Early History:

The region of present-day Jordan roughly corresponds to the biblical lands of Ammon, Bashan, Edom, and Moab. The area was conquered by the Seleucids in the 4th cent. B.C. and was part of the Nabatean empire, whose capital was Petra, from the 1st cent. B.C. to the mid-1st cent. A.D., when it was captured by the Romans under Pompey. In the period between the 6th and 7th cent. it was the scene of considerable fighting between the Byzantine Empire and Persia. In the early 7th cent. the region was invaded by the Muslim Arabs, and after the Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099, it became part of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. In 1516 the Ottoman Turks gained control of what is now Jordan, and it remained part of the Ottoman Empire until the 20th cent.

After the fall of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, the region came under (1919) the government of Faisal I, centered at Damascus. When Faisal was ejected by French troops in July, 1920, Transjordan (as Jordan was then known) was made (1920) part of the British League of Nations mandate of Palestine. In 1921, Abdullah ibn Husayn, a member of the Hashemite dynasty and the brother of Faisal, was made head of Transjordan, which was administered separately from Palestine and was specifically exempted from being part of a Jewish national home. A Jordanian army, called the Arab Legion, was created by the British, largely through the work of Sir John Bagot Glubb.

In a treaty signed with Great Britain in 1928, Transjordan became a constitutional state ruled by a king, to be hereditary in the family of Abdullah of the Hashemite family from Mecca, who was placed on the throne by the British. The country supported the Allies in World War II, and, by a treaty with Great Britain signed in 1946, it became (May 25) independent as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan.

< BackHome.html