12.95 In Stock
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a modern, Middle Eastern, sovereign state, which was established in the middle of the 20th century. The geographical area in which Jordan is situated has a fascinating history of settlement and organized community life stretching back almost 9,000 years. Stone Age inhabitants lived along the river valleys half a million years ago. Permanent stone and mud brick houses were first constructed around 8000 B.C.E. As of 3200 B.C.E., urban life has been recorded in walled cities situated throughout the land. Semitic Amorites settled the area of Canaan in the Jordan River Valley around 2000 B.C.E. Subsequent settlers and invaders included Egyptians, Israelites, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Crusaders, Turks, and the British. Until the early 1900s, political boundaries in this region were based on clan migrations and affiliations rather than geographical lines drawn in the sand. The modern boundaries of Jordan were established when the League of Nations mandated that Great Britain administer the former Ottoman territory now known as Jordan, Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, and Iraq. During this time, the Hashemite Prince Abdullah was chosen to rule the semi-autonomous Emirate of Transjordan. In 1946, Britain abolished the mandate and Transjordan became the Kingdom of Jordan. In 1948, Britain oversaw creation of the state of Israel and the West Bank was assigned to Jordan. Violence erupted as a result of this mandate, causing more than 1 million Palestinian refugees to flee-many into Jordan. This wave of refugees nearly doubled the population of Jordan, putting social and economic pressure on the country. In 1951, King Abdullah I was assassinated outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. His son, Talal, ruled for one year before being proclaimed unsuitable. Abdullah's grandson Hussein, only 17, became King of Jordan. Ruling from 1952 to 1999, Hussein was one of the longest reigning monarchs in the world, surviving a number of Egyptian and Palestinian attempts to overthrow his rule. He was extremely popular among the East Bankers and the Bedouin population of Jordan. As a result of the 1967 war between Israel and the Arab states, Israel obtained military occupation of the West Bank. Immediately following the war, Palestinian refugees again flooded into Jordan. The country's economy suffered the loss of valuable agricultural lands, tourist income from the holy lands, and revenues from the West Bank. In 1988, Jordan renounced its claim to the West Bank. In 1991, Jordan agreed to participate in direct peace negotiations with Israel sponsored by the United States and Russia. This breakthrough led to a host of new developments. Legislation passed in 1992 ending martial law, legalizing political parties, and reducing government monitoring of the media. In 1994, Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty permitting trade, travel, and tourism between the two nations. Since then, the tenor of Jordanian-Israeli relations has varied and, at times, been strained due to actions in and reactions to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.