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16th until 19th century16th until 19th century16th until 19th century


Barbary Coast



Subs
Barbary pirates
First Barbary War
Second Barbary War
Barbarossa (Khayr ed-Din)
Aruj
Dragut


Barbary Coast: Tripoli around 1800, artistic representation
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Tripoli around 1800, artistic representation.

Barbary Coast: Christian captives are bought back from North Africa in the 17th century.
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Christian captives are bought back from North Africa in the 17th century.

Barbary Coast: Ghar el-Melh, Tunisia. One of the finest remains of Barbary fortresses.
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Ghar el-Melh, Tunisia. One of the finest remains of Barbary fortresses.

Name attributed to large parts of the North African coast, Morocco through much of Libya, used perhaps from the 16th until the 19th century.
"Barbary" came from the population of the region, the Berbers. As the region was for centuries involved in piracy, slavery and cruelty acted especially upon Europeans, the word "barbary" became a part of European languages.
The political structures of the region were rarely very strong, and varied from time to time. The backdrop of this period was the end of the last Muslim kingdom in Spain, as the Spanish and Portuguese would send navy and armies towards North Africa. At this point in history, regimes in North Africa proved to be too poor to establish large states, yet strong enough to hold back European advances. The result was a situation in which small states and sea ports could act independently and piracy quickly proved to be both possible and profitable.
During the period, Morocco largely represented one unity, Tunisia and Algeria were briefly united in the first half of the 16th century. Tripolitania covered the lands of northwestern Libya, and west in Algeria one unity with Tlemcen was at periods strong. The lands from Algiers through Tripolitania was nominally under the Ottoman Empire, but the region's rulers and administrators usually acted as independent rulers.




By Tore Kjeilen