Knowledge of Moroccan society and state facilitated the occupation of Morocco and resulted in the signing of the French protectorate treaty over Morocco on March 30, 1912. This was by no means an easy accomplishment. The «peaceful invasion» and «knowledge penetration» of Moroccan structures began in 1830 after the occupation of Algeria, and continued with the defeat of the Moroccans by the French at the Battle of Isly in 1844. This opened the door to the French scientific exploration missions aiming at «occupying Morocco at the least possible cost.» The French sought to understand the mentality and the ethnic and religious makeup of Morocco. Their efforts took an institutional form in 1904 with the foundation of the Academic Mission to Morocco, which illustrated the relationship between knowledge and the colonial agenda. Writings appearing at this time, combined exoticism with systematic research and tended to show Morocco in a state of chronic chaos. In this way, the Academic Mission became a laboratory for the study and deconstruction of Moroccan structures, as well as a center for the training of the protectorate’s men as civilian observers.