Arab nationalism is defined as the idea that Arabs constitute a single distinctive nation united by a history and common language of Arabic. It is the quest for a national identity and struggle for political power in the Fertile Cresent.
Arab nationalism is a fairly new concept; it’s only about one hundred years old. It did not really develop until after world war one. It is basically he result of three major influenced:
1.) The breakup of the Ottoman Empire after world war one and the emergence of modern states that no longer shared a common religiously rooted ideology that was Islamic based and religiously sociopolitical order.
2.) The intensified struggle for independence from political and religiocultural dominance of European imperialism.
3.) The ideological movement of Jamal Al-Deen Al Afghani disciples, Muhamed Abduh and Rashid Rida.
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries there were profound changes in the Ottoman system and a serious decentralization of power. With the end of the Ottoman expansion, the state of insututions lost their administrative and military capacities. The empire was plagues with popular revolts, economic regression and in the end military defeats. Many political changes came. The Ottoman Empire was becoming weak, it was the perfect time for its downfall.
Before the downfall of the Ottoman Empire, the Ottomans had ruled the Fertile Crescent as a number of separate small provinces. There were no units of territorial government corrersponding to the Ottoman sub-states in Egypt, Tunisia or Algeria. The principal cities of the region, such as Damascus, Aleppo, Mosul, and Baghdad were the main centers of government. Rural districts were often self-governing.
World war one was a good opportunity for the Arabs to gain freedom from the Ottoman Empire. Leading the Struggle towards independence of the Arabs from Ottoman rule was Sharif Hussein. Hussein was the Turkish appointed governor of the Hijaz province of Arabia. He launched the Arab fight for freedom in June of 1916, with his Bedouin warriors stormed the Turkish garrison groups in Mecca. Hussein’s next move was to seek help of the British; he needed their moral support, money and fighting equipment. It was of the British’s benefit to provide this help seeing as the British and Arab’s had common enemy so they agreed to cooperate.
Hussein dreamed of one day becoming the ruler of the Arab world, which included the Arabian Peninsula, and what is now modern day Syria, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. The Arab leader wanted the British to recognize this ambition in exchange for fighting a common foe. On this matter the British disagreed since they felt parts of Syria were outside Arab domain. Since it was more important for the British to have the Arabs as fighting allies they supported Hussein. He proclaimed himself king of the Arabs in Mecca. He had the support of the British and the recognition of France of him...