The Economic and Political Order of Colonial Morocco

Stacy E. Holden

in The Politics of Food in Modern Morocco

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780813033730
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039398 | DOI:
The Economic and Political Order of Colonial Morocco

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After the protectorate's establishment in 1912, the French ruled on behalf of the Alaouites, incorporating Fez's elite in local and national government. To prevent social unrest among common peoples, the French also created employment programs in order to ensure workers' access to affordable food. By providing colonized workers with opportunities to earn money, however, colonial policies unintentionally fostered social mobility. Some workers assumed the outward trappings of notables, like home ownership. Ultimately, building projects in the medina revealed emerging class tensions in Morocco. Fez's elite advocated a modern city, with wide roads for cars and houses designed by French architects, while workers supported a colonial vision of Fez as a medieval relic relying on the work of independent artisans. This chapter reevaluates the policy of association, showing how the French defended the economic interests of workers against initiatives by the elite with whom they forged a formal political partnership.

Keywords: political partnership; Alaouites; French; social unrest; Fez

Chapter.  10706 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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