When under the dominion of the Turks, this country was governed by a dey, and divided into four provinces- Algiers and Titterie in the centre, Tlemcen in the west, and Constantine in the east. The last three were governed by beys under the dey. At present it is divided into three provinces - Algiers in the centre, Oran in the west, and Constantine in the east. Till 1871 the country was entirely under military rule, but in that year various important reforms were introduced; and in place of the former military governor a civil governor-general was appointed to administer the affairs of the colony, and to direct the action of both civil and military authorities. He is invested with legislative powers in civil matters, but in all important cases he has to take the advice of a colonial council, the members of which are appointed by the French government. The power of the governor-general, however, extends only over the settled districts. In the thinly-populated parts, and the districts where the nomadic tribes are chiefly found, military rule still prevails. The three provinces are subdivided into twelve departments, at the head of each of which is a prefect, and under him are sub-prefects who rule over smaller divisions. By an act of 14th July 1865, the natives, both Mahometan and Jewish, were declared entitled to the rank and prerogatives of French citizens, on placing themselves completely and absolutely under the civil and political laws of France, and thus were made admissible to all the grades in the army and navy, and to many posts in the civil service of the state.
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