Jordan History

By | January 9, 2023

Jordan – national flag

Jordan National Flag

The flag has been official since 1928. The colors are the Pan-Arab and originate from the revolutionary flag that Husayn ibn Ali introduced in 1917. His son Abdallah ibn Husayn changed the order of the colors to the current one and added the seven-pointed star, which stands for Islam. seven main sentences. The colors are said to stand for ancient caliph families; red is the color of the Jordanian royal family. The flag is the model for many Arab states.

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Jordan – prehistory

The oldest traces of human activity in Jordan are more than 700,000 years old. The area was then inhabited by Homo erectus. Settlements are known from later periods of the Old Stone Age.

Stone Age

The transition to the Peasant Stone Age (Preceramic Stone Age) took place around 8000 BC, and the early period is richly represented in eg Beidha in southern Jordan. Pga. over-utilization of forests for e.g. fuel, the wild animals disappeared, and domestic cattle, pigs and sheep became the primary source of animal food.

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At the beginning of 5000-tkKr. most villages were abandoned, but later, in the ceramic stone age, many new villages were founded.

From Chalcolithic times (5000-3500 BC) numerous settlements are known in the Jordan Valley and the mountains in West Jordan. Among other things, they cultivated olives, figs, flax, cereals and vegetables. Ghassul by the Dead Sea was a religious center with a clergy. The houses in the 20-hectare town were adorned with murals.

Bronze Age

According to a2zgov, the earliest part of the Bronze Age in Jordan (3500-3000 BC) is characterized by a number of unfortified cities, most in the northern part of the country, as the agricultural areas east of Amman had been depleted earlier. Relatively large cities arose, also in the desert areas; the climate was wetter than today, making dry farming possible.

Between 3000 and 2200 BC. created an actual urban culture with fortified cities. One of them has been excavated at Bab al-Dhira near the Dead Sea, and here one of the Levant’s largest burial sites has been found, mainly consisting of shaft graves. From the same period originates a large number of giant tombs in the western highlands. Early Bronze Age ended with a recession, probably due to increasing drought. The cities were abandoned and a large part of the population became nomads. Only in the Jordan Valley and southern Jordan did village communities survive by farmers.

Urban foundations took place again from around 2000 BC. in the Middle Bronze Age, and Jordan was now closely culturally linked to the rest of Syria-Palestine. The population was smaller than before, and large areas in the south were uninhabited. After a period of transition, during which one city after another perished, the Late Bronze Age began with the Egyptian conquest of Syria-Palestine around 1550 BC. Jordan became part of the international trading system in the eastern Mediterranean, but despite growing trade, the population declined again. However, the large cities, such as Irbid, Pella, Amman and Sahab, were still inhabited and fortified. From this period the first written testimonies of Jordan are known from Egypt.

Iron Age

Kingdoms may have developed as early as the end of the Bronze Age and came to greatly influence the Iron Age, which began approximately 1200 BC One of them was Ammon, which had Amman as its capital; from an temple in Deir Allah in the Jordan Valley, an Aramaic inscription is known in the same tradition as the Balaam prophecies in Numbers. The Kingdom of Moab east of the Dead Sea probably originated at about the same time and probably had the present Kerak as its capital. From Moab are known Meshastelen from 700-tkKr. with inscription in Moabite. South of the Dead Sea, the kingdoms developed later, but from 700 BC. one knows Edom with the capital Buseira.

Jordan – history

Jordan was conquered by Assyria, and after the collapse of the Iron Age kingdoms, nomadic Arab cultural elements, represented by the Nabataeans in particular, gained ground. After the defeat of the Assyrians to the Babylonians in 612 BC. Jordan, along with Palestine and Syria, joined the 6th Satrapia of the Persian Empire, divided into smaller units under their respective governors. Persian rule ended with Alexander the Great’s conquest of the Levant around 330 BC. After his death in 323 BC. Jordan was first ruled by the Ptolemies in Egypt. The Nabataeans, however, had real control of southern Jordan, and they began to spread northward. In 198 BC. Jordan fell to Syria under the Seleucid rulerAntiochus 3. He and his successors founded a series of Hellenistic, free cities.

Heads of State
emir Sort
1921-46 Abdallah ibn Husayn
1946-51 Abdallah
1951-52 Talal
1952-99 Hussein 1.
1999 Abdallah 2.

The decline of the Seleucid Empire from the middle of 100 BC. led to the Nabataeans and the newly created Hasmonean state of Palestine gaining a better foothold in the country. The Hasmonean kings conquered and destroyed several cities, and the Nabataeans became settlers in several places throughout Jordan and were able to control the caravans from southern Arabia to Gaza and Damascus.

Roman and Byzantine times

I 63 f.Kr. the Roman army commander Pompey conquered Syria, Palestine and Jordan. He let the lands be ruled by client kings, and in northern Jordan he restored a number of free cities, which were later organized as Decapolis. The free cities were expanded with Roman colonnades, temples, baths and theaters etc. The Nabataean kingdom with its capital in Petra had its heyday during this period, but in 106 AD. the kingdom was annexed by Emperor Trajan and admitted to the new province of Arabia. After a series of invasions from the east, Emperor Diocletian established around the year 300 a number of military bases facing the Arab tribes, ensuring peace right up until the Islamic conquest in the 600-t.

Jordan became Christian during the 300’s, and several churches and monasteries were built, the remains of which can be seen throughout Jordan.

Muslim influence

After Muhammad’s death in 632, Jordan was subordinated to the Caliph of Medina. When the Umayyads in 661 made Damascus the new capital of the caliphate, a growing number of Muslim Arabs settled in Jordan, where they, among other things. built several impressive castles that were simultaneously intended as a framework for agricultural production. With the Crusaders’ conquest of Jerusalem in 1099, parts of Jordan came under their rule until the Battle of Hattin in 1187, when the Christian army was defeated by Sultan Saladin. Then the rule of Jordan passed to Egypt. In 1517, Jordan was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire, of which it remained a part until the end of World War I.

Mandate and independence (1916-46)

In 1916, Husayn ibn Ali launched an Arab revolt against the Ottomans in al-Hijaz, after in October 1915 he was promised by the United Kingdom Arab independence for the parts of the Arab world under Turkish control. However, the promise was not fulfilled, and a conference held in Cairo in 1921 agreed that Transjordan, ie. the part of Jordan east of the Jordan River was to be established as an independent mandate under British control with Husayn’s son Abdallah ibn Husayn as emir. The decision was confirmed in 1922 by the League of Nations, and in 1928 Transjordan gained increased independence. In 1946, the country became fully independent, after which Abdallah assumed the title of king.

Jordan – a weak state (1946-67)

With the formation of the state of Israel in May 1948, Transjordan also participated among other Arab states in the First Arab-Israeli War (War of Independence 1948-49) against the new Jewish state. When a ceasefire was signed in 1949, the Transjordanian army had secured control of the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. In 1950, Abdallah annexed the territories that had been conquered in 1948-49 and renamed his kingdom the Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan.

The Palestinian people in the West Bank were opposed to the Jordanian annexation, and in July 1951, Abdallah was assassinated in Jerusalem because he was known to have entered into secret negotiations with Israel. He was succeeded by his son Talal (1909-72), who abdicated the following year. The new king was Talal’s son Hussein, who has ruled Jordan since 1952.

Since its independence, Jordan has had close economic and security relations with the West, first with Britain and then with the United States. The country’s geopolitical location close to Israel has since 1948 led to three major refugee flows to the country. In 1948-49, approximately 280,000 Palestinians to the West Bank, which in 1950 became part of Jordan. In 1967, approximately 300,000 Palestinians there, and in the spring of 1991, 350,000-400,000 Palestinians expelled by Kuwait came to Jordan.

At the transition to independence in 1946, Jordan was given a constitution stating that the country was a constitutional monarchy with a popularly elected parliament. The monarchy’s close relations with the West, however, led to King Hussein and leading Jordanian politicians being subjected to fierce criticism from pan-Arab nationalist groups. In 1957, political parties were banned, and in 1958 the government for a time summoned British troops as security against the growing discontent.

Jordan since 1967

In the 1967 Six-Day War (the Third Arab-Israeli War), Jordan lost the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which was conquered by Israel. For the next 20 years, changing Jordanian governments unsuccessfully supported various attempts to bring peace between Israel and the Arab countries. After the war in 1967, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (see PLO) located its political and military center in Jordan. A very large part of the Jordanian population were Palestinians, many of whom were strongly critical of the Jordanian government. In 1970, the Jordanian army launched a military showdown with the various PLO groups and eventually secured full political control of the country.

Jordan maintained until the summer of 1988 that the West Bank was part of the Hashimite Kingdom. However, the Palestinian intifada in 1987 prompted the Jordanian government to consider the situation, and in a 1988 speech, King Hussein indicated that Jordan was no longer claiming the right to the West Bank. This paved the way for a rapprochement between the PLO and Jordan, and both parties have since reached agreements with Israel.

Throughout the 1980’s, Jordan initiated ever closer political cooperation with Iraq, which due to the war against Iran (see Iran -Iraq War) imported many of its goods via the Jordanian port city of Aqaba on the Red Sea. The Jordanian king therefore played a prominent role in the attempts to resolve the political conflict triggered by Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait in August 1990 (see Gulf War).

After the Arab defeat in the war in 1967, Jordan was provided with large economic aid programs from the oil-producing Arab states. But despite this, the economic development of the country during the 1980’s drastically deteriorated. This led in 1988 to significant social unrest in several Jordanian cities.

In 1989, it became possible for people affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood to run for office as independent candidates. Throughout the 1990’s, the political system was partially liberalized, and prior to new elections in 1993, amendments to the Electoral Code were passed, making it possible for the first time since 1956 for parties to run in parliamentary elections. At the election, the first woman was elected to parliament. In connection with social unrest in 1996, there were political austerity measures. Tightens were also introduced in 1997 in relation to the country’s media, and the Muslim Brotherhood and its political body, the Islamic Action Front, IAF, together boycotted several other smaller parties this year. After King Hussein’s death in February 1999, his son became Abdallah, who the month before had surprisingly been appointed new crown prince in place of Hussein’s brother Prince Hassan, installed as the country’s new king. In the local elections in July 1999, the IAF participated again and secured influence in all the major cities of the country. Jordanian security forces made arrests of Islamists in both 1999 and 2000, and in 2001 a planned election was postponed.

Throughout the 1990’s, Jordan had paid a high economic price for its cooperation with Iraq. King Hussein managed to get renewed support from the United States when Jordan and Israel signed a peace agreement in 1994. Jordan backed the United States and the West in the war on international terrorism launched after the terrorist attacks on Washington and New York on September 11, 2001, and changes in the constitution paved the way for Jordanian units to participate in the reconstruction of Afghanistan. The king had also succeeded in establishing economically favorable relations with Arab oil states such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. In the run-up to the international invasion of Iraq in 2003, Jordan refused to allow attacks on Iraq from its territory. The Jordanian government was under pressure from the renewed Israeli occupation of parts of the West Bank in March-April 2002, which led to large demonstrations throughout the country. The demonstrations, which were also the result of a generally deteriorating economic situation for the poorer section of the population, led in 2002 to several violent clashes in the town of Maan in the southern part of the country. New elections to the Jordanian parliament were held in June 2003. The election was won by independents and parties supporting the king. The opposition parties were elected 24 candidates out of a total of 110. In the November 2007 election, independent and royalist candidates made further progress, and the only real opposition party, the IAF, declined from 17 to six seats. However, international observers questioned whether the election method used actually reflected the political views of the population.

Since King Abdallah’s ascension to the throne, a number of political reform programs have been launched, the most far-reaching of which is the National Agenda of 2005, which is still referred to in Jordanian politics. However, the al-Qaeda- led bombing of three hotels in Amman (SAS Radisson, Hyatt and Days Inn) on November 9, 2005 – referred to as Jordan’s September 11 – put security and the fight against terrorism at the top of the political agenda, and the political reform process was put in the background.

However, the economic reform process has continued with the winding up of subsidies and a radical privatization, which has resulted in Jordan again in recent years succeeding in attracting much-needed foreign investment. However, the country’s close security policy cooperation with the United States and the peace agreement with Israel make it difficult for the country to balance so that both international and national considerations can be taken into account.