Colonialism has distorted the way of life in many tribes, states, and countries. Colonizers and protectorates force communities that have functioned on their own to host violence, go into debt, and make inappropriate cultural changes. After making that colonial stamp culture, language, and religion are amongst the many things that will be affected. Morocco and Eritrea are both on the northern ends of Africa and sit next to bodies of water. The two countries have historically been valued and exploited due to their geographical locations. However, the two countries were colonized by two different countries and carried out different acts to gain independence.
As the most west northern country in Africa, Morocco has Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines. The only other countries with access to both the Atlantic and Mediterranean bodies of water were Spain and France. France showed interest in settling parts of Morocco as early as 1830. In 1884 Spain settled along the coast of Morocco and by 1904 France and Spain both had zones of influence in Morocco. With access to two major bodies of water Morocco could be a mecca for trade since historically it was a land of dynasties and kingdoms. Colonizers purchased massive agricultural land and started to exploit the development of mines. Eritrea was part of the Kingdom of Askum, but after borders were established during the Scramble for Africa, Italy permanently altered Eritrea’s history. Starting in 1889, the Italians colonized Eritrea, and then British forces occupied and took administration in 1941. Before Eritrea could gain its independence from Italy of the British, Eritrea had to battle with the UN and Ethiopia. Eritrea was first considered an autonomous region within Ethiopia then was annexed completely by Ethiopia in 1961, which triggered a long war between Ethiopia and the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front.
The Eritrean People’s Liberation Front fought for thirty years to gain independence from Ethiopian President Mengistu Haile Mariam. In 1991 they won their independence with the help of Ethiopian rebels who also believed that their political system was heading in the wrong direction. In Morocco, social and educational groups also carried out the fight for independence. The Istiqlal party was created to push for independence and eventually provided pillars for the nationalist movement. After the French exiled the beloved Sultan Mohammed V, active resistance started to surge until the French allowed Sultan Mohammed V to return. Negotiations began shortly after and Morocco gained their independence in 1956. In both cases it is clear that the Eritreans and Moroccans reached a point of no return when the only thing that mattered was trying to save their respective countries from oversea rule.