Before the century V present Mauritania was populated mainly by blacks, concentrated in the northern and western regions, and by Berbers, scattered throughout the country. In the sec. XI the Almoravid Berbers waged a war of conquest, also investing Mauritania, which remained in their power for some centuries. At the beginning of the century. XVI an Arab tribe entered the country and gradually took possession of it. Other tribes, united in powerful confederations, then dominated the country. In 1448 the Portuguese founded the Arguin trading post on the Mauritanian coast, where they bought gold, gum arabic and slaves. Later the French and English also frequented those coasts. The inward penetration began in the first half of the century. XIX, but only in the early years of the century. XX France effectively occupied Mauritania. In 1920 Mauritania became a colony belonging to the Federation of French West Africa. It was governed by a governor and an administrative council; its capital was established in Saint Louis of Senegal. In 1946 he hired him status of Overseas Territory within the French Union; in 1958 it became an autonomous republic within the French Community. On November 28, 1960, he gained independence and set up his new capital in Nouakchott. According to getzipcodes, with the 1961 Constitution Mauritania gave itself a presidential regime headed by Moktar Ould Daddah. Political life was then dominated by the Mauritanian People’s Party, which pursued a socialist type program and aimed at the country’s economic development. Under the Madrid agreement (1975), Mauritania obtained the partition with Morocco of the former Spanish Sahara. Algeria, opposed to this solution, broke off relations with Mauritania and supported the offensive of the Polisario Front for the independence of Western Sahara, while Mauritania signed a mutual defense agreement with Morocco (1977).
In a situation of economic crisis determined by the state of war, Colonel Ould Salek asserted himself in power, deposed President Daddah taking office (1978) and renounced all claims on the Sahara (August 1979). In 1980 Prime Minister Colonel Mohamed Khouna Ould Hey deposed President Ould Louly, who succeeded Salek in 1979: slavery was abolished and diplomatic relations with Algeria were re-established, while relations with Morocco were seriously damaged. In 1984 Heydalla was in turn dismissed, according to a now classic script in Africa, by his former deputy Maouiya Ould Sid ‘Ahmed Taya. Although the new government was committed to improving diplomatic relations with neighboring countries and to economic stabilization, several coup attempts occurred during the second half of the 1980s. Significant for the future internal and foreign policy were therefore the accession to the Arab Maghreb Union in 1989, which allowed a less conflictual management of the ethnic tensions that arose in that year, the adoption of modernizing reforms in the field of law, the introduction in April 1991 of a multi-party system and finally the promulgation of a renewed Constitution (approved by referendum in July). The presidential elections held democratically in January 1992 (the first free presidential elections), in which four candidates participated as an expression of the various political realities of the country, saw the victory of Taya, the former dictator who had “converted” to democracy.
The policies held in March of the same year (contested by the opposition) were won by the presidential formation: the Republican Democratic and Social Party (PRDS), an expression of the army. On the international level, Mauritania re-established diplomatic relations with Senegal in 1992, which had been interrupted in 1989, reaching an agreement with this country for the reopening of land borders. Despite the allegations of fraud launched by the opposition on the occasion of the two ballots, the success of the old power apparatus was consistent with a process of soft transition appropriately piloted by the military. The former dictator himself showed signs of wanting to continue on the path of democratization by calling on members of the opposition, Arab nationalism and the black African community to join the government. But the stability of the new system was mainly called into question by the manifestation, as in other realities of the Maghreb world, of Muslim fundamentalism phenomena towards which government repression promptly broke down with the dissolution of the Islamic Cultural Association (October 1994), while the dozens of militants of the Islamic Hasim movement were released only after they had solemnly pledged to cease all subversive activity. In this period there was also a more general restriction of constitutional freedoms with the closure of all independent newspapers. The question of fundamentalism reappeared again in 1995 when, just as he was preparing to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel, the Iraqi ambassador was expelled from Mauritania on charges of having hatched and financed a plot to destabilize the country. To prevent the accentuation of a pro-Western foreign policy, confirmed by Mauritania’s own adhesion to the project of a free trade area with Europe (Barcelona, November 1995), from providing the alibi for a revival of Islamic extremism, President Taya, in January 1996, decided to replace Prime Minister Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubakar with Sheikh El Avia Ould Mohamed Khouna. In 2003, a few weeks before the vote in the presidential election in which President Taya was reconfirmed, there was an attempted coup led by a group of army officers. If this coup failed, the military coup carried out in August 2005, during an absence of the president, was successful and Ould Mohammed Val, chief of police, was appointed president. A process of transition towards democracy was opened which firstly led the population, in June 2006, to approve a new Constitution in a referendum that obtained a broad consensus and, secondly, in the first fully democratic elections since 1960 (March 2007) which were won by Sidi Ould Abdallahi with 53% of the votes. In August 2008, however, a coup d’état blocked the country’s path towards democracy: the armed forces led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz assumed power. In June 2009, the former president Sidi Ould Abdallahi was appointed head of a government of national unity, in view of the new elections in July won with 52% of the preferences by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. In 2010 Mauritania, former president Sidi Ould Abdallahi was appointed head of a government of national unity, in view of the new elections in July won with 52% of the preferences by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. In 2010 Mauritania, former president Sidi Ould Abdallahi was appointed head of a government of national unity, in view of the new elections in July won with 52% of the preferences by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. In 2010 Mauritania, Mali, Algeria and Niger set up a coordination structure to combat organized crime and terrorism. In 2014, President Abdel Aziz was reconfirmed.