Timeline | Before 1800 to After 1930 | TUNISIA | POLITICAL CONTEXT

Date

Country | Theme | Description

1782 - 1813


Portrait of Hammouda Pacha Bey  
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Tunisia | Political Context

During the reign of Hammuda Pasha Bey, known as the “Founder” of modern Tunisia, the Regency of Tunis enjoys a thriving economy and an overall sense of security.

1815 - 1816


Privateer ship flags  
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Tunisia | Political Context

The English Admiral Edward Pellow, 1st Viscount Exmouth imposes on the regencies of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli new recommendations to slow the race at sea. He inaugurates the so-called Gunboat diplomacy, which involves the threat of military force.

1830


Palais-Musée du Bardo 
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Tunisia | Political Context

With the capture of Algiers, France ousts the Ottoman Empire and asserts its claim to the western Mediterranean. The beys and the regency’s elite then become aware of the dangers posed by the Europeans.

1837 - 1854


Painting of Ahmed Pacha Bey  
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Tunisia | Political Context

Rule of Ahmad Pasha Bey, known as the “Great Reformer” of modern Tunisia. His greatest achievements include modernisation of the army and the abolition of slavery.

1857


The fundamental pact  
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Tunisia | Political Context

Promulgation of the Fundamental Pact by Muhammad Pasha Bey: a “Declaration of Rights” in 11 points. The pact guarantees Tunisians and also foreigners their civil and political rights, security of persons and properties, equality before the law, etc.

1861


The 1861 constitution 
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Tunisia | Political Context

Muhammad Sadiq Bey promulgates a constitution limiting his powers. Tunisia’s first constitution is the culmination of the reformist policies of the 19th-century Husaynid beys.

1864


Ali ben Ghedhahems seal 
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Tunisia | Political Context

The popular uprising sounds the death knell for reform. The great figure of this insurrection, ‘Ali bin Ghedham, comes from the region of Kasserine.

1873 - 1877


Le général Khaireddine (painting)  
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Tunisia | Political Context

The regency of Khayr al-Din, the Grand Vizier reformer, who reorganises institutions and the economy. His major cultural works are the creation of Sadiki College and major reform of the Zaytuna Mosque.

1881 - 1884


Resistance to the occupation at Oued Zarga  
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Tunisia | Political Context

Tunisians put up stiff resistance to French occupation without any external support. The Sublime Porte, itself threatened by the Western powers, limits the show of protest against the French occupation.

1881 - 1883


Palais Kasr el-Said  
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Tunisia | Political Context

At the metropolitan palace, Muhammad Sadiq Bey signs the treaty imposed by the French Protectorate known as the Treaty of Bardo (or Treaty of Kasser al-Sa‘id). This is followed by the Convention of Marsa in 1883. The Regency of Tunis passes from Ottoman suzerainty to French domination.
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