oa African Yearbook of Rhetoric - Statecraft and sovereignty in Mohammed V of Morocco's Tangiers Speech (1947)

Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2220-2188
  • E-ISSN: 2305-7785



In this article, we analyse the speech delivered in Tangier on Thursday 10 April 1947 by His Majesty the late Mohammed V. The essential objective of the speech was to develop one key idea and it is this idea which, in our view, renders the speech historic. The speech is generally alluded to when illustrating the King's courage and determination to proclaim his country's independence, as well as to recall the major error of judgment by the French State in exiling the Sultan after he made the speech.

While sharing in this conviction, I wish to revisit the contents of the speech with a view to determining its true originality and real strength at the political level. It undoubtedly constitutes a demand, addressing as it does the country's need for independence, but what I should like to dwell on in particular are his views on the transformation of the Moroccan State.
In the Tangier speech, the King manifests his determination to gain independence for his country, despite the actual word 'independence' not being mentioned. But what needs to be noted in particular is the sovereign's post-independence political agenda, namely the type of sovereignty to be re-established and the type of State to be rebuilt.

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