On 20 March 1956, #Tunisia becomes independent from the French, with #Bourguiba as prime minister. The monarchy is then abolished in 1957 and Tunisia becomes a republic.
The first independence movement was formed by The Young Tunisian Party in 1907. By 1920, the Destour, a Tunisian political party, had formed a powerful base that was supported by the Bey. Their following lasted until 1934, when #NeoDestour was formed, and brought about by a new generation of young nationalists striving for independence. With a new energized independence movement, the stage was set for a new leader, Habib Bourguiba.
With the threat of independence, the French immediately banned Neo Destour and sent Bourguiba to a variety of French prisons in France where he spent the next 20 years. World War II brought about a halt in Tunisia’s bid for independence, but helped win Bourguiba a transfer from a French prison to an #Axis one in Rome.
The Nazis attempted to pressure Bourguiba into helping the Axis powers with his influence over the Tunisian independence fighters in pushing back the Allied invasion of North Africa. He refused and was released from prison in 1943 when the Nazi campaign was finally defeated at El Alamein in #Egypt .
Upon his return to Tunisia, Bourguiba proposed a concept of gradual independence for Tunisia which was supported by most Tunisians. As a means of forcing the French to leave, the Neo Destour returned to armed resistance by carrying attacks on colonial facilities. As a result, from 1952-1954, Bourguiba was imprisoned for the attacks, further fueling the fire between Tunisian Independence and French Rule.
The red and white flag of Tunisia, adopted as national flag in 1959, has its origins the naval ensign of the Kingdom of Tunis adopted in 1831 by Al-Husayn II ibn Mahmud. The #star and #crescent recalls the Ottoman flag and is therefore an indication of Tunisia's history as a part of the #Ottoman #Empire .
Fast forward to 1961, Tunisia tell French forces to leave their base in #Bizerte . Fighting breaks out and France finally pulls out of Bizerte in 1963.
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