At Sidi abd ar-Rahman near Casablanca, wedges were found along with skeletons of the early man Homo erectus; The finds are estimated to be about 200,000 years. About 30,000 years old remains from the atérienne culture (compare the aterian), associated with finds of Neanderthal people, have also been found in Morocco.
The modern man (Homo sapiens) first appeared along the coast of North Africa about 15,000-10,000 BC. About 8000 BC microliths, very small flint teeth, began to be used, and with the Neolithic (5000 and 4000 BC) pastoralism and agriculture were introduced. Significant rock carving complexes are found in the southern Atlas Mountains; most of them are from the Capsian tradition and from Neolithic times.
The Berber tribes that inhabited Morocco during ancient times were only slowly influenced by classical cultures via Phoenician colonization along the coast. From the 20th century BC larger national formations are known, eventually developed into the Kingdom of Mauritania.
The 42 AD Established Roman Province Mauritania Tingitana corresponded largely to today’s Morocco, although the independent tribes south of the Atlas Mountains posed a lasting threat to the Roman occupation. See abbreviationfinder for geography, history, society, politics, and economy of Morocco. Economically, Mauritania Tingitana was closely associated with the Spanish provinces. On the coast, big cities like Lixus, Sala and Tingis grew up. The hinterland was little romanized, apart from the important Volubilis. After the vandal invasion 429, Morocco was lost to Rome, although smaller parts of the area came under Austrian control from 541.
The Arab-Islamic conquest of Berber-dominated Morocco began in 710, and the following year the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula began under the leadership of the newly converted Berber Tariq ibn Ziyad. The conquerors settled in cities, which in Morocco developed according to the same pattern as in other parts of the caliphate. The Berber tribes, which were divided into the three major tribal confederations of Masmuda, Sanhaja and Zanata, dominated and controlled the other lands. The Berbers were nomads, seminarians or farmed farmers. A confrontation took place between the Arab conquerors, who represented the Caliphate with its Sunni Muslim orientation, and the Arab resistance movements, which embraced the Kharijite orientation of Islam.
- COUNTRYAAH.COM: Provides latest population data about Morocco. Lists by Year from 1950 to 2020. Also includes major cities by population.
As the Umayyad Caliphate in Damascus overthrew 750 of the Abbasids, an Umayyad prince fled to Morocco and on to the Iberian Peninsula, where he, with Berber support 756, established an emirate headquartered in Córdoba. A new dynasty, the Idrisidic, came to power in Morocco in 789 through Idris ibn Abd Allah, who had fled to Morocco after a rebellion attempt in 786 against the Abbasids of the so-called aliens (descendants of Ali, the Prophet’s son-in-law). During the sports season, the first real Moroccan state formation was created. Fès was founded and became an important cultural center with a famous university, al-Qarawiyin, inaugurated 859. After Idris II ‘s fallout 828, the kingdom was divided; some parts came from 921 to be controlled by the Shiite fatimids, while others went to the emirate in Córdoba.
The Almoravids (1056–1147)
During a new dynasty, the Almoravids, expansion took place from areas in present-day Mauritania and southern Morocco north and east, and by the end of the 11th century, the Almoravids ruled an area from the Senegal River up to the Ebro River on the Iberian Peninsula. The city of Marrakech, founded by almorah leader Yusuf ibn Tashufin 1062, became the headquarters of the dynasty. The expansion was carried out by Berber affiliated with Sanhaja, who was raised by a strict Islamic revival movement, organized as a fraternity. The Sunni Muslim orientation gained a strong foothold in Morocco through the Almoravids.
The Almohads (1130–1269)
A new Islamic revival movement, the Almohadic, challenged and defeated the Almoravids. Under the leadership of Muhammad ibn Tumart, Masmuda-affiliated Berber laid down large parts of Morocco. Tumart appointed Abd al-Mumin, who belonged to Zanata, as successor. He assumed the title of “leader of the faithful”, which is still used by the Moroccan head of state. The expansion reached eastern Tripoli, but in the Iberian peninsula, in 1212 a setback occurred through the defeat of the Castilians at Las Navas de Tolosa.
The Marinids (1269–1548)
Along with this defeat, the Almohads were challenged by a new dynasty in Morocco, the Marinidian, which was raised by the Zanata Berbers and who in 1271 took the last Almohad-controlled bastion, Marrakech. Cultural life flourished during the Marinidian period, and through the control of the trade routes south, prosperity could be developed. Arabization became tangible, religious cohesion loosened up, and in rural areas various forms of popular Islam and religious mysticism, Marabutism spread. At the end of the 1300s, the Christian conquest of the Iberian Peninsula began, and in 1492 Granada fell. Muslims and Jews fled to Morocco and came to reinforce Andalusian culture in Morocco.
In practice, a great vesir from the Zanata-linked tribe Banu Wattas had taken over the political power of the Marinidian sultan during the 1420s, but the wattasid dynasty (1428 – c. 1550) received no widespread recognition, and their epoch was marked by disintegration. also anarchy.
The religious local leaders, the Marabutans, in Sous, southern Morocco, appointed the leader of the Arab Sadi tribe as commanders against invading Portuguese. The Sadies turned to the wattasides, which were finally defeated in 1559. Thus, the long era of Berber dynasties was also over. The Sadies also faced another threat, the Ottoman from Algeria. The Ottomans, however, failed to conquer Morocco. The Portuguese were defeated at Ksar el-Kebir in 1578 by Ahmad, who was nicknamed al-Mansur, ‘the glorious’. During al-Mansur, the sadistic dynasty experienced its period of greatness. The administration was expanded according to Ottoman patterns, and the tax collection was streamlined. However, this consolidation was soon undermined by new conflicts of faith.
The Alawites (from 1666)
From the oases in the Tafilalt region in the south came a new political movement led by the Arab Alawi tribe. During the slogan’s return to the Sunni Muslim orientation, the Alawites attacked the Marabutian strongholds in southern Morocco. The conquest train went further north, and in Fès, in 1666, the Alawite Rashid was proclaimed a hunger. Under the leadership of his brother Ismail (1672-1727), the Alawites strengthened their power over the country, but then a weakening occurred. European actors gradually took control of foreign trade. Temporarily a consolidation of power occurred during Sultan al-Hasan I (Hassan I) (1873–94). Morocco’s position as an independent state was confirmed at a European conference in Madrid in 1880 and at the Algeciras conference in 1906.
French Protectorate (1912–56)
During the 19th century and until 1912, Moroccan sultans had been forced to resign from large areas of the Sahara to France and Spain. The rest of Morocco became – in contravention of commitments – a protectorate divided between France and Spain: French Morocco was the central part and Spanish Morocco the northern and southern part of the country. The opposition to the Spanish Protectorate in Rif in northern Morocco was led by the Berber Abd el-Crimea, who proclaimed a republic (1923-26). During the patron era, the infrastructure in the French part was developed. A large number of French companies were established, and about ten percent of the cultivated land was transferred to French users.
In the early 1930s, the so-called Dahir Berbéré, the Berber Regulation, was introduced into the French Protectorate. According to it, local case law would in the future be applied in the Berber areas and not Islamic law (Sharia). The regulation, however, led to religious protests and the coordination of Arab and Berber resistance. Gradually, the contradictions deepened between the French authorities and the Sultan Muhammad V (1927-61), supported by the growing Moroccan nationalist movement. This was consolidated within the framework of the independence party Istiqlal. In 1953, Muhammad V and family were forced to leave Morocco. An army of liberation was established in 1955, and Muhammad was able to return after intensified struggle. In 1956, Morocco regained its independence.
Independent Morocco (from 1956)
During the patron age, political integration had taken place, which facilitated the regime’s exercise of power after independence. A multi-party system was developed in Morocco, Istiqlal split and the Union Nationale des Forces Populaires (UNFP) formed with Mehdi Ben Barka as leader. He was killed under mysterious circumstances in Paris in 1965. The first time after independence was marked by regional unrest that was brutally fought. In 1965, a state of emergency was introduced by King Hassan II, who in 1961 succeeded his father Muhammad V. Only after two failed military coup attempts in 1971 and 1972 and an attempt to start a guerrilla war in the Atlas Mountains in 1973 did the state of emergency cease, and political elections were made.
Since the mid-1970s, gentle democratization has taken place in Morocco. This has happened in the shadow of the ongoing conflict in Western Sahara. In the economic sphere, successive liberalization has taken place, and the country is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Since 1989, Morocco has been part of the Arab Maghreb Union.
During the 1990s, economic liberalization intensified, while important steps towards increased democratization were taken. The Constitution has been revised in order to increase the power of Parliament and the Prime Minister. A clear sign of the change was that the previously condemned opposition politician of the Social Democratic Party Union Socialiste des Forces Populaires (USFP) Abderrahmane Youssoufi after the party’s electoral success was commissioned to form a government in 1998. In August 1999, died Hassan II and was succeeded immediately by his eldest son Muhammad. The new king, Muhammad VI, stressed the need for further liberalization and democratization. Morocco’s relations with the EU have been strengthened through the so-called Barcelona Declaration and the signing of the 1995 Euro-Mediterranean bilateral agreement, and an association agreement with the EU since 2000. By contrast, the Maghreb cooperation within the framework of the Maghreb Union has ceased.
In the early 2000s, USFP’s popularity declined and the party lost its position as the largest party in 2007 to the conservative, royalist Istiqlal. The Islamic Party of Justice and Development (PJD) advanced strongly and was now the country’s second largest party. The PJD’s previously radical Islamist appearance has been significantly dampened, especially since a series of concerted terrorist attacks in Casablanca in May 2003 demanded 45 deaths, including 12 perpetrators. The attacks were followed by widespread raids against Islamists by virtue of stricter anti-terrorism laws. Over 2,000 people were arrested, 17 people sentenced to death and nearly 900 to long prison terms. Media freedom has been periodically restricted.
The Arab Spring, the wave of protests that swept across the Arab world in 2011, also spread to Morocco, though without any more pervasive consequences. The monarchy was not seriously questioned, but the king agreed to some reforms, and a number of constitutional amendments were approved in a referendum. Parliament’s position was strengthened to some extent and the king is now forced to appoint the leader of the largest party as prime minister. Following the 2011 election, PJD leader Abdelilah Benkiran was elected, whose party became the largest in parliament with 107 out of 325 seats.
Despite close cooperation with the EU, Morocco has sensitive relations with its closest neighbor in the Union, Spain. The Spanish enclaves Ceuta and Melilla are subject to repeated diplomatic disputes and disagreements also prevail over the uninhabited Spanish island of Perejil (Arab Leila) off the Moroccan coast. Moroccan attempts to seize control of the island in 2002 were close to leading to an armed conflict.
In recent years, following pressure from the EU, Morocco has taken a tougher stance on the refugees, mainly from West Africa, who are trying to get to Europe via Morocco. The refugees’ difficult situation has been highlighted by, among other things, UNHCR UNHCR.