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Aisenberg issues this thesis as the basis for his expose related a critique over the justification for the French occupation, the response of the North Africans, and the relationship between law, government, and social order.
Each Section’s Support for the Central Argument of the Author
Aisenberg offers numerous points of support for his argument. In terms of the debate of 1834, for example, convincing evidence is given related to “legislative concerns over the findings of two recent government commissions on the occupation that set the terms of the debate, and especially the prolonged and critical engagement of deputies with the facts of North Africa”. He relates the reality by which the first commission was actually established back in 1833, but the Minister of War, in an attempt to take away some of the barriers that the military government was encountering. At that time, the very provisional status of the territory was being called into question, and all affected parties seemingly were being given different information related to the legality of the push into North Africa on the part of the French troops. In the end, Aisenberg reports that the commission travels themselves throughout the region only to discover that there was certain a pronounced disparity between the commonly accepted social principles related to the future of the territory and the conditions that were actually present on the ground during the occupation. In essence, it appears that the legal obligation related to the aftermath of the French occupation was not being followed as they were being stated to the government and various sectors of society.
To support this claim of a seemingly lawless period of occupation at the hands of the French, the example is given of the military government confiscating property from former Turkish rulers, all with the cooperation of various French speculators that were in North Africa at the time.