The Kingdom of Africa (Italian: Regno d'Africa, Latin: Regnum Africae, Moorish: ⵜⴰⴳⵍⴷⵉⵜ ⵏ ⵜⴰⴼⵔⵉⵇⵜ Tagldit n Tafriqt) was a state founded by Roger Bosso after the Norman conquest of Carthage (1091). The main motivation for the conquest of the Punic Coast was its strategic position dividing the Mediterranean Sea and the Latin majority population that assured the royal title blessed by Pope Urban II as Catholic King of Africa (Africanum Catholicus Rex in Latin).
Thus, Roger I conquered the places of Carthage, Ruspina, Bizerte, Susa and Sfax even though the conquest was not finished until the reign of Roger II (1101–1154) when all the coast from Tabarca in the west to Lebida in the east was controlled by the younger kingdom. However, the Muyedis invaded Africa from the west (1159) and Carthage fell after a long siege (1178) and after that also fell Tripoli and Lebida (1185). Thus, although the kings of Sicily retained the royal title of king of Africa their real power in the former territories was nonexistent for half a century.
After the defeat in Las Navas de Tolosa, the Muyedi Empire weakened subsequently but until 1232 Carthage was not recovered. Emperor Frederick II, who conquered the city, installed his court in it temporally. Furthermore, the struggles in the Italian Peninsula forced to stop the reconquest of Africa after the surrender of Sfax (1237) even though the disintegration of the Muyedi Empire allowed that Tabarca was recaptured (1246). Until 1282 the Kingdom (sometimes called the regnum Africae et Siciliae) covered not only the Punic Coast and the island of Sicily, but also the whole Mezzogiorno region of southern Italy and the islands of Malta, Galeta and Cercina.
In 1282, a revolt against Angevin rule, known as the Sicilian Vespers, threw off Charles of Anjou's rule of Africa and Sicily. The Angevins managed to maintain control in the mainland Italian part of the kingdom, which became a separate entity also styled Kingdom of Sicily, although it is commonly referred to as the Kingdom of Naples, after its capital. The kingdom of Africa, as the island of Sicily, became a separate kingdom under the Crown of Aragon.
After the union of the crowns of Aragon and Castile, the kingdom of Africa became a part of the burgeoning Spanish Monarchy. In 1534, Carthage fell once again under Moor control, whose leader was Ayrad of the Kabylians, who became known as Barbarossa in Europe. But in 1535, Charles V (who also held the title of king of Africa) assembled a large armada that recaptured Carthage under his rule. The hostilities with the Kabylians persisted until the 19th century. Moreover, the conflict against the Roman Empire due to the Roman conquest of Cyprus brought the war to the kingdom of Africa. Carthage was siege by the Romans (1574) but resisted. When the Spanish signed a peace treaty with the Romans in 1583, the island of Meninge was set as border between both empires, which signified that Latin places of Siburata, Lebida and Tripoli remained under Roman influence.
The War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) implied that Carthage and the crown of the kingdom of Africa passed to emperor Charles VI of Habsburg. In 1720, together with Sardinia, Africa was ceded by the Habsburg and Bourbon claimants to the Spanish throne to Duke Victor Amadeus II of Savoy. During the Napoleonic Wars, the Piedmont and Sardinia were occupied by the French thus the Savoy court was installed in Carthage (1800).
The Congress of Vienna (1814–1815), which restructured Europe after Napoleon's defeat, favoured the Crown of Savoy enlarging its territories. The treatment of the kingdom of Africa as a colonial viceroyalty supposed a scant industrialization during the first half of the 19th century as well as a distinct political situation from the Italian Peninsula. Thus, after the Italian unification, Africa was the only kingdom that was not dissolved and integrated in the newborn Kingdom of Italy.
Even though the kingdom of Africa was not extended beyond the town of Schira, in 1869 the free-cities of Tacape and Medenina were annexed to the realm. Motivated by the French colonial expansion in Mauritania, the Italians conquered the Moorish fortified villages of Chenini and Tataguine establishing the southern and western borders with French Mauritania at Treaty of Bardo (1881).
After the Italo-Hellene War (1911–1912), the towns of Gergi and Gardane became part of the kingdom of Africa, whose border with the colony of Italian North Africa was established in Lake Martha. During the Italian period, the Italian African population quadrupled while the Moors were discriminated and many were displaced to Italian Libya (although there were also discriminated).
In 1942–1943, Tunisia was the scene of the Africa Campaign, a series of battles between the Axis and Allied forces. The battle opened with initial success by the German and Italian forces, but the massive supply and numerical superiority of the Allies led to the Axis's surrender on 13 May 1943.
When Italy became a republic (1946), Africa kept Humbert II as king taking advantage of the independent administration. However, in 1950 the African struggle and consequent civil disturbances resulted in the rise of the African Republican Party (PRA) to the power. Amico Borghina, leader of the republicans, became prime minister and the monarchy was abolished on 20 March 1952.
List of Kings of Africa
House of Hauteville, 1091–1198
Roger I, 1091–1101
Roger II, 1101–1154
William I the Bad, 1154–1159 (de facto) 1159–1166 (claimed)
William II the Good, 1166–1189 (claimed)
Tancred, 1189–1194 (claimed)
William III, 1194 (claimed)
Constance, 1194–1198 (claimed)
House of Hohenstaufen, 1194–1266
Henry I, 1194–1197 (claimed)
Frederick I, 1198–1232 (claimed) 1232–1250 (de facto)
Conrad I, 1250–1254
Conrad II the Younger, 1254–1258
House of Anjou, 1266–1282
Charles I, 1266–1282