He was named Bey al-Mahalla
(Heir Apparent) on 23 August 1863 by his brother Muhammad III as-Sadiq
and was made a divisional General and placed at the head of an army column operating in the interior of the country (known in Tunisian Arabic as the mhalla
) to assert beylical authority in remote regions, rendering justice in the name of the sovereign and collecting taxes from local tribes. A keen horseman, Ali Bey took personal charge of this work and undertook it thoroughly, twice a year - in the north of the country during the summer in Béja
and El Kef
, and in the south during the winter, in Kairouan
and the towns further south. During the Mejba Revolt
in 1864, while his ineffective brother remained in the Bardo palace, Ali put down the rebellion with Generals Ahmed Zarrouk, Rustum and Uthman.
Portrait of Ali III Bey
On 8 June 1883, together with French Resident General Paul Cambon
, he signed the Conventions of La Marsa
in which he formally renounced his power while retaining nominal authority.,
The country remained under the occupation of the French expeditionary force of General Forgemol
. The entire administration of the country, as well as control of the army, police and foreign affairs, was taken over by the colonial power.
On 5 April 1885 there was a political crisis arising from Cambon's decision to revoke the existing concession to supply water to the city of Tunis, which was valid for another eighteen years, and grant a new concession to a French company in which the brother of Prime Minister Jules Ferry
had an interest. The entire city council of Tunis resigned, and a mass delegation of more than 2,000 notables from the souks
and the traditional authorities of the city of Tunis came to at the palace of La Marsa, appealing for the Bey to revise the new municipal law and to repeal the water concession.
The old ruler, more popular than his late brother, was overcome with emotion at his inability to act on their petition. 'You have come to weep in the house of tears' he replied to them.
The colonial authorities took punitive action against the leaders of the demonstration without his being able to assist them. Cambon responded to this show of protest by sending leading figures into exile in El Kef
, and dismissing the top city officials from their posts on the grounds that they were 'fanatics hostile to the Protectorate'.
Ali Bey met Sheikh Muhammad Abduh
, one of the leading jurists and reformers in the Arab world, when he came to Tunis
(December 1884-January 1885) to teach at the Zitouna mosque
Ali III Bey stamp
Ali III Bey Gold 20 Francs
- ^ a b "Latest intelligence - Tunis". The Times (36792). London. 12 June 1902. p. 7.
- ^ a b c d "Bedchamber of the Late Bey of Tunis, Kasr-el-Said, Tunisia". World Digital Library. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
- ^ Elisabeth, Grand Duchess of Oldenburg; Weiberg, Thomas (2009). Zwischen Orient und Ostsee: Die Reisetagebücher der Großherzogin Elisabeth von Oldenburg (in German). Isensee Florian GmbH. p. 56. ISBN 978-3-89995-646-7.
- ^ a b http://www.persee.fr/doc/outre_0300-9513_1967_num_54_194_1445 accessed 29/4/2017
- ^ Honoré Pontois, Les odeurs de Tunis, éd. Albert Savine, Paris, 1889, p. 298
- ^ http://www.persee.fr/doc/outre_0300-9513_1967_num_54_194_1445 accessed29/4/2017
Last edited on 13 May 2021, at 01:02
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