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Anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People – August 20, 2023

The Anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People is on August 20 in Morocco — a day symbolizing the country’s heroic struggle for self-determination from colonial rule. At its heart, this story is about the enduring bond between a beloved king and his people. It was a bond that turned into a catalyst for revolution, as the king and people united against brutal French imperialism. August 20 is more than just a remembrance. It is the anniversary of a liberated Morocco and the beginnings of modernity, development, and democracy.

History of Anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People

The rise of nationalism rarely takes place overnight, and for Morocco, it was a long time coming. It all began in 1912 when the North-African country signed an agreement with France and Spain. The agreement smacked French colonial ambitions, although Morocco didn’t realize the extent then. The promise? Moroccan sovereignty under the guise of being a French protectorate.

What followed was 44 years of colonization. Moroccan sovereignty and identity suffered under French colonial rule. Colonial abuse of power depleted the country’s natural resources, almost annihilating Morocco’s rich culture and history. But the Moroccan spirit stayed undefeated. Colonial oppression only strengthened national identity and lit the embers of justice and democracy. The national crisis united Morocco’s people, who stood together to defy French authority. Many rebelled and took up arms. Revolution first broke out in Fez and spread like wildfire throughout the country. The French crackdown on the resistance was brutal.

Soon, the then King Mohammed V became a symbol of hope for Morocco. He advocated passionately to abolish the protectorate agreement in favor of independence. With every speech and public address, his status as the people’s king grew stronger. Threatened by the king’s influence and legitimate claim to rule Morocco, the French made several attempts to oust him.

On August 20, 1953, French military forces presented an order that removed King Mohammed V from the throne. France severely underestimated the people’s love for the king and was wholly unprepared for what came next. A day that was supposed to be a blow to Moroccan pride turned into rousing calls for revolution. Thousands of Moroccans took to the streets in anger to support their king and fight for self-determination. The French faced strikes, protests, and demonstrations — the beginnings of powerful resistance that eventually freed Morocco from colonial rule and reinstated Mohammed V as the rightful ruler.

Anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People timeline

1945
Colonialism Digs Deeper

Despite fighting for France in World War II, Moroccans suffer greatly under French colonial rule.

1947
A Monarch Makes A Stand

King Mohammed V speaks at Tangier, declaring Morocco’s allegiance to the Arab world without mentioning France.

1951
Attempts To Overthrow The King

The French encourage different tribes in Morocco to rebel against King Mohammed V.

1955
Morocco Resists, and Wins

The bravery of Moroccans at home and abroad restores King Mohammed’s rule and wins the country her independence.

Anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People FAQs

Is Morocco headed by a king?

The present ruler of Morocco is King Mohammed VI. He belongs to the Alaouite dynasty and has ruled Morocco since 1999.

Who was the king of Morocco in 1956?

After the end of French colonial rule, King Mohammed V returned to power in 1955. He suppressed several insurgencies and bridged the divide between the Arabs and Berbers.

What type of government is in Morocco?

Morocco follows a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. While the Prime Minister is the Head of Government, the king exercises ultimate authority over the legislative system. He also shares executive powers with the Prime Minister.

How to Observe Anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People

  1. Celebrate like Moroccans

    August 20 is a public holiday in Morocco. If you happen to be in the country, don’t miss out on the parades and colorful festivities on the streets.

  2. Discover Morocco’s stories

    The country might be over 1,200 years old, but the stories of the land are much older. Several ancient dynasties have called Morocco home. from the Phoenicians and Romans to the Berbers and Arabs.

  3. Enjoy cultural immersion through food

    Transport yourself to Morocco’s souks and spice markets without ever leaving home. Sip on Moroccan mint tea. If you’re feeling ambitious, whip up a tajine dinner for friends.

5 Facts About Marrakech That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. Why it’s known as the ‘red city’

    The city’s buildings are made from striking red clay.

  2. The people are tri-lingual

    It’s common to hear people speak Arabic, French, and Moroccan Berber in the streets of Marrakech.

  3. Marrakech and Y.S.L.

    Yves Saint Laurent’s love affair with Marrakech began in the beautiful gardens of ‘The Jardin Majorelle.’

  4. Cutting palm trees is illegal

    There are palm trees everywhere — around the city, inside it, and often growing in unusual locations such as inside buildings.

  5. Marrakech’s unlikely sister city

    In 2012, Marrakech and Scottsdale, Arizona officially became sister cities due to similarities in climate, topography, and golf management.

Why Anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People is Important

  1. It’s a celebration of freedom

    Living with freedom and dignity is every person’s right. Independence gained is a cause for celebration, always.

  2. A nation’s story lives on

    Today isn’t just an anniversary. It forever chronicles Morocco’s history, ensuring the world never forgets the people’s sacrifice and bravery.

  3. What history books don’t tell you

    Historical accounts become richer through multiple perspectives. It’s time everyone learns to read history without a biased lens.

Anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People dates

YearDateDay
2023August 20Sunday
2024August 20Tuesday
2025August 20Wednesday
2026August 20Thursday
2027August 20Friday

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