Hispano-Moroccan War (1859–60)

Hispano-Moroccan War
MARIANO FORTUNY - La Batalla de Tetuán (Museo Nacional de Arte de Cataluña, 1862-64. Óleo sobre lienzo, 300 x 972 cm).jpg
Mariano Fortuny's depiction of the Battle of Tetuan, oil on canvas ( MNAC).
Date 22 October 1859 – 26 April 1860
Location Northern Morocco
Result Spanish victory,
Treaty of Wad-Ras: Morocco recognizes Spanish sovereignty over Ceuta and Melilla, retrocedes Sidi Ifni to Spain, pays war reparations of Pts. 100 million.
Spain Spain Flag of Morocco 1666 1915.svg Morocco
Commanders and leaders
Spain Isabella II
Spain Antonio Ros de Olano
Spain Leopoldo O'Donnell
Spain Juan de Zavala
Spain Juan Prim y Prats
Flag of Morocco 1666 1915.svg Mohammed IV
140,000 35,000–40,000
Casualties and losses
Unknown[ citation needed] Unknown[ citation needed]

The Hispano-Moroccan War, also known as the Spanish–Moroccan War, the First Moroccan War, the Tetuán War, or, in Spain, as the African War ( Spanish: La Guerra de África), was fought from Spain's declaration of war on Morocco on 22 October 1859 until the Treaty of Wad-Ras on 26 April 1860. It began with a conflict over the borders of the Spanish city of Ceuta and was fought in northern Morocco. Morocco sued for peace after the Spanish victory at the Battle of Tetuán.


Throughout the 19th century, Morocco suffered military defeats at the hands of the Europeans, notably in the Franco-Moroccan War in 1844. In 1856 the British were able to pressure Morocco into signing the Anglo-Moroccan treaties of Friendship which instated limitations on Moroccan Customs duties and brought an end to Royal monopolies.

The Spaniards saw the Moroccan defeat in 1844 and the 1856 treaties with the British as a sign of weakness. Spurred by a national passion for African conquest, the Spaniards declared war on Morocco.