A Brief History of Morocco
Morocco has been inhabited since before Paleolithic times possibly as early as 150,000 BC. In the early Classical Period (around 450 – 350 BC) numerous trading colonies and settlements were established. This was due to its close proximity to Europe across the Gibraltar Straits and because Morocco has a coastline on both the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.
The Carthaginians (based in North Africa and were the renowned rivals of the Romans) gained control of the area for a short period before it came under Roman influence when Christianity was introduced. However, under the Berber Kings, most notably King Bocchus I, an independent nation state was established.
Arab immigration and the Muslim faith were brought by Islamic conquests along the North African coastline in the later part of the First Millennium AD. Later, the Portuguese established trading posts along the Atlantic coastline bringing European influences to the country.
In the 16th Century, under the Sharifian Dynasties, the Ottoman and Portuguese incursions were driven out and by the mid-17th century the country was once again unified.
However, at the beginning of the 20th century the region came under the control of the French and the Spanish who were both carving out overseas territories in an effort by European countries to develop empires for themselves.
After the Second World War, European influence in overseas countries waned and by 1956 Morocco had re-established itself as an independent country holding its first democratic election in 1963.