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Anthony Zanontian - Middle Eastern History

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Anthony Zanontian making a presentation on the history of the middle east. Anthony Zanontian took an interest in college in middle eastern History.

Anthony Zanontian making a presentation on the history of the middle east. Anthony Zanontian took an interest in college in middle eastern History.


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  • OPEC and the Future of the World
  • Transcript

    • 1. The Middle East
      • Informal Discussion and Presentation on:
      • A Short History of the Middle East
      • by
      • Anthony Zanontian
    • 2. Early History
          • Medieval “Arab” Empire
            • Emergence of Islam in the 7 th century
              • The middle east came under Muslim control after its founding in 622
          • Arab Empires ruled until the 13 th century
            • All of the conquests were consolidated in one century
          • Within three decades after Mohammed’s death most of the middle east were conquered by Muslim Armies
            • Dramatic expansion and unity
          • Beginnings of political discord
            • Who had the legitimate claim to lead the Muslim state?
          • 25 years after of the prophet’s death this dispute took place
            • His son in law, Ali, was 1 st designated as Caliph but then there was a rival claim
            • Political division in the Muslim community
            • Ali’s claim was backed by a group of followers who came to be known as the “Partisans”, Shi, The Shiites. The partitions of Ali.
          • This political difference among the Muslims gradually transformed into a religious one.
            • Shiite-Sunni Rivalry
    • 3. History of Western Involvement
      • Early Western involvement
          • Financial penetration
            • Modernization required funds.
            • The governments lost control over import taxes.
              • Thus there was need for money
          • Europe was giving loans to the Ottomans
            • Loans came with strings and high interest rates.
              • Cycle of indebt ness
        • Egypt had to contract their biggest loans for the Suez Canal, which led to the bankruptcy of the Egyptian government.
            • All middle eastern government ultimately defaulted in the payment of these loans and the Europeans stepped in politically and military.
              • Encroachments on the sovereignty of the Middle Eastern states. Europeans entered Egypt’s parliament and colonized Egypt.
          • Cultural penetration
            • European culture was adopted but not imposed ie. dress, furniture, music
    • 4. WWI and the Middle East
          • The renewed European domination lead to the dismemberment of ottoman territories.
            • There were treaty agreements between England and leaders of Gulf Leaders.
          • By 1907 the Russians and the British had divided Iran into two spheres of influence. Succession movements lead to the shrinkage of ottoman territories. Balkan wars of 1913 for independence. By 1914 the Ottoman Empire shrank.
              • Triple Entente - The Russians, the British and the French alliance during WWI.
          • WWI is often referred to the European war but this overshadows the role of the Ottoman Empire in WWI.
          •  Why couldn’t they be neutral?
          • If the ottomans were faced with the triple entente and they knew there would be a scramble for their territories.
            • o They tried to at first join the triple entente. Then when denied Ottomans turned to the central powers, Germany Austria and Hungary.
    • 5. WWI and the Middle East
            • Germany was known as a non-imperialist power and also the ottomans believe that the Germans could win the war.
          • The sultan caliph called it a holy war, a jihad .
            • They declared it a holy war a jihad against the entente powers. The ottoman sultan became to be known as a caliph, the leader of Islam.
              • The country became much more Muslim after Christian territories were lost. And it would allow the people to rally with the ottomans.
              • It was also a try to rally countries in north Africa against colonization
              • The ottoman defenses in and around Arabia were weak in the red sea. The holy cities of Islam are on the red sea coast. These areas were exposed at the outbreak of the war.
    • 6. Sharif Hussayn and those Darn Brits
        • Sharif of Mecca Hussayn was asked by Istanbul to endorse the holy war.
          • They were from the Hashim family, who are believed to be direct descendents of Muhammed.
          • Sharif Hussayn refused to endorse the jihad because he feared British attacks because the British had heavy naval power around Arabia.
          • Yet, Sharif Hussayn engaged in a series of communications with the British authorities in Egypt.
            • There was an exchange of letters between the British high commissioner, McMahon.
            • The British promised to Hussayn the leadership of an Arab state
              • This state would extend in Arab territories between Egypt and eastern Arabia.
            • Sharif Hussayn agreed. He was just a local man of influence in Mecca and now he was being promised the entire Arab East.
          • The British hoped that Arabs could rise against the ottoman sultan in an nationalist movement
            • Sharif Hussayn successfully rose in rebellion in 1916 against the ottoman army and led a tribal army with his two sons Faisal and Abdullah.
          • Britain defaulted on its promise, and instead took a large amount of the land for themselves, and gave the rest of it to their allies: France and Russia
    • 7. Western Interests Prior to WWII
          • Foreign involvement lingered in Iran in the interwar period
            • They needed technical aid in modernizing so foreign advisors started to go to Iran in the early 1920s
            • More importantly, they wanted the large quantities of oil in Iran
            • Both Russia and the US displayed an interest in Iran in he interwar (WWI to WWII) period
              • The Russians constantly supported rebellious movements there.
            • Oil was found and extracted 1 st in Iran
              • Anglo-Perisan oil company gave only 16% of their profits to the Iranian government.
              • This was very unpopular with the Iranian people as it was viewed to be a very bad agreement.
              • In the 30’s these lingering foreign interests forced the Iranians to turn to the rivals of these powers, making allies with Germany
              • This relationship became very intimidating to the British
    • 8. WWII and the Middle East
      • The Middle East Completely avoided getting involved with the WWII. Why?
        • Every Nation was indebted to the Industrialized European Countries due to further loans.
          • Had nothing to gain, it was a war outside their bounds.
          • Soldiers, Weapons, and Artillery are very expensive to have and maintain. Very few Middle Eastern Countries had the funds for basic necessities let alone standing armies.
        • Only Nation that did get involved was Iran
          • During world war II the British wanted the Mohammad Reza Shah because his father was pro-German
            • Mohammed Reza Shah was very young and several political factions had emerged because of the breakdown of power
          • Towards the end of WWII the USSR refused to remove their troops
            • When the Russian troops refused to leave Iran the new shah turned to the US for help, so US advisors were sent.
    • 9. Iran and those Darn Americans
          • With American Involvement The Parliament became a real forum for differences.
          • The coalition of Ulama and merchants emerged and were the National Coalition (Front) they wanted a more equitable profit sharing from the oil profits of the Anglo-Iranian company. They wanted a 50:50 profit split.
            • Leader of the National Front was Mohammed Mosadeq .
              • He became the prime minister of Iran and asked for the nationalization of oil
              • The British called for a boycott on Iranian oil to cripple Iran
            • The national front denounced the shah for looked to the west, the shah had to flee the country.
              • Mosadeq took power after the shah fled.
          • Mossadeq had alliance with the socialist party, and the US did not want the spread of socialism .
          • The CIA with the British planned a coup to topple the democratically elected government of Iran.
    • 10. Iran and those Darn Americans
            • They bribed anti-Mosadeq groups and town thugs to gain support for rebellion against him.
            • The army imprisoned Mossadeq and the Shah came back.
            • The US assumed a great share of power in Iran.
      •  
    • 11. Oil Revolution
          • The Middle Easten Oil Rich Countries wanted to make an oil embargo against the west. Why?
            • Meant to bring financial gains to boost Arab economies, Arab military capability, and bring greater leverage in diplomacy after their failures of diplomacy after the 1967 war.
          • Oil and the Middle East in historical perspective
          • Was 1 st extracted in Iran in 1908 , 1920’s in Mesopotamia
              • British companies were extracting it
              • Rapid consumption started in the 20’s then increased exponentially
          • Low cost of oil made it an attractive energy source
              • American companies were given contracts for oil in the gulf
              • Only 1/10 th of the profits had been going to the indigenous governments, it still gave a huge boom for these countries economically
            • Oil producing countries realized they needed to coordinate policy to have power.
              • Creation of OPEC- organization of petroleum exportation countries
    • 12. Oil Revolution
              • Arab countries 1 st tried to make an artificial increase in oil prices immediately have the 67 war
          • Impact of oil crisis of 1970s
          • Fluctuations in oil price
          • After 1973 OPEC acted in much more coordinated way.
              • Late 1973 OPEC declared an embargo wanting Israel to back out to the 48 boundaries
              • They then had an embargo against the US.
              • This led to huge increase in oil prices, 4 fold increase within a year.
            • Conservative monarchies gain leverage.
              • Places like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait gained much leverage.
            • Global Effects
              • Europe and Japan
              • Hardest hit these countries, it was intended to do so
    • 13. Oil Revolution
              • European countries became more supportive of the Arab points of view
          • The US
              • Domestic shortage of oil
              • Had 1/40 th of world pop and consumed 1/3 of world energy
              • Upset global balances
              • Stagflation emerged
              • Inflation and stagnation in the economy happening at the same time
              • In 1973 US secretly considered a possibility to take control of Saudi oil fields.
    • 14. Problems with Iraq
          • Iran-Iraq War (1980-1987)
            • War lasted 8 years and was the most destructive war in the middle east since WWI
            • Causes
              • The provocation for the war came from Iraq from Saddam Hussein who had emerged the strong man in the Baath party that emerged in the 60’s and in 1979 he was the head of state in Iraq
              • His attack against Iran was motivated against opportunism to expand
              • Iran supported Kurdish guerillas in Iraq to gain leverage in the 70s
              • In 1975 a compromise had been reached but in 79 when the fundamentalist took power Iraq incited rebellions of Arabs in the south of Iran. He hoped that Iran did not have the energy to confront these rebellions.
              • Iran wanted to win the Shiites of Iraq to fight with them.
    • 15. Problems with Iraq
          • Iraqi invasion of Kuwait (1990)
              • August 1990, Sadam Hussein invaded Kuwait and declared it a province of Iraq.
              • Iran Iraq war had come to an end when Iran accepted a cease fire in 1987.
            • Why the invasion?
              • Saadam argued that historically Kuwait had been part of Iraq, referring to the ottoman period.
              • Real reasons:
              • Just like with Iran, Iraq had border disputes with Kuwait.
              • Iraq made claims to two islands and to a major oil field between Iraq and Kuwait and accused Kuwait of unfair drilling practices, depleting oil on the Iraqi side.
            • US role
              • US had supported Iraq during the gulf war and now they turned around completely and opposed to Iraq after the invasion because of economic interest.
    • 16. Problems with Iraq
        • US rallied a true international coalition
          • Americans were divided over the issue.
            • Some saw it as economically motivated and a new imperialism
        • Outcome
            • This was a short war in which the coalition had absolute superiority
            • Contrary to the anti-war party the war didn’t have many US casualties
            • Technologically advanced war
            • Economically it did not impact the US because other members of the alliance funded the war like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia
            • Ended in 1991 and looked like a huge victory
    • 17.
      • Thank You…
      • Questions?