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An International Weapon

An Algerian Bey

Algeria came under Ottoman rule in the 1500’s and remained under this Turkish protection for around 300 years. During this time a “Bey” or ruler was appointed to take command of the country, with relatively little interference from the Turks. In 1827 there was an incident that led to, or rather became the excuse for, the invasion of Algeria by the French with a Fly-Whisk taking part in all the drama.

A Debt is Due

Husayn Bey, the ruler of Algeria at the time, as part of the economic review of the country was investigating overdue debts to the government. Some Algerian debtors to the government said they were unable to pay because they in turn were owed money by the French government and these monies had remained outstanding for several decades. These debts had been raised with the French Consul Deval, but they were continually ignored. To make matters worse, in 1825 the French fortified several of their trading posts on the Algerian coast, in contravention of existing treaties and the Bey raised this with Deval but again, to no avail.

Algerian - French Tensions

The bitter tension between the two men came to a crisis in a meeting on 29th April 1827. According to Deval there was an exchange of insults whereupon the Bey struck him three times with his Fly-Whisk and commanded him to leave. Husayn Bey did not deny this version of events, only adding the action was justified as the French Consul had maligned Islam and Muslims (the national religion of Algeria). Despite this, the French government demanded an apology from Husayn Bey, which he (supported by the Turkish Sultan) declined to give.

French Might

France in response initiated a sea blockade of the Algerian coast and the Bey duly retaliated by having the French trading posts destroyed. Events seemed to stagnate for several years, especially as the Algerian ships were very adept at evading the French blockade. However, it was the French traders who suffered economically from the blockade and they pressed their government to resolve the issue using military force. In 1829, when the Algerians fired upon a French vessel, the French government and the King of France decided to take Algeria by force. France managed to successfully invade Algeria and ruled the country from 1830 to 1962.

A Moral to the Tale

“Be careful how you use your Fly-Whisk”!

Plus, if you're going to use your Fly-Whisk like Husayn Bey, then make sure you can work it like a master:

Find Out More About Fly-Whisks

What is it?;  UsageCultural BenefitsSuppliers.

More accoutrements for a Gentleman? Click here.

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