- Alaouite dynasty
The Alaouite Dynasty is the name of the current Moroccan royal family. The name Alaouite comes from the "ˤAlī" of its founder
Moulay Ali Cherifwho became Sultanof Tafilaltin 1631. His son Mulay r-Rshid (1664-1672) was able to unite and pacify the country. The Alaouite family claim descent from Muhammadthrough the line of Fāṭimah as-Zahrah, Muhammad's daughter, and her husband, the Fourth CaliphˤAlī ibn Abī Tālib.
According to some legends the Alaouites entered Morocco at the end of the 13th century when
Al Hassan Addakhil, who lived then in the town of Yanbuin the Hejaz, was brought to Morocco by the inhabitants of Tafilaletto be their imām. They were hoping that, as he was a descendant of Muhammad, his presence would help to improve their date palmcrops thanks to his " barakah" "blessing", an Arabic term meaning a sense of divine presence or charisma. His descendants began to increase their power in southern Morocco after the death of the Saˤdī ruler Ahmad al-Mansur(1578-1603).
In 1659, the last Saˤdī sultan was overthrown in the conquest of
Marrakechby Mulay r-Rshid (1664-1672). After the victory over the zāwiya of Dila, who controlled northern Morocco, he was able to unite and pacify the country.
The organization of the kingdom developed under
Ismail Ibn Sharif(1672-1727), who, against the opposition of local tribes began to create a unified state. Because the Alaouites, in contrast to previous dynasties, did not have the support of a single Berber or Bedouintribe, Isma'īl controlled Morocco through an army of black slaves. With these soldiers he drove the English from Tangiers(1684) and the Spanish from Larache(1689.) However, the unity of Morocco did not survive his death - in the ensuing power struggles the tribes became a political and military force once again.
Only with Muhammad III (1757-1790) could the kingdom be pacified again and the administration reorganized. A renewed attempt at centralization was abandoned and the tribes allowed to preserve their autonomy. Under Abderrahmane (1822-1859) Morocco fell under the influence of the
European powers. When Morocco supported the Algerian independence movement of the Emir Abd al-Qadir, it was heavily defeated by the French in 1844 and made to abandon its support.
From Muhammad IV (1859-1873) and Hassan I (1873-1894) the Alaouites tried to foster trading links, above all with
European countries and the United States. The army and administration were also modernised, to improve control over the Berber and Bedouin tribes. With the war against Spain (1859-1860) came direct involvement in European affairs - although the independence of Morocco was guaranteed in the Conference of Madrid(1880), the French gained ever greater influence. German attempts to counter this growing influence led to the First Moroccan Crisisof 1905-1906 and the Second Moroccan Crisis(1911.) Eventually the Moroccans were forced to recognise the French Protectoratethrough the Treaty of Fez, signed on December 3, 1912. At the same time the Rifarea of northern Moroccosubmitted to Spain.
Under the protectorate (1912-1956) the infrastructure was invested in heavily in order to link the cities of the
Atlanticcoast to the hinterland, thus creating a single economic area for Morocco. However the regime faced the opposition of the tribes - when the Berber were required to come under the jurisdiction of French courts in 1930 it marked the beginning of the independence movement. In 1944, the independence party Istqlal was founded, supported by the Sultan Muhammad V (1927-1961). Although banned in 1953, France was obliged to grant Morocco independence on March 2, 1956, leaving behind them a legacy of urbanisation and the beginnings of an industrial economy.
List of rulers of Morocco
History of Morocco
Waterbury, John. "Commander of the Faithful"
* [http://www.usa-morocco.org/alaoui.htm Morocco Alaoui dynasty]
* [http://www.mincom.gov.ma/english/generalities/history/history.html History of Morocco]
* [http://www.maroc-hebdo.press.ma/MHinternet/Archives_436/html_436/grandeur.html A brief History of the Alaouite Dynasty] (French).
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