The life of European immigrant communities: Egypt and Tunisia
The political and juridical framework
The Ottoman Empire gave European countries consular jurisdiction over their nationals and permission to run schools and other institutions.
The Ottoman Empire had a complex legal system. Jurisdiction over issues concerning personal status varied according to religion (the different religious communities were granted wide autonomy). Moreover, treaties with European states (known as Capitulations) placed foreign citizens under consular jurisdiction. At the same time, Ottoman rulers generally placed limits over foreign property rights and activities. Such limitations progressively disappeared during the 19th century.

After European powers took political control of former provinces of the Ottoman Empire, European immigrants became favoured over the local population, in ways that varied from case to case. In Tunisia, under the French Protectorate (1881–1956), the government introduced laws that favoured French nationals not only over the indigenous population, but also over other Europeans.
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The life of European immigrant communities: Egypt and Tunisia

The political and juridical framework
Social and political life
Religious life in Tunisia
Leisure activities
View Document Files A treaty between the Regency of Tunis and the Grand Duke of Tuscany, concerning the jurisdiction over Tuscan Jews who migrated to Tunisia

Tunis, 2 November 1846

State Archives of Florence, Florence, Italy

This treaty amended a 1822 treaty between Tunisia and Tuscany. It decreed that while the “Grana”, Jews who had migrated to Tunisia from Livorno (Tuscany, Italy) in the 17th century, remained under the jurisdiction of the Bey; those who moved to Tunisia from Tuscany after 1822 and registered at the Tuscan Consulate were placed under Tuscan jurisdiction and protection.

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In this Exhibition
About the Exhibition
Privateering and captivity in the Mediterranean
Migrations within the Ottoman Empire
North–South movements
The life of European immigrant communities: Egypt and Tunisia