The Formation of Arab Nations

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The Formation of Arab Nations Much of the modern political Arab world was born at the end of World War I, as outside powers divided up their shares of territories that were loyal to their regimes. For example, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon came to exist along side the precarious state of Palestine. By World War II, these states had begun to want independence, and the following decades would witness revolution, regime change, violence, and, ultimately, a break from the grips of the Ottoman Empire and European powers (Provence). Today, the so-called “Arab Spring” uprisings, ongoing now for several years, are in part as a result of mid-20th-century political rule and administration by outside powers. In the early 20th century, the Arab world was composed primarily of nomadic pastoralists in the inland desert regions and urban dwellers along coastal regions occupying key trade outposts (Anderson). While populations shared commonalities, such as language and religion, they had little else in common. This distinction would come to represent a divisive issue after the 1948 establishment of the state of Israel. Prior to this, however, Ottoman officials and European powers, mainly the United Kingdom and France, sought political influence in the region (Provence). Following the World War I, countries that had expended enormous amounts of blood and treasure felt they had real incentive to involve themselves in peripheral regions and ensure that their political views were supported. For example, young Arab states tended to support Communist parties in their governments. The Ba’ath Party, an Arab party that exists to this day, is one example of this. Early Arab states also embraced Ottoman Empire political traditions, and this was oc... ... middle of paper ...>. Long, Jerry M.. Saddam's war of words: politics, religion, and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2004. Print. Provence, Michael. The great Syrian revolt and the rise of Arab nationalism. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2005. Print. Shryock, Andrew. Nationalism and the genealogical imagination oral history and textual authority in tribal Jordan. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997. Print. Sullivan, Kevin. "In Tunisia, Islamist government paralyzed by middle-class backlash and extremist violence." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 18 Sept. 2013. Web. 9 Feb. 2014. .
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