History of Jordan

Tuesday, 25 August 2009 07:26 administrator
Print

cs1Jordan's roots as a sovereign independent state go back to the ancient kingdoms of the Nabatean Petra, Edom, Ammon, and Moab which flourished in the modern state of Jordan in the 2nd and 1st millennium B.C which makes its history goes back to 3000–4000 years ago.

The Nabatean kingdom (Arabic: الأنباط, Al-Anbāt) was one of the most prominent states in the region. The amazing ruins of its capital, Petra, bear witness to their unique architecture, civilization, and prosperity. In 2007 Petra was selected as one of the new seven wonders of the world.

The Nabatean were an ancient Arabic Semitic people who inhabited most of the populated region of modern Jordan. During its peak, the Nabataean kingdom controlled regional and international trade routes of the ancient world by dominating a large area southwest of the fertile crescent, which included the whole of modern Jordan in addition to the southern part of Syria in the north and the northern part of Arabian Peninsula in the south. As a result, Nabatean enjoyed independence, prosperity, and wealth for hundreds of years until it was occupied by the Roman Empire, which was still expanding in 100 CE. The Nabataeans developed the Arabic Script, with their language as an intermediary between Aramaean and the ancient Classical Arabic, which evolved into Modern Arabic.

The Kingdom of Edom was another strong ancient kingdom, based in the south of Jordan, it controlled most of the populated region of modern Jordan. The writings of Mesha Stele recorded the glory of the King of Edom and the victories of the kingdom in its wars with the Israelites and other nations.

In addition to Nabatean and Edom, the Ammon and Moab kingdoms were also based in the area of modern Jordan. All are mentioned in several ancient maps, Near Eastern documents, ancient Greco-Roman artifacts, and Christian and Jewish religious scriptures.

Classic antiquity

During the Greco-Roman period of influence, a number of semi-independent city-states also developed in the region of Jordan under the umbrella of the Decapolis including: Gerasa (Jerash), Philadelphia (Amman), Raphana (Abila), Dion (Capitolias), Gadara (Umm Qays), and Pella (Irbid). Parts of Jordan were later incorporated into the Hasmonean kingdom, with pastoralist Nabateans slowly establishing their own realm in the southern parts of the Transjordan. Following the establishment of Roman Empire at Syria and Judaea, the country was incorporated into the client Judaea Kingdom of Herod, and later the Iudaea Province. With the suppression of Jewish Revolts, the eastern bank of Jordan was incorporated into the Syria Palaestina province, while the eastern deserts fell under Parthian and later Persian Sassanid control.

Muslim empires

In the 7th century, and for several centuries, the region of today's Jordan became one of the heartlands of the Arabic Islamic Empire across its different Caliphates' stages, including the Rashidun Empire, Umayyad Empire and Abbasid Empire. During the Islamic era, Jordan coined its current Arabic Islamic cultural identity. Several resources pointed that the Abbasid movement, was started in region of Jordan before it took over the Umayyad empire. After the decline of the Abbasid, It was ruled by several conflicting powers including the Mongols, the Crusaders, the Ayyubids and the Mamluks until it became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1516.


Modern history

cs2


The Great Arab Revolt

During World War I, the Jordanian tribes fought, along with other tribes of Hijaz and Levant regions, as part of the Arab Army of the Great Arab Revolt. The revolt was launched by Hashemites and led by Sherif Hussein of Mecca against the Ottoman Empire. It was supported by the Allies of World War I. The chronicle of the revolt was written by T. E. Lawrence who, as a young British Army officer, played a liaison role during the revolt. He published the chronicle in London, 1922 under the title "Seven Pillars of Wisdom", which was the base for the iconic movie "Lawrence of Arabia".

The Great Arab Revolt was successful in liberating most of the territories of Hijaz and the Levant, including the region of east of Jordan. However, it failed to gain international recognition of the region as an independent state, due mainly to the secret Sykes–Picot Agreement of 1916 and the Balfour Declaration of 1917.This was seen by the Hashemites and the Arabs as betrayal of the previous agreements with the British, including the McMahon–Hussein Correspondence in 1915, in which the British stated their willingness to recognize the independence of the Arab state in Hijaz and the Levant. However, a compromise was eventually reached; and the Emirate of Transjordan was created under the Hashemites reign.

British mandate of Transjordan

In September 1922 the Council of the League of Nations recognized Transjordan as a state under the British Mandate and Transjordan memorandum excluded the territories east of the River Jordan from all of the provisions of the mandate dealing with Jewish settlement. The country remained under British supervision until 1946.

The Hashemite leadership met multiple difficulties upon assuming power in the region. The most serious threats to emir Abdullah's position in Transjordan were repeated Wahhabi incursions fron Najd into southern parts of his territory. The emir was powerless to repel those raids by himself, thus the British maintained a military base, with a small air force, at Marka, close to Amman.The British military force was the primary obstacle against the Ikhwan, and was also used to help emir Abdullah with the suppression of local rebellions at Kura and later by Sultan Adwan, in 1921 and 1923 respectively.

Independence

On May 25, 1946 the United Nations approved the end of the British Mandate and recognized Jordan as an independent sovereign kingdom. The Parliament of Jordan proclaimed King Abdullah as the first King. Abdullah I continued to rule until he was assassinated in 1951 as he was leaving the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

Post-independence history

Jordan became a founding member of the Arab League in 1945 and, as an independent country, it joined the United Nations in 1955. In 1957 it terminated the Anglo-Jordan treaty, one year after the king sacked the British personnel serving in the Jordanian Army. This act of Arabization ensured the complete sovereignty of Jordan as a fully independent nation.

 

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 November 2011 16:07