In the N. of Africa, belongs to France, stretches between Morocco on the W. and Tripoli and Tunis on the E., the country being divided into the Tell along the sea-coast, which is fertile, the Atlas Highlands overlooking it on the S., on the southern slopes of which are marshy lakes called "shotts," on which alfa grows wild, and the Sahara beyond, rendered habitable here and there by the creation of artesian wells; its extent nearly equal in area to that of France. The country is divided into Departments, of which Algiers, Oran, and Constantine are the respective capitals. It has been successively under the sway of the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Vandals, the Arabs, the Byzantines, and the Berbers, which last were in the 16th century supplanted by the Turks. At the end of this period it became a nest of pirates, against whom a succession of expeditions were sent from several countries of Europe, but it was only with the conquest of it by the French in 1830 that this state of things was brought to an end.
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