The French Foreign Legion was created by Louis Philippe, the King of the French, on 10 March 1831. The direct reason was that foreigners were forbidden to serve in the French Army after the 1830 July Revolution, so the foreign legion was created to allow the government a way around this restriction. The purpose of the foreign legion was to remove disruptive elements from society and put them to use fighting the enemies of France. Recruits included failed revolutionaries from the rest of Europe, soldiers from the disbanded foreign regiments, and troublemakers in general, both foreign and French. Algeria was designated as the foreign legion's home. The army was formed so the government could enforce its rule in Algeria.
The foreign legion was primarily used, as part of the Armeé d `Afrique, to protect and expand the French colonial empire during the 19th century, but it also fought in almost all French wars including the Franco-Prussian War and both World Wars. The Foreign Legion has remained an important part of the French Army, surviving three Republics, The Second French Empire, two World Wars, the rise and fall of mass conscript armies, the dismantling of the French colonial empire and the loss of the Foreign Legion's base, Algeria.
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- Franse "Legionnaire"