10425 The Middle East Between the World Wars

Credits: 6 intermediate credits in Modern History or in History of the Middle East

Prerequisites: none

Recommended: Introduction to the Modern History of the Middle East

Author: Haggai Erlich

The course deals with the history of the Middle East and focuses on Arab countries and communities from the establishment of the region to its current political form, a region of modern states. It deals primarily with Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Arabs of Palestine and the Arab Peninsula states. It also relates to the countries bordering on the region: Turkey, Iran, the Nile countries and North Africa.

The course offers a detailed discussion of the changes and internal processes which took place in each country. It focuses on changes in the political domain, but also examines social, economic, cultural and ideological changes. It follows political and cultural developments in Middle Eastern society – particularly the way in which it contended with the West, its superpowers and values, focusing on the main periods, from the “parliamentary age” of the 1920s to the establishment of the Arab League in 1945. The history of the area from 1920 to 1946 is reviewed through the reading of articles by leading historians.

Topics: “The spirit of the 1920s” – an age of non-violence in the region, the history of Egypt during this decade; The British mandate in Iraq, Transjordan and Palestine in the 1920s; The French mandate in the 1920s in Lebanon and Syria; The Arabian peninsula between the World Wars; The 1930s, crises and rebellion – economic and social crises and the entrance of the middle-class into the political arena in Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria and among the Palestinians; The new politics and ideological change; World War II and the changes it produced in the Middle East.