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History[edit | edit source]
Morocco claims the areas of Ceuta, Melilla and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, all of them under Spanish jurisdiction. Since the foundation of the first Moroccan state by Idris I in 788 AD, the country has been ruled by a series of independent dynasties, reaching its zenith under the Almoravid and Almohad dynasties, spanning parts of Iberia and northwestern Africa. The Marinid and Saadi dynasties continued the struggle against foreign domination, allowing Morocco to remain the only northwest African country to avoid Ottoman occupation. The Alaouite dynasty, which rules to this day, seized power in 1631.
In 1912, Morocco was divided into French and Spanish protectorates, with an international zone in Tangier. It regained its independence in 1956, and has since remained comparatively stable and prosperous by regional standards.
Morocco claims the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara, formerly Spanish Sahara, as its Southern Provinces. After Spain agreed to decolonise the territory to Morocco and Mauritania in 1975, a guerrilla war arose with local forces. Mauritania relinquished its claim in 1979, and the war lasted until a cease-fire in 1991. Morocco currently occupies two thirds of the territory, and peace processes have thus far failed to break the political deadlock.
Morocco's predominant religion is Islam, and its official languages are Arabic and Berber; the latter became an official language in 2011, and was the native language of Morocco before the Muslim conquest in the seventh century. The Moroccan dialect of Arabic, referred to as Darija, and French are also widely spoken. Moroccan culture is a blend of Berber, Arab, Sephardi Jews, West African and European influences.
Timeline[edit | edit source]
1520 - There was a famine in Morocco so terrible that it has been suggested that the population of Morocco fell from 5 to under 3 million between the early sixteenth and nineteenth centuries
1549 - The region fell to successive Arab dynasties claiming descent from the Islamic prophet, Muhammad: first the Saadi dynasty who ruled from 1549 to 1659, and then the Alaouite dynasty
1631 - Morocco was reunited by the Alaouite dynasty, who have been the ruling house of Morocco ever since
1786 - The Moroccan–American Treaty of Friendship, stands as the U.S.'s oldest non-broken friendship treaty
1860 - A dispute over Spain's Ceuta enclave led Spain to declare war. Victorious Spain won a further enclave and an enlarged Ceuta in the settlement
1884 - Spain created a protectorate in the coastal areas of Morocco
1912 - The Treaty of Fez made Morocco a protectorate of France, and triggered the 1912 Fez riots
1921 - 1926 A Berber uprising in the Rif Mountains, led to the establishment of the Republic of the Rif. The Spanish lost more than 13,000 soldiers at Annual in July–August 1921. The rebellion was eventually suppressed by French and Spanish troops
1975 - The demonstration of some 350,000 Moroccans advanced several kilometres into the Western Sahara territory, escorted by nearly 20,000 Moroccan troops, and meeting very little response by the Sahrawi Polisario Front. The events quickly escalated into a fully waged war between Morocco and the militias of the Polisario, the Western Sahara War, which would last for 16 years. Morocco later gained control over most of the former Spanish Sahara, which it continues to hold