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The Deepest BorderThe Strait of Gibraltar and the Making of the Modern Hispano-African Borderland$
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Sasha D. Pack

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781503606678

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503606678.001.0001

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War on the Colonial Borderland, 1919–1926

War on the Colonial Borderland, 1919–1926

(p.155) 7 War on the Colonial Borderland, 1919–1926
The Deepest Border

Sasha D. Pack

Stanford University Press

The Rif War (1921–1926) is typically understood as an anticolonial struggle against Spanish imperialism, but this chapter places the conflict in the broader regional context of the aftermath of World War I. Angered by Spain’s pro-German activities during the war, the French Foreign Ministry began a campaign to expel the Spanish from Morocco. Sensing danger, Madrid ordered hasty military action into the Rif Mountains, a provocation that enabled the enterprising nobleman Abd el-Krim to build a Riffian independence army. Abetted by support from contraband networks and benign neglect of French and British patrols, Abd el-Krim built a republic while the Spanish experienced political turmoil culminating in a military coup d’état by Miguel Primo de Rivera. The situation changed only after the French began to see their own positions threatened, at which point Spain and France gradually came together to defeat the Riffian uprising by 1926.

Keywords:   Rif War (1921–1926), Abd el-Krim, Miguel Primo de Rivera, Spanish Morocco, Philippe Pétain

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