The city of Baghdad was founded under these new Muslim rulers in the mid-700s and
became a center of learning in the Muslim world. From this point until the 1200s
Bagdad continued to be a leader in the Islamic world both religiously, as well as
culturally and politically. However, the ruling people, the Abbasid dynasty also
slowly brought the Persians back into power, replacing the Arabs.
The Mongols came loudly as they killed many people in the
country with their arrival. However only 50 years after their arrival, many of the
Mongol rulers began to convert to Islam and actually allowed numerous aspects of
Persian, not Arab culture to thrive. After Mongol rule came
the rule of the Timurid dynasty. Timur invaded what is today Iraq in the late 1300s
and took much of it as his descendants continued to rule the region into the 1400s.
Like the earlier Mongols, after an initial mass murder to obtain power, Timur and
his dynasty slowly adopted many Persian customs.
At the same time as the Mongols and Timurid invasions,
the Turkmen also fought for power and control over the region in the 1300s and 1400s.
However the end of the Timurids and Turkmen came in the following century when the
Ottoman Turks took control of nearly the entire region in the 1500s. Under this
rule though, battles continued as the country was greatly divided as all these people
fought for control as did the Safavid Dynasty from Persia.
From the 1600s until the 1800s these people all fought over Iraq
until 1831, when the Ottoman Turks solidified power in the region. The Ottomans
ruled the region until the early 1900s after losing World War I. In 1915 and 1916
the British attacked the region of Mesopotamia as
a front during WWI. After WWI the British took control of the region, however created
great hostilities when since the Kurds and Assyrians demanded independence and didn't
The British installed a king and the country was
founded in 1921, but not officially independent from Britain until 1932. However
this new rule led to numerous battles between the Sunnis and Shias as the new government
was Sunni Muslim, but numerous minority groups were Shia Muslim.
The 1930s were plagued by these battles and in 1941 the government was overthrown
in favor of a government that favored the Axis powers. This led to all-out war in
Iraq and eventually the British
re-took control and used the region as a base for the rest of the war. After the
war these battles and protests continued, although Iraq also entered the world's
political stage by joining the United Nations.
In 1948, after the founding of Israel, the Arab-Israeli war
broke out, with the Iraqis taking an active role. Regional tensions continued through
the 1950s when Iraq discussed politics with
Kuwait, which was still under British control.
The British took this as an insult and Iraq soon lost support from Britain. This
led to strained tensions with nearly everyone and in 1958 the government was overthrown
once again in favor of a republic.
In 1961 Kuwait gained independence from the
United Kingdom and Iraq claimed control over the region,
something the Kuwaitis rejected and led to great tension between the two countries.
At about the same time Kurds in the north began rebelling, which moved Iraq's
attention north to fight these insurgents and maintain control over the country.
These battles continued until 1969 when the war ended with no resolution; the Kurds
had taken much power in the struggle.
The tensions with the Kurds though continued and in 1974 another war broke out between
the two groups. This war only lasted until the following year and again was limited
in what it accomplished as the two groups continued to maintain poor relations.
In 1979, with continued pressure on the government, the president stepped down and
chose Saddam Hussein as his successor. At nearly the same time Iran
underwent a revolution and gained a new political system. Despite the changes in
power, the tension between the two countries didn't retreat as in 1980 the two
went to war over border disputes, partially due to Hussein's believe that Iran
was susceptible due to their change in government.
The Iran-Iraq war continued for nearly
eight years and proved to be economically disastrous for Iraq. Following this, the
former general, Hussein, decided to invade Kuwait in 1990.
This led to the Kuwaiti support of Saudi Arabia and
their request that the United States enter
Kuwait to restore the country's former borders and security. By 1991 the conflict
Following this, the internal wars of Iraq continued with another
Kurdish revolt. The government did not hesitate to smash this revolt and in the
process they killed numerous people, encouraging those Kurds to call the actions
genocide. Throughout the rest of the 1990s and into the 2000s the Iraqi government
made more and more enemies domestically and abroad as the standards of living in
the country severely declined.
In 2003 the United States invaded
Iraq on the grounds that Iraq was producing weapons of mass destruction
and that Iraq had failed to obligate numerous UN sanctions imposed on them regarding
disarment. This invasion was highly controversial and the United Kingdom was the
only large militarized nation to fully support the decision. The country was quickly
overrun by the western armies, however this invasion also led to massive internal
rioting and rebellions as the Kurds and other minority groups fought the Iraqi government
and people, seeking independence. It also opened the door to Al Qaeda who began
bombing U.S. strongholds and planting bombs on the roads. The war essentially ended
in December, 2003 when Saddam Hussein was captured.
These many internal fights were been escalated to essentially a civil war by 2006.
This internal violence continued well into 2011 and still exists on a more regional
scale. This violence led to further U.S.