The Kingdom of Morocco (المملكة المغربية) has a coast on the Atlantic Ocean that reaches to the Rif Republic to the north, French Algeria and French West Africa (AOF) to the east, and Spanish Sahara to the south.
Morocco was a French Protectorate from 1912 until 1938. By the Franco-Moroccan Agreement of Independence full sovereignty was re-established. However, Morocco remained economically tied to France. France remains the primary trade partner (supplier and customer) of Morocco. France is also the primary creditor and foreign investor in Morocco.
History of the French Protectorate
Under the protectorate, French civil servants allied themselves with the French colonists and with their supporters in France to prevent any moves in the direction of Moroccan autonomy. As pacification preceded, the French government promoted economic development, particularly the exploitation of Morocco’s mineral wealth, the creation of a modern transportation system, and the development of a modern agriculture sector geared to the French market. Tens of thousands of colonists entered Morocco and bought up large amounts of the rich agricultural land. Interest groups that formed among these elements continually pressured France to increase its control over Morocco.
The independence of the Rif, pushed demands of autonomy from nationalist groups. The foremost of them, the Moroccan Action (Action marocaine, Am), founded in 1920 proposed a Plan of Reforms that called for a return to indirect rule as envisaged by the Treaty of Fès, admission of Moroccans to government positions, and establishment of representative councils. The moderate tactics used by the AM to obtain consideration of reform—petitions, newspaper editorials, and personal appeals to French officials—proved inadequate, and the tensions created in the AM by the failure of the plan. In 1925 the AM was reconstituted as a nationalist political party to gain mass support for more radical demand. Appeals and public mass meetings and rallies slowly gained support for autonomy. A network of local committees and labor and rural unions were established or run by the AM. These more radical demands urged the French authorities to suppressed the party in 1927. Now an underground organization made the AM gain more terrain and loyalty from its incipient mass membership in the country and cities. Some members of the makhzen joined the AM.
In December 1927, the proposed a Plan of Reforms that called for a return to indirect rule as envisaged by the Treaty of Fès, admission of Moroccans to government positions, and establishment of representative councils. The moderate tactics used by the AM to obtain consideration of reform—petitions, newspaper editorials, and personal appeals to French officials—proved inadequate, and the tensions created in the AM by the failure of the plan caused it to split in 1933. Has result of the split two rival nationalist parties were formed: the Democratic Party of the Independence (Parti démocratique de l'indépendance, PDI, liberal nationalist) and Parti national, that would later become the Independence Party (Parti de l'Istiqlal, PI, conservative nationalist). The more radical wing formed several small groups and clubs that tried to gain mass support for more radical demands, but the French suppressed them party in 1937.
By the late 1930 the Sultan and makhzen allied with more moderate nationalist militants and called for a reform of the status of the Protectorate, which was accelerated by the independence of the Rif and its republicanism. Of this alliance the moderate and semi-legal Rally of Constitutional Institutions (Rassemblement des institutions constitutionnelles, RIC) was born. The RIC, along the PDI and PI negotiated the Internal Autonomy of 1931.
In the French Protectorate the executive power is embodied by the Resident General, the representative of France, which has a fairly wide leeway. The sultan and his makhzen were maintained as symbolic elements of the Sharifian Empire, the real authority is exercised by the resident and his officials and officers (civil and military controllers).
To keep a close watch on developments outside the capital, the contrôleurs civils were organized. These French officials replicated, at the local level, of the Resident-General, closely supervising the caids and cheikhs.
However, the residence-general administration become susceptible to pressure from the powerful colonial lobbies, represented by the bosses of big industry and chambers of agriculture. Morocco made significant effect on economic growth, as illustrated by the rapid development of Casablanca and several infrastructure (roads, railways, dams, factories, urbanization) in general.
Internal Autonomy (1931-1938)
The independence of Spanish Morocco in 1931 and denouncement of the Treaties by the Spanish Republic that established the Protectorate made the French authorities decreed a form of autonomy for the Protectorate. The Internal Agreement of of Autonomy of 1931 established the framework that gave greater political participation to Sultan and makhzen The treaty declares that Morocco. is an autonomous state, over whose foreign affairs and defense the French Republic exercises control, but in respect of whose internal affairs she does not exercise jurisdiction and only advices.
- The Resident-General, as French representative liaisons with the government of Morocco through an National Administrative Council. The Office of the Resident-General controls all military, foreign trade and, foreign relationship and , French-Moroccan relations. Supervises the treasury and custom duties. The Resident-General has the power to maintain and establish internal order in all of Morocco or parts of it. He also protects French interests in Morocco.
- The National Administrative Council acts has the government of Morocco on all internal affairs. It is integrated by the Grand Vizier, Residente General, the ministers of Interior, Moroccan Justice, Economy (Agriculture, Commerce and Industry, Public Education, Communication, Habous (land property and legislation) and Public Health and the Administrators of of Finances, Justice and Gendarmerie, French-Moroccan relations and National Defense. The Grand Vizier and ministers are named by the Sultan, with the exception of the Administrators that are named by the Resident General.
- National Council, an elected assembly. Composed of elected members by the Chambers of Commerce and separate constituencies for islamic and jewish moroccans. The National Council is elected integrally every 4 years.
- The Justice systems is organized in three sections: French and Moroccan Justice and a common administrative justice. The first applies to all french and non Moroccan subjects and citizens. The Moroccan Justice applies to all Moroccan subjects and bases its decision on the Sharia and administrative justice that applies to all parties. The main structures are a Joint Judicial Board, that is composed of a Court of Cassation, a Moroccan Supreme Court, whose judges are appointed by the Sultan and a Supreme Administrative Court..
The contrôleurs civils would continue to supervise their district, but elected district council would assist in his activities. The French Army would conscript and train a Royal Gendarmerie and Royal Army. Both corps would replace the armed militia of the Sultan and his makhzen.
Independence (1938 to date)
The Franco-Moroccan Agreement of Independence of 1938 gave all political authority and national sovereignty to the Sultan and ended the office of Resident General. All relations are to be done on equal terms between the two states.
The Constitution of the Kingdom of Morocco was originally the creation of the National Advisory Council and enactment by a Dahir (royal decree) in 1939.
The Constitution states that the Kingdom of Morocco ".. is a constitutional, democratic and social monarchy’’ (Article 1). The Kingdom is organized as a parliamentary constitutional monarchy.
- the head of the State is the King (formerly titled Sultan). The King is the supreme political leader. He presides over the Council of Ministers appoints the government taking into account the recommendations of the Grand Vizier, and may refer any minister, dissolve parliament, suspend the constitution, call for new elections, or directly govern by Dahir (Royal decree). The King is the head of the army and religious leader of the country ("the Defender of the Faith").
- Grand Vizier of Morocco is the head of government and heads daily tasks of the Council of Ministers. Executive power is exercised by the government.
- Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Assembly of Representatives, elected by direct suffrage and the Assembly of Councillors, elected by indirect suffrage.
- The highest court in the judicial structure is the Supreme Court, whose judges are appointed by the King.
Internally Morocco is organized in prefectures and provinces. The provinces are districts (cercles, sing. cercle), municipalities (communes, sing. commune) or urban municipalities (communes urbaines, sing. commune urbaine), and arrondissements in some metropolitan areas. The districts are subdivided into rural municipalities (communes rurales, sing. commune rural).
Before 1932 all political activity was illegal, between 1932 and 1938 all political parties required an authorization from the Resident-General and could be cancelled if they acted against public good or promoted disorders or overthrow the government. After 1938 the Minister of Interior grants the permissions.
The main monarchist parties are the Union constitutionelle (Constitutional Union, UC) a center-right conservative party and Mouvement populaire (Popular Movement, MP) a center-left moderately liberal party. Both parties, formed by members of the makhzen and the disbanded RIC that functioned as the royalist party, are aligned with the ruling monarchy. The makhzen is the governing elite, centered around the sultan and consisting of royal notables, businessmen, wealthy landowners, tribal leaders and top-ranking military personnel.
The nationalist Moroccan Action (Action marocaine), founded in 1920 an illegal until 1932 was the main political opposition to French authorities. In 1933 it split in the Democratic Party of the Independence (Parti démocratique de l'indépendance, PDI, liberal nationalist) and Parti national, that would later become the Independence Party (Parti de l'Istiqlal, PI, conservative nationalist). Both party are the official opposition, and sometimes form part of governmental coalitions.
The Union Nationale des Forces Populaires (National Union of Popular Forces, UNFP) a splinter from Istiqlal Party espouses socialist policies, and takes strongly critical line towards the ruling monarchy, and consequently faces severe police repression.
Parti Communiste Marocain (Moroccan Communist Party, PCM) since its foundation has been outlawed.
Party of the Moroccan Unity (Parti d’unité Marocaine, PUM) is a nationalist party that advocates a Greater Morocco. Greater Morocco refers to wider territories historically associated with the Moroccan Sultan. These territories are the Kingdom of Morocco, Rif Republic, Western Sahara and territories in AOF and Algeria.
The Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP) is the national Moroccan phosphates company. It is the world's biggest exporter of phosphates and derivatives. The company is solely responsible for the production and sale of Moroccan phosphate resources, mined at the Khouribga, Ben Guerir, Youssoufia mines
The ONA Group, abbreviation of Omnium Nord Africain, is the largest industrial group and private financial Morocco. The group is organized as a holding company that invests in several companies in various fields of activity including mining, food processing, retail and financial services.
Royal Moroccan Armed Forces, services:
- Royal Moroccan Army
- Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF)
- Royal Navy of Morocco
- Moroccan Royal Gendarmerie
- Moroccan Royal Guard