. Once the cork layer is removed, it can regenerate. Cork oaks are long lived, with a potential life span of three hundred years or more. In most commercial cork forests, a tree's cork layer is harvested repeatedly throughout its life, sometimes for a period of over two hundred years.8 The sustainability of a cork farm depends on a number of factors, however, including the way cork is extracted, the scheduling of extractions, the broader woodland system, and external influences. The Quercus suber begins to produce cork at a young age, but this “virgin” cork is slow growing, thin, and not commercially viable. Only once a tree reaches maturity, at twenty to thirty years, can the cork layer be removed and the tree used for commercial purposes. At that point, the original virgin cork is extracted and discarded, allowing a new layer to grow. The tree's cork is then harvested for commercial use every eight or nine years (figure 2). Thus a virgin cork tree will be approximately thirty-eight years old when it begins to provide commercial revenue. Because cork ventures operate on such a slow scale and are limited to the use of mature trees, farmers typically work with preexisting cork forests, rather than planting new stands. Figure 2. View largeDownload slide Workers cutting bark from a cork oak (Quercus suber). Credit: The American Cyclopædia, vol. 5 (1879), 356. Available at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: AmCyc_Cork_-_Cork_Tree_-_Cutting_Bark.jpg. Figure 2. View largeDownload slide Workers cutting bark from a cork oak (Quercus suber). Credit: The American Cyclopædia, vol. 5 (1879), 356. Available at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: AmCyc_Cork_-_Cork_Tree_-_Cutting_Bark.jpg. In the early nineteenth century, the global demand for cork was on the rise, and a steady supply of cork was critical for wine-loving France.9 French foresters championed cork farming in Mediterranean contexts; they considered it an exemplary use of forest resources because it did not necessarily kill the tree. Yet their attempts to promote cork production in metropolitan France floundered. In a typical reaction to this initiative, one official in the Provençal village of Charleval stated bluntly, “Nobody wants this type of woods!”10 In contrast, for French colonials in Algeria, cork's pedigree of sustainability neatly complemented its promise to spread civilization throughout the countryside. Officials, intellectuals, and entrepreneurs championed cork plantations as ideal laboratories for cultivating civilization because they bridged settler and indigenous zones and engaged both parties. Together, they cast cork as a model colonial enterprise. SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL NARRATIVES The French colonial experiment in Algeria unfolded against a backdrop of animated social and environmental discourse. In the eighteenth century, Enlightenment figures such as Montesquieu and Adam Smith encouraged the representation of human history as a narrative of progress, a march toward a more perfect future.11 This philosophy gained appeal in the nineteenth century when developments such as industrialization, European expansion, and scientific theories of evolution seemed to provide evidence of human advancement. The theory of progress supported colonialism by presenting colonized peoples, especially mobile pastoral groups, as belonging to an earlier, more primitive stage of civilization than the settled, industrialized societies of Europe. It influenced a number of early colonial agents in Algeria including the utopian socialist Saint-Simonians, who hoped to use the colony to carry out their vision of an ideal society. The Enlightenment also gave birth to a narrative of long-term Mediterranean environmental decline.12 This theory drew on classical sources including Herodotus, Strabo, Tacitus, Pliny, Ptolemy, and others, who had characterized the Mediterranean world—and North Africa in particular—as a fertile breadbasket.13 Classicist artists reinforced the image by depicting the ancient Mediterranean world as lush, fertile, and heavily forested (figure 3). Contrasting these features with the Mediterranean landscapes of their day, Enlightenment thinkers concluded that the region had been ruined by centuries of human use and abuse. Contemporary environmental phenomena seemed to support this declensionist narrative. In southern France, major floods heralded the new century in 1795, 1802, and 1806 when a monstrous storm rained hail the size of eggs, drowning riverbeds, fields and pastures, and destroying forests, vines, and olive trees.14 When floods did not drench the region, it appeared desiccated by drought. Then in 1816 Europe suffered from prolonged frosty temperatures and gloomy weather in what became known as “the year without a summer.”15 French environmental concerns were compounded by the very real spectacle of deforestation. The extent of French forests shrunk steadily throughout the early modern period, reaching an all-time low in the 1820s.16 Figure 3. View largeDownload slide “Landscape with the Ashes of Phocion,” Nicolas Poussin (1648). Credit: Walker Art Gallery. Figure 3. View largeDownload slide “Landscape with the Ashes of Phocion,” Nicolas Poussin (1648). Credit: Walker Art Gallery. In the nineteenth century, French scientists and scholars increasingly presented the narrative of Mediterranean environmental decline in the framework of progress and civilization. They considered both droughts and floods in the Mediterranean region to be exacerbated by human practices such as the deeply rooted tradition of mobile pastoralism that they linked to the spread of wildfires and deforestation.17 They also cited “the year without a summer” as evidence of human-caused climate change, although scholars now explain it through the eruption of the tropical volcano Tambora.18 This perspective inspired pessimistic forecasts about the societal consequences of environmental change. Jacques-Joseph Baudrillart, a prominent French agronomist, proffered a particularly dire warning in 1823. Calling forest destruction “the natural result of the augmentation of the population and the progress of luxury and civilization,” he predicted that it would herald “the decadence of nations and the appearance of deserts.”19 Alarmed by such gloomy environmental prognostications, scientists, intellectuals, and officials pressed for stronger forest administration. In 1827 they succeeded in passing an expansive new national forest code. The French Forest Code of 1827 reflected the social and environmental concerns of its time. Designed to promote sustainable exploitation, the new code significantly improved and expanded the French forest regime. It afforded the state greater oversight of woodlands, tightened regulations, increased surveillance, and instituted a vast bureaucracy of forest agents trained in the precepts of modern forest science. The code also targeted lifestyles and traditional practices deemed less environmentally and socially progressive. Conceived in the lush high-growth forests surrounding the French Forest School at Nancy, it cast the sparse open woodlands of the Mediterranean world as severely deforested and degraded. In an effort at environmental revival, it tightened restrictions on sheep and goat grazing, banned forest grazing altogether, and outlawed the practice of burning for pasture. It also privileged agriculture and other rural industries, including logging, over pastoralism.20 If these features made the 1827 code a bitter pill for the largely pastoral population of southern France, then it proved all the more unpalatable for the indigenous inhabitants of Algeria. THE COLONIAL CONTEXT Plagued by political instability in France and persistent resistance from the indigenous population, the French conquest of Algeria proceeded slowly and fitfully. Many remote regions did not fall until the second half of the nineteenth century, and the French never gained full authority in the desert zones south of the Atlas Mountains. The French state conceived Algeria as a settler colony, encouraging European civilians to help establish, consolidate, and expand the colonial presence by making Algeria their home. Yet the early years of the occupation brought fewer settlers than hoped. When Algeria became an official province of France in 1848, formally ending military rule, it hosted just over 115,000 settlers, barely augmenting the indigenous population of 1.5 million.21 The vast majority of Europeans, moreover, settled in cities, leaving the countryside largely untouched and uncontrolled.22 The French administration supported investigations and intellectual endeavors aimed at improving its grasp of the region's environment and population. While such initiatives represented a genuine effort at information gathering, they also drew heavily on predominant narratives of progress, civilization, and environmental decline. In 1840, 1841, and 1842, the government funded a series of scientific missions, modeled on those completed in Egypt and the Peloponnese earlier in the century, with the ambitious goal of elucidating and classifying all aspects of Algerian culture, history, and geography.23 The results of these expeditions, published in multiple volumes under the title Exploration scientifique de l'Algérie, inferred a long history of forest destruction for the region, claiming that Algeria was once “not nearly so devoid of forests as it is now.”24 Similarly, another official study determined, “More than any other country, Algeria must have in distant times been covered with forests. One finds irrevocable indications of this in all its provinces.”25 Experts maintained that, while various parts of the Mediterranean world had been heavily and uniformly forested as recently as the sixteenth century, North Africa's ecological decline had begun much earlier, with the arrival of Arab tribes.26 Some took care to distinguish this narrative from Europe's own history of deforestation and its association with industrialization and advancement. Addressing this apparent contradiction, one report actually attributed Algeria's environmental transformation to a lack of civilization, remarking, “It is not in Algeria as in Europe, where the progress of civilization was the cause of deforestation. There, a thousand needs to satisfy either in construction or in industry; here, other uses depending on barbarity, always in accord with the interests of men.”27 Even as they bemoaned the environmental cost of indigenous habits, colonial agents emphasized Algeria's environmental potential. Reports encouraged interest in settlement and colonial agriculture by promoting the “fecundity” of Algerian soil.28 In addition to highlighting the potential value of the colony's extensive cork forests, they provided promising production estimates for a multitude of crops such as grain, cotton, and tobacco. At the same time, they warned that, if left unchecked, traditional practices would “destroy precious resources for the future.”29 As one official put it, “This green, wooded country would soon be converted into a sterile and burning desert.”30 Some presented environmental policy as a standard for the entire colonial mission. In 1842 the minister of war highlighted the “necessity of conserving trees and brush” and of developing forest plantations vital to “the success of all colonization.”31 The same concerns could still be heard over a quarter of a century later. In a tract titled Boisement et colonization (Forestation and Colonization), French émigré François Trottier claimed that a thriving forest economy was vital to the “physical and moral” health of its inhabitants and warned, “The deforestation of a country is thus the most active cause of its depopulation.”32 Likewise, agronomist F. Rubio de la Trehonnais asserted in an 1867 report to Algeria's governor-general, “Societies cannot exist without wood.”33 Back in France, the conquest of Algeria inspired a renewed interest within the French intellectual community in the history, languages, religion, and culture of the Middle East and North Africa.34 Nineteenth-century French orientalists revived the works of medieval Muslim scholars, such as the Tunisian historian-sociologist Ibn Khaldun, through translations and commentaries. Their interpretations eschewed “an exact reproduction of ideas uttered in the text,” opting instead to integrate the sources with contemporary values.35 For example, Prolégomènes, a translation of Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddimah by the prominent orientalist William de Slane, supports the idea of progress by casting nomadism as an earlier, more primitive stage of society.36 In a key passage, Ibn Khaldun explains through the pen of Slane, “I have placed nomadism before sedentary life because (in the order of time) it has preceded all of the forms that the latter can take.”37 Later, Slane's translation states, “The habits and morals of nomadic life have made the Arabs a crude and savage people. [… ] Such a disposition prevents the progress of civilization.”38 The text continues, “As much as sedentary life promotes the progress of civilization, nomadism opposes it.” Slane even claims in his introduction to the text that “tracing the progress of civilization” formed Ibn Khaldun's main purpose in composing it.39 Ibn Khaldun's original work, however, depicted history as cyclical. He believed that empires would rise and then inevitably descend into chaos, and he presented a relatively nuanced picture of nomadic and sedentary groups that acknowledged strengths and weaknesses within both lifestyles.40 In contrast, Slane's version emphasizes progress and advancement, and it casts mobile pastoralists not only as more primitive, but also as a threat to human civilization. French representations of Algerian nomads included environmental dimensions as well. Drawing on contemporary declensionist narratives, they used their sources as evidence that medieval Arab invasions had precipitated North Africa's environmental decline.41 Slane's translation of Ibn Khaldun's history of the Arabs (Kitāb al-ʻIbar) has them cutting down all the trees, destroying civilization, and transforming much of North Africa “into desert” during the invasions of the ninth to twelfth centuries.42 The title of one chapter, in a telling interpretation of the original text, reads, “Every country conquered by the Arabs is soon destroyed.”43 Orientalist interpretations of Ibn Khaldun and other medieval Islamic sources fueled the perception that a deeply rooted dichotomy existed between North Africa's mobile and sedentary population. This Kabyle myth, as contemporary scholars have termed it, cast Berbers, or “Kabyles,” as the region's true natives and branded Arabs as relative newcomers and outsiders.44 It also idealized Berbers as sedentary, law-abiding, industrious agriculturalists, in contrast to the “indolent,” destructive nomadic Arabs, who, according to one mid-nineteenth-century study, spent “nine months of the year [… ] concerned with nothing but their own pleasures.”45 In the early decades of the occupation, the Kabyle myth crystalized into an indelible part of the French colonial imaginary. Even Alexis de Tocqueville, a harsh critic of his society and an advocate for justice and equality, accepted it implicitly. In his “First Letter on Algeria,” published in 1837, Tocqueville advised the new colonial administration to “focus above all on questions of civil and commercial equity” with Berbers while emphasizing “political and religious questions” with Arabs, because their “soul is even more mobile than their dwellings.”46 Echoing Slane's translation of Ibn Khaldun, Tocqueville highlighted the “anarchy” of nomadic groups and claimed that they “have a multitude of vices and virtues that [… ] belong to the stage of civilization at which they find themselves.”47 For many nineteenth-century French colonials, the social and environmental ideals of la mission civilisatrice provided a compelling justification for French imperialism. From the outset, French agents in Algeria distinguished their mission from other imperialist ventures by emphasizing its altruistic aims. As one official explained in 1833, “It is by enlightening the populations, by civilizing them, that we wish to colonize today.”48 Most agreed that the first step toward civilization was sedentarization. According to General Thomas-Robert Bugeaud, a pivotal leader of the Algerian conquest who later served as governor-general, “The best way to change [the natives] is to sedentarize them.”49 With this goal in mind, he urged fellow colonial agents to “work actively to modify” indigenous practices. In the early decades of colonial rule, the utopian socialist Saint-Simonians emerged as self-proclaimed spokesmen for the indigenous population. Restyling Algerian nomads as France's own noble savages, they embraced indigenous inhabitants, preached peace, and promoted the gospel of civilization. The Saint-Simonians included members of France's political and intellectual elite, and their initiatives to uplift indigenous Algerians made a significant impact on French public opinion, especially when such efforts seemed to work. Prosper Enfantin, a leader in the Saint-Simonian movement, joined the state-sponsored information-gathering expedition of 1840 to 1842, and his romanticization of indigenous tribes pervaded its official report.50 Enfantin also presented his observations in an independent publication, Colonisation de l'Algérie. Then, in 1859, Henri Duveyrier, the son of another prominent Saint-Simonian, set off on a three-year trek through the Sahara with a member of the notorious Tuareg tribe as his guide. When he returned unscathed and proceeded to write Exploration du Sahara: Les Touareg du Nord, in which he described his hosts as “hospitable, generous, kind and peaceful,” many began to question the perception of nomads as hostile and dangerous.51 Nonetheless, Saint-Simonians still viewed sedentarization as a precondition to civilization.52 In Colonisation de l'Algérie, Enfantin advocated reorienting indigenous tribes toward sedentary agricultural production. Instructing his compatriots to “build towns, improve agriculture, [and] create commercial relations,” he aimed to civilize Algerian nomads by encouraging them to settle.53 Such ideals permeated the highest levels of the French administrative hierarchy. Following a brief tour of Algeria in 1860, French emperor Napoleon III christened it an “Arab Kingdom” and declared, “The natives, like the settlers, have a legal right to my protection, and I am just as much the emperor of the Arabs as the emperor of the French.”54 In the decade that followed, Napoleon III pursued policies aimed at assimilating indigenous Algerians into French colonial society. In place of the civil administration he had helped to institute less than a decade before, the emperor restored the full authority of the military through the offices of the governor-general and the Arab Bureaus that he considered more sympathetic toward the indigenous population.55 On June 22, 1863, under his administration, the French parliament passed a law designed to stop colonists from usurping tribal lands. For the first time since the French conquest, indigenous tribes were formally recognized as “the owners of the territories in which they exercise permanent and traditional use.”56 The law, however, clearly favored Algeria's sedentary inhabitants, the so-called Kabyles. Its treatment of mobile pastoral groups, whose use of land was seasonal, was deliberately ambiguous. In addition, the law discouraged communal pastoralism by mandating the division of all tribal lands among members into small individual plots.57 Affirming French dedication to civilization as well as sedentarization, Napoleon III aimed to steer indigenous Algerians along the road of progress, by force if necessary. French social and environmental values influenced colonial property administration in other ways as well. At the time of the French invasion, the inhabitants of Algeria recognized several categories of land ownership including private property (mulk), collective or communal property (arch), state property, and unclaimed land. These divisions and their associated usage rights had origins in local customs, Ottoman law, and Islamic tradition. Early French colonial officials made a distinct effort to comprehend Algeria's traditional forms of property ownership and its methods of land management and exploitation.58 In some places, they even preserved precolonial structures, especially where a lack of access, resources, or control made colonization undesirable or impracticable. The lack of a French presence notwithstanding, the colonial administration generally designated such territories as “mixed communities” (communes mixtes), a label that suggested integration, coexistence, and assimilation. In practice, most colonial officials were either ill informed about local property traditions or explicitly critical of them.59 The colonial administration increasingly adopted the perspective that “property exists only exceptionally among the Arabs,” a myth that fed on and perpetuated predominant social and environmental biases.60 Such reasoning encouraged settlers to move in and claim Algerian land. Colonial perceptions also drew on contemporary discourse regarding property ownership and the trend toward privatization. For many observers, the Algerian environment was a classic consequence of what Garrett Hardin would later term “the tragedy of the commons”; it reflected centuries of communal use and abuse.61 Advocates argued that Algerian land could be saved only by converting it to private property with European caretakers. Such environmental perspectives, together with the pressure of a growing settler population, provided powerful motivation for the colonial administration to free up land for European exploitation. The rapid and widespread alienation of cork forests was one major consequence of this push. THE ALGERIAN CORK INDUSTRY Spokesmen for the social and environmental dimensions of la mission civilisatrice reserved special mention for Kabylia, a remote swath of territory stretching inland from the Mediterranean coast, much of it cloaked in cork forests. Early reports praised it as “an almost inexhaustible mine of wood,” an “immense resource,” with “riches” equal to those of any other part of the colony.62 These “riches” included some of the colony's most extensive and pristine cork forests. Kabylia, however, was also home to mobile pastoral tribes resistant to French control. While the task of subduing—not to mention civilizing—the region's population posed significant challenges, many considered it worth the effort.63 For some, Kabylia represented an ideal arena to showcase the achievements of modern sustainable silviculture. Others envisioned training local inhabitants to help cultivate its untapped supply of cork.64 Passing through Kabylia in 1846, French general Marie-Théodore Périgot shrugged off the obstacles to conquest, predicting that the region would “one day” be part of “a great homogenous state whose civilizing influences will [… ] associate this beautiful part of the world with the great task of assimilation.”65 Over the next two decades, la mission civilisatrice drove the subjugation of Kabylia and, consequently, the growth of the Algerian cork industry. The French government began to sell cork concessions shortly after the initial conquest.66 Concessions became more commonplace and systematic following the passage of the Law of June 16, 1851, that gave the administration formal ownership of all of Algeria's woodlands.67 In 1861 a commission of concessionaires requested an extension of their lease, originally set at forty years. Using the rhetoric of sustainability, they argued that the necessity of leaving trees unproductive for eight, or “even a dozen years in some cases,” made their business unprofitable.68 The governor consequently extended the term to ninety years, and the decade that followed witnessed the greatest rise ever in the number of concessions.69 In the late 1860s, French authorities began selling cork forests permanently to former concessionaires, spurring another boom in the lease or sale of cork-producing lands.70 By the late nineteenth century, France had alienated nearly all of Algeria's cork forests, the majority of which lay in the hands of large-scale entrepreneurs who had become some of the most powerful members of Algerian society.71 At the turn of the twentieth century, cork trees were producing an annual profit of 5 million francs, a sixth of Algeria's total forest revenue.72 Cork plantations were hybrid spaces where colonials and the colonized interacted, worked together, and faced common environmental challenges. Local tribes supplied much of the labor for cork extraction, and they regularly assisted in incidences of wildfire. Cork farmers were conscious of their unique relationship with indigenous groups, and they commonly weaved the language of la mission civilisatrice into their enterprise. In the words of one early proponent of the cork industry, employing “Arabs” in the absence of sufficient European laborers would greatly benefit “the civilization of indigenes” and would have “an immense influence on the acceleration of [their] assimilation with us.”73 The colonial forest service quickly embraced this logic. In 1849 a report on the countryside surrounding Bougie described an abundance of cork stands ripe for cultivation as well as a population of “Kabyles” who were “perfectly submissive and could be employed in forest exploitation, if overseen by intelligent workers.”74 Cork moguls continued to use civilizing rhetoric even after their enterprise had become successful. In 1865 a league of cork farmers begged the emperor to give them lands ceded to indigenous tribes because, in their words, “The cork industry, more than any other, is incontestably that which creates the greatest relations between the European and the native.”75 They also argued that their enterprise alone would ultimately facilitate “the assimilation of the two races.” The following year, another union of cork concessionaires made a similar case in petitioning the state for ownership of their land, rather than concessions. “Understanding that it is in his interest to assimilate the natives,” they explained, the owner “gives them work appropriate to their tastes, and in a short amount of time, well-being reigns and harmony returns to places touched by hatred; the races come together to become, with time, no more than a single, same family of good and loyal Frenchmen.”76 The petitioners also cited the environmental advantages of privatization, noting, “Ownership alone would give us the right and the means to use our land and its resources for the benefit of the common good, which is identical to our own.” Around the same time, Pierre Besson, a particularly ambitious entrepreneur, requested government permission to reserve all of the cork forests of lesser Kabylia for commercial exploitation. He asserted that harnessing the resource potential of its lush, extensive forests not only would be profitable for his own enterprise, but also would bring prosperity to local Algerians and “give them an interest in the conservation of forests.”77 Swayed by such rhetoric, the minister of war approved the request, granting Besson and Company a vast concession in the region. In practice, Algerian cork plantations were hardly harmonious assimilation mills, and cork farmers represented some of the indigenous population's greatest critics. Many blamed local tribes for acts of destruction and sabotage on their land. Following an 1863 fire that had ravaged their crop, a group of cork concessionaires expressed no doubts about the source of the blaze. “Arab fanaticism,” they cried, “has sworn a war of extermination against French colonial establishments. [… ] Our plantations above all have excited its wrath: having barely begun our enterprise, we already sense this ferocious hatred whose weapon is fire.”78 The preponderance of wildfires in cork forests indicates that some members of the local population did set fires to protest the occupying French.79 Pastoral groups inhabiting these territories, however, also used fire for domestic purposes, such as cooking and heating, and industrial ones, such as revitalizing pasturelands. The French administration criminalized all of these practices because of their perceived environmental impact. As the century progressed, official reports increasingly conflated arson and accidental fires, viewing both as equally destructive and tending to blame indigenous groups regardless.80 For settlers, foresters, and colonial officials alike, the preponderance of wildfires served to confirm indigenous inhabitants' poor environmental habits, primitive nature, and need of civilizing. Concessionaires also complained that tribes were misusing territory that had been granted to them. In 1866 a near hysterical account appeared in the journal Moniteur de l'Algérie, reporting that the inhabitants of Kabylia were unceremoniously stripping all of their precious cork trees “for an immediate profit” through tanning.81 Even Algerians who were not actively destroying forest resources were accused of doing so indirectly. Cork farmers expressed particular opposition toward local pastoralists' tradition of forest grazing, viewing it as a prime factor in the degradation of cork trees before and during the French occupation. Hence even in their opposition, cork planters tended to reference the French civilizing mission by casting indigenous groups as primitive, ignorant, and environmentally destructive. For their part, French colonial officials were mindful of their civilizing duties in responding to such concerns and evaluating indigenous crimes. In continental France, following the terms of the 1827 Forest Code, perpetrators of forest offenses such as illegally gathering wood or damaging trees typically paid a fine. In the Algerian context, however, cork concessionaires successfully promoted corvée labor as an alternative to fines. Forced labor, they argued, would better compensate them for their losses while educating indigenous perpetrators about proper forest maintenance. In an 1873 letter to the governor supporting this initiative, a local bureaucrat pointed out that such a system would have “from all points of view, an excellent result.”82 According to him, it would help safeguard cork forests, generate profit for both settlers and “indigenes,” and serve to civilize the latter. The state's use of forced labor in this context persisted in spite of staunch indigenous opposition. In a typical case, two Algerians found guilty of damaging a stand of cork trees were saddled with two months of hard labor. They begged to pay a fine instead, claiming that they did not have the “resources” to work for that amount of time.83 While the forest administration acknowledged that indigenous offenders often preferred to pay their indemnity in cash, it still supported the ruling, claiming a superior understanding of social and environmental affairs. The Algerian cork industry represented a rare point of consensus for settlers, foresters, colonial officials, and the French central administration. Although these groups debated the minutiae of methods, policies, and legislation, they agreed on cork's potential to civilize indigenous Algerians and to promote the sustainable exploitation of woodlands. Colonial agents continued to champion cork's capabilities even in the face of social and environmental evidence to the contrary. At the outset of the cork boom in the 1870s, a prominent forest advocate listed indigenous pastoralism, fire, and cork exploitation as “the three great plagues that we must fight” in Algeria's forests.84 Indeed, the late nineteenth century witnessed an increase in the number and intensity of wildfires.85 Meanwhile, cork moguls devoured Algerian woodlands through sloppy, unsustainable extraction methods aimed at maximizing short-term profits. By the early twentieth century, Algeria had lost over half of its forest cover since the colonial conquest, with the greatest losses in Kabylia and other cork-producing regions.86 Over the same period, Algeria's mobile pastoral population declined significantly, together with pastoralists' access to and ability to impact Algerian woodlands. In 1911 the number of sheep owned by indigenous Algerians was half of what it had been in 1870.87 The vast majority of these pastoralists, moreover, had been relocated away from cork forests and fertile regions to the sparsely vegetated High Plateaus, the Atlas Mountains, and the Sahara (figure 4).88 Figure 4. View largeDownload slide Map of Algeria’s Tribal Distribution, 1971. Credit: US Central Intelligence Agency. Reproduced courtesy of University of Texas Libraries. Figure 4. View largeDownload slide Map of Algeria’s Tribal Distribution, 1971. Credit: US Central Intelligence Agency. Reproduced courtesy of University of Texas Libraries. THE LEGACY OF CORK Imperial agents' enduring support for cork cultivation in Algeria is indicative of the nature and value of the French civilizing ethic. This mission united settlers and officials in Algeria, as well as intellectuals and the central administration back in France. In the Algerian case, it was informed by the belief that the Mediterranean world had suffered severe ecological destruction, largely at the hands of nomadic pastoralists, which could be mitigated through modern enlightened administration. The cork industry thrived in the colonial context, while failing in France, largely because, in the eyes of French imperialists, it embodied the social and environmental aspects of la mission civilisatrice. It promised to uplift indigenous inhabitants by engaging them in sustainable, scientific, “civilized” uses of land. The history of Algeria's cork industry illustrates the critical role of social and environmental ideals in guiding nineteenth-century French colonial policy. The success of this commodity indicates that the French administration took environmental concerns seriously and sought to achieve sustainable environmental exploitation. It also suggests that at least some colonial agents were sincerely guided by the desire to redeem Algeria's environment and population. In an ironic turn for those French imperialists who genuinely sought to implement social sustainable practices through support for cork, however, this venture ultimately had a negative impact on Algeria's indigenous inhabitants and environment. It forced the former to relinquish traditional lands and practices, and it contributed to deforestation as well as, through privatization, decreased state protection of woodlands. The nineteenth-century cork boom served to marginalize indigenous pastoralists while sapping the colony's environmental resources, but it ultimately failed to destroy either. Today, over half a century after independence, Algeria is the fourth largest cork producer worldwide, following Portugal, Spain, and Morocco.89 Although greatly transformed, Algeria's contemporary cork industry remains a product of its past and of the cultural, political, ideological, and environmental factors that shaped its development. Andrea E. Duffy teaches history and directs the International Studies major in the College of Liberal Arts, Dean's Office, Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, CO, 80523-1701. Her forthcoming book, Nomad's Land, examines the relationship between nineteenth-century French environmental policy and Mediterranean pastoralism. Notes A number of people provided valuable feedback on this article. In particular, I would like to thank the editors of Environmental History, my anonymous reviewers, my fellow participants in the workshop “African Environments and Their Populations” hosted by Georgetown University, and my wonderful husband John. 1. Speech by Emperor Napoleon III, September 19, 1860. Printed in Louis Napoléon III, Discours, messages, lettres et proclamations de S. M. Napoléon III, vol. 1, 170. Also referenced in Projet de Décret sur le Cantonnement des Indigènes (Alger: Imprimerie de A. Bourget, Rue Sainte, No. 2, 1861), i; Archives Nationales d'Outre-Mer (hereafter ANOM) ALG/GGA/1K309. This and all subsequent translations are mine unless otherwise noted. 2. See Caroline Ford, Natural Interests (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2016); and Char Miller, Gifford Pinchot and the Making of Modern Environmentalism (Washington, DC: Island Press, 2001). 3. Kieko Matteson, Forests in Revolutionary France: Conservation, Community, and Conflict, 1669–1848 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015); Tamara L. Whited, Forests and Peasant Politics in Modern France (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000). 4. For civilizing and assimilation policies, see especially Osama Abi-Mershed, Apostles of Modernity: Saint-Simonians and the Civilizing Mission in Algeria (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010); Julia Clancy-Smith, Rebel and Saint: Muslim Notables, Populist Protest, Colonial Encounters (Algeria and Tunisia, 1800–1904) (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994); Alice Conklin, A Mission to Civilize: The Republican Idea of Empire in France and West Africa, 1895–1930 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997); Patricia Lorcin, Imperial Identities: Stereotyping, Prejudice and Race in Colonial Algeria (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1995); and David Prochaska, Making Algeria French: Colonialism in Bône, 1870–1920 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002). For land use and expropriation, see Diana K. Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome: Environmental History and French Colonial Expansion in North Africa (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2007); Jennifer E. Sessions, By Sword and Plow: France and the Conquest of Algeria (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2011); and Henry Sivak, “Law, Territory, and the Legal Geography of French Rule in Algeria: The Forestry Domain, 1830–1903” (PhD diss., UCLA, 2008). 5. In this respect, this article builds on the work of Diana K. Davis, Caroline Ford, and David Prochaska. 6. Augusta Costa and Graça Oliveira, “Cork Oak (Quercus suber L.): A Case of Sustainable Bark Harvesting in Southern Europe,” in Ecological Sustainability for Non-timber Forest Products: , Dynamics and Case Studies of Harvesting, ed. Charlie M. Shakleton, Ashok K. Pandey, and Tamara Ticktin (New York: Routledge, 2015), 180; B. de la Grye, “L'exploitation du liège,” Revue des Eaux et Forêts (1880): 406–7; James Aronson, João Santos Pereira, and Juli G. Pausas, Cork Oak Woodlands on the Edge: Ecology, Adaptive Management, and Restoration (Washington, DC: Island Press, 2012), 73. 7. Costa and Oliviera, “Cork Oak (Quercus suber L.),” 180; A. Barberis, S. Dettori, and M. R. Filigheddu, “Management Problems in Mediterranean Cork Oak Forests: Post-fire Recovery,” Journal of Arid Environments 54 (2003): 565–69. 8. Costa and Oliviera, “Cork Oak (Quercus suber L.),” 180, 188, 191; A. M. Vicente and F. R. Alés, “Long Term Persistence of Dehesas: Evidences from History,” Agroforestry Systems 67 (2006): 19–28. 9. Helena Pereira, Cork: Biology, Production and Uses (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2011), 1. 10. Archives départmentales des Bouches-du-Rhône (hereafter, BDR) 7 M 163, First File: Charleval, ca. 1821. See also Costa and Oliveira, “Cork Oak (Quercus suber L.),” 189. 11. Progress and Its Discontents, ed. Gabriel Almond, Marvin Chodorow, and Roy H. Pearce (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982); ibid., “Progress and Its Discontents,” Bulletin of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 35, no. 3 (1981): 4–23; Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome, 65. 12. A. T. Grove and Oliver Rackham, The Nature of Mediterranean Europe: An Ecological History (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2001), chap. 1; Caroline Ford, “Reforestation, Landscape Conservation, and the Anxieties of Empire in French Colonial Algeria,” The American Historical Review 113, no. 2 (2008): 346; and Diana K. Davis, “Desert ‘Wastes' of the Maghreb: Desertification Narratives in French Colonial Environmental History of North Africa,” Cultural Geographies 11, no. 4 (2004): 362. 13. Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome, 8. 14. BDR 7 M 135: Agricultural Calamities, 1802–96, First File. 15. Brian M. Fagan, The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History 1300–1850 (New York: Basic Books, 2002), 167–80; William K. Klingaman and Nicholas P. Klingaman, The Year Without Summer: 1816 and the Volcano That Darkened the World and Changed History (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2013). 16. At this time, French forests shrunk to 24,000 square miles (6.3 million hectares). By contrast, they were estimated at twice that amount in the mid-seventeenth century. See Carol Kieko Matteson, Forests in Revolutionary France (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 159. Xavier de Planhol locates the nadir of French forests slightly later, in 1840. See Xavier de Planhol, An Historical Geography of France, trans. Janet Lloyd (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press; Paris: Éditions de la Maison des sciences de l'homme, 1994), 359. 17. See especially Alexandre Surell, Étude sur les Torrents des Hautes-Alpes (Dunod, 1841); and Charles de Ribbe, La Provence du Point de Vue des Bois, des Torrents, et des Inondations Avant et Après 1789 (Paris: Guillaumin, 1857). 18. Grove and Rackham, The Nature of Mediterranean Europe, 10; Gillen D'Arcy Wood, Tambora: The Eruption That Changed the World (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014). 19. Jacques-Joseph Baudrillart, Traité général des eaux et forêts, chasses et pêches, Tome II: Dictionnaire général raisonné et historique des eaux et forêts (Paris, 1823), 3. 20. Code forestier (du 21 mai 1827), Art. 63, 90, 110, and 119. 21. Sessions, By Sword and Plow, 217; Achille Fillias, État actuel de l'Algérie: Géographie physique et politique, description, population, mœurs et coutumes, commerce et industrie, administration, dictionnaire de toutes les localités (Alger: Tissier, 1862), 6–7. 22. Sessions, By Sword and Plow, 216. 23. Exploration scientifique de l'Algérie; Numa Broc, “Les grandes missions scientifiques françaises au XIXe siècle (Morée, Algérie, Mexique) et leurs travaux géographiques,” Revue d'Histoire des Sciences 34, no. 3 (1981): 327; Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome, 36. 24. Henri Jean François Edmond Pellisier de Reynaud, Mémoires historiques et géographiques sur l'Algérie, vol. 6 in the series “Exploration scientifique de l'Algérie pendant les années 1840, 1841, 1842, publiée par ordre du Gouvernement et avec le concours d'une commission académique” (Paris: Imprimerie Royale, 1844), 307. 25. ANOM F/80/1785, M. de Bassano, “Examen de la question forestière dans la Subdivision de Bône” (February 8, 1846). 26. Ford, Natural Interests, 43–54. 27. ANOM F/80/1785, M. de Bassano, “Examen de la question forestière dans la Subdivision de Bône” (February 8, 1846). 28. Fillias, État actuel de l'Algérie, 10–11. 29. ANOM FM F80981, Letter: Inspecteur Général Directeur des Finances to Monsieur le Maréchal Gouverneur Général de l'Algérie (Algiers, June 16, 1840). 30. ANOM FM F80981, Letter: Conseiller d'État to Ministre Secrétaire d'État de la Guerre (Paris, April 24, 1838). 31. ANOM ALG/GGA/P14, Letter: Ministre of War (Algérie) to Gouverneur Général de l'Algérie (August 26, 1842). 32. François Trottier, Boisement et colonisation: Rôle de l'eucalyptus en Algérie au point de vue des besoins locaux de l'exportation et du développement de la population (Alger: Imprimerie de l'Association Ouvriere V. Aillaud, 1876), 26–27. 33. ANOM BIB/AOM/B6787, F. Robiou de la Trehonnais, “Rapport: L'Agriculture en Algérie” (1867), 3. 34. Prominent French orientalists were Silvestre de Sacy, his student William de Slane, and Joseph de Hammer, among others. For a critical survey of these scholars and their interpretations, see Abdelmajid Hannoum, Violent Modernity: France in Algeria (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010), 60–69; and Edmund Burke, “The Sociology of Islam,” in Genealogies of Orientalism: History, Theory, Politics, ed. Edmund Burke and David Prochaska (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2008), 154–73. For a general description of the Orientalist renaissance in European literature, see Zachary Lockman, Contending Visions of the Middle East: The History and Politics of Orientalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 67–69. 35. William de Slane, Histoire des Berbères et des dynasties musulmans de l’Afrique septentriontale par Ibn Khaldoun (Alger: Imprimerie du Gouvernement, 1852), i. Quoted in and translated by Hannoum, Violent Modernity, 64. 36. Mohammed Boukhobza, “Nomadisme et colonisation: Analyse des mécanismes de déstructuration et de disparition de la société pastorale traditionnelle en Algérie,” Thèse du troisième cycle (Paris, 1976), 2; Yves Lacoste, Ibn Khaldun: The Birth of History and the Past of the Third World (London: Verso, 1984), 146, 150. 37. William de Slane, Prolégomènes historique d'Ibn Khaldun (Algiers: Imprimerie du Gouvernement, 1863), 85. 38. Ibid., 310. 39. Ibid., cxi. 40. Ibn Khaldun's مقدمة (Muqaddimah) was originally published in 1377. Today, the best English translation is Ibn Khaldun, The Muqaddimah, an Introduction to History, ed. N. J. Dawood, trans. Franz Rosenthal (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969). 41. Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome, 97; Hannoum, Violent Modernity, 64. 42. Slane, Prolégomènes historique d'Ibn Khaldun, 45, 164. See also Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome, 56. 43. Slane, Prolégomènes historique d'Ibn Khaldun, 310; Ibn Khaldun, Muqaddimah 2.26. Slane's choice of the word “country” (pays) is key because it places emphasis on the land, whereas the original Arabic word (أوطان) has a broader meaning that includes human ties to territory, as in “homeland.” By comparison, Franz Rosenthal, in the definitive English edition, translates this chapter title as “Places That Succumb to the Bedouins Are Quickly Ruined.” Ibn Khaldun, The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History, trans. Franz Rosenthal (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967), 118. 44. Ford, “Reforestation,” 347–8; Hannoum, Violent Modernity, 66–67; Lacoste, Ibn Khaldun: The Birth of History; and Lorcin, Imperial Identities, 2; Charles-Robert Ageron, Histoire de l'Algérie contemporaine, Tome II: De l'insurrection de 1871 au déclenchement de la guerre de libération (1954) (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1979), 138–40; Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome, 57. 45. Fillias, État actuel de l'Algérie, 65. 46. Alexis de Tocqueville, Writings on Empire and Slavery, ed. and trans. Jennifer Pitts (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), 21. 47. Ibid., 9–10. 48. ANOM F8010, Ministère de la Guerre, Rapport sur la colonisation de l'ex-Régence d'Alger par Mr de la P. (November 1833). Quoted in and translated by Abi-Mershed, Apostles of Modernity, 13. 49. Quoted in Enfantin, Colonisation de l’Algérie, 481. 50. “Exploration scientifique de l'Algérie.” 51. Henri Duveyrier, Exploration du Sahara: Les Touareg du Nord (Paris, 1864). See also Michael Asher, Death in the Sahara (New York: Skyhorse, 2008), 18–20. Spurred by this romanticized image of the Bedouin, a French surveying expedition ventured into the Sahara in 1880, only to meet disaster at the hands of the same Tuareg tribe. See J. V. Barbier, A travers le Sahara—Les missions de Colonel Flatters d'Après des documents absolument inédits (Paris, 1884); Daniel Grévoz, Sahara 1830–1881: Les mirages français et la tragédie Flatters (Paris: L'Harmattan, 2000). 52. See Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome, 52–53; Abi-Mershed, Apostles of Modernity; Michael Heffernan and Keith Sutton, “The Landscape of Colonialism: The Impact of French Colonial Rule on the Algerian Rural Settlement Pattern, 1830–1987,” in Colonialism and Development in the Contemporary World, ed. Christopher Dixon and Michael Heffernan (London: Mansell, 1991), 121–52. 53. Enfantin, Colonisation de l’Algérie. 42, 481. 54. ANOM F801679, Letter: Napoléon III to Jean-Jacques Pélissier, Gouverneur Général de l'Algérie (November 1, 1861). Quoted in Charles-André Julien, Histoire de l’Algérie contemporaine, Tome I: La conquête et les débuts de la colonisation (1827-1871) (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1964), 425; Abi-Mershed, Apostles of Modernity, 167; and Georges Spillmann, Napoléon III et le royaume arabe d'Algérie (Paris: Académie des Sciences d'Outre-Mer, 1975), 26–27. See also Charles-Robert Ageron, Modern Algeria: A History from 1830 to the Present, trans. Michael Brett (Trenton: Africa World Press, 1991), 36, 38; Lorcin, Imperial Identities, 76; Julien, Histoire de l’Algérie contemporaine, 425; and Annie Rey-Goldzeiguer, Le royaume arabe: La politique algérienne de Napoléon III 1861–1870 (Alger: SNED, 1977). 55. Julien, Histoire de l’Algérie contemporaine, 419; Ageron, Modern Algeria, 36–38; Lorcin, Imperial Identities, 77. 56. Projet de Sénatus-consulte relatif à la constitution de la propriété en Algérie, Article 1. Printed in Statistique et documents relatifs au Sénatus-consulte sur la propriété arabe, 45. 57. Projet de Sénatus-consulte, Art. 2, 3, & 7. This article nullified Article 14 of the law of June 16, 1851. 58. See, for example, A. D. Combe, Conservateur des Forêts, “Les forêts de l'Algérie” (Alger: Imprimerie de Giralt, 1889), 14, 16. ANOM BIB AOM B6904. See also Julien, Histoire de l’Algérie contemporaine, 404. 59. Ford, “Reforestation,” 343–44, 357. 60. Fillias, État actuel de l'Algérie, 79. 61. Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science 162 (1968): 1243–48. 62. Ernest Carette, Études sur la Kabylie, Vol. 4 in the subseries “Sciences historiques et géographiques” of the series “Exploration scientifique de l'Algérie” (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1848), 245. Quoted in and translated by Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome, 37; ANOM ALG/GGA/P9A, Report, 14 mars 1845. The ambiguity of forest reports continued into the later decades of the nineteenth century because much of Algeria remained unsurveyed. See, for example, ANOM ALG/GGA/P9A, Algérie, Province de Constantine, Service des Forêts, Conservation de Constantine, “Forêts de l'Algérie, Statistique Générale,” Fait et Dressé par l'Inspecteur Hors de Conservateur des Forêts, Constantine le 5 juin 1868; ANOM ALG/GGA/10H78, “Notes sur la Kabylie (Cercle de Dellys),” June 20, 1846. 63. ANOM ALG/GGA/10H78, L'Atlas: Journal Démocratique de l'Algérie, 16 avril 1851. 64. ANOM ALG/GGA/F801787, “Note sur la mise en valeur des forets de Chêne-liège de la petite Kabylie, par la société Besson et Compagnie associée aux Indigènes,” January 31, 1866. 65. ANOM ALG/GGA/10H78, “Notes sur la Kabylie” (Cercle de Dellys), June 20, 1846. 66. In my archival research, the earliest concession I found was completed in October 1839, near La Calle, when the French administration's control and knowledge of Algerian forests were both still very limited. ANOM FM F80981, Third File: “La Calle: Concessions: Six-cent hectares de chênes-liège à la Calle, concédés à Mr Verjon.” According to Eugène Battistini, the earliest profitable cork-oak concessions were made in the late 1840s. Eugène Battistini, Les forêts de chêne-liège de l'Algérie (Alger: Victor Heintz, 1937). Cited in Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome, 84. 67. For early cases, see ANOM FM F80981 (Algiers, October 29, 1839); ANOM FM F80971 (Blidah & Medea, 24 novembre 1853); ANOM ALG/GGA/1I181 (Blidah, 13 octobre 1862); ANOM FM F80980 (Algiers, August 2, 1858); ANOM FM F80175; ANOM FM F801786; ANOM FM F801787; and ANOM FM F80986. 68. ALG/GGA/P18A, “Observations concernant le Cahier des charges générales pour l'exploitation des Forets de Chêne-Liège en Algérie” (1861). 69. ANOM FM F80 1785 ; ANOM FM F80 1786, First File: “Proposition de soumettre à l'examen du Conseil Consultatif un projet de décret ayant pour objet de porter de 40 à 90 ans la durée des concessions d'exploitations de chênes-liège faites par décisions Ministérielles dans la Province de Constantine.” For concessions in the 1860s, see ANOM ALG/GGA/P9A; ANOM ALG/GGA/P10; ANOM ALG/GGA/P60; ANOM FM F80971; ANOM ALG/GGA/ 1 I 181; ANOM FM F80980; MI 18 Miom/78; ANOM FM F801786; and ANOM FM F801787. 70. ANOM FM F801786, “Aliénation des forêts de Chênes-liège en Algérie: Projet de décret arête par la Commission dans la Séance du 3 avril 1869”; ANOM FM F801787, “Note relative à la destruction par les insurges des Établissements et de la forêt de la Compagnie Besson-Leconstrurier, ainsi qu'aux indemnités à réclamer.” 71. Julien, Histoire de l’Algérie contemporaine, 406–9, 436–38; Ageron, Les Algériens musulmans, I: 109–10; and Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome, 84–85. 72. Ferdinand Allard, Les forêts et le régime forestier en Provence, thèse pour le doctorat ès sciences politiques et économiques (A. Rousseau, 1901), 8, 15. 73. ANOM FM F80981, Third File, “La Calle: Concessions: Six-cent hectares de chênes-liège à la Calle, concédés à Mr Verjon” (1839). 74. ANOM FM F80986, Letter: Minister of War to Gouverneur Général de l'Algérie (Paris, January 5, 1849). 75. ANOM MI 18 Miom/78, 4. “Deuxième pétition à l'Empereur, a lui présentée lors de son voyage en Algérie. Les Concessionnaires de forêts de Chênes liège, en Algérie, à Sa Majesté Napoléon III” (Constantine, 30 mai 1865). 76. ANOM F801785, “Société Civil des Lièges de l'Ouidère (6e Lot de l'Edough—Algérie), Enquête générale sur les incendies de Forêts: Observations présentées par le Conseil d'Administration à Son Excellence Monsieur le Maréchal de France Gouverneur Général de l'Algérie, sur le rapport de la Commission des Incendies, réunie à Constantine en Janvier dernier” (1866), 8–10. 77. ANOM FM F801787, “Note: Sur la mise en valeur des forêts de chênes-liège de la petite Kabylie, par la société Besson et Compagnie associée aux Indigènes.” 78. ANOM FM F801785. 79. Prochaska, Making Algeria French, 242; H. Marc, Notes Sur Les Forêts de l'Algérie (Paris: Larose, 1930). 80. Andrea E. Duffy, “Fighting Fire with Fire: Mobile Pastoralists and French Discourse on Wildfires in Nineteenth-Century Algeria,” Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities 3 (2016): 71–87. 81. “Destruction des chênes-liège par les indigènes,” Bulletin de la Ligue du Reboisement de l'Algérie 49/50 (1886): 999; ANOM BIB AOM B7990. 82. ANOM ALG/GGA/P60, Letter: Prefecture of Constantine, Bureau du Secrétariat, to Gouverneur Général de l'Algérie (Constantine, April 4, 1873). 83. ANOM ALG/GGA/P60, Letter: Conservateur des Forêts, to Gouverneur Général de l'Algérie (Constantine, June 5, 1889). 84. Trottier, Boisement et colonisation, 6. 85. Duffy, “Fighting Fire with Fire,” 81–82. 86. ANOM BIB AOM B6896, René Rousseau, “Contribution à l'étude de la question forestière en Algérie” (Alger, 1931), 1, 4–5; Theodore Salisbury Woolsey, French Forests and Forestry: Tunisia, Algeria, Corsica, with a Translation of the Algerian Code of 1903 (New York: J. Wiley & Sons, 1917), 50; Ford, “Reforestation,” 348; Davis, “Desert ‘Wastes' of the Maghreb,” 370. 87. Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome, 100. Davis cites Frank White, The Vegetation of Africa: A Descriptive Memoir to Accompany the UNESCU/AETFAT/UNSO Vegetation Map of Africa (Paris: UNESCO, 1983), 225–31. 88. Boukhobza, “Nomadisme et colonisation,” 157–60. 89. “Cork Production,” Cork Quality Council, accessed August 10, 2017, http://www.corkqc.com/production/production2.htm. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society for Environmental History and the Forest History Society. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)

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