In the first decade of the twentieth century, French forces progressively occupied Morocco , and the 1912 Treaty of Fès turned most of Morocco into a French protectorate. Spain was given control of pieces of Morocco in the far north and south and of the Spanish Sahara (now Western Sahara).
France officially established a protectorate over Morocco with the Treaty of Fez, ending what remained of the country’s de facto independence. From a strictly legal point of view, the treaty did not deprive Morocco of its status as a sovereign state. The Sultan reigned but did not rule.
Motivation. Like most imperializing countries, the Spanish and French wanted to colonize Morocco because they wanted power. Feelings of nationalism made people proud of all that their country had achieved. France had already taken control of Algeria, which borders Morocco , and wanted to take over Morocco as well.
On 7 April 1956, France officially relinquished its protectorate in Morocco . The abolition of the Spanish protectorate and the recognition of Moroccan independence by Spain were negotiated separately and made final in the Joint Declaration of April 1956.
During World War II, Morocco , which was then occupied by France, was controlled by Vichy France from 1940 to 1942 after the occupation of France by Nazi Germany .
Morocco officially gained independence on 2 March 1956 after the signing of a joint declaration in Paris to replace the Treaty of Fez that had established the protectorate in 1912. Tunisia’s turn would come just a few weeks later.
The northern zone became part of independent Morocco on 7 April 1956 , shortly after France had ceded its protectorate (French Morocco). Spain finally ceded its southern zone through the Treaty of Angra de Cintra on 1 April 1958 , after the short Ifni War.
The French conquest of Morocco (Arabic: غزو فرنسا للمغرب ” French Invasion of Morocco “, French : Campagne du Maroc ” Morocco Campaign” or pacification du Maroc “Pacification of Morocco “) began in 1907 and continued until 1934.
French Moroccans or Franco- Moroccans ( French : Franco-marocains), are French people of Moroccan descent living in France . Following the French protectorate in Morocco from 1912 to 1956, many Moroccans chose to immigrate to France from the 1960s to the present due to France’s favorable economic conditions.
The Rif War ( Spanish : Guerra del Rif; Arabic: حروب الريف Ḥarb ar-Rīf) was an armed conflict fought from 1920 to 1927 between the colonial power Spain (later joined by France) and the Berber tribes of the Rif mountainous region of Morocco .
1912 – Morocco becomes a French protectorate under the Treaty of Fez, administered by a French Resident-General. Spain continues to operate its coastal protectorate. The sultan has a largely figurehead role. 1921-6 – Tribal rebellion in Rif mountains is suppressed by French and Spanish troops.
The largest concentration of Moroccans outside Morocco is in France, which has reportedly over 1.9 million Moroccans (up to 4 million), and the Netherlands and Belgium (about 0.7 million Moroccans).