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The Politics of Food in Modern Morocco$
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Stacy E. Holden

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813033730

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813033730.001.0001

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Struggles for Scarce Resources in the 1930s

Struggles for Scarce Resources in the 1930s

(p.172) (p.173) 7 Struggles for Scarce Resources in the 1930s
The Politics of Food in Modern Morocco

Stacy E. Holden

University Press of Florida

In the 1930s, drought and global recession caused a severe food shortage in Moroccan cities. Given the extent of the crisis, French officers could no longer guarantee urban workers a minimum standard of living in exchange for their political quiescence. The weakness of the colonial state — and not its oppressive strength — led some members of Fez's mercantile elite to court discontented workers by securing their access to meat and flour. These nationalists organized a movement that advocated some commercial and technological modernization, but they rejected outright industrialization. This nationalist movement maintained conservative concepts of sociopolitical organization by which the elite cared for their social inferiors through patron-client networks.

Keywords:   drought, global recession, political quiescence, technological modernization, mercantile elite

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