Colonial Mauritania

What is Colonial Mauritania known for?


competing

of trade. From the beginning, French influence, competing with traditional trading partners north and east of Mauritania, came through Senegal. Warner, Rachel. "French Colonial Administration". In Handloff. In 1825 the new Emir of Trarza, Muhammad al Habib, sought to reassert his sovereignty over the French-protected Oualo Kingdom to the south of the Senegal River by marrying the heiress to the kingdom. This action, which French

government was invested in May 1957 and symbolically chose as its new capital Nouakchott, which by design was situated almost exactly between the Senegal River Valley, populated primarily by black farmers, and the Maure stronghold in Adrar. The choice represented a compromise between these two competing areas. It also set the tone for Daddah's approach to Mauritania's political conflicts: compromise and conciliation for the sake of national unity. Warner, Rachel. "The Road


support

this period, there were three ''marabouts'' of great influence in Mauritania: Shaykh Sidiya Baba, whose authority was strongest in Trarza, Brakna, and Tagant (Tagant Region); Shaykh Saad Bu, whose importance extended to Tagant and Senegal; and Shaykh Ma al Aynin, who exerted leadership in Adrar (Adrar Region) and the north, as well as in Spanish Sahara and southern Morocco. By enlisting the support of Shaykh Sidiya and Shaykh Saad against the depredations of the warrior

the central region of southern Mauritania. As Faidherbe had suggested fifty years earlier, the key to the pacification of Mauritania lay in the Adrar. There, Shaykh Ma al Aynin had begun a campaign to counteract the influence of his two rivals—the southern marabouts, Shaykh Sidiya and Shaykh Saad—and to stop the advance of the French. Because Shaykh Ma al Aynin enjoyed military as well as moral support from Morocco, the policy of peaceful pacification gave way to active conquest

. In return for support, Shaykh Ma al Aynin recognized the Moroccan sultan's claims to sovereignty over Mauritania, which formed the basis for much of Morocco's claim to Mauritania in the late twentieth century. In May 1905, before the French column could set out for Adrar, Coppolani was killed in Tidjikdja. thumb Henri Gouraud upright (File:Henri Gouraud Maroc.jpg) With the death of Coppolani, the tide turned in favor of Shaykh Ma al Aynin, who was able to rally many


active program

of the Senegal River. The treaties ending the war extended a French protectorate over Trarza and Brakna, replaced the ''coutume'' with a 3 percent annual rebate (Rebate (marketing)) on the value of gum arabic delivered, and recognized French sovereignty over the northern bank of the Senegal River. In addition to his military ventures, Faidherbe sponsored an active program to undertake geographic studies and establish political and commercial ties. In 1859 and 1860, Faidherbe


commercial ties

of the Senegal River. The treaties ending the war extended a French protectorate over Trarza and Brakna, replaced the ''coutume'' with a 3 percent annual rebate (Rebate (marketing)) on the value of gum arabic delivered, and recognized French sovereignty over the northern bank of the Senegal River. In addition to his military ventures, Faidherbe sponsored an active program to undertake geographic studies and establish political and commercial ties. In 1859 and 1860, Faidherbe


works projects

, and villages. The key figure in the system was the commandant in each cercle, who was almost always a European and who was closest to the indigenous population in his duties of collecting taxes, overseeing works projects, maintaining peace and security, and carrying out administrative decrees. Generally, the subdivisions subordinate to the commandant were manned by Africans. For these positions, the French relied to a great extent on the traditional hierarchy of chiefs or their sons. In keeping


made difficult

clans and in favor of a Pax Gallica, Coppolani was able to exploit the fundamental conflicts in Maure society. His task was made difficult by opposition from the administration in Senegal, which saw no value in the wastelands north of the Senegal River, and by the Saint-Louis commercial companies, to whom pacification meant the end of the lucrative arms trade. Nevertheless, by 1904 Coppolani had peacefully subdued Trarza, Brakna, and Tagant and had established French military posts across


efforts

authorities viewed as a hostile threat, combined with the emir's efforts to sell gum arabic to the British, brought a strong French reaction. Although the Maures were able to lay siege to Saint-Louis, a large French expeditionary force defeated the emir's forces. The French concluded that to secure the continuing profitability of the gum arabic trade, they would have to forcibly occupy the northern bank of the Senegal River. File:Louis Léon César Faidherbe portrait.jpg

of Senegal, the relative calm created in the Chemama and southern Mauritania through Faidherbe's efforts came to an end. The Maures resumed their traditional practices of internecine (wikt:internecine) warfare and pillaging villages in the Chemama. In virtual control of the colonial administration, the commercial companies of Saint-Louis sold arms to the Maures, while at the same time outfitting French punitive missions. Scientific expeditions into Mauritania became increasingly subject to attack

, the French acquired responsibility for governing the vast territory of Mauritania. French Colonial Policy From the time of the French Revolution in 1789, the two main characteristics of French colonial policy in West Africa were the quest for international prestige and the cultural assimilation of indigenous populations (Assimilation (French colonial)). France's efforts to build a colonial empire (French colonial empire) may be considered a reaction to British


1957

image_map2_caption capital Saint-Louis (Saint-Louis, Senegal) (1903–1957) Nouakchott (1957–1960) capital_exile latd latm latNS longd longm longEW national_motto national_anthem La Marseillaise   National anthem of Mauritania (instrumental only) common_languages

government was invested in May 1957 and symbolically chose as its new capital Nouakchott, which by design was situated almost exactly between the Senegal River Valley, populated primarily by black farmers, and the Maure stronghold in Adrar. The choice represented a compromise between these two competing areas. It also set the tone for Daddah's approach to Mauritania's political conflicts: compromise and conciliation for the sake of national unity. Warner, Rachel. "The Road

minorities met in Dakar, Senegal, in 1957 and created the Union of the Inhabitants of the River Valley to fight for minority rights against Maure domination. Further impeding national unity was the inclusion of French officials in the key ministries of finance and economic planning. Daddah was educated in France and, having just returned to Mauritania to form the government, had not been involved in the rivalries and struggle for power. His consequent congeniality toward


great political

of the assimilationist doctrine. The Brazzaville Conference was the beginning of great political and social change that was to sweep Mauritania and other French African States to independence in less than seventeen years. Postwar Reforms Only slightly developed and long neglected, Mauritania played no role in the rising nationalism in the AOF after World War II. The 1946 constitution (Constitution of France#Past constitutions) of the French Fourth Republic


close ties

of Mauritanian Resistance. With the support of many Maures inside Mauritania, this group supported Morocco's claims to Mauritania and, by extension, Morocco's opposition to Mauritanian independence. To counterbalance the pro-Moroccan sympathies of many Maures, southern minority groups formed a regional party, the Gorgol Democratic Bloc, committed to the prevention of a Maghribi union and to the maintenance of close ties with black African countries. Intellectuals from various black

between north and south. The dominance of traditional elements favoring close ties with France led, however, to the end of unity. Progressive youth leaders, excluded from decision making at the party congress convened at Nouakchott in July 1958, defected and formed a new opposition party, the Mauritanian National Renaissance Party (Nahda) with Ahmed Baba Miské as secretary general. The Nahda platform called for total and immediate independence from France and a rapprochement

Colonial Mauritania

The period from the mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries is the '''colonial period in Mauritania'''.

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