Spanish Morocco

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Protectorate of Spanish Morocco (with the Cape Juby strip) Protectorate of French Morocco France with colonies Spain with colonies International Zone of Tangier

The Protectorate of Spanish Morocco
Flag of Spanish Morocco

Spanish Morocco ( Spanish Protectorado Español de Marruecos , Arabic حِمَاية إسبَانِيَا في المَغْرب, DMG ḥimāyat Isbāniyā fī-l-Mağrib ) was a Spanish protectorate formed in 1912 by the Treaty of Fez , which existed until 1956. It consisted of two strips of land in Morocco : One ran along the Moroccan Mediterranean coast , the other was the so-called Tarfaya strip ( Cape Juby ) between the former colony of Spanish Sahara and French Morocco . The capital of Spanish Morocco was Tetouan .


After the Second Rif War (1909) and the Second Morocco Crisis in 1911, France secured most of Morocco as a sphere of influence. Spain was granted a protectorate in northern Morocco in the Treaty of Fez in 1912 . The protectorate had around 760,000 inhabitants around 1912. Formally, as in French Morocco, the authority of the Alawid Sultan of Morocco continued to exist . Only after the defeat of the insurgent Berbers in the third Rif War (1921–1926) was the country enforced with a Spanish administration. The Compañía Española de Minas del Rif had existed since 1908 .

Between 1919 and 1923, around 12,000 people died violently in Morocco. Because of the cruelty of the fighting, the Spanish army had great difficulty mobilizing the soldiers called up. In 1917, only 54.05% of the conscripts actually started their service in North Africa, also because the army had a very poor reputation after an estimated 50,000 soldiers who died from illness and injuries caused by the war over Cuba . The number of conscientious objectors and those who were released from service remained at around 30% of those called up until 1925. Usually only young men from poor families could not escape military service in Morocco, but the obligation to serve led to a wave of emigration from the economically weak regions of Andalusia, Canary Islands and the Atlantic north coast to Latin America.

In 1921, the investigation report presented by General Juan Picasso González reported to Picasso the serious lack of discipline among Spanish soldiers and officers: In Ceuta and Melilla , gambling and prostitution were ubiquitous among soldiers. Because the wages already exceeded the financial possibilities, soldiers were barely equipped and often did not even have shoes. Officers sold weapons and ammunition to opponents of the war, sometimes to pay gambling debts. In general, they felt they were underpaid and had no prospect of establishing themselves anytime soon. Financial embezzlement, bribery and black trafficking of all kinds were listed in the government report. The hygienic conditions in the barracks were poor, which resulted in many fatal diseases. The Picasso Commission was mainly appointed because the course of the war after the Battle of Annual in July 1921 had been described by the army command as a "disaster".

In Spanish Morocco, Francisco Franco's coup against the Spanish government began in 1936, and with it the Spanish Civil War , which ended with Franco's victory in 1939 and resulted in a dictatorship led by him that did not end until his death (1975). After the Second World War, the Arab nationalist independence movement under Sultan Mohammed V was able to gain increasing influence, so that France had the ruler, who had been deposed in 1953, enthroned again in 1955.

On March 2, 1956, French Morocco was granted independence , which also put Spain under pressure, which on April 7, 1956 granted independence to the northern part of Spanish Morocco. Mohammed V was proclaimed king on August 14, 1957. The southern part of Spanish Morocco, the area around Cape Juby , also known as the Tarfaya Strip, only became Moroccan after the Ifni War and the Angra de Cintra Agreement of April 2, 1958.


The highest government authority within the protectorate was exercised by a military commander in chief. Administratively, the area was subordinate to the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Due to the dominant role of the military in the protectorate, however, the War Ministry gained considerable influence on colonial policy. At the local level, native governors (so-called quwwad ) were mostly assigned to a conglomerate of tribes. However, these functionaries had no authority over the local military commanders. In 1926/7 the area was divided into five territories.

Plazas de soberanía

The Plazas de soberanía ( Ceuta with the Isla Perejil , Melilla and the island groups Chafarinas , Alhucemas and Vélez de la Gomera ) and the enclave Ifni , which had been Spanish possessions for centuries, did not belong to Spanish Morocco . That is why these areas were not transferred to Morocco in 1956. Ifni only became Moroccan in 1969 after international pressure, the Plazas de soberanía are still part of Spain today. The International Zone of Tangier was also not part of Spanish Morocco .

List of High Commissioners of Spanish Morocco

  1. Felipe Alfau y Mendoza (April 3, 1913 to August 15, 1913)
  2. José Marina Vega (August 17, 1913 to July 9, 1915)
  3. Francisco Gómez Jordana , 1st term (July 9, 1915 to January 1919)
  4. Dámaso Berenguer Fusté (January 1919 to July 13, 1922)
  5. Ricardo Burguete Lana (July 15, 1922 to January 22, 1923)
  6. Luis Silvela y Casado (February 16, 1923 to September 14, 1923)
  7. Luis Aizpuru (September 25, 1923 to October 16, 1924)
  8. Miguel Primo de Rivera (October 16, 1924 to November 1925)
  9. José Sanjurjo y Sacanell , 1st term (November 1925 to 1928)
  10. Francisco Gómez Jordana, 2nd term (1928 to 1931)
  11. José Sanjurjo y Sacanell, 2nd term (April 19, 1931 to June 20, 1931)
  12. Luciano López Ferrer (June 20, 1931 to May 1933)
  13. Juan Moles Ormella , 1st term (May 1933 to January 23, 1934)
  14. Manuel Rico Avello (January 23, 1934 to March 1936)
  15. Juan Moles Ormella , 2nd term (March 1936 to July 1936)
  16. Arturo Álvarez-Buylla (from July 18, 1936)
  17. Eduardo Sáenz de Buruaga (1936)
  18. Francisco Franco (1936)
  19. Luis Orgaz Yoldi , 1st term (1936 to 1937)
  20. Juan Beigbeder (August 1937 to 1939)
  21. Carlos Asensio Cabanillas (February 1940 to May 12, 1941)
  22. Luis Orgaz Yoldi, 2nd term (May 12, 1941 to March 4, 1945)
  23. José Enrique Varela (March 4, 1945 to March 24, 1951)
  24. Rafael García Valiño y Marcén (March 1951 to April 7, 1956)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h i j k l Bartolomé Bennassar, Jean-Pierre Amalric, Jacques Beyrie, Lucienne Domergue: Histoire des Espagnols XVIII e –XX e siècle . In: Marguerite de Marcillac (Ed.): Collection tempus . tape 2 , no. 378 . Editions Perrin, Paris 2011, ISBN 978-2-262-03441-2 , pp. 377-380 .
  2. a b Hedwig Herold-Schmidt, et al .: Brief History of Spain; Chapter: Erosion of the Restoration System (1902–1923) . In: Peer Schmidt (Ed.): Universal library . No. 17039 . Reclam Verlag, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-15-017039-7 , p. 388 f .
  3. ^ Declaration commune franco-marocaine du 2 mars 1956 , Declaration commune hispano-marocaine du 7 avril 1956 (full texts)
  4. Fouzia El-Asrouti: The Rif War 1921-1926. A critical examination of the social transformation process under Muhammad Ibn 'Abd al-Karim al-Hattabi . Berlin 2007, pp. 35-37.