The ethnic composition of Tunisia was partially modified in the 16th-18th centuries due to the arrival of Turks and Levantines and their union with the women of the country; groups of Q ū l ō ghli(as those born of these unions were called) were formed in Tunis and its surroundings, in Bizerte, Monastīr, al-Mahdiyyah. In addition to the Janissaries, who were children of Christians taken prisoner in war by the Turks or periodically removed from the provinces as a tribute, many Christian slaves came to Tunis taken by Tunisian pirates and young slaves from the Caucasus and the Levant, bought and raised to serve in families. or in the army. Some Christian slaves, from all over Europe, from England, France, Spain and Italy, became Muslims and often rose to higher ranks. At the beginning of the century XVIII in Tunis as in Tripoli there were hardly any Janissaries left, much less Turks; they had been replaced by local and hired elements.
The supreme power remained throughout the century. XVII in the hands of the d ā y ī elected by the militia and the people; but the office of the bey continued to increase in importance, that is, of the commander of the troops. Murād Bey (1612-1631), a renegade of Corsican origin, was bey at the time of Yūsuf Dāyī (1610-1637) and obtained the title of pasha from Constantinople; his son Moḥammed, called Ḥammūdah (1637-1663), took over from him in the office of bey and also obtained that of pasha; Murād, son of Hammūdah (1663-1675), was also a bey and intervened in 1673 in the internal affairs of the government, deposing the dey, who was al-ḥāǵǵ ‛Alī Lāz, and appointing el-ḥāǵǵ Māmī in his stead Gemāl. Therefore, in Tunisia, as in Tripolitania at the same time, the rivalry between the gods is determined(usurpers of the power of the pashas) and the beys, who seek to prevail. Furthermore, as we have seen in the lineage of Murad Bey, there was already a tendency to make the office of bey hereditary and therefore to bring a family to the government and found a dynasty. The discord that arose between Murād Bey’s descendants (sons Moḥammed Bey and ‛Alī Bey and uncle Moḥammed Pascià) prevented this from happening until then.
The foundation of a dynasty was instead possible in the lineage of the currently ruling family, which is headed by Ḥusein Bey, son of ‛Alī at-Turkī, a native of Candia. Ḥusein, who was agha of the janissaries, took power when the last dey, who was Ibrāhīm ash-Sherīf, was conquered and taken by the Algerians; in 1705 he proclaimed himself bey and ruled alone and uncontested; he had three sons (Moḥammed, ‛Alī and Maḥmūd) by a Christian slave; after thirty years of government of the regency he was expelled from Tunis in 1735, following the revolt of a nephew, named ‛Alī, and was killed in 1740 near al-Qairawān, where he had retired. ‛Alī Pascià fiercely ruled Tunisia from 1735 to 1756. Thanks to him and his son Yūnus, the Genoese colony established on the island of Ṭabarqah until 1540, when the island was granted to the Lomellini family of Genoa in exchange for the redemption of Dorghūt. It was a base for coral fishing and also served as a general emporium for trade in Barbary. Yūnus Bey in 1741’s seized Ṭabarqah and brought 800 people into slavery to Tunis. One of Ḥusein Bey’s sons, Moḥammed, was able to regain the throne in 1756 with the help of the Algerians. Then he ruled his brother ‛Alī (1759-1782), and then the son of these Ḥammūdah Bey (1782-1814), under whose government a maritime accident caused a war between Venice and Tunis (1784-1792); the Venetian ships commanded by Angelo Emo bombed Susa and the Goletta and especially Sfax; Emos died in Malta on March 1, 1792, Condulmer was charged with concluding the peace. Ḥammūdah Bey welcomed the Qaramānlīs to Tunis (v. under the government of which a maritime accident caused a war between Venice and Tunis (1784-1792); the Venetian ships commanded by Angelo Emo bombed Susa and the Goletta and especially Sfax; Emos died in Malta on March 1, 1792, Condulmer was charged with concluding the peace. Ḥammūdah Bey welcomed the Qaramānlīs to Tunis (v. under the government of which a maritime accident caused a war between Venice and Tunis (1784-1792); the Venetian ships commanded by Angelo Emo bombed Susa and the Goletta and especially Sfax; Emos died in Malta on March 1, 1792, Condulmer was charged with concluding the peace. Ḥammūdah Bey welcomed the Qaramānlīs to Tunis (v. caramanli) expelled from Tripoli by the usurper ‛Alī Borghul in 1793 and two years later he went with his troops to Tripoli, managing to restore the lordship of the Qaramānlī. In 1816 the Bey of Tunis signed with Great Britain and then with other states the commitment to definitively abolish piracy and slavery of Christians. The commitment was renewed in 1830 after the French occupation of Algiers. For Tunisia 2003, please check computerannals.com.
A number of Christian shopkeepers remained even in the most difficult times in Tunis and in the main ports; in the sec. XVII began the influx of Jews from Livorno (called Gurn ī, plur. Gr ā na), who joined the co-religionists of Spanish origin coming from the century. XVI; the existence of a “Leghorn Jewish community” in Tunis is attested by the consular archive of France at the end of the century. XVII. Therefore, under the protection of the consuls and the greater security of the country, thousands of immigrant artisans, farmers and traders settled in Tunisia mainly from the islands of Pantelleria, Malta, Sicily and Sardinia and also from the rest of Italy and France. In 1860 there were 10,000 Christians in the city of Tunis alone (of which 5,000 Maltese, 3,000 Italians, 2,000 Greeks, French, etc.).