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Loi Cadre


French legislative initiative (19571958) during Algerian war of independence (19541962).

Premier Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury staked his government's political life on the Loi Cadre, which attempted to resolve the contradiction of acknowledging Algeria's "personality" while keeping it integral to France. The French government charged Resident Minister Robert Lacoste with the task of drafting the document for administrative reform. Its provisions divided Algeria into eight to ten autonomous territories linked by a federal organ. The single electoral college increased Muslim political participation but also recognized ethnic interests (e.g., the Kabylia). The Loi Cadre aimed to sap the strength of Algerian nationalism. The pieds-noirs (European settlers in Algeria) viewed it suspiciously. The National Assembly repudiated the reform and Bourgès-Maunoury's ministry. Though a redrafted Loi Cadre eventually passed during Félix Gaillard's ministry, the extension of pied-noir power in the planned territorial assemblies impaired its reforming intent. When Charles de Gaulle came to power, his government discarded this initiative, though it supported the concept of a single electoral college before eventually pursuing an agonizing decolonization.

see also de gaulle, charles; kabylia; lacoste, robert.


Horne, Alistair. A Savage War of Peace: Algeria, 19541962, 2nd edition. New York: Penguin, 1987.

phillip c. naylor

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