Timeline

1453

Ottomans conquer Constantinople, effectively ending the fifteen-hundred-year-old Roman Empire.

1497

Vasco Da Gama discovers Cape route, enabling European merchants to bypass overland route through the Middle East.

1501

Shah Isma‘il enters the city of Tabriz, establishing the Safavid Empire.

1517

Traditional date for the founding of the Ottoman Empire.

1517

Martin Luther tacks his 95 Theses on the door of Wittenburg Cathedral; traditional date for the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.

1519

Conquest of Mexico by Hernando Cortes; five years later, Francisco Pizarro conquers Peru.

1526

Founding of Mughul Empire.

1569

Ottoman Empire grants first successful capitulations to a European power.

1722

Collapse of Safavid Empire.

1756-1763

Seven Years' War; Britain eclipses France in the Atlantic economy.

1774

Treaty of Kuchuk Kaynarja between Ottoman Empire and Russia gives Russia a foothold on the Black Sea.

   

1796

Founding of Qajar Empire.

1798

Napoleon invades Egypt.

1801

Mehmet Ali (Muhammad ‘Ali) seizes control over Egypt and establishes a dynasty that lasts until 1953.

   

1803

Muhammad ibn Sa‘ud conquers Mecca and establishes the “first Saudi state.

1817

Serbian rebellion ushers in era of Balkan nationalism.

1830

French begin conquest of Algeria.

1831-1840

Egyptian occupation of Levant.

1838

Treaty of Balta Liman opens the market of the Ottoman Empire to Great Britain.

   

1839

Ottoman sultan issues the Hatt-i Sharif of Gulhane, inaugurating the tanzimat “reform” period.

   

1851

Dar al-Funun, a school established to train military officers and bureaucrats, established in Persia.

   

1856

The Islahat Fermani reaffirms and expands on the principles first enunciated in the Hatt-i Sharif of Gulhane.

   

1861-1865

American Civil War leads to the expansion of cotton cultivation in Egypt and Levant.

   

1869

Suez Canal opened, reducing distance ships have to travel between Britain and India by half.

   

1872

Persians grant Julius de Reuter concession to oversee wide range of economic activities.

   

1873

Onset of the first truly worldwide depression.

1876

Ottoman and Egyptian bankruptcies lead to European control over finances.

1876

Promulgation of Ottoman Constitution.

1878-1908

Hamidian period ends tanzimat: Sultan Abdulhamid II rules Ottoman Empire without constitution or parliament.

   

1881-1882

‘Urabi Revolt in Egypt ends with British occupation.‘Urabi Revolt in Egypt ends with British occupation.

1882

Beginning of the first wave of Jewish immigration to Palestine.

1901

Persian government grants William Knox d'Arcy first oil concession in the Middle East.

   

1904-1905

Russo-Japanese War, followed by Russian Constitutional Revolution.

1905

Beginning of Persian Constitutional Revolution.

1907

First nationalist party in Arab world founded in Egypt.

1908

Young Turk Revolution in Ottoman Empire restores constitution.

1914-1918

World War I changes political map of the Middle East.

1915

Amir Faysal launches “Arab Revolt” against Ottomans.

1917

Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.

1917

Great Britain issues Balfour Declaration supporting the Zionist movement.

1919

Egyptian revolt against British occupation.

1919-1922

Turkish War of Independence.

1920

Treaty of Sèvres formally severs connection between Turkish and non-Turkish regions of the Ottoman Empire; mandates system imposed in Levant and Mesopotamia.

   
   

1921

British announce formation of Trans-Jordan (later Jordan) at Cairo Conference.

   

1922

Egypt granted conditional independence from Great Britain.

1924

Mustafa Kemal “Ataturk” abolishes caliphate.

1925

Last Qajar shah dethroned.

1926

Reza Khan proclaimed shah of Persia.

1928

Formation of Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, an early example of a modern Islamic political movement.

   

1929

Traditional date marking the onset of the Great Depression.

1932

Iraq becomes first mandated territory to receive independence; Ibn Sa‘ud announces creation of Saudi Arabia.

   

1936-1939

Palestinians launch revolt against Zionists and Great Britain.

1938

Oil discovered in Saudi Arabia.

1939-1945

World War II; under Middle East Supply Center, industrial production in Arab Middle East increases 50 percent.

   

1941

Allies invade Iran; replace Reza Shah with son, Muhammad Reza Shah.

1948

After First Palestine War, Israel proclaims independence.

1949

First postwar military coup d'état in Arab world launched in Syria.

Timeline 341

1952

Free Officers' coup in Egypt; Gamal ‘Abd al-Nasser soon emerges as head of state.

1953

After the nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, the United States and Great Britain organize the overthrow of the Iranian government.

   

1954-1962

Algerian war of independence.

1955

International conference in Bandung, Indonesia, marks the beginning of the nonaligned movement.

   

1956

Great Britain, France, Israel launch Suez War against Egypt.

1958

Overthrow of monarchy in Iraq.

1958-1961

Unification of Egypt and Syria in United Arab Republic.

1960

Venezuela, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq form the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

   

1967

June War between Israel and Arab states; Israel occupies Egyptian, Syrian, and Jordanian territory, along with East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

   
   

1969

Yasir Arafat takes control of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

1971

With the promulgation of the Nixon Doctrine, the United States expands support for the shah of Iran.

   

1971

Onset of international economic crisis upends the postwar international economic order.

   

1973

Oil “price revolution” engineered by OPEC marks greatest triumph for Third World economic nationalism.

   

1974

United Nations General Assembly and Arab states recognize Palestine Liberation Organization as the “sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people."

   
   

1978

Camp David Peace Accords negotiated between Egypt and Israel.

1978-1979

Iranian Revolution culminates in the establishment of an “Islamic republic.”

1979

Onset of debt crisis opens up an era of retrenchment for states throughout the Third World.

   

1980-1988

Iran-Iraq war leaves half a million to one million dead and one to two million wounded.

   

1982

Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

1990

Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, followed by Gulf War in 1991.

1993

Oslo Accord extending mutual recognition between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

   

2001

Hijacked airliners crash into World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Pennsylvania woods; George W. Bush launches Global War on Terror.

   

2003

The United States and allies invade Iraq and topple the government of Saddam Hussein.

   

2004-2007

Insurgency, then sectarian violence wrack Iraq.

2007

Hamas takes over Gaza; Palestinian national movement confronts most serious breach since the founding of the PLO.

   

2008

The United States and Iraq sign a “status of forces agreement”; United States commits to the withdrawal of all troops from Iraq by 31 December 2011.

   

2009

Barack Obama pledges to begin “drawdown” of American troops in Afghanistan by 2011.

   
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