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Troubles with Europe and Colonization

1859 Spain Declares War on the Moors in Morocco

Having been harrassed by the Barbary pirates, and desiring sole control over the Strait of Gibralter, Spain declared war on Morocco and captured Tetouan.

1904 Spain and France Divide Morocco

Spain and France carved out zones of influence in Morocco, with Spain receiving a small portion of Morocco as well as land to the south of Morocco (Spanish Sahara). France received the larger portion of Morocco.

1906 Algeciras Conference

After rumor circulated that France was close to reaching a deal with Spain to establish Morocco as a French protectorate, German emperor William II protested the legality of this move, and pledged Germany's support of a free and independent Morocco. The result of these debates occured at the Algeciras conference where Morocco's territorial borders and rule of its sultan were acknowledged. Foreign investors of any nation were invited to invest in Morocco. Spain and France received the power to establish a Moroccan police force and collect customs fees.

1912 Morocco Becomes French Protectorate

With the treaty of Fes in 1912, the Moroccan sultan submitted Morocco to become a French Protectorate. Under the French government the entire country was, for the first time, brought under control of one central government. TheF French built a transportation network of roads, railroads and ports as well as invested in creating an educational system.

1936 Beginning of Spanish Civil War

As a part of the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, General Francisco Franco was flown into Spanish Morocco from the Canary Islands where he led the Spanish Army of Africa

1941 Casablanca Film Made

1942 British and American Forces Land in Morocco

The arrival of British and American forces as a part of World War 2, began to inspire a movement for independence.

1943 Casablanca Conference

On January 14th, Roosevelt, Churchill and DeGaulle met for a 10 day conference in Casablanca to discuss WW2. They decided that they only terms of negotiations for the Axis forces would be absolute surrender.

1943 Istiqlal (Independence) Party Formed

The party won the support of the Sultan, and most of the Arabs, but was not well supported by the Berbers. 

1956 Morocco Tears up Treaty of Fes

On March 2, Morocco tore up the treaty of Fes and declared independence from France. Sultan Mohammed become king in 1957 and France leaves Morocco in 1958.

Recommended Resources

Deadly Embrace: Morocco and the Road to the Spanish Civil War by Sebastian Balfour (available on Amazon)

Lyautey and the French Conquest of Morocco by William A. Hoisington (available on Amazon) 

States and Women's Rights: The Making of Postcolonial Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco by Mounira Charrad (available on Amazon)

French Military Rule in Morocco: Colonialism and Its Consequences by Moshe Gershovich

The Conquest of Morocco by Douglas Porch (available on Amazon)

CASABLANCA COMPANION: The Movie Classic and Its Place in History by Richard Osborne (available on Amazon)