Mauritania became an independent nation by on 28 November 1960 by declaration of its “Constituent Assembly”. Independence Day is celebrated on this date each year to remember this important historic event.
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Although Berbers and other tribes had lived in the region for as long as anyone can remember, there was no “Mauritania” as such before the arrival of the French colonialists. They essentially created a new colony that incorporated the lands of numerous local tribes in the region into one “new country”.
France colonised what is now Mauritania to block the expansion of Spanish Morocco and to create a “land bridge” between French Algeria and French West Africa. Their conquest of the area began at Adar and moved inland.
After the French established a new constitution in 1958, they had hoped that Mauritania might remain within the “French Community” even if they opted for independence. But instead, the country fully left being under French influence by 1960. After independence, Morocco tried to oppose them or dominate them, but Mauritania successfully resisted.