Impacts of French and Spanish Protectorate
Immediately after the introduction of the French Protectorate, Morocco began to improve economically, politically, and socially.
Prior to French imperial rule, Morocco greatly suffered from their afflicted economic situation. From failing to modernize as efficiently as Europe, Morocco faced huge amounts of debt beginning in the mid-15th century. In attempt to save their nearly-dead economic situation, Morocco gave exclusive trading rights to Europe. From this, foreign occupation and debt increased; Morocco entered bankruptcy. Vulnerable and weak, Morocco was forced to submit to European rule and became a French and Spanish colony. In attempt to grow the French and Moroccan market, France extracted valuable, raw materials from the fertile lands. Through trade, imports, and exports, Morocco began to grow its market and wealth through modern factories, buildings, schools, and government institutions (see images to the right).
The French also brought a huge political impact to Morocco. By acting through a "shadow" government, France was able to preserve the prestige of the sultan, while bringing in French politics. Prior to imperial rule in Morocco, the Moroccan government began to suffer as the economy fell. Within the mid 19th century, there was little order in society and lack of government control. As France brought Morocco towards a more structured government, Morocco was able to thrive politically by obtaining global relationships with other nations; Morocco was able to form alliances, allies, and trading agreements with various nations.
As well as benefiting politically and economically, many Moroccans benefited socially in the new protectorate. Prior to French rule, the Jewish-Moroccan population had little respect in society. Once the protectorate was introduced, the Jewish citizens gained a huge number of rights, adopted French culture, and gained medical benefits, social protection, educational services, and employment opportunities. In Moroccan culture, women and children also gained many benefits; schooling and employment opportunities became an option. As well as the new impacts on society, Moroccans were able to preserve their faith (where nearly 99% of the population identified as Islam). Socially, the French Protectorate allowed Moroccan society to gain many rights and opportunities.
Despite the many benefits gained from the French Protectorate, Morocco suffered a negative environmental impact. The harsh, fast modernization took its toll on Moroccan soil. Mining, farming, pollutants from factories, and waste from construction consequently harmed the land of Morocco. Today, Moroccan cities produce over 2.4 million tons of waste annually.