Tunisia as described in Historic Encyclopedias



Brockhaus 1809-1811, Pierer 1857-1865, Meyer 1902-1909





Brockhaus Conversations-Lexikon 1809-1811, Article : Tunis
Tunis, one of three north African republics, bordering in the east on Tripoli, in the west on Algiers, in the north on the Mediterranean, is a bit smaller than Tripoli, consists of Tunis proper and the region El Sherid. In regard to soil and climate this state has much similarity with Tripoli (see there). The head of the republic is elected by the inhabitants, mainly the militia. His title is Bey, but he has a Turkish Pasha at his side, as it is under the protection of the Ottoman Porte. The capital, Tunis, is located where Carthago once was, has 200,000 inhabitants and many factories, where linen, cloth, velvet and silk are produced, also considerable trade, mainly with the French. French trading factories here flourish; in 1788 the value of French imports was 947,537 Livres, hat of exports 5,024,763 Livres. By the way, the main occupation of the population is piracy.
source B in German, posted by Zeno


Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865

Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865, Article : Tunis (1)
Tunis, state in Barbary in Africa, borders in the north and east on the Mediterranean Sea, in the west on Algiers, in the south of Tripoli, has 125 miles of coast and an area of 3700 square miles. The condition of the coastal stretch in the east is mainly flat, sandy and infertile. in the north steep masses of rocks rise, only here and there separated from the sea by a flat stretch of land. In the interior in the northern and western part of the country mountain formations, which partially rise high and steep, which all extend in a direction from southwest to northeast, and which often are forested. To the south follows the plain of Medjerda and Milianah Rivers, in the south of which follows another mountain range, the continuation of the Algerian Auras Mountains. This zone rises to an elevation of 7000 feet and in the east borders in part on the swampy plain of Qairawan, in part on Cape Bon which forms the eastern limit of Tunis Bay. Parts of this mountain range are called Jabal Usselata, Jabal Siti, Jabal Suk el Arbar, further to the south Jabal Selloum, Jabal Halouk, Jabal el Mekhila, Jabal Toniach. To the south of these mountain masses, as the fourth zone follow the deserty, rocky plain of data palm country, or the Tunisian Sahara, at the lowest parts of which salt lakes (Shott el Kebir) appear, continuations of the Melrir. Among the many promontoriest those most noteworthy in the north are Cape Negro, Cape Blanco, Cape Sebib, Cape Bon, Cape Carthago, in the east : Ras el Melha, el Mustafa, Monastir and Kabudia. Among the bays the most important is Tunis Bay, in the east Heraclea Bay and Kabas Bay (the Little Syrte). The most important islands off the coast are Pantellaria and Lampedusa (belonging to Italy), Galita (which the French claim as being Algerian), Tabarka, Kerkina and Jerba. The climate is healthy in general, namely along the coasts, its heat is tempered by sea winds, but occasionally hot southern winds are burdensome. The rainy season begins in October and lasts into January, even into April, when good harvests are taken in. Products : those of Barbary, see there and compare Algeria and Tripoli. The mountains provide silver, copper, lead and mercury. Produced are wheat, grain, legumes, oil, wax, citrus fruit, dates (for these a special market in Toger), corals, timber for shipbuilding, livestock keeping (cattle, sheep, camels, horses, these of special endurance and speed); the mountains and forests are rich in game. Agriculture is not conducted much, but the fertile banks of the Medjerda are well cultivated. The population is estimated at 3 million, mostly Moors and Arabs, also 160,000 Jews, 7000 Turks and 7000 Europeans. Religion is Islam. Constitution : by name Tunis is a Turkish province, despite the Sublime Porte here having no authority, and it not even collecting tribute. At the helm of the state stands a hereditary Bey (since 1706 from the family of a renegade, since 1859 Sidi Sadok). In 1842 slave trade was abolished, slavery in 1849. On September 9th 1857 the Bey gave the country a constitution, in which among others all religious parties and faiths are granted freedom of religion; see below p.933. The Divan, which advises the Bey, shall have little influence. The revenues may amount about 3 million Florin, and mainly consist of a number of monopolies and of the taxes. The army consists of 12,000 men regular infantry, 800 men regular lancers, 1 regiment artillery with 40 pieces, further it is said that there ae 16,000 men irregular cavalry. The navy consists of 2 corvettes, 3 briggs, 5 schooners and 10 canon boats. Arts and sciences are of a low level. Industry : wool weaving, procesing of leather and soap. Trade on land and sea is important (total sales in 1843 almost 9 million Florin, slightly over half came on exports). The rich products, as well as the artificial products (Tunisian woven caps, called Fez, highly sought after) provide sufficient opportunity. Introduced are : European fabricated products, cleaning utensils, fine linen, sugar, coffee, iron and other metals, dyes, fruit compots, fresh food, Indian wares, opium, glass, slaves from European, Egyptian and Asiatic ports. Trade is promoted by treaties with European powers, which permit ships from the respective countries to enter the port of Tunis, and which safeguard them from acts of robbery.
Currency, Measures and Weights : ...

source in German, posted by Zeno

Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865, Article : Tunis (2)
Tunis, History. The territory of Tunis is the region surrounding ancient Carthago. When the once fortified and important city of Tunes, located on the mouth of River Katada, 10 miles from Carthago, was destroyed, a part of the popelation settled about 2 miles further to the west, in present Tunis. Since the conquest of Africa by the Arabs, Tunis came under the Caliphs, which were represented by stadholders, which were engaged in a constant struggle with the Moors. Under the Almoravids in the middle of the 11th century, a son of the Moor Abelchit took control of Tunis, and as he recognized the sovereignty of the ruler of Morocco, Yusuf Abu Tassin, the latter charged him with the administration of the district of Tunis, and the Abelchites ruled as vassals of the Almoravids until this dynasty was toppled, but under the Almohads they were expellede by Almansor at the end of the 12th century, and stadholders were appointed for Tunisia. As the power of the Almohads declined, the stadholders in Tunisia were pressed by the Arabs, until Abu Hafsi of Sevilla landed in 1206, took Tunis, and found an understanding with the Arabs as he left them a part of his revenues. Since the Hafsids held on to Tunisia. Abu's successor was his son Abu Zakarieh Vahia, who constructed the citadel of Tunis, expanded his empire at the expense of Tripoli, and undertook expeditions into the interior of the country. In 1249 he was followed by his son Mostanser Billah. In 1270 King Louis the Saint of France landed in Africa and defeated the Tunisian troops, only after Louis' death Mostanser concluded peace with Philipp the Bold, repelled an attempt of Abu Saith Athman, the last offspring of the Almohads, to regain Tunis, and died in 1267. His sons were murdered by his brother Abu Ishak, and the latter succeeded him. The most famous ruler of this dynasty was Abu Ferez. Using the conflict between the Marinids in Fez and theZianids in Tlemcen, he forced Tlemcen to pay tribute and achieved the recognition of unisian suzerainty by Fez. He took on he title King of Tunis and held a magnificent court with 11 court offices, equal to those of the Moroccan court. The conflicts his successors had with Fez (which gained in strength) weakened the power of the Hafsids. Cardinal Ximenes in 1509 undertook an expedition against Africa, conquered the most prominent coastal places and forced the kings of Algiers and Tunis to pay tribute to Spain. After the death of the last king, his sons al Rashid and Mulay Hassan fought over rule, and the latter pushed out the former, but again was expelled by Khaireddin Barbarossa, of whom al Rashid had requested aid. But Barbarossa had al Rashid arrested and sent to Constantinople. Barbarossa oppressed the Christians. Emperor Charles V. granted the aid requested by Mulay Hassan, in 1535 he landed near Tunis with a fleet of 500 sails and 30,000 men, defeated Barbarossa in battle, conquered Goletta and Tunis, liberated 20,000 Christian slaves and restored Mulay Hassan to the throne, but held on to Goletta and suzerainty. In 1570 the Turks reconquered Tunis. After the Naval Battle of Lepanto (1572) Juan d'Ausria retook it from them again, but already in 1574 the Turkish Admiral Sinan took it again. He was appointed Pasha of Tunis, as a vassall of the Sublime Porte, to rule absolute with the aid of 5,000 Janissaries, only advised by a Divan composed of the most respected officers presided by an Aga. After Sinan's death in 1576 the Aga deprived Sinan's successor Kilik Ali of the power. The Turkish militia now elected a Dey as holder of supreme authority, but deposed and murdered the first after brief rule; the second, Ibrahim, after 4 years voluntarily abdicated; under the third, Kara Osman, Bey Morat usurped power without completely pushing aside the Dey. After a victory over the Algerians, Morat had himself proclaimed Pasha, and after the death of Kara Osman had the candidate of his choice elected Dey, exercised all power and made it hereditary in his family. The hereditary Bey now made the elected Dey dependent. Morat I. successor, Amuda, ruled in peace. Only during the common rule of Morat II. and Mehmed Lassy, the grandsons of Morat I., the Divan deposed the Dey appointed by both brothers, a civil war broke out which lasted until the deah of Morat II. in 1675. His sons, Mehmed and Ali fought over the position of Bey, but made up when the Dey Ahmad Chalabi turned against both, and aided by the Algierians they moved against Tunis, which, held by the Dey, surrendered after seven months of siege on May 30th 1686. The Algerians who regarded themselves as conquerors oppressed the Tunisians, and so an insurrection broke out in which Ali was killed. The Dey Ahmad Chalabi, by paying a sum, succeeded in gaining his release by the Algerians, he left Algiers, but then implemented the worst extortions of his subjects. The Dey of Algiers, called in by the Tunisians, overpowered Ahmad in 1694 in battle and expelled him. He confirmed the constitution, in 1707 he confirmed the title iof Bey being hereditary in Morad's family, but forced Tunis to recognize his suzerainty and to pay an annual tribute. The condition of prosperity which Tunis now entered resulted in a decline of piracy, peace treaties were concluded with many European countries, which protected the latter, for a so-called present in form of a sum of money, against the danger of piracy, so with England at the beginning of the 18th century (repeatedly renewed), with Austria in 1725, with Sweden in 1736, by the mediation of France in 1756 even with Malta. The latter treaty, and negligence in the payment of tribute, in 1757 caused another war with Algiers, in which he Bey of Tunis, Ali Pasha, was defeated, the city stormed and plundered, and all European warehouses destroyed. The dependence on Algiers became stricter, the constitution remained unaltered. The state annualy gave presents to the Sultan, and paid tribute to the Dey of Algiers. Piracy only ocurred if the Dey was in a conflict with the European powers because of the usual presents, so with Venice in 1783, when Venice took possession of Tunisian ships and bombarded Susa and Difeart in 1785 and 1786. Peace was only concluded in 1792, and payment was made for part of the Dey's demands. In 1800 there were brief animosities with Denmark, which had entered into a conflict with Algiers, which is why ships sailing out from Tunis seized Danish ships.
Of great impact was the shock caused by the French conquest of Algiers. Already on August 8th 1830 Tunis was coerced into signing a treaty, in which it promised to abolish piracy and slavery, the payment of 800,000 Francs to France and the cession of the island of Tabarca, which once was Genoese. In 1831 General Claudel attempted to use Tunis as a base for the conquest of the Algerian border provinces for France,; he concluded a treaty with Tunisia which placed 30,000 Africans under French command. The plan failed because of the resistance of the Tunisians, and it was declared invalid by the French government. On May 20th 1835 the Bey of Tunis, Sidi Hussein, and his brother Sidi Mustapha took his place. He leaned closer on Turkey to secure his position vis-a-vis France, but died already in 1837. He was succeeded by his son Sidi Ahmad, who engaged in construction projects and who expanded his army to 25,000 men, which resulted in confrontations between him and the Sublime Porte; in July 1842 a Turkish frigate, accompanied by a British corvette, appeared on the roadsted of Tunis with a Turkish emissary, which delivered an ultimatum to the Bey which demanded him to implement the treaties applying in all parts of the Ottoman Empire, to abolish all trade monopolies, and to reduce his guard o 1500 men. The Sublime Porte promised to send the necessary reinforcements in the case of war. He was to annually report on revenues and expenses and to hand over the budget surplus. At first the Bey rejected these demands, but by the intervention of the powers was forced to give in. A conflict which arose between Tunis and ardinia in 1844 because of the export of grain was settled by the mediation of Britain and France. Ahmad Bey took a stand against slave trade. While every child born to a slave from 1843 on was to be free, early in 1846 an edict was published according to which the negroes in the entire Tunisian state were declared free, and any foreign slave, in the moment he stepped on Tunisian soil, also should be free. In 1845 Ahmad Bey was confirmed in his position for life; only if he died without an heir, the Sultan claimed the right to appoint a successor. In order to decrease his dependence of the Sublime Porte, the Bey tried to introduce European customs and institutions, and in order to achieve this aim, he even appointed an Italian, Count Rasso, as his minister. In 1846 he visited the King of France, to assure his protection (see under Turkish Empire, History). During the Oriental War in 1854 he supplied an auxiliary corps of 10,000 men, which did not see action. After his death on June 1st/2nd 1855, his eldest son Sidi Mohamad took over. Relations with Turkey remained the same. A proclamation of June 1856 announced taxation to be reformed, taxes to be lowered, the army to be reduced in size. Trade, namely wih Austria, increased, and the Bey focussed his attention on the currency. All circulating gold coins were collected and recasted in coins of 5 Tunisian Piaster (3 Franc 15 centimes French, 1 Piaster of 63 centimes or 5 Silbergroschen). But he population was dissatisfied, in part with the reforms hated by religious purists, in part because the taxation pressure. One indicator was rising emigration to Algeria. The Moorish population was especially intolerant. In June 1857 the Jews suffered persecution. The European consuls jointly urged the Bey to change both constitution and legislation in such a way, that such an incident could not be repeated. The Bey then had published the main points of he Tanzimat, with the power of laws : that criminal and civil courts were established, consisting of boh Christian and Muslim judges, freedom of trade and industry, protection of property and of persons, equality in front of the law, equal taxation, freedom of religion, introduction of conscription and determination of the term of service. Those who disturbed the peace, and those who instigated the former to act against Jews and Europeans, the Bey had punished severely. During the unrest a squadron of French naval vessels under Admiral Trehouart appeared off Tunis, and on August 29th a British squadron under Admiral Lyons arrived there, in order to balance French influence with Austrian support. Britain and Austria here pursud coinciding interests : Britain, because in case of a French acquisition of Tunis, ripoli and Egypt would follow soon after, which would result in Gibraltar and Malta losing in imortance; Austria, because a large number of Italian, especially Neapolitan refugees was living in Tunis, and if Tunis would become French, these could, from there, quickly return to Italy, and because the vivid trade of Austria with Tunis would have to end, as soon as the latter would share the fate of Algiers. Already earlier, when a new system of export and import tariffs was introduced, a tithe on grain and oil was introduced, as was a tax on fruit trees. 3 Piaster head tax have to be paid every month by the villages, a somewhat higher amount in Tunis, Ifar, Susa, Qairawan and Monastir. A special blood tax has to be paid in case of murder. Private individuals, upon the payment of a fee, were permitted to sell salt and tobacco. The Tunisian constitution, which had come about with the support of the British and French consul general, the stipulations of which were not only beneficial to foreigners, but also to he indigenous, in most satisfactory way approached the European way of government. France's influence continued to dominate in Tunisia; to this influence the dispatch of a Tunisian fleet to Piemont in the Austrian-Italian War is to be credited (June 1859); however the fleet returned without having participated in the war. On September 22nd 1859 Bey Sidi Mohamad Pasha died, and his successor Sidi Sadok succeeded. The situation remained calm, and Sisi Sadok was enthroned on September 24th. On August 19th 1860 he proclaimed the Hatti Sharif of February 18th 1856, in which the rights and privileges of the Non-Muslims were protected. It seems that the new Bey only reluctantly accepts the new order introduced in 1856 and 1857, but in April 1861 in a sesson attended by he representatives of the Christian powers he swore to remain faithful to the new constitution, and the five highest state officials and the ulamas swore the same oath. In consequence, the Christians and Jews in Tunisia enjoy an undisturbed residence in Tunisia, which more and more approaches European civilization.

source in German, posted by Zeno


Meyers Grosses Conversations-Lexikon 1902-1909

Meyers Grosses Conversations-Lexikon 1902-1909, Article : Tunis (1)
Tunis (Tunisia), by the Arabs called Ifrikiya, once a vassall state of the Turkish Empire in North Africa, since 1881 French protectorate, located between the Mediterranean Sea, Tripolis and Algeria, 167,400 square km with 1.5 to 1.8 million inhabitants. Of the 651 km long coastal stretch the east is flat, sandy and infertile, the north high, steep and rocky, with many promontories (Cape Blanc, Bon). From northeast, the Guld of Tunis protrudes, from the east the Gulfs of Hammamet and Gabes (Little Syrte); off the latter lie the islands Kerkenah and Jerba. By geomorphology 4 regions can be distinguished : (1) the mountainous Tell, with forests, fields of maize and pastures, (2) the coastland Sahel with olives, once of great fertility, which justifies great hopes for the future, (3) he plateaus (Jabal Makhila 1477 m), with grain, cattle and halfa (one third not suited for cultivation), (4) the Tunisian Sahara, lacking water except for the oases. Between the shotts Gharsa (-21 m) and El Jerid (perhaps Lacus Tritonis of the Romans) the landscape Bilad ul Jarid, rich in date palms, stretches. Most creeks and rivulets from the mountains (which are rich in springs) end in the sand, or are only coastal rivers of such a short length that none of them is navigable. The most important one is the Medjerda which feeds into the Mediterranean near Porto Farina, and which increases the fertility of the banks by the deposition of mud. Next to it come the Wadi al Kabir and Wadi al Miliana. The large plains in the interior are very arid. Geologically Tunisia connects to Algeria. A number of volcanic formations disregarded, along the coast, westward from the island Galita onward toward the border of Algeria, the northern mountains, a continuation of the High Atlas, consist of strongly folded Jurassic, Crestacean and Eocene Nummulite limestone. The characteristic of the Tunisian Atlas is the rippedness, geologically as well as orographically, which is explained by the fact that the main pressure from the north was accompanied by weaker pressure from the east. Miocene deposits are found in the area of the shotts, mineral springs near Tunie (Hammam al Anf), at Gurbos, Tozer and Gafsa. Mineral products on the coast salt, salpetre near Qairawan, zinc and lead ores at many locations, especially at Jabal Resas (lead mountain) near Tunis and at Jebba in the Korra Mountains. Iron ore near Tabarka, copper and mercury near Ouled Sultan, gold in the sand near Sidi Bussaib near Carthago, phosphorite at Jabal Nasser Allah south of Qairawan, near Gafsa, Zaghuan etc. The northeastern part of Tunisia is the most fertile. The climate shos great contrasts, depending on the location. Four zones are distinguished : the coast, higher plateaus, lower plateaus and oases. On the coast the climate is moderate, regular and healthy. The winter compares to our spring, in he summer under the influence of hot desert winds the thermometer rises above 40 degrees Celsius. Tunis : average annual temperature 19.6 degrees Celsius, January 11.3 degrees, April 18.1, July 27.3, October 21.7, but during the winter there are occasional cold spells. In Souk al Jamaa (1058 m) the average annual temperature is 13.9 degrees, January 3.9, occasional cold spells -7 degrees Celsius. Annual rainfall : on the coast 70 cm, in the interior less, but dew is of significance. From October to April frequent rainfall.
The vegetation has Mediterranean character. Here grow, next to low palms (Chamaerops), agavas, tamarinds and ficus species (Acanthodactylus, Varanus, Agama etc.) data palms and bananas, oranges, pomegranades, almonds, olives, carob bean trees etc. The previously badly damaged forests the French attempt to reforest. Tunis zoogeographically belongs to the Mediterranean Subegion of the Paleoarctic Region. Among the mammals are characteristic the jerboa, among the birds a few birds of prey .., among the amphibians a number of lizards and snakes (Coctopeltis, Psammophis Zamenis). The population 1.5 to 1.8 million strong, except for 60,000 Jews and 90,000 Christians, consists of Muslims, Berbers and Arabs (frequently mixed). The Jews (mostly from Spain and Portugal) mostly live in the cities and enjoy the same rights as anyone else. In 1901 there were Frenchmen 24,200, Italians 67,400, Maltese 12,000, Spaniards, Greeks, Swiss, Austrians etc. 3200, Europeans in total just over 100,000. The 144 public French schools in 1905 were visited by 20,377 students; in addition there are Muslim schools (the school of the large mosque with 700 students). Of the total area 47 % are fertile land, 10 % highland steppe, 43 % desert. In 1905, 1,059,000 ha were under cultivation. Tunisia is an agricultural economy. The date harvest of the Bilad al Jarid is one of the most important sources of revenue. Further are produced : wheat, oats, maize, barley, sorgho, beans, olive oil, wine. The revenues of state forests (in 1905 estimated at 134,000 ha) were about 1 million Franc. Livestock numbers in 1904 were 35,596 horses, 113,985 donkeys and mules, 183,748 head of cattle, 1,094,761 sheep, 574,261 goats, 147,229 camels, 15,357 hogs, but decreases significantly in 1905 due to the drought. The cathch of fish in 1905 : anchovis 173,815 kg., sardines 136,043 kg., tuna 1,932,000 kg., allasch 939,268 kg., sponges 1906 150,619 kg, polyps 163,956 kg., is namely conducted by Italians. The mining industry produces lead and zinc (in 105 exports for 5 million Francs), but mainly phosphates from the 60 km long deposits of Gafsa and the newly accessed deposits of Kalaa-Djerda and Kalaa es-Senam (13 million Francs). The industry produces red caps (Fez), baskets, carpets, silk and wool wares, earthenware. New is the flourishing domestic mill industry; now grain can be processed in the country. The groeing trade (it doubled in the last 10 years) is mainly concentrated in the cities Tunis (Goletta), Biserta, Mehdia, Sfaks, Susa and Djerba. Imports (in 1904 for the first time no increase, which has to be attributed to high import tariffs on foreign flour and grain) in 1905 was 90,954,168 Francs (from France and Algeria 56,701,339 Fr.), exports 58,276,583 Francs (to France and Algeria 31,377,072 Fr.). Imported are cottonwares, iron, lead, manufactured goods, wine, spirits, sugar, coffee etc.; from the Sudan senna, ostrich feathers, rubber, ivory. Exported are olive oil (6.3 million Fr.), livestock, wine, tanning liquids, skins, halfa, fish, mining producs. Tobacco, salt (over 1/2 million kg), arms, powder, matches and playing cards are state monopoly.
Currency, measures and weights : ...
The 19 ports of the regency in 1906 were visited by 13,416 vessels with 3,566,661 tons, among them 3727 steamers of 3,412,472 tons, under French flag 2286 vessels with 1,682,868 tons, Tunisian 8429 sailboats with 86,867 tons. The otal length of the railroads is 960 km, that of the telegraph lines 3445 km .. with 137 offices. The postal service (349 offices) in 1904 delivered 9,290,088 domestic and 20,286,684 international items. Overseas cables connect Tunisia with Algeria and Europe. The Bey, by the Treaty of Kasr al Said (May 12th 1881, added to June 8th 1883), is under French protection and receives an annual pay of 1,712,700 Francs. The administration is completely in French hands; under the French ministry of foreign affairs a French resident general presides over a cabinet of 9 ministers (2 Arabs). The regency is divided in 13 districts under civil administration, 2 military districts and one military post. The larger cities have a municipal constitution following the French model. Ruling Bey and "Proprietor of the Kingdom of Tunis" is Sidi Mohamad, who has an honour guard consisting of infantry, cavalry and artillery. The French troops number 14,700 men (including 700 officers). A number of naval vessels are stationed off Tunis. Biserta has been developed into a naval port of first rank. According to the budget of 1905 the revenues (customs tariffs, taxes, monopolies) were 30.12 million Francs, the expenses 30.02 million Francs; public debt 12.38 million Francs. ..
History. In antiquity, Tunes was outshadowed by Carthago and without importance. In 255 B.C. near Tunes the Roman Regulus was defeated by the Carthaginian Xanthippos. Only after the destruction of Carthago by the Arabs in 699 Tunis did rise. It belonged to the Empire of Qairawan, since 1100 to Morocco. Since 1140 the Almohads ruled, since 1260 the Merinids, over a Tunisia which was flourishing. In 1270 King Louis IX. of France led the 7th crusade against Tunis, but died during the siege. In 1533 Khaireddin Barbarossa took control of Tunis, but in 1535 it was conquered by Emperor Charles V., who plundered the ciy and liberated 20,000 Christian slaves. On September 29th 1574 Tunis was conquered by the Turkish Admiral Sinan Pasha, who was granted it as an Ottoman fief. After his death his successor was deprived of the rule of Tunis by Kilik Ali the Boluk Bashi. The Turkish militia now elected a Dey as the person exercising the supreme authority, but deposed and murdered most of them after only a brief period in office. Under Kara Osman, the Bey Murad (in the beginning only an official charged with the collection of taxes and tribute) took control of power, and made it hereditary in his family, keeping the elected Deys in his dependence. Murad Bey's descendants ruled for a century, expanding their power in the hinterland and by piracy. But they paid tribute to the Dey of Algiers.
The present dynasty of Tunis began in 1705 with Hussein Ben Ali. Palace revolutions, Janissary rebellions and court intrigues since have happened frequently. After he French conquest of Algiers Tunis at first supported Abd el-Kader, but already in the treaty of August 8th 1830 it promised abolition of piracy and slavery and the cession of Tabarka island. Bey Sidi Mustapha 1835-1837, who followed his brother Sidi Hussein leaned more on Turkey. Sidi Mustapha's son Sidi Ahmad engaged in construction projects and increased his army, but was forced by the Porte with intercession of the great powers to reduce his army and to report annually to Constantinople. He was followed in 1855 (until September 23rd 1859) by his oldest son Sidi Muhammad, who promoted trade. The pogrom against Jews of 1857 caused the European consuls to intervene, with the support of the British and French consul general liberal legislation was enacted and the administration reformed. Muhammad's brother Muhammad es-Sadok in 1861 even gave the country a constitution. But he lived in too much luxury and imitated the institutions of the great powers. Only fractions of the loans reached the state treasury, but caused an increased pressure by taxation. Es-Sadok finally had to stop the payment of interest on state debt (275 million Francs). This provided the cause in 1869 for an intervention which strove to make the financial administration of Tunis dependent on France. France, together with Britain, Italy and Prussia, brought about European cntrol over Tunisian finances; by the cession of customs revenues the interests of a stae debt reduced to 125 million Francs was taken care of. Relations of Tunis with the Porte, on the suggestion of Khaireddin Pasha was regulated during the Franco-German War on October 25th 1871 in such a way that the Sultan wavered his claim for tribute, while Tunis recognized his suzerainty and accepted not to wage any war without his approval, would not enter into any diplomatic negotiations with foreign powers without his approval etc. In 1877 the Bey supported the Sultan in his war with Russia with money and troops. The maladministration of the economy under minister Mustapha bin Ismain only got worse. Among the foreigners the Italians gained in importance. This caused France in 1881, using an incursion by the rapacious Krumirs as a pretext, to force the Bey to sign the Treaty of Bardo on May 12th, which placed Tunis under a French protectorate. In 1882 the administration was organized in French manner. The French resident general became prime minister and the real master of the country; a French garrison secured the possession. The Treaty of Mansa June 8th 1883 gave the French full powers to implement reforms and manage the finances. The Bey (Oct. 28th 1882 to June 11th 1902 Sidi Ali, June 12th 1902 to May 11th 1906 his son Sidi Muhammad al-Hajji, since May 12th 1906 his cousin Muhammad al-Nasser, the son of a younger brother of Sidi Ali Bey, born in 1856) receives payment for a civil list of 1,712,700 Francs. The capitulations and consular jurisdiction were abolished in 1884, the administration of private domains, the civil list of the Bey, and of the state domains allocated to he crown were placed in the care of a French administrator at the end of June 1902. In July 1903 Tunis was included in the area where the French law on clubs and societies of July 1st 1901 is valid.
See : Hesse-Wartegg, Tunis, Land und Leute, Wien 1882, Fitzner, Die Regentschaft Tunis, Berlin 1895, Tissot, Exploration scientifique de la Tunisie, Paris 1884-1888, 2 vols., with atlas, Faucon, La Tunisie avant et depuis l'occupation française, Paris 1892, 2 vols., Vuillier, La Tunisie, Tours 1896, "La Tunisie", vols.1,2, histoire et description, Paris 1896, vols.3,4 agriculture, industrie etc. (2nd edition 1900), "La Tunisie au debut de XXe siecle" (Paris 1904), Schanz, Algerien, Tunesien, Tripolianien, Halle 1905, Schönfeld, Aus den Staaten der Barbaresken, Berlin 1902, Pervinquiere, Etude geologique de la Tunisie centrale, Paris 1903, Thomas, Essai d'un description geologique de la Tunisie, vol.1 Paris 1907, Clarin de la Rive, Histoire generale de la Tunisie, Paris 1895, Loth, Histoire de la Tunisie, Paris 1898, Vivian, Tunisia and the modern Barbary pirates, London 1899, Broadley, The Last Punic War, Tunisia Past and Present, Edinburgh 1882, 2 vols., "L'expedition militaire en Tunisie 1881-1882", official, Paris 1881-1882, Sladen, Carthago and Tunis, London 1906, 2 vols., "Guide Annuaire Tunisien" (since 1891), tour guides by Joanne-Jacqueton and others (Paris), Conty (Paris), Cook (London), in German by Spatz (1902), Friedberger (Tunis 1906); maps by Kiepert (1:800,000), Perrier (1:200,000, issued by the French ministry of war 1884-1886); Mager, Atlas d'Algerie et Tunisie Paris 1900, Babelon, Cagnat and Reinach, Atlas archeologique de la Tunisie, Paris 1893f.

source in German, posted by Zeno





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First posted on April 14th 2009

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