The Barbary Coast 16th-20th centuries

At this time, the Barbary Coast, which is the northern most strip of land in Africa became up for grabs. The 15th and 16th centuries saw a decline in the native Berbers, which opened up space for two European powers- the Spanish and the Turks. The Turks gained power by the end of the 16th century, which allowed Turkish powers to take control of the coast. This area became a protectorate of the Ottoman Empire. The most famous of these pirates was Barbarossa, who quickly took control of Tunisia for Spain, but it was quickly returned to the Ottoman Empire by 1574. The Barbary Coast remained valuable mainly because of piracy, and remained in the Ottoman’s control until around 1830, when the French took over Algeria, and Tunisia. During this time, Morocco has been under rule of their own Sultans, however after the Marinid dynasty, becomes a French protectorate. This is the last colonialization before North African countries gain their independence.  This time period is important to note for it gives a great background on how this land has been so sought after for centuries, and is still referenced today with the amount of political unrest surrounding the legitimacy of borders in Morocco and the Western Sahara.

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