Ancient civilizations can be found located on riverbanks; Jordan is such an example lying east of the Jordan River on which it was named. The term itself means ‘œsteep slope’ in Arabic and ‘œdown flowing’ in the ancient language of Aramaic Yarden. Being geographically located in the center of West Asia, it brings to mind the colossal amount of conflict and civil war, which are normative practices in the region. The country has had a colorful and extended history of being ruled under different regimes and governments.
The present-day Jordan is a part of the semicircle-shaped Fertile Crescent region, which is comparatively a more moist and fertile land of otherwise arid western Asia. This area has been traditionally associated (in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths) with the earthly location of the Garden of Eden.
Before 8000 BC, Stone Age hunters used to live in Jordan, and over time people started developing tools and agriculture. During the Bronze Age at about 3200 BC, people lived in fortified towns, which by 1500 BC were converted into kingdoms.
Jordan was composed of the kingdoms of Edom, Moab, Ammon, and Bashan, Along with other Middle Eastern territories, Jordan passed in turn to the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, and to the Seleucids around 330 BC.
Jordan submitted to the Ottoman Turkish rule being administered from Damascus. Further, it was taken away from the Turks by the British in World War I. It was separated from the Palestine mandate in 1920 and 1921, being placed under the rule of Abdullah Ibn Hussein.
During the First World War, the then Transjordan tribes fought along other tribes of Hijaz, Tihamah, and Levant regions as part of the Arab Army of the Great Arab Revolt. The Revolt was launched by Sharif Hussein of Mecca against the Ottoman Empire being supported by the allies of World War I
At the end of World War I, Jordan and some other territories were awarded to the United Kingdom by the League of Nations. In 1922, the British divided the mandate, establishing the emirate of Transjordan ruled by Hashemite Prince Abdullah.
King Abdullah was assassinated in 1951, being succeeded by King Hussein bin Talal. He ruled through the Cold War and the four years of Arab-Israeli conflict.
There were major clashes between government forces and the Palestine Guerrillas in 1970, resulting in thousands of casualties in the civil war remembered as Black September.
The year 1974 was marked as the year when King Hussein recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Also, women in Jordan were granted the right to vote.
Crown Prince Abdullah bin al-Hussein was sworn in as king after the death of his father. The country is a monarchy in which the legislative and judicial powers lie with the king.