VI. The World Wars and the Interwar Period, 1914–1945 > F. The Middle East and North Africa, 1914–1945 > 3. North Africa
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See 1914, Sept. 11)
3. North Africa
a. Morocco
Publication of decree that divided all lands into alienable and inalienable property. The first category comprised private holdings and all public lands. The second consisted chiefly of collectively owned tribal lands.  1
In 1919 a related decree was issued by which the French sought to reclassify a large part of the collective tribal lands. An office was created to determine what portion of these lands was needed by the tribes. The remainder was turned over to the state, which in practice sold large plots to European settlers. By these methods and others, the amount of land held by the French rose to 675,000 hectares by 1932, most of it lying in fertile plains.  2
Sept. 11
Decree by Resident-General Lyautey empowering local Berber village councils to function as courts and to use their customary law as the official legal code. The French tried to present this policy as a defense of local traditions, but both measures were in fact innovations. In the short term, the French sought to avert possible Berber insurrections as French troops were being moved to fight the Germans. Looking further ahead, the French authorities hoped to foster a separate Berber identity within Morocco and thus create divisions within the local population.  3
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.