In the 12th century a. C., the Phoenicians installed trading posts on the Mediterranean and Atlantic coast, from where they came to control the silver and gold trade coming from the interior. Later the Carthaginians founded commercial warehouses on the Moroccan coast. With the destruction of Carthage in 146 BC, the domain of Rome replaced the Punic suzerainty with the Berber kingdoms, and, in Augustus’ time, the territory became part of the new Roman province of Mauritania Tingitana. Roman rule ended with the arrival of the Vandals, a Germanic people who, coming from Spain, maintained a kingdom in the region until the year 534 of the Christian era, when it was destroyed by the Byzantine army of Belisario.
According to RECIPESINTHEBOX, the Arab invasion in the seventh century was the most important event in the history of northern Africa, due to the incorporation into Maghreb of religious, political and cultural foundations of Islam. After 63 years of Berber resistance, the conquest was completed in the year 709. Two years later, the Arabs counted on the help of the Islamized Berbers to conquer the Iberian peninsula.
A descendant of Muhammad, Idriss I, took refuge in 786 in Morocco, where he founded a dynasty independent of the Abbasid caliphate of Baghdad. Idriss II extended its domains to the south and east and transformed Fez into a major religious and cultural center. In the 11th century, the Almoravids, Berbers from Mauritania, invaded the country and extended their domain to Spain. A century later the religious movement began, soon transformed into a political one, by the Almohads, who founded a consolidated empire also in part of the Iberian peninsula. In the thirteenth century a new empire emerged in Morocco, that of the Berber marinids, which imposed itself on the decadent Almohad power.
In 1415, the Portuguese founded factories in Ceuta (which later came under Spanish rule) and in other parts of the coast, but Morocco managed to contain the European invasion, in the battle of Alcácer-Quibir, in 1578, and, at the end of the same century. , that of the Turks, who had conquered much of North Africa. With the opening of new shipping routes, trade across the Sahara was abandoned, and the country went into decline as a result of a serious economic crisis. In the middle of the 17th century, the Alida dynasty was founded, which proclaimed themselves descendants of Muhammad.
With the French invasion of Algeria in 1830, Morocco began to become involved in colonialist struggles against European powers. The country provided military assistance to the Algerians, but the Moroccan forces were defeated by the French in 1844. In 1859, a dispute with Spain over the borders of the Ceuta Enclave provoked a war in which the Moroccan forces were defeated. The Alida sultanate had to pay a heavy indemnity and hand over Ifni’s enclave to Spain.
In 1904, the United Kingdom recognized French interests in Morocco, and in the same year, France and Spain reached an agreement that ensured the Spaniards northern Morocco as an area of influence. The Algeciras International Conference, in 1906, recognized the territorial integrity of the Moroccan empire, while legitimizing the preponderance of France and Spain in the country. In 1912 the French and Spanish protectorates were established. France took over most of the territory, and Spain had the territories of the Rif and Ifni.
In 1921, an insurrection against the Spanish began under the Rif, led by Emir Abd al-Krim. The anti-colonialist rebellion extended to the area of French influence, but was dominated in 1926 by Franco-Spanish forces. In 1936, during the Spanish civil war, Moroccan troops fought under the orders of General Francisco Franco on the Iberian peninsula. In 1943 a separatist party appeared in the French protectorate. Sultan Mohamed ben Yusuf (Mohamed V) joined the nationalist movement and ten years later he was deposed by the French for not accepting to sanction reforms that limited his power. Spain, which had not been consulted, refused to acknowledge the deposition and welcomed Moroccan patriots into its protectorate. Concerned about the Algerian rebellion, the French government granted Morocco independence on March 2, 1956, and Mohamed ben Yusuf returned to the throne. In April of the same year, Spain renounced the territories of its protectorate in the north, and Morocco, partially unified, became independent, adopting the constitutional monarchy regime in 1962.
In gaining independence, Morocco had accepted and recognized the legitimacy of its borders in treaties with France and Spain. The Istiqlal party and other nationalist groups claimed, however, what they called Greater Morocco, a territory that, in the east, advanced through the Algerian Sahara and, in the south, reached the Senegal River and included Spanish Sahara and Mauritania, as well as vast areas. regions of Algeria, Senegal and Mali. Morocco intended to annex two million square kilometers (more than four times the size of its territory at the time) sparsely populated, but rich in mineral resources.
The Moroccan government has managed to fulfill part of its ambitious program. In 1958, Spain passed to Morocco the southern portion of the Spanish protectorate, Tarfaya, and in 1969 it returned Ifni. King Hassan II, who had succeeded his father, Mohamed V, in 1961, led in 1975 the Green March, made up of 350,000 unarmed Moroccans who entered the Spanish Sahara and forced Spain to abandon the territory. In 1976, the country started a war with the Polisario Front (Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el Hamra and Río de Oro), which fought for the independence of the territory occupied by the Moroccans and renamed Western Sahara. In 1986, the country managed to secure two thirds of the territory. The strengthening of relations with Algeria in 1987 and 1988, together with a United Nations peace proposal, accepted by Morocco.