Monday, July 22, 2013

History of Jordan (upto 1928)

The History of Jordan starts with evidence
 of human activity in Jordan in the Paleolithic period (c. 90,000 BC), continues with the Muslim empires starting in the 7th century, the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century, the Great Arab Revolt and the British mandate of Transjordan in the early 20th century, and goes on to the present day with the establishing of the independent Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1946.

Ancient kingdoms located in Jordan, such as the Roman-era Nabatean kingdom, which had its capital in Petra, left particularly dramatic ruins popular with tourists and film crews.
With the break-up of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I, the League of Nations and the occupying powers, Britain and France, redrew the borders of the Middle East. Their decisions, most notably the Sykes–Picot Agreement, led to the establishment of the French Mandate for Syria and British Mandate for Palestine. The latter included the territory of Transjordan, which had been allocated to Abdullah I of Jordan approximately a year prior to the finalization of the Mandate document (the Mandate officially introduced in 1923).

One reason was that the British government had at that point to find a role for Abdullah, after his brother Faisal had lost his control in Syria and been given the role of the king of Iraq. The British consequently made Abdullah emir of the newly created Transjordan. At first, Abdullah was displeased with the territory given to him, and hoped it was only a temporary allocation, to be replaced by Syria or Palestine. The Permanent Court of International Justice and an International Court of Arbitration established by the Council of the League of Nations handed down rulings in 1925 which determined that Palestine and Transjordan were newly-created successor states of the Ottoman Empire as defined by international law.

The most serious threats to Emir Abdullah's position in Transjordan were repeated Wahhabi incursions from 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 Wahhabis between 1922–1924, and was also utilized to help emir Abdullah with the suppression of local rebellions, first at Kura and later by Sultan Adwan, in 1921 and 1923 respectively.

In 1928, Britain officially provided King Abdullah with full autonomy, though the British RAF continued to provide security to the Hashemite Emirate.