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African Kingdoms

North Africa


Algeria

One of the largest African countries, Algeria occupies a large tract of territory between the Mediterranean and the Sahara, with modern Tunisia and Libya bordering it to the east, and Morocco to the west. Inhabited by tribes of Berbers since at least twelve thousand years ago, it was the Carthaginian settlements along the coast and a period of hegemony over the Berbers that caused the natives to gravitate towards the creation of their own kingdoms. Domination by Rome followed from 200 BC, and Phoenician Ikosim became the Roman town of Icosium. Roman domination lasted for seven hundred years.

North-eastern Algeria was temporarily a stronghold of the Vandali in the fifth and sixth centuries AD, although they subsequently lost large areas of it to the native Berbers by AD 523. Then it was re-conquered by the Eastern Roman empire in 534. A century and a half later, the Byzantines were in no position to prevent the loss of North Africa to the Islamic empire in 698. Algeria remained under their direct control until 776, when the Rustamids took control.

200 BC - AD 429

The Berbers of North Africa are conquered by Rome and remain within the republic and empire for the next seven hundred years.

429 - 534

Under pressure from the newly settled Visigoths, the Vandali and Alans move south from Iberia and invade Roman North Africa. An independent autocracy is formed in modern Tunisia and north-eastern Algeria.

534 - 698

North Africa is re-conquered by Byzantium from the Vandali in just one campaigning season and two major battles, both of which the Vandali lose.

Batna in Algeria
The Roman ruins at Batna in Algeria would still have been largely habitable during the Byzantine ownership of Algeria

698 - 776

Western North Africa is separated from Byzantium by the Islamic empire. The native Berbers remain mainly in the mountainous regions, resisting the spreading Arab influence. They manage to preserve much of their language and culture in the process.

Rustamid Imams
AD 776 - 909

The Rustamids (variously, Rustumids, or Rostemids) ruled the central Maghreb for a century and a half from their capital at Tahert in present Algeria until it was destroyed. The state's extent is not entirely clear, but it stretched as far east as Jabal Nafusa in Libya.

776 - 784

Abd ar-Rahman ibn Rustam ibn Bahram

784 - 832

Abd al-Wahhab

Son.

800 - 812

The Aghlabid emirs of Tunisia claim to rule Algeria.

832 - 871

Aflah ibn Abd al-Wahhab

Son.

871

Abu Bakr ibn Aflah

Son.

871 - 894

Muhammad Abul-Yaqzan ibn Aflah

Brother.

894 - 897

Yusuf Abu Hatim

Son.

897 - 901

Yaqub ibn Aflah

Son of Aflah ibn Abd al-Wahhab.

901 - 906

Yusuf Abu Hatim

Restored.

906 - 909

Yaqzan ibn Muhammad Abil-Yaqzan

Brother.

909 - 1171

With the Rustamids now militarily weak, they prove easy prey for conquest by the Fatamid emirs of Tunisia. In 1082-1083, formerly Rustamid Algiers, Ténčs, and Oran are conquered by the Almoravids from western Africa.

1171- 1229

The Ayyubids of Egypt take control in Algeria.

1229 - 1518

Algeria becomes a battleground for Hafsids of Tunisia, the Merinids of Morocco, and the Western Algerian Abdul-Wadids and Zayyanids, with rule alternating between them for periods.

Abdul Wadids / Zayyanid Dynasty
AD 1236 - 1555

The Zayyanids (Zayyaniyyun, or Ziyyanids) were a dynasty of Zanatah Berbers who ruled western Algeria. They were based at the inland city of Tlemcen (Tilimsan - the former Roman town of Pomaria) in western Algeria, and were at first loyal vassals to the Almohad caliphs in Morocco. The gradual collapse of the Almohad empire saw them break free and declare independence in 1236. The extent of Zayyanid territory fluctuated greatly throughout the dynasty's history. The Zayyanids experienced two peaks: during the late thirteenth and the early sixteenth centuries, they held most of Algeria, including large sections of the coast. But throughout their history, they were vulnerable to attacks from their Merinid and Hafsid neighbours, as well as to tribal unrest inside their own dominions.

In the 1230s another group of Zanatah Berbers, the Banu 'Abd al-Wad ('Abd al-Wadid dynasty), took control of the region of Tlemcen. The state they founded there was overrun several times in the thirteen and fourteenth centuries.

1236 - 1283

Yaghmurasan

1269

The Zayyanids capture Marrakech, ending Almohad rule in Algeria. North Africa breaks up between the Hafsids, Merinids, and the Algerian Zayyanids). None of them are strong enough to reunite the empire and rule a strong North Africa, so they fight amongst themselves for pockets of territory, and none of them are dominant until the sixteenth century Saadi dynasty comes to power.

1283 - 1304

Abu Sa'id Uthman I

1304 - 1308

Abu Zayyan I Muhammad

1308 - 1318

Abu Hammu Musa I

1318 - 1337

Abu Tashufin 'Abd al-Rahman I

1337 - 1348

The Moroccan Merinids conquer Algeria.

1348 - 1352

Abu Sa'id Uthman II

1348 - 1352

al-Zaim Abu Thabit I

Joint ruler.

1352 - 1359

The Moroccan Merinids again conquer Algeria.

1359 - 1360

Abu Hammu Musa II

d.1389.

1360

Abu Zayyan Muhammad II ibn Uthman

d.1387.

1360 - 1370

Abu Hammu Musa II

Restored.

1370 - 1372

Abu Zayyan Muhammad II

Restored.

1372 - 1383

Abu Hammu Musa II

Restored.

1383 - 1384

Abu Zayyan Muhammad II

Restored.

1384 - 1387

Abu Hammu Musa II

Restored.

1387

Abu Zayyan Muhammad II

Restored.

1387 - 1389

Abu Hammu Musa II

Restored.

1389 - 1394

Abu Tashufin Abd al-Rahman II

1394

Abu Thabit Yusuf I

1394 - 1395

Abu'l-Hajjaj Yusuf II

1395 - 1400

Abu Zayyan Muhammad III

1400 - 1402

Abu Muhammad Abdallah I

1402 - 1411

Abu Abdallah Muhammad IV al-Wathiq

1411

Abu Tashufin Abd al-Rahman III

1411

Sa'id Ibn Musa

1411 - 1424

Abu Malik Abd al-Wahid

1424 - 1428

Abu Abdallah Muhammad V

1428 - 1430

Abu Malik Abd al-Wahid

Restored.

1430

Abu Abdallah Muhammad V

Restored.

1430 - 1462

Abu'l-Abbas Ahmad I al-Aqil

1462 - 1469

Abu Abdallah Muhammad VI al-Mutawakkil

1469

Abu Tashufin III

1469 - 1504

Abu Abdallah Muhammad VII at-Thabiti

1504 - 1517

Abu Abdallah Muhammad VIII at-Thabiti

1506

The Spanish of the kingdom of Castille capture the city of Mostaganem. The city's harbour proves an invaluable addition to Castile's other recent holdings along the North African coast, including Melilla (which had been captured in 1496), and Mers-el-Kebir (taken in 1505).

1510

The Spanish of Castille establish themselves on a small island called Peńón de Algiers which is situated in the waters immediately outside Algiers. The local amir, Selim al-Toumi at-Thabiti, a relative of the Zayyanid ruler, Abu Abdallah Muhammad VIII, is forced to accept this European presence by signing a treaty and paying tribute to the new arrivals. The island is fortified using the latest military technology. Selim is also forced to travel to Spain to take an oath of obedience to King Ferdinand. This is at a time when the Barbary Corsairs are coming to prominence in the region.

1516 - 1517

Having been invited to Algiers by Selim al-Toumi at-Thabiti to aid him in his troubles with the Spanish, the Barbary Corsair Aruj al-Din Barbarossa captures the city instead, orders Selim's assassination, and moves his base of operations there. The Spanish military outpost of Peńón de Algiers on the small island in the waters immediately outside Algiers remains untouched, however. Realising the extent of the task ahead of him, especially when the Spanish send a mission to attempt the recapture of Algiers, Aruj requests the support of the Ottoman empire in the following year.

1517 - 1518

Abu Hammu Musa III

Deposed.

1518 - 1519

Barbary Corsair Aruj al-Din Barbarossa captures the majority of Zayyanid territory before he is killed by the Spanish whilst trying to capture the capital of Tlemcen. Abu Hammu Musa III is briefly deposed by this invasion as Aruj's brother, Khayr, takes over as the military commander of Algiers. A Spanish attempt to retake Algiers in the following year fails.

1518 - 1528

Abu Hammu Musa III

Restored.

1520 - 1525

Algiers is attacked by the Kuku tribal leader Ahmad ibn al-Qadi and the Hafsids. The leader of the Barbary Corsairs, Khayr al-Din, retreats to Jijelli and increases his privateering. He re-conquers Algiers in 1525, massacring Arabs and Kabyles who resist him. With Ottoman support he is able to establish the regency of Algiers, the key Ottoman centre of power in the Mahgreb, as well as creating a base for privateering against European trading vessels in the Mediterranean.

1528 - 1540

Abu Muhammad Abdallah II

1532

As the Ottoman empire's official representative, the Barbary Corsair, Khayr al-Din Barbarossa, becomes the first official beylerbey of Algiers, pushing aside the existing Zayyanid governor in the region in the form of Abu Muhammad Abdallah II. Barbarossa retains the post until his death. He controls an area of territory that closely matches the extent of modern Algeria's borders, and he also begins to threaten the power of the neighbouring Hafsids.

1540 - 1541

Abu Abdallah Muhammad IX

1541

The military ventures of King Charles of Spain against the Hafsids of Ifriqiyya (in 1535) and now against the Zayyanids themselves are failures. Subsequently, he is forced to defend Spanish territories in the Mediterranean from raids by the piratical Barbary Corsairs. Part of this effort means that the Sardinian coast is fortified with a chain of defensive lookout towers.

1541 - 1543

Ahmad II

1543

Abu Abdallah Muhammad IX

Restored.

1544 - 1550

Ahmad II

Restored.

1550 - 1555

al-Hassan

1555

A combination of Spanish encroachment along the coast and the intervention of the Ottoman empire, with the latter ostensibly taking up the Muslim cause against Christian aggression, causes Algeria to be subsumed within the Ottoman empire. The Zayyanids are finally overthrown in Tlemcen by the ruler of Morocco, Mohammed ash-Sheikh. Much of the region outside Tlemcen is governed as an autonomous province from the Barbary Corsair capital at Algiers.

Regency of Algiers (Barbary Corsairs)
c.AD 1517 - 1671

By about 1500, with Hafsid support, the Barbary corsairs were attempting to establish a nominally independent Algiers state. They battled Spanish and Zayyanids alike, initially from a base along the Tunisian coast. Ultimately they succeeded and, known colloquially as the Barbary kings, they managed to sideline the ruling Zayyanids completely. Their efforts also focussed regional affairs on the coastal city of Algiers rather than the western inland city of Tlemcen. Quickly winning support from the Ottoman empire, the Barbary corsairs were granted the title of beylerbey in 1532 (the equivalent of a grand duke) and pasha in 1577.

The term 'Barbary' was coined by Europeans to describe all of the North African territories that were inhabited by Berbers. This not only included the Mediterranean coastal areas, but deep inland too. Principally, this European attention was focussed on the highly troublesome Barbary pirates themselves, who continued their raids into the early eighteenth century, fully supported by the regency of Algiers.

? - 1516

Selim al-Toumi al-Tha'alibi

Amir of Algiers, and relative of the Zayyanid ruler. Assassinated.

1510

The Spanish of Castille establish themselves on a small island in the waters immediately outside Algiers which they name Peńón de Algiers. The local ruler, Selim al-Toumi at-Thabiti, a relative of the Zayyanid ruler, Abu Abdallah Muhammad VIII, is forced to accept this European presence by signing a treaty and paying tribute to the new arrivals. The island is fortified using the latest military technology. Selim is also forced to travel to Spain to take an oath of obedience to King Ferdinand.

Peńón de Algiers
Algiers of this period was a walled city with the Spanish Peńón de Algiers fort dominating its seaward approach

1516 - 1517

Having been invited to Algiers by Selim al-Toumi at-Thabiti to aid him in his troubles with the Spanish, Aruj al-Din Barbarossa captures the city instead, orders Selim's assassination, and moves his base of operations there. The Spanish military outpost of Peńón de Algiers remains untouched, however. Aruj is able to capture the Spanish port of Mostaganem but, realising the extent of the task ahead of him, especially when the Spanish send a mission to attempt the recapture of Algiers, he requests the support of the Ottoman empire in the following year.

1516 - 1518

Aruj al-Din Barbarossa / Baba Aruj

First Barbary corsair king. Captured most Zayyanid land. Killed.

1518 - 1519

Aruj al-Din Barbarossa captures the majority of the Zayyanid territory before he is killed by the Spanish whilst trying to capture the capital of Tlemcen. The Zayyanid ruler, Abu Hammu Musa III, is briefly deposed by this invasion as Aruj's brother, Khayr, takes over as the military commander of Algiers. A Spanish attempt to retake Algiers in the following year fails.

1518/1520

Khayr al-Din Barbarossa

Brother of Aruj. King of Algiers.

1520 - 1525

This time the Spanish are able to take Algiers at the third attempt. With Ottoman support temporarily withdrawn following the death of Sultan Selim I, Khayr al-Din (better known as Hayreddin Barbarossa, the latter meaning 'red beard'), retreats to Jijelli and increases his privateering.

1518 - 1529

Abu al-Abbas Ahmed Belkadi

King of Algiers (1524-1525). Kabyle leader.

1524 - 1525

Algiers is attacked by the Kuku tribal leader, Ahmad ibn al-Qadi (Belkadi), and the Hafsids in 1524, pushing out the Spanish, and allowing Barbarossa to re-conquer the city himself in 1525, massacring the Arabs and Kabyles who resist him. With renewed Ottoman support in exchange for his acknowledgement of their suzerainty, he is able to establish the regency of Algiers, the key Ottoman centre of power in the Mahgreb. He also creates a permanent base for privateering against European trading vessels in the Mediterranean.

1529 - 1546

Khayr al-Din Barbarossa

Restored king of Algiers. Won Ottoman support as beylerbey.

1529

As part of his efforts to secure Algiers, the Spanish outpost of Peńón de Algiers is captured by Barbarossa. It takes twenty-two days of continued artillery fire from his Ottoman guns to reduce the fort's compliment of Spanish defenders to just twenty-five men before Governor Don Martin de Vargas finally surrenders. Vargas is killed by blows from a cudgel and the fort is destroyed.

1532

As the Ottoman empire's official representative, Khayr al-Din Barbarossa becomes the first official beylerbey of Algiers, pushing aside the existing Zayyanid governor in the region in the form of Abu Muhammad Abdallah II. Barbarossa retains the post until his death. He controls an area of territory that closely matches the extent of modern Algeria's borders, and he also begins to threaten the power of the neighbouring Hafsids.

1535 - 1543

Hasan Aga

Regent for Barbarossa during his absence in Constantinople.

1541

The military ventures of King Charles of Spain against the Hafsids of Ifriqiyya (in 1535) and now against the Zayyanids are failures. Subsequently, he is forced to defend Spanish territories in the Mediterranean from raids by the piratical Barbary corsairs. Part of this effort means that the Sardinian coast is fortified with a chain of defensive lookout towers.

1543 - 1544

Beshir Pasha

Regent for Barbarossa during his absence.

1544 - 1550

Between these dates, a combination of Spanish encroachment along the coast and the intervention of the Ottoman empire, with the latter ostensibly taking up the Muslim cause against Christian aggression, largely causes Algeria to be subsumed within the Ottoman empire, although it is still governed as an autonomous province from the Barbary corsair capital at Algiers.

1544 - 1546

Hasan Pasha

Son, and regent for Barbarossa during his absence.

1546

Despite the support of the Ottoman sultan for Barbarossa and his exploits in securing Algiers, it is only now that his son, Hasan Pasha, becomes the first official governor of the regency to be appointed by Constantinople. Algiers is now the main base for the ongoing Ottoman war against Spain in the Mediterranean and for operations against Morocco.

1546 - 1548

Hasan Pasha

Former regent and now beylerbey for the first of three times.

1548

Some sources show Hasan Pasha occupying the post of beylerbey until 1551, while others insist that the Ottoman admiral and privateer Turgut Reis is appointed by the Ottoman sultan himself. Previously the governor of Djerba, the admiral spends much of his period of office at sea. He cruises from European coastal town to town, raiding and pillaging, capturing European galleys, and attacking ports.

1548 - 1551

Turgut Reis

Ottoman admiral.

1551

Admiral Turgut Reis sails with a large fleet of galleys under the command of Admiral Sinan Pasha to attack Venetian ports and then effect a landing on Sicily. The city of Augusta is bombarded in revenge for Sicily's invasion and destruction of Mahdia, and for the massacre of its inhabitants. Soon afterwards, Turgut is appointed commander-in-chief of the Ottoman fleet.

1551 - 1552

Khalifa Saffah

Acting beylerbey.

1552 - 1556

Salah Raďs

1554

Mohammed ash-Sheikh is able to take over the north of Morocco, removing the Wattasids from power in Fez. He also captures Tlemcen, ending Zayyanid rule there. However, thanks to ash-Sheikh's refusal to cooperate with the Ottomans, Salah Raďs occupies Fez.

1556 - 1557

Hasan Corso

Acting beylerbey. Died.

1557

Mehmed Tekkelerli

Died.

1557

Yusuf

Acting beylerbey.

1557

Yahya

Acting beylerbey.

1557 - 1558

The ruler of Morocco, Mohammed ash-Sheikh, continues to refuse to give his allegiance to the Ottoman sultan. Instead, he forms an alliance with the Spanish. As a result, Hasan Pasha is appointed beylerbey of Algiers for the second time so that he can deal with the problem. He arranges to have ash-Sheikh assassinated by one of his own bodyguards and then invades the country early in 1558. His forces meet those of the Moroccans at the Battle of Wadi al-Laban (Oued el Leben, the 'river of milk') to the north of Fez, which results in a stalemate. Hasan is forced to retreat when he receives news that the Spanish are preparing to assault Oran.

1557 - 1561

Hasan Pasha

Beylerbey for the second time, and in command for the third time.

1558

The Spanish launch their expedition against Algiers in an attempt to recapture the city of Mostaganem (in north-western Algeria), the port which they had first taken from the Zayyanids in 1506 but which had been lost to Algiers in 1516. After massing at Oran, the Spanish begin their assault on Mostaganem only to be repulsed. Then they hear that Hasan Pasha is returning from his Moroccan expedition and are panicked into retreating. The defeat ends attempts to form a grand alliance between Spain and Morocco against the Ottomans.

Mostaganem
The port city of Mostaganem was founded in the eleventh century, although it was based on an earlier settlement which was known as Cartenna by the Carthaginians

1561 - 1562

Hasan Khüsro Aga

Acting beylerbey.

1562

Ahmad Pasha Qabia

Acting beylerbey.

1562 - 1567

Hasan Pasha

Beylerbey for the third time, and in command for the fourth time.

1563

Appointed to lead the fight against the Spanish, Hasan besieges Oran and then the neighbouring Mers El Kébir. Both are Spanish holdings and both attacks are repulsed after stubborn defending and with the arrival of a Spanish relief fleet.

1567

Hasan Pasha is recalled to Constantinople where he is granted the position of commander-in-chief of the Ottoman fleet. He retains the position, taking part in the Ottoman failure at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 and dying in Constantinople in 1572.

1567 - 1568

Mehmed Pasha

Son of Salah Raďs. Acting beylerbey.

1568 - 1577

Ölj Ali Pasha / el-Euldj 'Ali

1568 - 1570

Mehmed Pasha

Acting beylerbey (for the second time), now for Ölj Ali Pasha.

1569

In October, Ölj Ali Pasha marches his forces overland to attack Hafsid Sultan Ahmad III of Tunis, following the latter's restoration by the Spanish. With about 5,000 troops, he defeats Ahmad and takes Tunis, while Ahmad finds refuge in the nearby Spanish fort at La Goulette.

1571 - 1574

Arab Ahmed

Acting beylerbey for Ölj Ali Pasha. Died 1578.

1574 - 1577

Qa'id Ramadan

Former governor of Ifriqiyya. Acting beylerbey for Ölj Ali Pasha.

1577 - 1580

Hasan Pasha Veneziano

First official pasha of Algiers from May 1577.

1578 - 1580

Spain sends an embassy to Constantinople to negotiate a truce which leads to formal peace in August 1580. Algiers quickly becomes a formal Ottoman territory instead of a military headquarters, and a more normal imperial administration is set up in Algiers, led by the appointed pashas. Each pasha has a three year term of office with the focus of their duties being to consolidate Ottoman power in the Maghreb. This change of focus does not change Algiers' main form of income, however. The activities of the Barbary pirates continues unabated.

1580 - 1582

Jafer Pasha

1582

Qa'id Ramadan

Sardinian renegade. Previously acting beylerbey (1574).

1582 - 1588

Hasan Pasha Veneziano

Pasha for the second time. Died after leaving office.

1588

Deli Ahmed Pasha is appointed pasha of Algiers in order to end recent power struggles in the city to gain the office. He is also responsible for frequent raids along the European coastline, coming away with great riches.

1588 - 1589

Deli Ahmed Pasha

Died during a campaign to restore Ottoman control to Tripoli.

1589 - 1592

Khizr Pasha / Haydar

c.1590 - 1593

A large-scale insurrection by the Kabyles begin in the interior. Such is its scale that it takes the pashas of Algiers more than half a century to quell it. Problems in Algiers mount just two years later when the 'Tunisian Plague' hits it, followed by the destruction of the harbour during a hurricane in 1593.

1592 - 1594

Shaban Pasha

1594

Mustafa Pasha

1594 - 1596

Khizr Pasha

Pasha for the second time.

1596

Khizr Pasha is replaced after generally annoying everyone he has to deal with, creating a sense of anarchy in Algiers with his poor government, and seizing fifteen thousand crowns that belonged to his predecessor under the pretext of diverting them for the reconstruction of the port. In the end, the Turkish faction in the city accuses him of intending to rule independently, while the French ambassador also lodges a complaint against him.

1596 - 1598

Mustafa Pasha

Pasha for the second time. Removed from office.

1598

Mustafa fails to quell the Kabyles. Instead, they ravage Mitidja and besiege Algiers itself for eleven days. Mustafa is replaced for his failure and is imprisoned once he reaches Constantinople.

1598 - 1599

Hasan Pasha Bu Risa

Oversaw a period of anarchy in Algiers.

1599 - 1603

Süleyman Pasha

Real name Joseph Anthelme Sčve of Lyon in France.

1603 - 1605

Khizr Pasha

Pasha for the third time. Killed.

1603 - 1605

Appointed to Algiers for a third time, it seems that Khizr Pasha has learnt nothing from his previous periods of office there. He takes revenge against the French, seizing funds that are intended to compensate French merchants for loss of goods. In 1604 he attacks both the French ambassador and the French fort, massacring or enslaving its occupants. When King Henry IV of France requests Ottoman aid in the matter, Köse Mustafa Pasha is sent to Algiers to throttle Khizr, ending his trouble-making ways for good.

Barbary corsair
Barbary corsairs in this period raided European merchant shipping, including English vessels, pretty much at will, a danger that would have to be confronted with full scale military campaigns in the seventeenth century

1605 - 1607

Köse Mustafa Pasha

Replacement for Khizr Pasha.

1607 - 1610

Rizvan Pasha

1610 - 1613

Köse Mustafa Pasha

1613 - 1616

Shaykh Huseyin Pasha

1616

Köse Mustafa Pasha

Pasha for the third time.

1616 - 1617

Süleyman Katanya

1617 - 1619

Shaykh Hüseyin Pasha

Pasha for the second time, from January 1617.

1619 - 1621

Sherif Koça / Koja

1621

Khizr Pasha

Pasha for the fourth time.

1621

Mustafa Pasha

1622

Khüsrev Pasha

Later became grand vizier to the Ottoman sultan.

1622 - 1623

The office of pasha is vacant for a short time.

1623 - 1626

Murad Pasha

1626 - 1627

The office of pasha is vacant for the second time.

1627 - 1629

Hüseyin Pasha

1629 - 1629/30

Yunus

1629/30 - 1634

Hüseyin Pasha

Pasha for the second time.

1634 - 1636

Yusuf Pasha

1636 - 1638

Abu'l-Hasan Ali Pasha

1638 - 1640

Shaykh Hüseyin Pasha

1640 - 1642

Abu Djamal Youssef Pasha

1642 - 1645

Mehmed Brusali Pasha

1645

Despite the lack of available data on the later pashas of Algiers, one name does stand out. Ali Biçnin is a former Christian whose Arab name is a bastardisation of an Italian name, probably Puccini or similar. Having been captured as a boy in 1578 by Hasan Pasha Veneziano, first official pasha of Algiers, he rises through the ranks of the privateering Algiers navy to become a very rich admiral. His possible (but contested) seizure of the post of pasha is probably linked to his rebellion against his Ottoman overlord, when he refuses to obey a general order to attack the Venetians and the Knights of St John. The sultan orders his assassination, and in the same year his own servant poisons his drink.

Lieve Pietersz Verschuir
Ali Biçnin Pasha rose through the ranks of the navy of Algiers, its Barbary corsair fleet which in this oil by Lieve Pietersz Verschuir is being confronted by a Dutch fleet

1645

Ali Biçnin Pasha / Bijnin

Former Christian slave. Assassinated.

1645 - 1647

Mahmud Brusali Pasha

1647 - 1650

Yusef Pasha

1650 - 1653

Mehmed Pasha

1653 - 1655

Ahmed Pasha

1655 - 1656

Ibrahim Pasha

1656 - 1658

Ahmad Pasha

Pasha for the second time.

1658 - 1659

Ibrahim Pasha

Pasha for the second time.

1659

Ismail Pasha

1659

Khalil Aga

Died.

1660 - 1661

Ramadan Aga

Died.

1661 - 1665

Shaban Aga

Died.

1665 - 1671

Ali Aga

Died.

1671

The post of pasha is raised to that of dey by the Ottoman sultan. Algiers is already ruled on a semi-autonomous basis, and this increase in rank only serves to increase that detachment from Ottoman central authority.

Deys of Algiers
AD 1671 - 1830

Takeover of the region by the Ottoman empire from 1555 meant that it had been governed as an autonomous province from the Barbary corsair capital at Algiers. In 1671 the deys, Ottoman governors of the region, began to rule a semi-autonomous Algiers that was increasingly drawn away from Ottoman authority. By 1711 they were completely independent in all but name.

The problems caused by Berber pirates in the Mediterranean during this period became serious enough to cause several of the major European powers to launch punitive raids on Algiers. Not only were the pirates attacking European trading, they were also taking Christian prisoners, a situation that could not be allowed to persist. Unfortunately, dealing with the problem was like swatting flies. Piracy would be disrupted briefly and peace would return to the shipping lanes until the Berbers had regrouped and were able to launch fresh attacks. Denmark conducted a raid in 1770, France conducted five between 1661-1688, England three between 1622-1672, and Spain three between 1567-1783. Christian captives were rescued, but there must have been many more who were not so lucky.

1671 - 1682

Muhammad I

First independent dey of Algiers.

1681 - 1683

Such is the nuisance caused by the Berber pirates in the Mediterranean that King Louis XIV of France charges Admiral Abraham Duquesne with the task of fighting them. A large-scale attack on Algiers is ordered in 1682 to assist Christian captives, and this is concluded the following year. The raid is by no means a one-off, with various European powers launching similar raids on Algiers during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

1682 - 1683

Hassan I Baba / Baba Hassan

Assassinated by Hüseyin I.

1683

Hassan I Baba offers his naval commander, Hüseyin 'Mezzo-morte' (Italian for 'half-dead', which refers to a serious wound received in a fight), as a hostage to the French. Hüseyin, understandably put out by this, kills the dey and takes his place. It is he who is in command of Algiers during the next French attacks on the city.

Algiers in 1800
Algiers came under bombardment several times during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, usually due to its role in leading Berber piracy raids

1683 - 1686

Hüseyin I 'Mezzo-morte' / Mezzo Morto

Self-appointed successor to his victim, Hassan I.

1685 - 1690

The French bombard Tripoli and Algiers between 1685-1688, so an ambassador from Algiers visits Louis XIV at Versailles to agree a treaty in 1690 that secures peace for a century.

1686 - 1688

Ibrahim I

1688 - 1695

Ahmed Shaban

1695 - 1698

Ahmed I

1698 - 1699

Hassan II Chavush

1699 - 1705

Mustafa I

1705 - 1706

Hüseyin II Khoja

1706 - 1710

Muhammad II Bektash

1710

Ibrahim II

1710 - 1718

Ali II Shavush

1711

The deys are recognised by the Ottoman emperor as the official governors of Algiers, but are in essence independent in all but name.

1718 - 1724

Muhammad III

1724 - 1731

Kurd 'Abdi

1726

The deys of Algiers also become responsible for Tunisia (until 1821).

1731 - 1745

Ibrahim III 'the Old'

1745 - 1748

Kücük Ibrahim IV

1748 - 1754

Muhammad IV 'El Retorto'

1754 - 1766

Ali III

1766 - 1791

Muhammad V

1784 - 1794

Protected from Barbary pirates during the American Revolution, thanks to its alliance with France, American shipping loses that protection from 1784 and the end of the Treaty of Alliance. Subsequently, US merchant shipping continually falls foul of successive pirate raids in the Mediterranean, launched from Morocco and Algiers. Despite diplomatic efforts, large payments of tribute are demanded for the release of captured American crews, and the US regularly pays up to a million dollars a year to ensure the safe passage of its ships.

1791 - 1798

Hassan III

1798 - 1805

Mustafa II

1801 - 1805

Having recommissioned its navy in 1794, the USA is becoming increasingly reluctant to pay tribute to ensure the safe passage of its merchant ships in the Mediterranean. The pasha of Tripoli demands fresh tribute of the new government of Thomas Jefferson which is refused, so Tripoli declares war on the USA. Morocco and Algiers do not join Tripoli in the conflict. The small but highly modern American navy defeats Tripoli's vessels in a number of naval skirmishes during the First Barbary War, until Tripoli agrees peace terms and the US buys back its captured seamen.

1805 - 1808

Ahmed II

1808 - 1809

Ali IV ar-Rasul

1809 - 1815

Ali V

Assassinated.

1815

Muhammad VI Kharnadji

In office for 17 days. Assassinated.

1815 - 1817

Omar Agha

Assassinated by janissaries.

1815 - 1816

The Second Barbary War is fought by the USA in response to renewed pirate raids under Omar Agha while it has been preoccupied with the War of 1812. A squadron of US ships captures several Algerian vessels and, after negotiations, the dey of Algiers agrees to return American captives and vessels in return for a large one-off final payment. Although this concludes the war, it does not conclude the piracy threat, so the following year, Britain sends a 'diplomatic mission' that is eventually forced to bombard Algiers for nine hours on 27 August 1816. The dey loses many of his corsairs and shore defences, and the threat of organised Barbary piracy is ended once and for all.

1817 - 1818

Ali VI Khoja

Killed by plague.

1818 - 1830

Hüseyin III / Hussein Dey

Last dey of Algiers. Died 1848.

1830 - 1834

France invades Algeria and conquers it in progressive stages. The dey surrenders and is exiled after just three weeks of fighting and, following early French military command, governors administer the country for the French state.

French Governors of Algeria
AD 1830 - 1962

Taking a minor insult to the French consul as a pretext, France invaded Algeria in 1834, although they already held territory taken in 1831-1833. A long and bloody war of attrition followed in which French rule was slowly applied over the whole country, starting with Oran on 4 January 1831. Bone followed in 1832, Bougie in 1833, and then Arzew on 10 July 1833, and Mostaganem on 28 July 1833. In 1836, Tlemecen fell on 8 January, and in the following year, Constantine was taken. Djidjelli fell on 23 May 1839, Miliana on 8 June 1840, Zaateha Oasis on 26 November 1849, and finally Laghouat on 4 December 1852.

The application of French rule saw an influx of tens of thousands of French settlers, plus many others from Southern Europe, with modern, highly productive farms being created. French construction also created European-style city centres, bringing Algeria fully into the modern age.

1830

Louis

First French military commander. Comte de Chaisne de Bourmont.

1830

French troops defeat the dey's forces at the Battle of Staouéli on 19 June 1830. The French enter Algiers on 5 July after just three weeks of campaigning and the dey agrees to surrender in exchange for his freedom. He leaves Algiers five days later, with his family, accepting exile in Italy. The Ottoman bey of Constantine (capital of north-western Algeria) becomes France's greatest opposition in the region, with a well-organised resistance to invasion.

French Zouaves
The French recruited their first units of zouaves in October 1830, shortly after gaining control of Algiers, and these troops would serve faithfully in many theatres of conflict, including the Crimea where they are shown here

1830 - 1837

Ahmad ibn Muhammad

Bey of Constantine and highest Ottoman power in the region.

1830 - 1831

Bertrand

Comte Clauzel.

1830

On 1 December 1830, the new French king, Louis Philippe of Orleans, orders René Savary, duc de Rovigo, to take command of the French possessions of Algiers. When he takes up his post on 6 December 1831, he secures Bone and begins to expand French control outwards, but his violent repression of resistance not only causes him to be recalled, it triggers the creation of an organised resistance movement in 1832.

1831

Pierre

Baron Berthezčne.

1831 - 1833

René Savary

Duc de Rovigo.

1832

Muhyi ad Din

Leader of a religious brotherhood who fought the French.

1832

Encouraged by Sultan Abderrahmane of Morocco, Algerian Islamic scholar Abd-el-Kader leads the struggle against the French invasion and occupation of the country. Known as the emir of Mascara, he gains a following of several tribes, thanks to which he is able to conduct a highly successful guerrilla campaign against the French. His treatment of captured French troops is regarded as being honourable, while his political ability is considerable. Sultan Abderrahmane is also called upon by the inhabitants of the Algerian city of Tlemcen to invade and protect it from the French. This he does, and his nephew, Prince Moulay Ali, is named caliph of Tlemcen.

1832 - 1843

Abd-el-Kader / Abd al Qadir

Son of Muhyi. Emir of Mascara. Died 1883.

1833 - 1834

Théophile

Baron Voirol.

1834

The French occupation of the territory of Algiers is formally confirmed on 22 July as the 'French Possessions of North Africa', making it a French colony. Five days later, the first governor-general takes up his office. Sultan Abderrahmane of Morocco refuses requests to abandon Tlemcen.

1834 - 1835

Jean Baptiste

First governor-general. Comte Drouet d'Erlon.

1835 - 1837

Bertrand

Comte Clauzel. Previously a military commander.

1835

Bertrand Clauzel immediately triggers a land grab by promising to subsidise French colonists who wish to settle, visualising Algiers as prime cotton-growing territory. The grab is pursued vigorously and with absolute disregard for the native population.

1837

Charles-Marie Denys

Comte de Damrémont.

1837 - 1839

In the same year that Constantine falls to the French (13 October 1837), Abd-el-Kader signs the Treaty of Tafna with Thomas Robert Bugeaud. In it he recognises France's control of Algiers and Oran, while he is recognised as the sovereign of the interior, roughly two-thirds of the country's territory. This is the first official usage of 'Algeria' to describe the entire country, Mediterranean coast and inland areas together. The French break the treaty in 1839 by using a mountain pass in Abd-el-Kader's territory, and his guerrilla struggle is renewed.

1837 - 1840

Sylvain Charles

Comte Valée.

1839

The French Possessions of North Africa are re-termed the 'French Algerian Possessions'.

1841 - 1847

Thomas Robert Bugeaud

Duc d'Isly.

1842 - 1843

The campaigns of Emir Abd-el-Kader begin to fail, thanks to the increasing number of French troops brought into the country and the brutal scorched-earth policy they follow in warfare against the native defenders. Finally, Abd-el-Kader is forced to surrender and is exiled to France, where his activities can be monitored. Other, lesser resistance movements spring up, notably one led by Lalla Fadhma N'Soumer, ably assisted by the redoubtable fighter Bou Baghla (killed in 1854).

Battle of Smala
The Battle of Smala in 1843 was the turning point for the French, when their last major opposition to colonial rule, Emir Abd-el-Kader, was defeated

1845 - 1847

Louis Juchault de Lamoricičre

Acting governor-general in place of Bugeaud.

1845 - 1848

The territories that are part of French-occupied Algiers are officially named Algeria in 1845. Just three years later, Algiers, Constantine, and Oran are all made French departments as part of the reorganisation by the new French Second Republic in which all of Mediterranean Algeria is integrated fully into France. French occupation still doesn't extend into the deeper inland territories, but French military control of those occupied regions outside the departments continues.

1847

Marie-Alphonse Bedeau

Acting governor-general in place of Bugeaud.

1847 - 1848

Henri Eugčne Philippe Louis d'Orléans

Duke d'Aumale.

1848

Louis Eugčne Cavaignac

1848

Nicolas Anne Théodule Changarnier

1848 - 1850

Viala

Baron Charon.

1850 - 1851

Alphonse Henri

Comte d'Hautpoul.

1851

Aimable Jean Jacques Pélissier

1851 - 1858

Jacques Louis César Alexandre

1852

Prince Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, who has been president of France since December 1848, now declares himself emperor, and the republic is replaced by the Second Empire. He returns Algeria to military control, terminating the French-style departments that were created in 1848.

1858

A Ministry of Algerian Affairs is formed to supervise the country's administration through a military governor-general who is assisted by a civil minister. Military commanders replace governors-general.

1858 - 1859

Patrice Maurice de Mac-Mahon

Military commander.

1859

Philippe Antoine Gues-Viller

Military commander.

1859 - 1860

Edmond Charles de Martimprey

Military commander.

1860 - 1864

Aimable Jean Jacques Pélissier

Governor-general for the second time.

1864

Edmond Charles de Martimprey

Acting governor-general. Former military commander.

1864 - 1870

Patrice Maurice de Mac-Mahon

Former military commander.

1870

Louis

Acting governor-general. Baron Durrieu.

1870

Jean Louis Marie Walsin-Esterhazy

Acting governor-general.

c.1870 - 1871

Between about 1870 and March 1871, Mayor of Algiers Benoît François Romuald Vuillermoz takes advantage of the toppling of the Second Empire and himself topples the governor-general in Algeria, setting himself up as the chief authority. An extraordinary commissioner is appointed to deal with the situation.

c.1870 - 1871

Benoît François Romuald Vuillermoz

Head of the Committee of Defence. Mayor of Algiers. Died 1877.

1870 - 1871

Charles du Bouzet

First extraordinary commissioner. Also prefect of Oran.

1871

Alexis Lambert

Second extraordinary commissioner. Also prefect of Oran.

1871

Official authority in Algeria is restored and changes are made to improve the situation there, especially for refugees from the lost Alsace-Lorraine region who are demanding new settlement land in Algeria. A civilian governor-general is appointed, but the changes, and a general grain shortage which leads to famine amongst the Muslims, trigger a revolt in the Kabylie. This turns into the most serious incident since 1843, and stern punishment is imposed once the situation has been brought under control.

1867 Universal Exposition in Paris
The 1867 Universal Exposition in Paris provided the chance to present the very best of France's most important Muslim colony to the world

1871 - 1873

Louis Henri

Governor-general. Comte de Gueydon.

1873 - 1879

Antoine Eugčne Alfred Chanzy

1879 - 1881

Albert Grévy

Acting governor-general.

1881 - 1891

Louis Tirman

1883

France invades Tunisia from Algeria, removing Ottoman control of the country and creating a protectorate.

1891 - 1897

Jules Cambon

1896

The French Parliament votes to annexe Madagascar. The Merina monarchy comes to an end, and the royal family is exiled to Algeria. French governors are appointed to control the island.

1897 - 1898

Louis Lépine

1898 - 1900

Édouard Laferričres

1900 - 1901

Charles Célestin Jonnart

Acting governor-general.

1901 - 1903

Paul Révoil

1903

Maurice Varnier

Acting governor-general.

1903 - 1911

Charles Célestin Jonnart

Acting governor-general for the second time.

1911 - 1918

Charles Lutaud

1914 - 1918

Having jointly guaranteed in 1839 to support the neutrality of Belgium, when the country is invaded by Germany, Britain, France and Russia are forced to declare war at midnight on 4 August. The German armies head towards Paris before being halted and retreating to what becomes the Western Front just inside French territory. The French army includes units from its various colonial territories, including Algeria.

1918 - 1919

Charles Célestin Jonnart

Acting governor-general for the third time.

1919 - 1921

Jean Baptiste Eugčne Abel

1921 - 1925

Théodore Steeg

1925

Henri Dubief

Acting governor-general.

1925 - 1927

Maurice Viollette

1927 - 1930

Pierre Louis Bordes

1930 - 1935

Jules Gaston Henri Carde

1935 - 1940

Georges Le Beau

1940 - 1944

The Nazi German invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939 is the trigger for the Second World War. With both France and Britain pledged to support Poland, both countries have no option but to declare war on 3 September. After a lightening march through the Netherlands and Belgium, France is occupied by the Nazi war machine in 1940, and Vichy (Fascist) rule is allowed as a puppet state in southern France and Algeria. Algeria remains loyal to the Vichy regime until 1942, but then switches to the Free French.

1940 - 1941

Jean Charles Abrial

1941

Maxime Weygand

1941 - 1943

Yves Charles Chatel

1943

Marcel Peyrouton

1943 - 1944

Georges Catroux

Re-emerged as resident minister (1956).

1944 - 1948

Yves Chataigneau

1945

On 8 May a massacre of about a hundred French citizens takes place at Sétif. This follows protests by Algerians for greater political freedom in their own country, but it results in a brutal crackdown by the authorities in which perhaps six thousand Algerians are killed. This incident is almost certainly directly responsible for increasing discontent and the eventual outbreak of the Algerian War of Liberation in 1954.

1948 - 1951

Marcel Edmond Naegelen

1951 - 1955

Roger Léonard

1954

Attempting to free the country from French rule, the long and bloody Algerian War of Liberation begins with the National Liberation Army (FLN) fighting using guerrilla tactics.

French tanks in Algeria in 1954
French tanks patrolled the roads in Algeria from the start of the Algerian War in 1954, this unit being pictured near Blida, where they hunted guerrilla bands in the hills

1955 - 1956

Jacques Émile Soustelle

1956

Georges Catroux

First of the resident ministers. Previously governor-general.

1956 - 1958

Robert Lacoste

1958

André Mutter

1958

The Committee of Public Safety is formed in revolt against French rule. For May and June of this year, Algiers is not under French control. Revolutionary presidents of the Committee are shown in red.

1958

Jacques Massu

President of the Committee of Public Safety, 13 May-7 Jun.

1958

Sid Cara

Joint president, 23 May-7 Jun..

1958

Raoul Albin Louis Salan

First of the delegates-general. Re-emerged in Directorate (1961).

1958

On 19 September 1958, the 'Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic' is established in exile in Tunisia by the FLN, which is dedicated to freeing Algeria of French control.

1958 - 1960

Paul Albert Louis Delouvrier

1960 - 1962

Jean Morin

1961

The Directorate is formed as a further body of rebellion against French rule. Between 21-25 April four members of the directorate lead the opposition, and they are shown in red.

1961

Maurice Challe

Member of the Directorate. Died 1979.

1961

André Zeller

Member of the Directorate. Died 1979.

1961

Edmond Jouhaud

Member of the Directorate. Died 1995.

1961

Raoul-Albin-Louis Salan

Member of the Directorate. Former delegate-general. Died 1984.

1962

Christian Fouchet

High commissioner, 19 Mar-3 Jul. Died 1974.

1962

Algeria wins independence from France, proclaiming the Algerian State on 3 July. This becomes the People's Democratic Algerian Republic on 25 September 1962 and a prime minister is elected to office in the same year.

Modern Algeria
AD 1962 - Present Day

Algeria is located on the North African coastline, bordered by Tunisia and Libya to the east, Niger and Mali to the south, Mauritania and Western Sahara to the south-west, and Morocco to the west. The state is officially titled the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, with a capital at Algiers which is located at the centre of the country's coastal strip. In fact, the majority of the population lives along the coast.

Algeria won independence from France in 1962, in a fight that cost the lives of more than a million Algerians. The Algerian state was proclaimed on 3 July 1962, which gained its modern form on 25 September 1962. The country's first independent head of state was Mohamed Ahmed Ben Bella, who served as prime minister until 17 September 1963, when he became the country's first president. However, Algeria's democracy was often hard-line and dictatorial in nature, if not to the extent that it became embroiled in the 'Arab Spring' of 2011, unlike neighbouring Tunisia.

The Sahara Desert covers more than four-fifths of Algeria's territory. Oil and gas reserves were discovered there in the 1950s, and the country supplies large amounts of natural gas to Europe. Energy exports form the backbone of the country's economy. This oil-rich inland area has long been the home to tribes of Berbers, mounted nomads who have fought Romans, Phoenicians, Vandali, Eastern Romans, and also the Islamic empire when it arrived in 698. The Berbers have managed to retain their language and customs, and today make up about thirty percent of the country's population.

(Additional information from External Link: BBC Country Profiles.)

1962

Abderrahmane Farčs

Chairman of the Provisional Executive, 7-25 Sep.

1962

Algeria becomes the People's Democratic Algerian Republic on 25 September 1962. The country's first independent head of state, elected on 27 September, is Mohamed Ahmed Ben Bella. He serves as prime minister until 17 September 1963, when he becomes president.

Algerian independence
The Algerian Liberation Front was the political and military organisation which united Algerians for their revolutionary war and which led to independence in 1962

1962

Ferhat Said Ahmed Abbas

Chairman of the National Constituent Assembly, 25-27 Sep.

1962 - 1965

Mohamed Ahmed Ben Bella

First prime minister and then president. Increasingly dictatorial.

1963

Algeria fights the Sand War against Morocco when the latter claims sections of western Algerian territory. The war quickly bogs down into a stalemate which remains unresolved until an agreement is reached in 1972.

1965

The increasingly authoritarian President Mohamed Ahmed Ben Bella is overthrown by his former defence minister, Houari Boumédienne. Unfortunately, Boumédienne continues the trend towards a stricter, socialist form of government. Political opposition is removed and the state's economy grows to depend more and more on oil revenues.

1965 - 1978

Houari Boumédienne

Overthrew his predecessor. Effectively a dictator.

1979 - 1992

Chadli Bendjedid

Continued Boumédienne's dictatorial policies.

1991 - 2002

During elections the Islamic Salvation Front wins the first round of voting. This prompts the military to step in and cancel the elections. Chadli Bendjedid is forced out of office and the long-running and brutal Algerian Civil War is triggered. Approximately 150,000 people are killed during it, and a state of emergency is declared as the military effectively govern the country. Fresh elections are held in 1995, and the war begins to run out of steam from 1998, with what is, essentially, a government victory.

1992

Mohamed Boudiaf

Chairman of the military High Council of State. Little real power.

1992

The unfortunate Mohamed Boudiaf, full of good intentions in terms of reforming the country but completely stymied by the real power in the country - the military - is assassinated by a bodyguard while giving a public speech live on television. The assassin is tried and convicted, but his death sentence is never carried out, leading to the suspicion that he is a pawn of the military.

1992 - 1994

Ali Kafi

Chairman of the military High Council of State.

1994 - 1995

Liamine Zéroual

Chairman of the military High Council of State.

1995

Free presidential elections are held in November 1995, a process which is won by Liamine Zéroual. He remains in the post until 1999 and supports limited negotiations in order to try and bring the Algerian Civil War to an end. The democratic process survives in Algeria, despite there seeming to be little political opposition to the incumbent president who succeeds Zéroual.

1999

An amnesty is announced for all participants in the civil war. Many former rebels are encouraged to lay down their arms and take part in the country's new push towards the full use of the the democratic process.

2001

After months of unrest the government agrees to a series of demands by the minority Berbers, including official recognition of their language.

Islamic terrorist attack
A new threat to Algerians emerged in the early twenty-first century in the form of extreme Islamic terrorist attacks, ostensibly aimed at foreigners, but hurting ordinary Algerians

2011

A wave of popular protests against a deeply unpopular and dictatorial government forces the president of Tunisia to flee to Saudi Arabia, paving the way for fresh elections and a new start. The protests strike a chord in Arabs across North Africa and the Middle East, and similar protests are triggered in Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Syria and Yemen. In Algeria, major protests break out in January over food prices and unemployment, with two people being killed in clashes with security forces. The government responds by ordering cuts to the price of basic foodstuffs, and also repeals the 1992 state of emergency law.