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Tunisia Old History

 

Several great powers have ruled in the area that is today Tunisia. After the fall of the city of Carthage in the 100s before the Christian era, the area was incorporated into the Roman Empire. A few hundred years later, Östrom ruled for over a hundred years until the Arabs arrived in the 600s. From the 13th century, Tunisia was ruled as a state of its own during the Berber seaside dynasty, but by the middle of the 16th century it was again invaded by external powers, first briefly by the Ottoman Empire, then by France.

  • AbbreviationFinder.org: Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Tunisia, covering history, economy, and social conditions.

Archaeological finds indicate that the area that constitutes today's Tunisia was inhabited by hunters and fishermen during the early Stone Age. In the 5000s before Christ, the inhabitants of the area began to increasingly engage in livestock farming and agriculture. In the 3000s before Christ, the Berber people immigrated, which at this time began to spread across North Africa.

Some evidence suggests that Minoan sailors from Crete may have had small storage stations on the coast a little later, but the country's documented history only dates back to 814 BC when Phoenicians built the city of Carthage on the northern coast of Tunisia. The Phoenicians dominated trade and shipping on the Mediterranean until the so-called Punic Wars between Carthage and Rome. The war ended with Carthage's destruction in 146 BC. The city was rebuilt by the Romans and became the main town in the thriving province of Africa which included today's Tunisia and part of Algeria.

A Germanic people, the Vandals, conquered the country in the 400s after Christ but were driven away by Austro-Byzantine forces in the 530s. Östrom's rule over the area lasted until the Arab invasion, which, beginning in the second half of the 600s, quickly transformed the Latin province of Africa into the Arab Ifriqiya and introduced Islam as a religion. The new religion was also adopted by the Berber population in the Tunisian hinterland, which had hitherto been slightly affected by the coastal civilizations.

Old History of Tunisia

For most of its history as an Arab nation, Tunisia has been ruled by indigenous dynasties, which at times were subordinate to Arab empires ruled by the Caliphs. From the 13th century until 1574, Tunisia was independent during a Berber dynasty, the sea sides. Important cultural influence was gained by the Spanish Muslims who fled to Tunisia after being expelled from their homeland in the late 14th century.

In 1574 Tunisia was conquered by the Ottomans, but they met with resistance and as early as the 1600s Tunisia was in practice an independent state again, although it formally remained part of the Ottoman Empire. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the country, like its North African neighbors, received a bad reputation for piracy that was sanctioned by the country's governors. At the beginning of the 18th century, an Ottoman officer with roots from Crete founded the Husainid ruling family that came to rule Tunisia under varying degrees of autonomy until 1957.

In 1861 Tunisia was the first country in the Muslim world to receive a rudimentary constitution. However, the country had severely mismanaged economy and went into bankruptcy in practice in 1869. In 1881, Tunisia was occupied by France, thus expanding its sphere of interest east of Algeria. Two years later, Tunisia formally became a French protectorate. Tunisia's monarch, the bey, was allowed to retain his office but both the bey and the government were subordinate to the French state representative in Tunis.

France invested in expanding the country's communications network and encouraged the move of French citizens who were offered land in the protectorate. Europeans, mainly French but also Italians, took over much of the country's business.

2011

December

New government and president are appointed

After Ennahda, CPR and Ettakatol agreed to share the country's most important items, Hamadi Jebali of Ennahda becomes prime minister and former human rights activist al-Moncef al-Marzouki of CPR president. Ettakatol's Mustapha Ben Jafar is the President of the Constituent Assembly. The most important ministerial posts are occupied by Ennahda.

October

Nightly curfew in Sidi Bouzid

Shortly after Election Day, unrest erupted around the city of Sidi Bouzid south of Tunis. A populist party, the People's List, started by a businessman residing in Britain is considered to have been discriminated against in the election of its supporters. Thousands of protesters protest.

Quiet choice

October 23

Ennahda wins the election to the Constituent Assembly with 37 percent of the vote. The non-religious center-left parties Assembly for the Republic (CPR) and Ettakatol are in second and fourth place, and the three parties for talks to jointly be responsible for the country's government. However, Trean, the People's List, is kept outside.

July

New convictions against Ben Ali

He is sentenced to several years in prison for unlawful possession of drugs, weapons and antiques, as well as corruption and property fraud.

June

Trial against Ben Ali

The ex-president and his wife, who are still in Saudi Arabia, are sentenced to 35 years in prison for financial crime and state abuses. The couple will also pay $ 66 billion to the Tunisian state.

May

New election date

The government announces that the election will be postponed until October 23.

New protests

Protests erupt when the Tunisians began to doubt that the transitional government really intends to introduce democracy. According to authorities, the unrest was fueled by people linked to the former regime under Ben Ali.

April

Prosecution of Ben Ali

Authorities announce that Ben Ali will be charged with 18 counts, including for manslaughter, drug smuggling and state crimes. In total, 44 indictments will be directed at the former president's family and former ministers.

March

Elections for the summer

In early March, Interim President Mebazaa announces that the elections scheduled for July 24 will be for a special council to draft a new constitution. The Council should also have the right to appoint a new government.

RCD dissolved

Ben Ali's power party RCD is formally dissolved by order of a court.

February

Over 200 dead

A UN investigation states that 211 people died in connection with the uprising.

Ghannouchi leaves

After the protests have been stepped up against the government with several new casualties, Ghannouchi bowes to the protesters' demands and resigns. 84-year-old Béji Caïd Essebsi, who was previously Foreign Minister under the first President of Bourgiba, is appointed as new Prime Minister. Another five ministers later resign after continued protests against the government being too much characterized by the old regime. The government is making another concession by re-allowing the Islamist party Ennahda, which has been banned for almost two decades. Party leader Rached Ghannouchi has already returned in January after many years in the country's escape.

Request for extradition of Ben Ali

February 20th

The government requests that Saudi Arabia release Ben Ali. The government also promises amnesty for political prisoners and financial support for 50,000 vulnerable families.

Tunisians flee to Italy

In the course of a few days in February, 5,000 Tunisians take over to Italy in small boats. The Tunisian government promises to work with other countries to curb the flow of refugees.

The country may be governed by decree

Interim President Fouad al-Mebazzaa is granted parliamentary permission to rule by decree for the time being due to the uncertain situation.

January

The government is being reformed

January 28

Ghannouchi lets 12 ministers go, many of whom have been part of Ben Ali's regime. Many protesters want Ghannouchi to resign himself.

Arrest warrant against Ben Ali

At the end of January, French prosecutors announce an investigation into Ben Ali's assets in France. The ex-president is suspected of corruption, money laundering and misappropriation of state funds. The Tunisian government issues an international arrest warrant for Ben Ali, who is in Saudi Arabia. A few days later, the EU's foreign ministers decide to freeze Ben Ali's assets pending the investigation's results.

Continued unrest

Just a day later, three opposition ministers resign in protest that former ministers from the old ruling party RCD may remain in the new government. The announcement by Prime Minister Ghannouchi and President Mebazaa that they are leaving the RCD is not enough to appease the opposition. Violent protests continue in Tunis. The government continues to show its will to settle with Ben Ali's repressive rule: political prisoners are released and some 30 members of Ben Ali's family and relatives are arrested by the police.

Collective government is added

January 15

The Constitutional Court decides that Parliament's President, Fouad al-Mebazzaa, will fill the President's empty chair until a new permanent government is appointed. Then President Mebazaa gives Prime Minister Ghannouchi the task of forming a unifying government.

An emergency permit is introduced

January 14

President Ben Ali flies on the same day that a state of emergency is introduced throughout the country. He probably lost the support of the army. Prime Minister Mohammed al-Ghannouchi proclaims himself interim president.

Promises from Ben Ali

When the turmoil has almost evolved into a national revolt demanding the resignation of the regime, Ben Ali announces that he will not run for office in the next presidential election in 2014..

The Minister of the Interior is dismissed

Following sharp criticism from the EU, the UN and the United States for the police's tough handling of the situation, President Ben Ali dismisses his Interior Minister and orders an investigation into how certain government officials have acted in connection with the riots. He also decides that almost all arrested protesters should be released. Nightly curfew is introduced in Tunis and its environs.

 
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