By contrast with British attempts to ‘govern through the governors’ in Egypt, the French Protectorate Government of Morocco exercised power through ministries which excluded Moroccan officials. The Sultanate provided little more than legitimacy for the regime. Outside the coastal zone, the French enlisted traditional caids (chieftains) in Central Morocco and the chieftains of the Rif. The Sultanate, although without executive power, maintained a covert support for nationalist opposition and the Istiqlal party from 1944. Consequently, the restoration of King Muhammed ben Yussuf in 1955 marked a period of French concessions to demands for independence led by the monarch. Morocco left the French Union the following year with a Constitution fashioned by the royal house. The Sultanate preserved the balance between the patrimonial rule of a leader of the Islamic community and secular control over ministers, police and army, in a system that placed a high value on allegiance and loyalty, in return for redress of grievances.
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