According to the last census (1951-52), the European population in Morocco was made up of 362,000 individuals, of which 84% were French, the rest Spaniards, Italians and Portuguese. Over a third of the European population is centered in Casablanca. Compared to the first official census (1936) there has been an increase of 160,000 Europeans. The number of Israelites is also considerable, mostly distributed in the major urban centers. If we also consider Spanish Morocco and Tangier, the European population of the country rises to 472,000 units for 1951-52. With the achievement of independence this number has dropped considerably and is estimated at 150,000 units at the beginning of 1959: these are mostly soldiers who are repatriated with their respective families, while in the other professional categories (traders, industrialists and farmers) there were fewer departures. It is the small cities that lose their European population: one quarter of Marrakech; less, of course, Casablanca, where at least 100,000 Europeans remained.
Their departure was the main cause of the industrial crisis, which especially concerns the metallurgical, chemical and textile sectors, while the food sector, for obvious reasons, was the least affected; on the other hand, the sectors mainly aimed at exports have progressed. Moroccan industry is especially directed to the processing of agricultural and fishery products. It has its main centers in Casablanca, Kenitra, Rabat, Fedala, Safi and Tetuán. The largest contribution to exports is provided by the industry devoted to the processing of fishery products. Important are for the milling industry (wheat and barley, the main agricultural products), oil mills and sugar refineries, which however must import raw sugar. L’ textile industry is aimed at covering internal needs, as well as that of footwear. The cement industry is of great importance, linked as it is to the building development of the country. The craftsmanship of carpets and leather plays a significant role in the Moroccan economy, both for exports and for tourists, who are particularly attracted to these products. For Morocco 1998, please check constructmaterials.com.
History. – The Moroccan struggle for the recovery of independence and the reunification of the country was waged in the decade after the second war by the Istiqlāl Party, skilfully supported and in decisive moments led by the sultan, Moḥammed ibn Yūsuf (Mohammed V). Since 1947, in a memorable visit to Tangier, he was able to reaffirm the right to unity and autonomy of the country, and thus attracted the hostility of France, which first (February 1951) snatched from him a disavowal of Istiqlāl, and then (August 1953) he deposed and deported him to Madagascar, raising to the throne one of his docile creature, the sheriff prince Ben ‛Arafa. But these measures did not stop the internal movement for independence; and after having tried the strong way of threats and violence, and the more insidious one of to excite Berber particularism against the sultan and Istiqlāl (headed by the pasha of Marrakech al-Glawi), France also resigned itself to the inevitable for Morocco, and began the negotiations for the liquidation of the Protectorate. In November 1955 Moḥammed ibn Yūsuf triumphantly returned to the throne from exile, and on March 2 of the following year the Sheriff’s Empire regained the appearance of an independent and sovereign state. With the French protectorate repealed on that date, Morocco recovered the Spanish area shortly after (Madrid agreements of April 1956), and in the autumn of the same year also sovereignty over Tangier, whose international status ceased. During the two-year period 1958-59, the military eviction of the two European states already protectors from the Moroccan territory was gradually completed.
Having recovered independence and unity, admitted into the Arab League and the UN, the new Arab state of the extreme Maghreb is facing a vast program of civil modernization and technical progress, which the small elite has enthusiastically set aboutwho led the liberation struggle, and the sovereign himself, now enjoying very high prestige both inside and outside. A delicate problem for the young state is that of neighboring Algeria, whose ongoing struggle is accompanied with fraternal solidarity but without completely breaking the bridges with France, towards which indeed Moroccan offers of good offices and mediation have often been spoken of.. Another controversial point is given by the claims already faced by Morocco towards southern Mauritania, part of the surviving French West Africa. But more than this germinal imperialism, the efforts of the new political leaders (‛Allāl al-Fāsī, sidi Bekkāi, Balafreg, etc.) go to the modern equipment of the country, to the serious economic problems linked to the loss of direct French protection.