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Colonization and Decolonization of Iraq: An Arabian Drama
Transcript of Colonization and Decolonization of Iraq: An Arabian Drama
An Arabian Drama
, after the division of the Ottoman Empire
Gained Independence in
Iraq was admitted into the League of Nations making Britain terminate its mandate over the Arab nation. Iraq became independent after 12 years of British rule and centuries of Ottoman rule.
Economically, Iraq got most of its money from their oil resources. This is why Britain chose to colonize Iraq, so as to gain money from the Arabs' oil.
7th Century: The Arab Islamic conquest established the Islamic religion in Iraq, and saw a large influx of Arabs and Kurds. In 661 AD, after Muhammad's death, the Sunni/Shia Muslims split (this will lead to much conflict later)
Late 14-15th centuries: The Black Sheep Turkmen owned Iraq, and in 1466 The White Sheep Turkmen defeated them and took over
In the 16th century, most of Iraq was under rule of the Ottoman Empire from 1593-1918. For over 3 centuries, Iraq was a battleground between the regional rivals and the tribal alliances
After WW1 Britain promises Arab independence (Spoiler Alert: They don't get it until 14 years later)
1920: After WW1, The Western Powers met to determine how the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East would be split
And thus, our journey continues (I wonder who takes control of Iraq, ooo~)
In 1920 Iraq became a League of Nations mandate under British control with the name "State of Iraq"
The Brits made Sunni (not Shi'ites) appointed to government and ministry offices
Other than that, most all the resources (oil, trade, and politics were controlled by the British)
Ex. The Kurds lost their ancestral land
Socially, most people were fit to work, but a large majority of the population was illiterate
Even though this idea of central government had just been introduced to the Arabs, they were allowed to voice their opinions about the government (could they actually DO anything about it?...well...no, but it's the thought that counts, right?)
The biggest issue was that the Brits drew boundaries wherever they wanted, disregarding the different religious regions. This is what caused an uproar and a cry for independence.
HOW and WHY
The main reason Britain chose to take Iraq over the other Middle Eastern nations was because of its large supply of oil resources (many that had yet to be tapped into). Iraq has for a long time been one of the main oil producing/exporting countries in the world, thus building their economy on this.
After World War 1, Britain's economy greatly declined. Trading routes had been severed by the war, friendly nations' economies were
shattered, and raw materials were no longer being shipped in large quantities to England, and so they sought to get back on their feet through the economy of another smaller, easily overthrown country.
(Sadly, Britain's efforts to keep its newly acquired lands in the Middle East only increased its economic,
political, and social difficulties in the end).
When Britain first started colonizing,
they began drawing borders wherever they wanted to. Their efforts to colonize and
govern Iraq were miscalculated and selfish, resulting in the creation of an unbalanced and
violent nation, divided along ethnic lines. This made the ethnic groups very angry, especially the (already feuding with each other) Sunni and Shia religious groups. In addition to the territory disputes that were completely overlooked by the British, the Shia tribe was repeatedly underrepresented concerning governmental affairs; this was a trend that had been recurring for quite some time, and the Shia were just about up to here with it.
Political/Social/Economic Effects for Britain:
They gained more power through controlling a small country. They gained some more income through running the oil reserves and exports. Finally, they still have some control of this country today, even without a formal document stating so. Iraq still depends on Britain for some political support since they are one of the most unstable countries in the world .
Iraqis were angered by how inconsiderate the British were being regarding their religions, and the fact that they wanted to create one nation out of these many different religious regions. When they finally got a semi-competent leader in power, they managed to force some documents through the British congress that would begin to return some of their rights, eventually leading even to their independence (yet, to this day, Britain has some political control over Iraq)
Economically: Iraq was recognized as one nation rather than the 5 districts it was previously in
Politically: Religious groups tried to organize the government themselves (before Hussein took over) but revolts suppressed the array.
Abd al-Karim Qasim (an Iraqi nationalist) overthrew Iraq's monarchy, and became friends with the Soviets
The Iraqi government maintained close economic and military ties with Britain (example: A pro-Axis revolt in 1941 led to a British military intervention, and the Iraqi government agreed to support the Allied war effort)
In 1979, General Saddam Hussein became Iraqi dictator; he held onto power until 2003
The citizens of Iraq were angry that Britain wanted "Muslims to vote for a non-Muslim ruler to rule over Muslims"
The Sunni's and Shia's worked together (shocker) to peacefully revolt against British Laws.
Britain decided that Iraq was now advanced enough, and that they themselves had become stable enough to let Iraq be independent
In July of 1927, the British administration in Iraq informed King Faisal that it would be recommending Iraq for membership of the League of Nations in 1932, but not in 1928." This would effectively end the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty in 1932,making Iraq a truly independent nation.
(By July, it means today...9/24/13)
Today in Iraq, the country has to import approximately seventy percent of their food, and still doesn't have nearly enough to go around.
Today in Iraq, the government is classified as a "Parliamentary Republic" (but is still corrupt after Saddam Hussein)
Today in Iraq, they still depend mainly on exporting oil, and is one of the top world centers for oil trade (behind Saudi Arabia)
Today in Iraq, the country is still very unstable because of religious wars between the Sunnis and the Shi'ites. (The Sunnis are the majority of the gov. and they want to throw the country into chaos)
Today in Iraq, very few advancements are made socially since the British released them, because the cultural ideal established in compromise between British interests during the mandate and Iraqi religion and culture has caused a bit of muddy water concerning the actual Iraqi ideals
Today in Iraq, they continue to be dependent on foreign support for welfare due to the unstable economy resulting from their years of dependence on Britain
Today in Iraq, they still depend on Britain for political support. This lets Britain essentially control Iraq even without any formal documents stating their control
By Brian Catter
And Cristina Pop
they decided to colonize