Morocco is an independent nation in Northern Africa. With the capital city of Rabat, Morocco 2020 population is estimated at 36,910,571 according to countryaah. Today’s Moroccan kingship has roots in the 700s, but the empire’s size and influence has changed significantly during the different dynasties. The current lineage, the Alaouites, took power in the mid-17th century. From the 18th century onwards, Morocco fell behind in economic and technological development. The Sultan gradually lost both his territory and his independence to European colonial powers. In 1912, the greatly weakened Morocco was proclaimed French protectorate.
Morocco has since been inhabited by prehistoric people since prehistoric times but came under the name Mauretania Tingitana to be controlled by the Roman Empire. The Roman control of the area then ceased a Germanic people, the vandals, invaded North Africa 429. However, the vandals abandoned their base to Carthage in present-day Tunisia and Morocco was largely left in peace.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Morocco, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
In the 680s, Arab conquerors invaded, but they took political control of the area only in the early 700s, when they also began to convert the Berbers to Islam. In the late 700s, Morocco broke with the Caliphate in Baghdad, which ruled the Islamic-Arab Empire. The quarry was led by Idris bin Abdullah, who fled the Arabian Peninsula following an uprising against the Caliphate. The idyllic dynasty ruled Morocco for a few centuries from the city of Fès, which was founded in the 7th century. For Morocco political system, please check cancermatters.
In the 11th century, the Berber dynasty developed the almoravids (al-murabitun), which came to give Morocco a new heyday. From Marrakech, built in 1062, the Almoravids ruled a kingdom from Niger in the south to Ebro in Spain. The Almoravids were defeated in the 1100s by the Almohads (al-muwahhidun), who initiated an Islamic revival movement among the Berbers. Their rule extended the empire to Tunisia in the east, but after the victory of the Christian Spaniards at Tolosa in Spain in 1212, the empire fell apart. The Almohads were succeeded by another Berber dynasty, the Marinids.
When the Christian conquest of present-day Spain began in the 1300s, Morocco had to receive large waves of refugees from there. In the 15th century, Spain and Portugal targeted attacks directly on Morocco. The Marinids’ attempt to push back the attackers left the door open for another Berber dynasty, the Wattsides. By the middle of the 15th century, the wattasides had basically taken control, but they never gained full control of the country. In 1559 the wattasides were defeated by the Arab Saudi dynasty.
In the 16th century, Morocco was threatened by attacks from both Spain and Portugal and partly from the Ottoman (Turkish) empire. Apart from a number of Spanish fortifications along the Mediterranean coast of Morocco, however, the Saudi dynasty managed to maintain its independence. The rest of Arab North Africa, on the other hand, was conquered by the Ottomans.
After succession battles, another Arab dynasty seized power. The Alaouites, who still rule Morocco today, had come from the Arabian Peninsula during the time of the Marines. In 1666, the Alaouiter leader al-Rashid was proclaimed the Sultan of Fès. Under al-Rashid’s brother and successor Ismail, the Alaouites came to be recognized by many rebellious people in the country. However, Morocco remained well into the feudal realm well into the 19th century, where local chiefs controlled tribes in the regions, and the Sultan’s central power and religious leadership were primarily nominal.
Ismail was a great admirer of the French king Louis XIV and built in his capital Meknès palace with Versailles as the role model. Ismail also formed a large army, consisting mostly of black slaves, and built a chain of fortresses around the country.
When Ismail died in 1727, he left behind hundreds of sons and civil war broke out in the succession. At the same time, trade across the Mediterranean began to shift to other routes and rival seafaring nations in Europe grew ever stronger through industrialization.
During the 19th century, the influence of the Alaouitic Sultanate steadily shrank, as central power weakened and colonial powers invaded from all sides. Spain expanded its holdings in Morocco after a brief war with the Sultan’s forces over the city of Ceuta, which Spain controlled since 1580. Spain also annexed in 1884 the desert area of the south which would later become Spanish Sahara, where the Sultan considered himself to have historical rights. France conquered Algeria in 1830 and soon penetrated deeper into the Sahara, both from the Mediterranean coast and from West Africa.
At two conferences in Spain – in Madrid in 1880 and in Algeciras 1906 – the European powers had promised to respect Morocco’s independence, but in the meantime they agreed on how they would divide North Africa among themselves. Morocco fell within France’s sphere of interest.
In 1912, France reached an agreement with the severely weakened Sultan who made Morocco the French protectorate. However, on paper, Morocco remained a sovereign state. In another agreement in the same year, Spain and France agreed that Spain should retain its possessions.
French colonial rule in Morocco gradually hardened and tens of thousands of settlers, colons, bought large portions of the best agricultural land. This contributed to growing Moroccan nationalism during the 1930s.
The independent tribes of mountains and deserts had already revolted against the colonial powers. In 1921, rebellion broke out among the Berbers in Rifbergen. Their leader, known as Abdelkrim (Muhammad bin Abd al-Karim al-Khattabi), proclaimed a republic in the mountains that the Spaniards only managed to subdue in 1926. In the French protectorate, it was not until 1934 before the French had defeated all resistance.
The independence struggle against France was based partly on the traditional resistance in the countryside, partly on the elite of the Sultan and in the big cities who wanted to regain control of politics and the economy. During the Second World War, the nationalists’ hope for a change was strengthened. In 1943, the Independence Party (Istiqlal) was formed, which with the support of the Sultan demanded full independence and a democratic constitution. After a riot in Casablanca, Istiqlal was banned in 1953. The Sultan was banished to Madagascar.
Due to rising protests and unrest in Morocco, along with the adversities of the colonial war in Indochina and the onset of the liberation war in Algeria, France succumbed to the demands of Moroccan independence. The Sultan was allowed to return in 1955 and Morocco became independent in 1956. The Spanish protectorate in the Rifbergen in the north and Tangier were incorporated into the country.