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Conscription was also introduced, to the great dismay of the peasantry.More acceptable were Aḥmad’s steps to integrate Arabic-speaking native Tunisians fully into the government, which had long been dominated by s (military slaves) and Turks.Tunisia’s geographic and historical legacy helped prepare it for the shocks it received in the 19th century as a land caught between an expanding Europe and a declining Ottoman Empire.Yet, Tunisia proved to be as vulnerable economically as it was militarily.French invasion of Algiers, Tunisia was officially a province of the Ottoman Empire but in reality was an autonomous state.Because the principal military threat had long come from neighbouring Algeria, the reigning bey of Tunisia, Ḥusayn, cautiously went along with assurances from the French that they had no intention of colonizing Tunisia.
This status was achieved, for example, under the ʿAbbāsids in the 9th century and later under the Ottomans.
This uprising almost overthrew the regime, but the government ultimately suppressed it through a combination of guile and brutality.
Though Tunisia went bankrupt in 1869 and an international financial commission—with British, French, and Italian representatives—was imposed on the country, there was one last attempt to reform Tunisia from within and thus avoid complete European domination.
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Muslim Andalusians migrated to the area after having been forced out of Spain during the Reconquista, particularly following the defeat of the Muslim kingdom of Granada in 1492.