IV. The Early Modern Period, 1500–1800 > C. The Middle East and North Africa, 1500–1800 > 3. North Africa, 1504–1799 > a. Morocco > 1757–90
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
SULTAN MUHAMMAD III. The dynasty recovered from internal dissension under the direction of Sultan Muhammad III. His governmental innovation consisted of a marked emphasis on decentralization of state authority. Since taxes had previously been collected in order to support a large standing salaried army, Muhammad III sought to recruit a smaller army from local conscripts. He reformed the currency, attempted to gain state revenue from trade, and dispensed with taxes on agriculture. His foreign policy rested on the development of trade and friendship treaties with the European powers.  1
After the reign of Mawlay Isma‘il, successive rulers did not exercise authority over all of Morocco. Parts of the country demonstrated allegiance by the payment of taxes and the provision of troops, and were known as the bilad al-makhzan (“government lands”). On the other hand, in the bilad al-siba (“the lands of no authority”), government control remained tenuous. The size of the two spheres was fluid, varying with the strength of the ruler and his administration.  2
Muhammad III established the port city of Mogador (Essaouira) to serve as an outlet for the Atlantic trade with European countries, which provided the main source of state revenue until the early 20th century.  3
The Portuguese were evicted from Mazagan, their last post in Morocco.  4
1786, June 28
Treaty with the United States, granting the latter diplomatic representation at the consular level, commerce on a most-favored-nation basis, capitulatory privileges, and above all, assurances against Moroccan piracy. American vessels had been vulnerable to pirates since the assertion of independence from Britain, which had negotiated protection for ships carrying its flag. The treaty was renewed on Sept. 18, 1836, for an additional 50 years.  5
SULTAN AL-YAZID. The brief rule of Sultan Muhammad's son threw Morocco into political instability as two of his brothers revolted against him. He was killed in combat with one of them, and his brother Sulayman, who was proclaimed sultan, faced some four years of warfare against three pretenders before he established control of the country. (See Morocco)  6
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.