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CasablancaMorocco The Maghreb is primarily inhabited by peoples of Berber ancestral origin. In northern coastal towns, in particular, several waves of European immigrants influenced the population in the Medieval era.
Most notable were the moriscos and muladiesthat is, the indigenous Spaniards Moors who forcibly converted to Catholicism and later to be expelled, together with ethnic Arab and Berber Muslims, from the Spanish Catholic Reconquista. Other European contributions included French, Italians, and others captured by the corsairs.
These were later augmented by Jews from Spain who, fleeing the Spanish Catholic Inquisition, established a presence in North Africa, chiefly in the urban trading centers. Many Jews from Spain emigrated to North America in the early 19th century or to France and Israel later in the 20th century.
Another significant group are Turks who came over with the expansion of the Ottoman Empire. A large Turkish descended population exists, particularly in Tunisia and Algeria.
Sub-Saharan Africans joined the population mix during centuries of trans-Saharan trade. Traders and slaves went to the Maghreb from the Sahel region. On the Saharan southern edge of the Maghreb are small communities of black populations, sometimes called Haratinewho are apparently descended from black populations who inhabited the Sahara during its last wet period and then migrated north.
In Algeria especially, a large European minority, the " pied noirs ", immigrated and settled under French colonial rule in late 19th century.
The overwhelming majority of these, however, left Algeria during and following the war for independence. The original religions of the peoples of the Maghreb seem  to have been based and related with fertility cults of a strong matriarchal pantheongiven the social and linguistic structures of the Amazigh cultures antedating all Egyptian and eastern, Asian, northern Mediterranean, and European influences.
Historic records of religion in the Maghreb region show its gradual inclusion in the Classical World, with coastal colonies established first by Phoenicians, some Greeks, and later extensive conquest and colonization by the Romans.
By the 2nd century of the common era, the area had become a center of Phoenician-speaking Christianity, where bishops spoke and wrote in Punic, and even Emperor Septimius Severus was noted by his local accent.
Roman settlers and Romanized populations converted to Christianity. The region produced figures such as Christian Church writer Tertullian c. Monica ; her son the philosopher St. Julia of Carthage 5th century. The arrival of Islam in challenged the domination of Christianity. The first permanent foothold of Islam was the founding of the city of Kairouan in Carthage fell in and the remainder of the region followed by Gradual Islamization proceeded slowly.
Many left during this time for Italy. Although surviving letters showed correspondence from regional Christians to Rome up until the 12th century.
Christianity was still a living faith. Although there were a fair number of conversions after the conquest Muslims did not become a majority until some time late in the 9th century and became vast majority during the 10th Staying Roman, Jonathan Conant, pp.
Christian bishoprics and dioceses continued to be active, with relations continuing with Rome. Evidence of Christianity in the region fades from the 10th century. Christianty seems to have suffered several shocks that lead to its demise.
First many upper-class urban-dwelling Latin-speaking Christians left for Europe after the Muslim conquest. The second were large scale conversions to Islam from the end of the 9th century and many Christians of a much reduced community left in the midth century and evacuated by the Norman rulers of Sicily in the 12th.
The Latin-African language lingered on a while longer.Free essays available online are good but they will not follow the guidelines of your particular writing assignment.
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