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397
TUNISIA


the olive is largely cultivated, in the south the date-palm. Viticulture is also of importance; almonds, oranges, lemons, &c., are also grown for export. The alfa and cork industries employ large numbers of persons, as do also the sardine, anchovy and tunny fisheries. The fisheries are in the hands of Italians, Maltese and Greeks. There are large herds of cattle and flocks of sheep and goats. About 60,000 acres are cultivated by French immigrants and about 15,000 acres by Italians.

Among native industries may be mentioned the spinning and weaving of wool for clothing, carpet-weaving, the manufacture of pottery, slippers and matting, saddle-making and leather embroidery. Silk-weaving, formerly important, is declining. In 1907 the number of mines working was 32. The export of hosp hates rose from 445,000 tons in 1904 to 1,267,000 tons in 1908. The export of coal in that year was 74,000 tons, and copper ore 937 tons (vide supra, § Minerals).

Commerce.—The commerce of Tunisia has thriven under the French protectorate, having risen from an annual total of about £1,700,000 in 1881 to £8,687,000 in 1908. British trade with Tunisia has nearly tripled since the establishment of the French protectorate. It stood at over £600,000 in annual value during the year 1898. In 1908 the total trade with Great Britain and Malta amounted to £914,000. In the same year the imports from France exceeded £2,750,000 and the exports to France £1,685,000. From Algeria the imports were £656,000; to Algeria the exports were £185,000. The principal exports are olive oil, wheat, esparto grass, barley, sponges, dates, fish (especially tunny), hides, horses, wool, phosphates, copper, zinc and lead. The imports consist mainly of European manufactured goods (especially British cotton), machinery, flour, alcohol, sugar, timber, coal and petroleum. About half the shipping trade is in the hands of the French; in 1908, of the total tonnage of ships entered, 4,155,000, French vessels represented 1,905,000 tons, Italian vessels 1,422,000 tons and British vessels 299,000 tons.

Communications.—The French have made since 1882 about 2000 m. of good roads. The first railway built (1871-1872) was that between Goletta and Tunis. This line, with the extensions to La Marsa and Bardo, is 211/2 m. in length. It was constructed by an English company, which in 1880 sold it to an Italian Company, despite the keen competition of French rivals (see History, below). The conversion of Tunis into a seaport (1893) destroyed the importance of this line, which was then sold to the French Bone-Guelma Company (Bone-Guelma et Prolongements), which owns the majority of the railways in Tunisia.

The second railway connects the capital with the frontier of Algeria, where, at Suk Ahras, it joins the mainline to Constantine, Algiers, &c. This line was built by the Bone-Guelma Company. The concession was obtained in 1877, and the line, 191 m. long, was finished in 1880. A branch line (8 m.) connected Beja with this railway, and another (11 m.) ran from Tunis to Hamman-el-Enf, a favourite seaside resort of the Tunisians.

For the next twelve years there was a pause in railway construction followed by the opening, in 1892, of the line between Susa and Moknine (30 m.). Then came the continuation of the line from Hamman-el-Enf to Hammamet and along the Sahel to Susa (93 m.), and the building of a line from Susa to Kairwan, 31 m. (the last named line superseded a horse-tramway built by the French army during the campaign of 1881). A branch line to Bizerta (431/2 m.) from jedeida on the main Algeria-Tunis line was also built as well as one from Tunis to Zaghwan (44 m.). A short line, branching from the Tunis-Zaghwan line, was carried south-west to Pont du Fahs. These with a few short branch lines were built between 1892 and 1900 by the Bone-Guelma Company. In 1906 was opened a continuation of the line from Pont du Fahs to Kef and thence south-west to Kalaat-es-Senam, a place midway between Kef and Tebessa, the centre of the Algerian phosphate region. A branch from the Kef line runs to the phosphate mines of Kalaaklerda.

Another railway (completed by 1900) runs from Sfax, along the coast to Mahres, thence inland to Gafsa and the phosphate mines of Metalwi. This line, 151 m. long, was for some years isolated from the general Tunisian system. The total mileage of the Tunisian railways was computed to be IO6O m. by the finishing of the Susa-Sfax, Gabes-Tebessa lines in 1909. Extensions of the railway system are contemplated to Gabes and, beyond, to the Tripolitan frontier. In the south communication is maintained chiefly by camel caravans.

Posts and Telegraphs.—The whole of Tunisia is covered with a network of telegraph lines (2500 m.), and there are telephones working in most of the lar e towns. The telegraph system penetrates to the farthest French post in the Sahara, is connected with the Turkish system on the Tripolitan frontier and with Algeria, and by cable with Sicily, Malta, Sardinia and Marseilles. There is an efficient post office service, with about 400 post offices.

Finance.—The principal bank is the Banque de Tunisie. The coinage formerly was the caroub and piastre (the latter worth about 6d.), but in 1891 the French reformed the coinage, substituting the franc as a unit, and having the money minted at Paris. The values of the coinage are pieces of 5 and 10 centimes in bronze, of 50 centimes, 1 franc and 2 francs in silver, of 10 francs and 20 francs in gold. The inscriptions are in French and Arabic. The public debt was 'consolidated in 1884 into a total of £5,702,000, guaranteed by France, and bearing 4% interest. In 1888 it was converted into a loan paying 31/2 interest, and in 1892 another conversion reduced the rate of interest to 3%. In 1902 a new loan of £1,800,000 was issued at 3%. At the beginning of 1907 the total Tunisian debt was £9,287,260; in that year the government was authorized to contract another loan of £5,000,000 at 3% (£3,000,000 being guaranteed by France) for railways, roads and colonization The weights and measures are those of France. The revenue for the year 1900 was £I,456,640, and the expenditure was £1,452,597. In 1910 receipts and expenditure balanced at. about £1,888,000 each. The principal sources of revenue are direct taxation, stamp and death duties, customs, port and lighthouse dues, octroi and tithes, tobacco, salt and gunpowder monopolies, postal and telegraph receipts, and revenue from the state domains (lands, fisheries, forests, mines). The civil list paid to the Bey of Tunis amounts to £36,000 per annum, and the endowment of the princes and princesses of the beylical family to £31,200 a year more.

Administration.—From a native's point of view Tunisia still appears to be governed by the Bey of Tunis, his Arab ministers and his Arab officials, the French only exercising an indirect-though. a very, real-control over the indigenous population (Mahommedans and Jews). But all Christians and foreigners are directly governed by the French, and the native administration is supervised by a staff of thirteen French contrôleurs and their French and Tunisian subordinates. Seven of the departments of state have Frenchmen at their head, the other two, Tunisians: thus the larger proportion of the Bey's ministers are French. France is directly represented in Tunisia by a minister resident-general, and by an assistant resident. The French resident-general is the virtual Viceroy of I'unisia, and is minister for foreign affairs. Besides Mussulman (native) schools there were in the regency, in 1906, 158 public schools, 5 lycées and colleges and 2I private schools. At these schools were 22,000 pupils (13,000 boys), all save 3500 Mussulmans being Europeans or Jews.

History.—The history of Tunisia begins for us with the establishment of the Phoenician colonies (see Phoenicia and Carthage). The Punic settlers semitized the coast, but left the Berbers of the interior almost untouched. - The Romans entered into the heritage of the Carthaginians and the vassal The province of “Africa.” kings of Numidia, and Punic speech and civilization The gave way to Latin, a' change which from the time Province of of Caesar was helped on by Italian colonization; to this region the Romans gave the name of “Africa,” apparently a latinizing of the Berber term “Ifriqa,” “Ifrigia” (in modern Arabic, Ifriqiyah).

Rich in corn, in herds, and in later times also in oil, and possessing valuable fisheries, mines and quarries, the province of Africa, of which Tunisia was the most important part, attained under the empire a prosperity to which Roman remains in all parts of the country still bear witness. Carthage was the second city of the Latin part of the empire, “after Rome the busiest and perhaps the most corrupt city of the West, and the chief centre of Latin culture and letters.” In the early history of Latin Christianity Africa holds a more important place than Italy. It was here that Christian Latin literature took its rise, and to this province belong the names of Tertullian and Cyprian, of Arnobius and Lactantius, above all of Augustine. "Lost to Rome by the invasion of the Vandals, who took Carthage in 439, the province was recovered by Belisarius a century later (533-34), and remained Roman till the Arab invasions of 648-69. The conqueror, 'Oqba-bin-Nafa, founded the city of Kairwan (673) which was the residence of the governors of “Ifriqiyah” under the Omayyads and thereafter the capital of the Aghlabite princes, the conquerors of Sicily, who ruled in merely nominal dependence on the Abbasids.

The Latin element in Africa and the Christian faith almost disappeared in a single generation;[1] the Berbers of the

  1. [The North African Church was not utterly swept away by the Moslem conquest, though its numbers at that time were very greatly diminished, and thereafter fell gradually to vanishing point, partly by emigration to Europe. Its episcopate in the 10th century still numbered thirty members, but in 1076 the Church could not provide three bishops to consecrate a new member of the episcopate, and for that purpose Gregory VII. named two bishops to act with the archbishop of Carthage. In the 13th century the native episcopate had disappeared. Abd ul-Mumin, the Almohade conqueror of Tunisia, compelled many of the native Christians to embrace Islam, but when Tunis was captured by Charles l., in 1535, there were still found in the city native Christians, the last remnants of the