Why was Oran under European rule for so long?

Futurist

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May 2014
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#1
Looking at this Wikipedia article, what strikes me as fascinating is the sheer amount of time that Oran was under European rule:

Plazas de soberanía - Wikipedia

From 1509 to 1962, Oran was under European (either Spanish or French) rule for almost 400 of these years (out of a little over 450 years in total). While there are certain North African cities that border Morocco that had an extremely long history of European rule (such as Ceuta), Oran appears to be unique for being an Algerian city that had such an extremely long period of European rule--indeed, more than twice as long as the European rule that other cities and parts of Algeria have experienced.

Why exactly did Oran remain under European rule for so long? What exactly made it special out of all Algerian cities?

Also, as a side note, France could have tried using Oran's extremely long period of European rule as a justification for keeping it after 1962. Whether doing this and severely pissing off the Algerians would have been a smart move is an open question, but out of all of the parts of Algeria, the Algerians probably had the weakest claim to Oran due to its extremely long period of European rule.
 
Nov 2010
7,594
Cornwall
#2
I'm fairly certain Oran and Tremecen used to be in 'Morocco', until the French moved them into 'Algeria'. Which makes more sense and it was somewhere to give some defence against the Barbary 'pirates' raids from the North African coast to Spain.

In practice by the 17th century Spain was struggling to project any power and it wouldn't have needed much effort for anyone to conquer it. As it happened the Ottomans couldn't project any either in the Western Med so the closet rival power was the Bey of Algiers (nominally Ottoman). Who was given it by Spain after an earthquake.
 
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Tulius

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May 2016
5,453
Portugal
#3
From 1509 to 1962, Oran was under European (either Spanish or French) rule for almost 400 of these years (out of a little over 450 years in total). While there are certain North African cities that border Morocco that had an extremely long history of European rule (such as Ceuta),
Oran was not under European rule during all that period. There were smaller periods that the Europeans lost it and was under Algiers rule. Even between the Spanish and the French control. That was not the case of Ceuta and Melilla, even if both of these fortress were on the edge often. Melilla was under Spanish rule since its conquest in 1497, and Ceuta had been conquered by the Portuguese in 1415.

So basically Oran was under French rule the same time as many other cities in the North of Algeria, its previous owner was Algiers, and surely not comparable to Ceuta.
 
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Nov 2010
7,594
Cornwall
#4
I think Melilla was most on the precipice after the catastrophe at Annual. If Abd El Krim's tribes hadn't packed up and gone home there would have been an almighty civilain massacre and the end of Spanish Melilla (1921)
 
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martin76

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Dec 2014
6,344
Spain
#5
Spain hold Oran from 1509 to 1792 when Charles IV gifted to Bey. Ottoman held the city between 1708 and 1732 but Spaniards retook the city in 1732 (Count of Montemar).

Yes Melilla is Spanish from 1497 and Ceuta from 1580 when Portugal joined the Crown of Spain with Castile, Aragon, Navarra etc.

Here, The Spanish Language is the second European language in Argelie. (Most in Oranesado: Oran and area around Oran).
 
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Futurist

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May 2014
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#6
I'm fairly certain Oran and Tremecen used to be in 'Morocco', until the French moved them into 'Algeria'. Which makes more sense and it was somewhere to give some defence against the Barbary 'pirates' raids from the North African coast to Spain.

In practice by the 17th century Spain was struggling to project any power and it wouldn't have needed much effort for anyone to conquer it. As it happened the Ottomans couldn't project any either in the Western Med so the closet rival power was the Bey of Algiers (nominally Ottoman). Who was given it by Spain after an earthquake.
That makes sense.

It's interesting that Spain held onto Oran for so long, though.

I think Melilla was most on the precipice after the catastrophe at Annual. If Abd El Krim's tribes hadn't packed up and gone home there would have been an almighty civilain massacre and the end of Spanish Melilla (1921)
Why'd they pack up and go home?

Oran was not under European rule during all that period. There were smaller periods that the Europeans lost it and was under Algiers rule. Even between the Spanish and the French control. That was not the case of Ceuta and Melilla, even if both of these fortress were on the edge often. Melilla was under Spanish rule since its conquest in 1497, and Ceuta had been conquered by the Portuguese in 1415.

So basically Oran was under French rule the same time as many other cities in the North of Algeria, its previous owner was Algiers, and surely not comparable to Ceuta.
I didn't say that Oran was under European rule for all of that period; rather, I said that Oran was under European rule for 80+% of that period--which is accurate. Still, you are correct that the relatively brief periods of Muslim rule in Oran in the 18th and early 19th centuries meant that Oran wasn't quite as European as Ceuta and Melilla--both of which were apparently continuously under European rule since the 15th century without any exceptions whatsoever.
 
Nov 2010
7,594
Cornwall
#7
Why'd they pack up and go home?

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I think it's to do with the discilplines of trying to hold together a large force of differing and different berber tribes, usually arguing with themselves. They probably regarded the battle as won, had cut off enough ears and heads and just wanted to go home. They had only come together not too long before Annual, undetected by the Spanish, who were unaware of the danger.

Be that as it may, Melilla was defenceless in the immediate aftermath of Annual - if only they knew!
 
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Futurist

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May 2014
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#8
I think it's to do with the discilplines of trying to hold together a large force of differing and different berber tribes, usually arguing with themselves. They probably regarded the battle as won, had cut off enough ears and heads and just wanted to go home. They had only come together not too long before Annual, undetected by the Spanish, who were unaware of the danger.

Be that as it may, Melilla was defenceless in the immediate aftermath of Annual - if only they knew!
Could they have advanced upon Ceuta as well back then?
 

Tulius

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May 2016
5,453
Portugal
#9
Could they have advanced upon Ceuta as well back then?
Mellilla was at risk of falling, Ceuta it would be more difficult it was in the opposite side of the colony. The distance is significant, the area around Ceuta was much more pacified, there were friendly Harcas (irregulars) there (and Spanish officers) and the fortress had a garrison and there were strongpoints in the path to Ceuta (such as Tetuan, the colony capital). The debacle of Annual was in the 22 to 23 of July, 1921 (Battle of Annual - Wikipedia), it was in the Melilla area and was a strong shock for the Spanish public opinion, in some way we can say that precipitated the fall of the Monarchy, even if the reaction was strong and culminated with the disembark in Alhucemas (Alhucemas landing - Wikipedia).

The debacle helped to forge the reputation of Abd el-Krim, and to unite more harcas under his banner. But Abd el-Krim still advanced to Melilla, when the city had some 1800 men only and there was even panic in the population that tried to get their hands on ships to run to the peninsula. But the Spanish reinforcements begun to arrive on the 24th July, and one month later there were already 36000 Spanish forces in Melilla (El Sueño Colonial, by Federico Villalobos).
 
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