Bardo, Treaty of 1881

Bardo, Treaty of (1881)


a treaty between France and Tunisia establishing the basis for French colonial power in Tunisia; it was signed at Bardo (a suburb of Tunis) on May 12 by the French general Bréart and the bey of Tunis, Muhammad III es-Sadok. On Apr. 12,1881, the French government, exploiting an uprising of the Khroumir tribe in Tunisia, which supposedly threatened French interests in Algeria, deployed its troops (under the pretext of maintaining order) in Tunisia. They occupied the leading centers and on May 12 surrounded the palace of the bey at Bardo and forced him to sign the treaty. According to the treaty, the bey “consented” to the occupation by French troops of all points in Tunisia they deemed necessary. A French resident minister was appointed to rule Tunisia, and Tunisia was obliged not to conclude any international agreements without the consent of France; France promised to uphold the bey and his dynasty “in the event of danger.” The treaty was ratified on June 8, 1883, by a convention at La Marsa (near Tunis), thereby establishing a French protectorate over Tunis. The treaty was abrogated on Mar. 20, 1956, after Tunisia won its independence.


Documents diplomatiques franqais, series 1, vol. 3. Paris, 1931.


Lutskii, V. B. Novaia istoriia arabskikh stran. Moscow, 1966. Pages 243–6.