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Rural and Tribal Uprisings in Post-colonial Morocco, 1957-60: An Overview and a Reappraisal

The object of this article is to examine - or perhaps in the light of an article by Gellner which is (at the time of writing) now over 30 years old (Gellner 1973, original 1962), to re-examine - a series of three rural and, to a large extent, tribal revolts which took place in Morocco in fairly rapid succession within the first half-decade after the country gained its independence in 1956. In that year Morocco emerged from the combined Franco-Spanish protectorate which had been established over it in 19 I 2, and which had met with armed primary resistance, particularly on the part of Berber-speaking tribes in the Rif and the Atlas mountains, a resistance which the French were unable to 'pacify' - always in the name of the Moroccan sultan - until 1934. Thus the Moroccan rural, and especially tribal, record of resistance to colonialism is a formidable one.