History in Syria

History in Syria

The first settlements on the site of modern Syria began to appear in the fourth millennium BC. Their inhabitants were mainly engaged in agriculture and cattle breeding. Due to the favorable geographical position, these lands were repeatedly attacked by various states. Around the 3rd millennium BC. here stretched the territory of the state of Ebla. It was later conquered by the Canaanite tribes. Around 1760 B.C. the Babylonians invaded here, and, starting from the 18th-17th centuries BC, the lands were under the rule of the Hyksos. In 1520 BC the rule of the kingdom of Mitanni was established here, around the same time the city of Damascus, which was a major trading center, became known. From 1400 BC the Semitic tribes of the Arameans began to invade and move here. After 1380 B.C. the Hittites dominated here, from the end of the 11th century BC. – Israel-Jewish state, in the 9-8 centuries BC. Assyrians, from 605 BC – Babylonians, from 539 BC – Persians. It is believed that the name “Syria” appeared under the Assyrians, as they called their colonies. In 333 BC. the territory of modern Syria was under the rule of Alexander the Great, and after the collapse of the empire he created in 301 BC. – Seleucid dynasty. In the 2nd century BC. the power of the Seleucids began to weaken, which led to the formation of several small states. In 64 B.C. they were all conquered by Rome. According to the Bible, it was in the Syrian city of Antioch that the future apostle Paul adopted the Christian faith. And later the residence of the patriarch of the East was located here. After the collapse of the Roman Empire in 395, the territory of Syria became part of Byzantium.

The turning point in the history of the state was the 7th century, when Syria was captured by the Arabs, and Damascus became the capital of the Arab Caliphate. Arabic replaced the Greek language and almost all Syrians converted to Islam. The next stage in the history of Syria was the period from the 16th to the 20th century, when it was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. By the end of the 19th century, European powers fighting for new lands began to actively interfere in the political life of Syria and established their spheres of influence, which could not but cause discontent among the Syrians. It was at this time that the first societies began to appear that wanted to achieve the independence of Syria from the Ottoman Empire. Protests reached their peak during the First World War. Check a2zdirectory for old history of Syria.

After the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1919, the General Syrian Congress was held in Damascus, where the need was expressed for declaring the complete independence of Syria, and in 1920 the Syrian Arab Kingdom was de facto formed. However, in the same year, France received a League of Nations mandate to govern Syria and Lebanon. The Syrians opposed this, but still the French troops occupied the territory of the state. Until the Second World War, uprisings constantly rose in Syria, France tried to negotiate with the National Bloc and in 1936 even recognized the de jure independence of Syria, but already in 1939 it abolished the constitution of the newly created state. The difficult position of France in the international arena during World War II led to the fact that in 1943 France entered into an agreement with the Syrian nationalists, according to which parliamentary elections were held in Syria, in which the National Party won. The independence of Syria was officially proclaimed on April 17, 1946.

The National Party tried in every possible way to retain power, but the split in the party itself due to differences in political views and dissatisfaction with the work of the parliament of the peasants, who did not want to put up with the privileges given to merchants and private entrepreneurs, provoked several military coups in the next 10 years. In addition, Syria did not want to recognize the State of Israel, created in 1948, and unleashed a war that same year. At the end of hostilities, both states never came to a peaceful solution, that is, clear boundaries between them were never drawn, and Syrian troops occupied the territory of the Golan Heights. In 1956, Syria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia concluded a collective security pact against possible Israeli aggression, and in 1958, Syria and Egypt formed a single state – the United Arab Republic (UAR). The capital of the republic was the city of Cairo. An interim constitution was adopted, according to which the Egyptian National Union Party became the only legal political party of the UAR. But this caused discontent in Syria, which ended with another military coup and the withdrawal of Syria from the UAR in September 1961. Because of all its “failures”, the Syrian National Party has ceased to enjoy the support of the population.

On March 8, 1963, the Military Committee of the Ba’ath Party, which was formed in 1947 by the merger of the Arab Socialist Party and the Arab Renaissance Party, organized a military coup and overthrew the government. Banks were immediately nationalized, large enterprises came under state control, a new agrarian reform was launched to limit the size of private landholdings, and a new labor law was passed to protect the rights of workers. The new government began to work closely with the Syrian Communist Party. All the steps taken increased the proportion of dissenters among the representatives of the middle and upper classes, in addition, the socialists who came to power were mired in corruption, so anti-Baathist speeches began already in the spring of 1967. Popular unrest was strongly supported by the Islamist organization. In the summer of 1967, Syria became embroiled in the Six Day War with Israel, culminating in Israel’s liberation of the Golan Heights in southern Syria that once belonged to it. Israeli air strikes on Syrian cities have caused great harm to the country’s economy, and the local population declared the government unable to improve the situation.

In 1970, as a result of a coup d’√©tat, the military wing of the Ba’ath Party came to power, which developed a five-year plan to boost the economy. In 1974, after the October War of 1973, when the armed forces of Egypt and Syria jointly launched an attack on Israeli territories – the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights – Israel withdrew its troops from a number of areas of the Golan Heights. This showed the growing military power of the state. However, the government was also heavily corrupted, with state-owned enterprises receiving more privileges than private ones, which gave another impetus to the rapid development of the Islamist movement. The Union of Islamist Groups called for an end to corruption, free elections to a Constituent Assembly, and liberalization of the constitution. Islamist groups carried out a series of terrorist attacks, but no changes were made to the constitution. Only in 1985, at the Congress of the Baath Party, a decision was made to reorganize the entire system, and the government placed great hopes on foreign investment. Investments began to flow into the country only after 1991, when the Syrian leadership supported the actions of the International Coalition against Iraq.

Until now, the issue of the Golan Heights remains unresolved in Syria, Israel is ready to give up these territories, but in exchange for a peace treaty. Negotiations on the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the territory of the Golan Heights Syria began in 1991, but the first result was achieved only in 2007, when a small part of the Israeli military forces left the Golan Heights.

History in Syria