Italy's attitude grew increasingly belligerent, and, in the years immediately preceding World War I, threats of annexation were made.
Occupying the eastern portion of the great bulge of North Africa, Tunisia is bounded on the west by Algeria, on the north and east by the Mediterranean Sea, and on the southeast by Libya. Tunisia has a highly irregular coastline that affords many bays and several fine harbors, notably Bizerte, Qabis, Safaqis, and Susah. runs through N Tunisia; but, unlike Morocco and Algeria, the mountains in Tunisia rarely exceed 4,000 ft (1,219 m) in elevation.
The bey was forced to sign the treaties of Bardo (1881) and Mersa (1883), which provided for the organization of a protectorate under a French resident general.
The protectorate was opposed by Italy, which had economic interests and a sizable group of nationals in Tunisia.
The bicameral legislature consists of the 189-seat Chamber of Deputies, whose members are popularly elected every five years, and the 126-seat Chamber of Advisers, whose members are either appointed by the president (41) or elected by indirect vote (85) and serve six-year terms. BC, Carthage rose to power, but it was conquered by Rome (2d cent. The region became known as Ifriqiya and the Berber population was converted to Islam.
The prime minister and cabinet are appointed by the president. BC), and the region became one of the granaries of Rome. Successive Muslim dynasties ruled, interrupted by Berber rebellions.