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Old January 13th, 2013, 03:40 PM   #21

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Why was it that Morocco was never able to colonize the Americas or any of the islands off of the African coast?
I can comment immediatly that this has alot to do with the Centralization of states at the time.

Morocco was not a true state, at the time, in that it still operated over a very old inter-tribal set of alliances and oaths that allowed the Kings to do as they liked, sometimes, at least in the mediterranean... Sometimes.

Maps show Morocco extending south, I see it as Tangier, maybe Murrakesh, and Fez, all swallowed by the desert and its peoples to the south.

Morocco definatly had a good position to start with; but was more of a region than it was a realm.

Spain was probably the most centralized, stable, and powerful Monarchy in Europe at the time, as could do whatever the Crown so desired for a time there for the greater part of the 1500's.
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Old January 13th, 2013, 09:31 PM   #22
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Why was it that Morocco was never able to colonize the Americas or any of the islands off of the African coast?
Morocco was the subject of near constant invasions and borderskirmishes with the Iberian powers, which held a stranglehold over all sea traffic. Also crowding the seas were the Barbary Pirates, which were actually a sizable military threat. There were also neighboring wars with other north african neighbors. In a sense, it was chocked off from the New World.

That didn't stop it from invading Timbuktu though.

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Old January 13th, 2013, 09:58 PM   #23

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Berber-speaking (or a language closely related to it) peoples did inhabit the Canary islands before Europeans arrived there.
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Old January 13th, 2013, 10:28 PM   #24

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Originally Posted by The Black Knight View Post
I can comment immediatly that this has alot to do with the Centralization of states at the time.

Morocco was not a true state, at the time, in that it still operated over a very old inter-tribal set of alliances and oaths that allowed the Kings to do as they liked, sometimes, at least in the mediterranean... Sometimes.

Maps show Morocco extending south, I see it as Tangier, maybe Murrakesh, and Fez, all swallowed by the desert and its peoples to the south.

Morocco definatly had a good position to start with; but was more of a region than it was a realm.

Spain was probably the most centralized, stable, and powerful Monarchy in Europe at the time, as could do whatever the Crown so desired for a time there for the greater part of the 1500's.
Good point. Only centralized states could effectively muster the resources necessary to colonize distant lands, or to even commission expeditions to methodically explore unknown lands in the first place. This was one of the reasons why Spain and Portugal got a head start over the kingdoms of France and England, which were still quite decentralized at this time, not to mention the constant wars and religious strife that they had to deal with.

The Empire of Mali seems to have been far more centralized and politically secure than Morocco, at least in the early 14th century. Mansa Musa apparently felt his kingdom was stable enough that he could leave it for an extended period of time and pilgrim to Mecca.
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Old January 14th, 2013, 11:07 AM   #25
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Didn't Columbus use Arab style sails?
um... modern ships of that era employed one lateen sail on the Mizzen mast... although it could be argued that the Staysails and Jibsails are a derivative of lateen sails...

However... the traditional square sails that dominated the masts were the driving force in crossing large oceans. The staysails and lateen were more useful in tacking into the wind... useful for coastal sailing... but the square sails were the workhorses when running the trade winds.

Morocco never had much Maritime presence other than coastal sailing... I don't think they had the maritime culture, nor the empirical mindset that drove other nations to explore.

You have to realize that, prior to the maritime chronometer, there was no way to calculate your East/West position with any kind of accuracy.
Sailing off the edge of the earth ( which, contrary to what many are taught in school, had nothing to do with thinking the earth was flat ) which meant sailing out of sight of visible terrestrial landmarks from which to take your bearings, and so know where you were in relation to hazards and your destination... doing this was considered almost ridiculously foolhardy by most sailors.

Portugal and Spain and, to a lesser extent Italy ( as a hub of east west trade ) were uncharacteristically willing to try extremely risky ventures at sea... and as a result Portuguese and italian navigators became the only folks who knew how to get anyplace.

Even England, who would come to dominate the sea, only really started exploring after Spain and Portugal and others had proven there was something there worth the risk.
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Old January 16th, 2013, 05:02 AM   #26

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As Epix hints - who is this 'Morocco'? There were various kingdoms like Fez, Tremecen (Algeria), Marakesh etc. Almoravids then Almohads, but not necessarily covering present-day Morocco. The Almohad Emperor was known as the King of Morocco to the Christians at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, if that's any help. Other states were around later.

But I think the OP is confusing present-day Morocco with past history. I have this immense book in my collection:

HISTORIA DE MARRUECOS - VICTOR MORALES DE LEZCANO. Resumen del libro y comentarios - casadellibro.com

It bored the hell out of me because I like battles and wars and stuff, but it's a comprehensive picture of Morocco from the beginning of time to the present in politics and rulers etc. Indispensable if you want to know about that sort of thing.
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Old January 19th, 2013, 09:10 AM   #27
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Moroccan pirates in the 17th century did launch daring raids all the way to the British Isles and even Iceland, so if they failed to venture to the Americas it is not because they couldn't.

In my view the main cause is because the kingdom was politically weak, ethnically fragmented and economically backwardish. Moroccan traders were never a true competition for the Europeans or even their co-religionists from the Levant or Tunisia, the kingdom itself was poor, often subjected to devastating famines and dreadful political strife.
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Old April 6th, 2013, 07:13 AM   #28

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Because they were less technologically developed than Western Europe
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Old April 6th, 2013, 08:53 AM   #29

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As expressed:

"Morocco" was until recently mostly a geographic term. There never really was a solid "Moroccan state" encompassing the land we consider Morocco today until its independence from France and Spain. "Morocco" means "Western land" or something like that.

If you mean why did not the several kingdoms and empires that ruled present-day Morocco discover the Americas, it was because there was no need to. They enjoyed trade with the rest of the Muslim world and from there, Indian and Chinese trade. The Europeans had to take the risky yet rewarding adventure of exploring new trade routs and, inevitably, new lands.
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Old April 6th, 2013, 09:09 AM   #30

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To my knowledge, Morocco involved itself in taking control of the Trans-Saharan trade rather than the trans-Atlantic trade during the age of exploration. Morocco also didn't have caravels to my knowledge, but had the same degree of firearm technologies as Spain and Portugal.
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