This Day in International Law: April 7th

Photo Credit: Sarah C. Murray

 

By Sara Birkenthal

On April 7, 1906, The Algeciras Conference gave France and Spain control over Morocco. The Algeciras Conference took place in Algeciras, Spain from January 16 to April 7. The purpose of the Conference was to find a solution to the Moroccan Crisis of 1905, which arose after Germany tried to keep France from creating a protectorate over Morocco.

The final Act of the Conference outlined a strategy for the organization of Morocco’s police force, and the formation of a State Bank of Morocco. Further, it established the right of Europeans to own land in the country, with taxes put toward public works projects.

The Algeciras Conference may have “resolved” the crisis in Morocco, but it left the country a pawn in the European powers’ quest for land, resources, and cultural capital. Imperialism left Morocco both positive legacies in the form of the development of its transportation, communications, healthcare, and education sectors, and negative legacies, including large wealth disparities and high illiteracy rates. However, Morocco was not deprived of its personality in international law, according to an International Court of Justice statement, and thus remained a sovereign state.