Jullien wrote:> I won't bet on it. One of the main difficulties in identifying
> generational timelines is the situation of nations (or pieces of
> nations) living in multinational empires for a long time (I mean
> at least 4 generations). Tunisia is just in : it was a French
> protectorate from 1882 to 1956. So and as Tunisian independence
> was relatively peacefully obtained, it's difficult to say if its
> last generational crisis was Algeria war or WW2 (6 months of
> fighting in Tunisia itself from November 1942 to May 1943 and
> thousands of indigenous Tunisian soldiers mobilized in the French
> Army in 1939-1940 and in 1943-1945).
> I believe we can't really have certainties about generational
> timelines of almost all countries of Africa before 2020-2040
> because we need to watch them carefully.
I've certainly had a lot of trouble evaluating Tunisia. I've tried
briefly several times in the past, but gave up.
Finally I had to come up with something, because I wanted to write
about the violence. So I spent several hours yesterday reading
everything I could online about Tunisia's recent history.
There are two obvious candidates for Tunisia's last crisis war -- WW
II and the Algerian war of independence. As you point out, Tunisian
independence was peaceful, so that isn't a candidate.
I read through a number of accounts of Tunisia in WW II, and I
couldn't find anything that "reads" like a crisis war. The fact that
there was six months of fighting in Tunisia is not enough to make it a
crisis war, since almost every country in the world had some fighting
during WW II, and some countries, especially some Arab countries,
clearly fought WW II as an Awakening war.
I was also influenced by Matt Ignal's crisis war list, which lists
only one crisis war for Tunisia: "Libya/Tunisia -- Italian Turkish War
-- 1911-1912." If this is true, then WW II would clearly be an
Awakening war for Tunisia.
I was finally turned by the following factoid from Peter N. Stearns in
The Encyclopedia of World History: "Tunisia: 1956-62 French
exodus. The size of the French population shrank from about 180,000
(1956) to 30,000 six years later."
There was also a massive exodus of French people from Algeria during
So I asked myself, why would 150,000 people flee from Tunisia? Why
would all these people leave their homes, their jobs, their friends,
and sometimes their families, in order to return to an uncertain
future in France? It's possible that they fled for purely economic
reasons, but that seems unrealistic, given the size of the migration.
So I concluded that the people in Tunisia must have been so terrified
by the war in Algeria that they felt it necessary to flee. This ties
Tunisia into the war in Algeria, so I concluded that this must have
been a crisis war for Tunisia as well.
It's like asking the question, "When did the state of Kansas have its
last crisis war?" It was still WW II, even though there was no
fighting in Kansas itself.
Does that make sense to you, Jullien?
Of course, this is something that requires a lot more analysis, and
study of other sources. In the limited time I had available, I
reached a conclusion based on an evaluation of the situation in the
entire region, and I was heavily influenced by one factoid. What's
required is an intensive study of 10 or 20 additional sources,
preferably written at the time or shortly thereafter, and preferably
written by Tunisians themselves. That'll be a good project for
someone's college thesis.