|Brave New World|
|Unique unit||Berber cavalry (replaces Cavalry)|
|Ability||Gateway to Africa:|
|Language spoken||Moroccan Arabic|
- Musical Theme: Mawal Gnawi (composed by Michael Curran, orchestrated by Geoff Knorr)
- Music Set: Middle Eastern & African
- Architecture: Middle Eastern
- Spy Names: el-Krim, ibn-Battuta, al-Jazzar, al-Kahina, Hayyuj, Kusayla, al-Idrisi, Salih, Tariq, Dihya
- Preferred Religion: Islam
- Preferred Ideology: Freedom
Morocco's natural culture production lends itself best to pursuing a cultural victory, although other victory conditions are by no means impossible. Their trade routes directed to foreign cities will allow one to develop culture easily and boost economy. Use this to your advantage, especially when you are trading with City-States, because you can still get the extra Culture and Gold while at the same time gaining Influence with them. In case you are trading with other nations, you can use your trade routes as an incentive not to declare war on you, as they risk losing the bonus Gold benefits associated with your Caravans.
In the case of war, the Moroccan Empire is exceptionally good at defending territory. The Kasbah serves as a Fort to bolster their defensive militia, in addition to increasing the potential of desert tiles, in which it will provide additional Food, Gold, and Production for Moroccan cities. It's advisable to build the Petra wonder as soon as possible, as the effects of this wonder stack with the Kasbah on non-flood plain tiles. Furthermore, the Moroccans also have a unique replacement for the Cavalry: the Berber Cavalry, which receives combat bonuses both in desert tiles and their territory tiles, making engagements on their own soil a costly endeavour for even the most dedicated warmongers.
According to the widely travelled American journalist Richard H. Davies (1864-1916), "Morocco is a very fine place spoiled by civilization." Whatever the truth of that statement, today Morocco is one of the most progressive of Muslim states, maintains close economic and cultural ties with the liberal Western nations, yet retains its distinctive cultural identity. Although the area comprising Morocco has been inhabited since antiquity - with settlements founded by Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans and Vandals - the country was first unified following the Berber Revolt (739-743 AD) which overthrew Arab rule. Under successive Islamic caliphates, Morocco dominated the vast Maghreb, a region of Northwest Africa that encompasses the Atlas and Rif mountain ranges, western Sahara, and southern Mediterranean coast. In 1554 AD, the Saadi sultan Mohammed ash-Sheikh claimed sovereignty over the whole of Morocco. Morocco turned back various invasions and incursions by the Europeans and Ottoman Turks during the following century, making it the only Arab country never to experience Ottoman dominance. The 17th century saw the Saadi supplanted by the Alaouite dynasty, which continues to rule as a constitutional monarchy. Despite a fifty-year period as a French and Spanish protectorate, Morocco gained its independence again in 1956 AD.
Climate and TerrainEdit
Much of modern Morocco is mountainous; the Rif Mountains border the Mediterranean from the northwest to the northeast, and the Atlas Mountains run from the northeast to the southwest through the center of Morocco. The western Saharan desert covers most of the southeast portion of the country. The Maghreb is marked by a Mediterranean climate in the north between the Atlas Mountains and the coast and the arid Sahara to the south. Thus, the northern areas of Morocco enjoy cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers, while the Sahara is characterized by extreme heat and a lack of precipitation. The coastal plains have been heavily cultivated since the earliest arrival of human beings in the region. Where the Rif Mountains tend to be barren, covered with grasses and moss, the higher Atlas Mountains were thick with oak, juniper, and cedar forests and many species of game through most of recorded history. By contrast, the Sahara contains only sand dunes and rocky outcrops, broken by the occasional oasis. While other peoples colonized along the rich coastlines, it was the harsh Rif and Atlas mountains that gave rise to the native Berber peoples.
The land that comprises Morocco has been home to humans for hundreds of millennia; the bones of early Homo sapiens uncovered at Jebel Irhoud date to 160 thousand years ago. A Neolithic culture - which would give rise to the Berbers - arose between 6000 BC and 3000 BC in the Maghreb, which was less arid than currently. The Berber language, along with agricultural settlements, came into being in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains and along the Atlantic coast around 2000 BC.
Phoenician traders, exploring the western Mediterranean c. 1200 BC, established settlements along the coast to mine salt and minerals in what is now Morocco. Carthage, expanding westward from its core territories in Tunisia, developed relations with several Berber kingdoms by the 5th century BC. Although Carthage extended its hegemony along most of the North African Mediterranean coast, a powerful Berber kingdom - Mauretania - remained independent. Following the Punic wars, Roman rule replaced Carthaginian and most of the Berber kingdoms, including Mauretania, became Roman vassals. In turn, the decline of Rome in the west brought the Vandals across the straits from Spain in the 5th century AD. Under their great king Genseric and his successors, the seafaring Vandals built an empire upon Roman ruins that reached from the Atlas Mountains to Corsica and Sicily.
The Arabs overran the Maghreb in the latter half of the 7th century, converting the indigenous Berber population to Islam. While local governors were appointed to administer the region, in general the Arab rulers considered the Berbers as little more than a troublesome, conquered people, imposing high taxes and demands for tribute on the tribes. In 740 AD, the Berbers revolted. Begun among the tribes of western Morocco, the rebellion spread across the Maghreb liked wildfire but petered out before the walls of the Arabic fortress city of Kairouan. Nonetheless, the Berbers had established their independence from the Arabs, and neither the Umayyad nor their Abbasid successors were able to re-establish authority over Islam's "wild west" again. Morocco was marked by dozens of small, autonomous Berber kingdoms; meanwhile, the Berbers in these separate kingdoms shaped Islam to their own tastes, ranging from radical Islamic sects to a synthesis of other faiths with Islam.
Morocco quickly became the haven for refugees, radicals, rebels and adventurers from the eastern Arabian caliphate. One of these, Idris ibn Abdallah, made common cause with the Awraba Berbers, to conquer a number of other tribes and found the Idrisid dynasty in 788 AD. His son, Idris II, built a new capital in Fes and Morocco grew into a major power and center of Islamic scholarship.
This "golden age" ended in the early 900s when another group of religious refugees arrived from the east. The Fatimids had seized power in what is now Tunisia, and proceeded to invade Morocco, conquering both the Idrisids and the Sijilmassa kingdom to the south. But the invaders found it impossible to enforce their rule on the Berber tribesmen. The Maghreb fell into chaos, fought over by the Fatimid generals, Idrisid loyalists, Umayyad adventurers, tribal chieftains, and militant religious prophets. In 965 AD the Fatimid caliph al-Muizz brought a massive army into Morocco to impose order, which lasted only until the Fatimids turned their attention to Egypt and their new capital in Cairo.
The Berber DynastiesEdit
After nearly a century of anarchy, Morocco would attain its height of culture and power in the 11th and 12th centuries under a succession of Berber dynasties: the Almoravids, Almohads, Marinids, and Wattasids. Each of these dynasties that would briefly unify Morocco arose in the lands on the southern edge of the Atlas Mountains, was founded by religious reformers, and was each based on loose, competing tribal confederations. Although these kingdoms gave the Berbers some sense of a collective, national identity, none managed to create an integrated political unity in the Maghreb. Despite some brilliant works of culture and learning, the Berber dynasties collapsed in the face of unruly tribes that demanded autonomy and prized individual identity.
The Saadi SultansEdit
The rule of the Saadi dynasty, an Arabic family which claimed direct descent from Mohammed, began in 1554 AD when Mohammed ash-Sheikh defeated the Wattasids and their Berber allies at the Battle of Talda. The Saadi had already captured the Wattasid capital of Fes, and when the last Wattasid ruler died at Talda ash-Sheikh declared himself undisputed sultan of Morocco. His reign was cut short, however, when the Ottomans had him assassinated in 1557 and invaded the country the following year. The Ottoman army was defeated by a coalition of Saadi, Berber and Spanish forces, insuring that the Saadi family would retain control of the throne.
The next in line of succession, Abdallah al-Ghalib (1557-1574 AD), spent his rule consolidating his sovereignty over the unallied Berber tribes, and playing the Spanish off against the Ottomans. Upon his death, a power struggle between his sons ended with the fifth, the extremely able Ahmad al-Mansur, ascending the throne. Born of a Berber mother, he enjoyed unparalleled support among the Berbers and, being a devout Moslem, among the Arabs as well. Enriched by ransom from Portuguese nobles following the Battle of Ksar el-Kabir (the so-called "Battle of the Three Kings") and the invasion of the Songhai Empire across the Sahara, Morocco entered an age of relative peace, artistic and scientific advances, and construction.
Al-Mansur's death of the plague in 1603 AD sparked a war of succession that lasted 24 years, and precipitated the collapse of the Saadi dynasty. Although four subsequent Saadi sultans would rule over reunified Morocco between 1627 and 1659, those years would be marked by a steady loss of territory, wealth and influence.
During the period of unrest following the death of al-Mansur, the Alouite family was able to unite several of the Berber and Bedouin tribes that lived in the area surrounding the oasis at Tafilalt. By 1664, the whole of the Moroccan Sahara and Draa River Valley were under Alouite sovereignty. Two years later, with a small army of tribesmen, Moulay al-Rashid marched into Fes and ended the influence of the zaouia of Dila, a nationalistic Berber movement that controlled much of northern Morocco. In 1669 AD, the last Saadi sultan was overthrown in the fall of Marrakech to al-Rashid, who proclaimed himself sultan of all Morocco.
For 150 years, Morocco thrived under Alouite rule, spurred by modernization, administrative reform, religious tolerance and increasing trade with Europe and the United States. But when sultan Moulay abd al-Rahman ibn Hisham (1822-1859) supported the Algerian independence movement of abn al-Qadir, he was decisively defeated by French forces in 1844. His successors, Muhammed IV and Hassan I, were increasingly drawn into conflict with the European powers. Although the independence of Morocco was supposedly guaranteed by the Conference of Madrid (1880), the French repeatedly interfered in its internal affairs. German efforts to counter French influence in the Maghreb resulted in the First (1905-1906) and Second (1911) Moroccan Crises. In 1912, the Alouite sultans were forced to recognize a French Protectorate of Morocco in the Treaty of Fes in December 1912. Around the same date, the Rif region of northern Morocco was placed under the "protection" of Spain.
European Protectorates and IndependenceEdit
Technically, the protectorates did not deprive Morocco of its status as a sovereign state; the Alouite sultans "reigned but did not rule." In establishing their administration of the country, France had lengthy experience gained by their conquest of Algeria and protectorate over Tunisia. However, there were some crucial differences. For one, the Moroccan protectorate was established less than two years before the outbreak of World War I, which brought new concerns over the morality and challenges of colonial rule. Also, the new French administrators rejected the previous policy of assimilation of the native people; instead, they opted to use urban planning and education to prevent cultural mixing. Finally, Morocco had a thousand-year tradition of independence, based on the fierce individuality of its Berber tribesmen.
The French governors of Morocco allied themselves politically with the tens of thousands of French colons (colonists) that flooded in to buy vast tracts of rich agricultural land. In France itself, political factions supported the most draconian of measures to increase French control. As pacification of the Berbers and nationalists proceeded slowly, the French government sought to force economic development, including the exploitation of Morocco's rich mineral deposits, the creation of a modern transportation system, and investment in a modern agricultural industry aimed to feed the French markets.
The Spanish protectorate was more benign, maintaining the local laws and the authority of local rulers. The fact that the Rif had many enclaves of Sephardic Jews, descendants of refugees from Spain and Portugal in the 1490s, that had profited from commerce between Africa and Iberia over the centuries certainly made Spanish rule more comfortable in terms of language and culture. Nor did the Spanish government encourage their citizens to immigrate to Morocco, although it did encourage investment in Moroccan businesses. In general, with the exception of the period of the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930s, Spanish Morocco was peaceful and profitable for all concerned.
Following years of unrest, urban riots and tribal uprisings, in 1953 the French exiled the beloved Moroccan sultan Mohammed V and replaced him with Mohammed ben Aarafa, whose claim to the throne was universally viewed as illegitimate. Three years later, faced with unified Moroccan resistance and a civil war raging in Algeria, France agreed to negotiate a return to independence for the country. Mohammed V successfully negotiated the gradual restoration of Moroccan sovereignty, agreeing - among other things - to the establishment of a constitutional monarch and a two-chamber parliament to govern. The succeeding Alouite kings continued to forge ever-closer ties with the western democracies, making modern Morocco one of the most stable and liberal of the Muslim nations, with a vibrant culture and economy.
Arabic, one of the two official Moroccan languages, is spoken by roughly two-thirds of the current population; Tamazight, made the second official language in 2011, is the native tongue of the remaining third.
According to legend, the founder of the Alaouite line that today rules in Morocco was brought to the country by the inhabitants of the oasis at Tafilalt to be their new iman. Their hope was that he, being a direct descendant of Mohammed through the Prophet's daughter Fatimah, would bless the yield of their date palms.
In 1777 AD, under Sidi Muhammad ibn Abdallah, Morocco was the first sovereign nation to recognize the United States of America as an independent country.
List of CitiesEdit
- Main article: Moroccan cities (Civ5)