King of Morocco
King Muhammad V was the first ruler of MOROCCO after the country gained its independence from France in 1956. Born Sidi Muhammad, the future king was the son of Sultan Moulay Yusuf. When Yusuf died in 1927, the French colonial authorities named the 18-yearold Muhammad as the new sultan. The French hoped to control the young ruler, but he soon attracted followers who demanded Moroccan independence.
During World War II Muhammad angered the French by allowing the formation of a local independence movement. In 1953 the French removed him from office and sent him out of the country. However, support for the sultan grew in his absence. He returned home in 1955 and helped win independence for Morocco the following year. Muhammad officially adopted the title of king in 1957. After his death he was succeeded by his son, who became King HASSAN II. (See also Colonialism in Africa, Independence Movements, North Africa, History and Cultures.)