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To give context to the story of Thami El Glaoui, it’s important to understand the turbulence of the Moroccan state, throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. European countries, namely France, had sustained an interest in Morocco from 1830.
Instability in Morocco resulted in European countries intervening, protecting numerous regional interests. Throughout this period, the French attempted to openly infiltrate Moroccan society by controlling the Sultan.
In the 20th century, opposition for foreign occupation arose. The Pasha of Marrakech was an influential voice in French Morocco. Having benefitted from French involvement in Morocco, the Pasha advised the Sultan to ignore advice from supporters of Moroccan independence. His actions saw much of his accumulated wealth taken by the state. at Imlil