Kingdom of Hejaz

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The Hashemite Kingdom of Hejaz
المملكة الحجازية الهاشمية
Al-Mamlakah al-Ḥijāzyah Al-Hāshimīyah
1916–1925
Flag
Flag
Coat of arms
Coat of arms
Kingdom of Hejaz (green) and present Hejaz region (red)
on the Arabian Peninsula.
Capital Mecca
Languages Arabic
Ottoman Turkish
Religion Sunni Islam
Government Absolute monarchy
King
 •  1916–1924 Hussein bin Ali
 •  1924–1925 Ali bin Hussein
Historical era Interwar period
 •  Kingdom established 10 June 1916
 •  Recognized 10 August 1920
 •  Conquered by Nejd 19 December 1925
 •  Ibn Saud crowned King of Hejaz 8 January 1926
Area
 •  1920 250,000 km2 (97,000 sq mi)
Population
 •  1920 est. 850,000 
     Density 3/km2 (9/sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Hejaz Vilayet
Kingdom of Hejaz and Sultanate of Nejd
Emirate of Transjordan

The Hashemite Kingdom of Hejaz (Arabic: المملكة الحجازية الهاشمية‎‎, Al-Mamlakah al-Ḥijāzyah Al-Hāshimīyah) was a state in the Hejaz region in the Middle East ruled by the Hashemite dynasty. It achieved national independence after the destruction of the Ottoman Empire by the British Empire, during World War I, when the Sharif of Mecca fought in alliance with the British Imperial forces to drive the Turkish Army from the Arabian Peninsula during the Arab Revolt.

The new kingdom had a brief life and then was conquered in 1925 by the neighbouring Sultanate of Nejd under a resurgent House of Saud, creating the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd.[1]

On 23 September 1932, the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd joined the Saudi dominions of Al-Hasa and Qatif, as the unified Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.[2][3]

History

Sharif Hussein

In their capacity as Caliphs the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire would appoint an official known as the Sharif of Mecca. The role went to a member of the Hashemite family, but the Sultans typically used Hashemite inter-familial rivalry to pick and choose from among contenders and so ensure that the Sharif remained weak.

With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 the Sultan, again in his capacity as Caliph, declared a jihad against the Entente powers. The British in particular hoped to co-opt the Sharif as a weighty alternative religious figure backing them in the conflict. The British already had a series of treaties with other Arab leaders in the region and were also fearful that the Hejaz could be used as a base to attack their shipping to and from India. The Sharif was cautious but after discovering that the Ottomans planned to remove him and possibly murder him agreed to work with the British if they would support a wider Arab revolt and the establishment of an independent Arab kingdom. The British implied they would (though were not precise) and, after the Ottomans had executed other Arab nationalist leaders in Damascus and Beirut the Hejaz rose against the Ottomans and soundly defeated their armies, though without completely expelling them (Medina remained under Ottoman control throughout.)

In 1916, the Sharif of Mecca Hussein bin Ali declared himself King of Hejaz as his Sharifian Army participated with other Arab forces and the British Empire in expelling the Turks from the Arabian peninsula.[4][5]

The British though, were compromised by their agreement to give the French control of Syria (comprising modern-day Syria and Lebanon) and did not, in Hussein's eyes, honour their commitments. Nevertheless, they did eventually create Hashemite-ruled kingdoms (in protectorate form) in Jordan and in Iraq, as well as Hejaz. Hussein refused to conclude a treaty of friendship with the British, who then later felt powerless to intervene when another British client, Ibn Saud invaded and conquered Hejaz.

Kings of Hejaz

See also

References

  1. ^ Yamani, Mai (2009), Cradle of Islam: the Hijaz and the quest for an Arabian identity (Pbk. ed.), I.B. Tauris, ISBN 978-1-84511-824-2 
  2. ^ Madawi Al-Rasheed. A History of Saudi Arabia. Cambridge, England, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
  3. ^ A Brief overview of Hejaz - Hejaz history
  4. ^ Baker, Randall (1979), King Husain and the Kingdom of Hejaz, Oleander Press, ISBN 978-0-900891-48-9 
  5. ^ Teitelbaum, Joshua (2001), The rise and fall of the Hashimite Kingdom of Arabia, New York University Press, ISBN 978-0-8147-8271-2 
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