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The last sultan and first king of Morocco, reigning 1927-1961, except for a period of exile from 1953-1955, and leading his country to independence in 1956.

Morocco had been divided into French and Spanish protectorates in 1912, the year Muhammad's father Moulay Yusuf became Sultan. The sultanate was reduced in power to a nominal position, though the A`lawi Filali Sharifi dynasty had ruled Morocco since 1666, and additionally held the title of Amir al-Mu`minin or Commander of the Faithful. They were also known as Sharifs or Cherifs, indicating a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad.

With Sultan Yusuf's death on 17 November 1927 the French authorities chose his 17-year-old third son Muhammad to succeed him, believing him to be compliant and docile. At first he was, and only gradually over the years did he become a champion of Moroccan nationalism. He signed the decrees (dahir) put in front of him, and cooperated in most things.

But during the Second World War when the Vichy collaborationist government of France sought to impose anti-Jewish measures, Muhammad refused, and protected Morocco's large and well-tolerated Jewish community. He met Allied leaders, who supported his aspiration for independence, and he also gained the acceptance of the socialist-nationalist Istiqlal party.

In 1953 he ceased cooperation with French authorities (the 'strike of the dahirs'), and on 20 August 1953 he was deposed, replaced by his great-uncle Muhammad Ben 'Arafa (Sultan Muhammad VI), and sent into exile in Madagascar. But he was restored after popular agitation on 6 November 1955.

The French protectorate was granted independence as the Sultanate of Morocco on 2 March 1956, with some of the Spanish areas joining a month later. On 14 August 1957 he changed the royal title from Sultan to King, and on his death on 26 February 1961 he was succeeded by his son Hassan II.

< Yusuf - Morocco - < Muhammad VI > - Hassan II >

Sources include

Muhammad V or (Turkish form) Mehmet V was the penultimate Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and his reign saw its defeat and dismemberment. Born in 1844, he succeeded his deposed brother Abdul Hamid II in 1909. Turkey lost Libya to Italy in 1911, lost most of its remaining Balkan territories in the Balkan Wars, and finally was embroiled into the losing side in the First World War. Sultan Muhammad V died in 1918 just before the final surrender, and was succeeded by his brother Vahideddin, who took the title Muhammad VI.

Sultan Muhammad V of Granada 1354-1359 and 1362-1391. A member of the Nasrid dynasty, he succeeded his father Yusuf I. He was deposed by his brother Ismail II (1359-1360), who was succeeded by a distant relation Muhammad VI, later deposed by the restored Sultan Muhammad V. He was succeeded in 1391 by his son Yusuf II.

Emir Muhammad V of the Marinid Emirate of Morocco in 1386. The dynastic line of the Marinids is very complicated; they were constantly deposing each other. Muhammad V was the son of Emir Ahmad (1374-1384), who had been deposed in favour of Emir Musa (1384-1386). Emir Muhammad V lasted less than a year and was deposed in favour of a distant relation Muhammad VI.

Caliph Muhammad V of the Hafsid Caliphate of Tunisia 1494-1526. He succeeded his cousin Zakariya II and was succeeded by his son Muhammad VI. The Hafsids were officially caliphs but were commonly known as sultans.

Bey Muhammad V an-Nasir of Tunis 1906-1922. He was the son of Bey Muhammad II (1855-1859) and succeeded his cousin Muhammad IV al-Hadi (1902-1906). Bey Muhammad V was succeeded by a distant relative Muhammad VI al-Habib (1922-1929), but did have a son of his own, who later managed to briefly take the throne as Bey Muhammad VII al-Munsif (1942-1943) before being deposed.

Imam Muhammad V al-Mutawakkil of Yemen 1845-1849. He seized the throne from Ali II al-Mansur (1835-1837, 1844-1845, 1849-1850, and 1857). Muhammad V was a grandson and Ali II a great-grandson of Imam Ali I al-Mansur (1775-1809). Ali II counter-deposed Muhammad V and began his third reign. A son of Muhammad V, Ghalib al-Hadi, held the throne in 1851-1857 before being also deposed by Ali II. By the way, my source describes what happened after Ali II's fourth overthrow as a "period of confusion". As if this wasn't already.

Minor rulers from John Morby, The Wordsworth Handbook of Kings & Queens.

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