Regency of Algiers

Algeria is a country that has seen many changes throughout its existence. A memorable historical time period began in 1525, after Hayredding Barbarossa captured Algiers in 1516. Aruj was killed by the Spanish in 1518, after which Barbarossa sought the Ottoman Empire for assistance, leading to the complete recapture of the city in 1525, and the establishment of Ottoman rule. What followed were years of piracy, war and the battle for supremacy, until the 1830 invasion of the city by the French, and yet another major shift in the heritage of Algeria.

The Regency of Algiers was the heart of the Ottoman Empire and rule, and the hub for sea attacks on other shipping companies. A military base was also established in Algiers, and in 1533, Barbarossa was had to work in Istanbul for a period of time, leaving Hasan Agha as leader in his absence. Barbarossa retired in 1544 and the Ottoman Empire assigned his son, Hasan Pashan, as successor.

Pashan was given the title of Beylerbey and assisted the Ottoman Empire in consolidating their territories. The Regency depended highly on slavery and piracy for their economy, and even though peace had come between Algeria and Spain in 1580, it did not stop the attacks on Christian boats. It is believed that as many as eight thousand renegades were located in Algiers in the year 1634, and many countries, such as England, France, Denmark and Spain tried to fight piracy in Algeria. With the increase of Barbary pirates, Lord Exmouth launched a naval attack on Algiers in 1816, known as the Barabary Wars, following the example set by Abraham Duquesne in 1681, 1682 and 1683, in his attempt to assist and free the Christian slaves captured by the pirates.

By 1808, approximately three million people called the Regency of Algiers their home. In 1827 the Ottoman ruler, Hussein Dey, demanded that a thirty-one year old debt be repaid by the French. An outburst of anger toward a French Consol gave Charles X the excuse he was looking for to void all diplomatic relations with the Regency of Algiers, leading to the French invasion of Algeria in 1830. This marked the end of The Regency and the Ottoman rule, and Algeria remained under French rule for the following one hundred and thirty-two years.