Full Text

Hussein (Husayn) Ibn Talal (1935–)

Subject History

Place Middle and Near East » Jordan

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631209379.1999.x


King of Jordan (1953–). His father Talal came to the throne in 1951 but had a complete mental breakdown a year later and was replaced by Hussein, who came of age in 1953. A Hashimite descended from the Prophet Muhammad, he had strong tribal support but also many opponents, because of his pro-English stance (he was educated at Harrow and Sandhurst Military Academy) and because his grandfather Abdullah had tried to seize all of Arab Palestine for his own kingdom in the Arab—Israeli war of 1948–9. With the acquisition of the West Bank in that war and the flight of many Palestinians from Israeli-occupied territory, there was a large number of Palestinians in Jordan who were given Jordanian citizenship and had to be assimilated. This could be done successfully only if the economy grew rapidly, which it did until the 1980s, benefiting by aid from Britain (until 1956) and then from the US and Arab countries. During the lebanese civil war (1975–90) banking and other services moved from Lebanon to Jordan. Hussein strictly controlled political activity: few political parties were legalized, all were banned from time to time and from 1974–84 parliament was suspended. Hussein faced several serious crises in his reign. Attempts to make Jordan a member of the Baghdad pact were opposed by nasser and by many Jordanians and were abandoned. Responding to public pressure Hussein dismissed Sir ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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