Agadir crisis

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Agadir crisis

The Agadir crisis occurred in 1911 when a revolt in Morocco against Sultan Abdul Hafiz was besieged by the mob of rebels at his palace in Fez in April 1911.

France has prepared to send troops to quell the rebellion under the pretext of protecting the lives and property of Europeans in Morocco. The French sent an air battalion from the army at the end of April 1911. Germany agreed to France’s occupation of the city. On June 5, 1911, Spain occupied the Arayish and the palace.

Historical context

At the beginning of the 20th century, France, which had colonized Algeria (1830), began to worry about the security of its borders with Morocco, while it began to covet the occupation of the latter. The honorable kingdom was among the last non-colonized North African countries and was the envy of many European powers, especially France, as well as Germany, which had been left behind by the Europeans in the colonies.

In 1904, the governments of France and Great Britain reached a friendly agreement, at the expense of Germany, in which France relinquished its rights in Egypt to Britain in exchange for France’s recognition of France’s right to protect Morocco.

To remind France of the rights of the German Empire in Morocco, the German Emperor Wilhelm II (Guillaume II) came to Tangier, north of Morocco, and met with Sultan Moulay Abdelaziz Ben El Hassan. He assured him of Germany’s commitment to the independence of Morocco and denounced France’s desire to monopolize Morocco. Which fueled the dispute between the European powers, and this crisis is known as the first crisis of Morocco. To appease rival countries, the Green Island Conference was held in 1906, but this conference brought new privileges in favor of France and Spain, and as a signal to initiate and conquer Morocco gave France and Spain the right to establish a police force under their administration, France gave its right to the customs system in Morocco.

In light of this crisis, Bouhramah was able, after his famous revolution, to spread his foot on the eastern side of Morocco, especially the city of Oujda and its surroundings. Sultan Moulay Abdel Aziz asked France for military intervention to occupy Oujda. Leoti (General Resident of France in Morocco) exploited an insignificant event (the assassination of Dr. Mushamp in Marrakech) as a pretext for the occupation of Oujda and the eastern side in 1907, which led to the tribal revolt in eastern Morocco. These events led to the isolation of Abdel Aziz and the appointment of his brother Abdel Hafiz Ben Hassan to the throne of Morocco.

On February 8, 1909, the governments of Germany and France held the Treaty of Morocco in 1909, in which Germany recognized France’s sovereignty over the affairs of Morocco. In return, France pledged equal economic opportunities for German and French businesses in Morocco. France did not realize the reason for the German retreat from the anti-French position demonstrated at the Green Island Conference. By June 1909, however, Germany had applied for an association of French and German bankers in Morocco. It became clear to France that Germany was trying to exploit its financial and industrial weight to contain Morocco. The United Kingdom also considered the Moroccan treaty to be a breach of the friendly agreement between France and Britain in 1904. For the next two years, France tried to evade the Treaty of Morocco, which led to the Agadir crisis.

In March 1911, the Kabylie Revolution reached the capital of Morocco, Fez. Sultan Abdel Hafiz asked France to intervene again to protect Fez from the rebels. In April 1911, France launched its military campaign against Fez to break the siege (Colonne Moinier). It also used this pretext to justify the colonization of Fez and Rabat. In the chaos, Spain, in turn, took advantage of the 1904 Agreement (friendly agreement) to occupy both Larache and the Great Palace and Asilah.

To protect its interests in Morocco, Germany considered these interventions to be a violation of the Green Island Conference Treaty (1906), and began to send its “Panther” warship to the coast of Agadir.

The Incident

On the pretext of responding to the call of German contractors in the valley of Suss (the German community in that region was estimated to be only four people), Germany sent its “SMS Panther” to the city of Agadir (whose port was closed to foreign trade since 1881) to protect its interests on 1 June 1911. From mid-July, the Panther and Berlin cruisers alternated with the mission of threatening the city of Agadir with shelling, sparking the Agadir crisis between France and Germany.

The crisis ended with Germany getting part of the Congo in exchange for abandoning Morocco to become a reserve of France and Spain in 1913.

Reference: https://www.marefa.org

 

 

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