Reza Khan also persuaded the British company that controlled Persia's oil industry to give Persia a larger share of the profits and insisted that Persian workers be hired at all levels of the company. In the decades ahead, oil would become a major factor in Persia's economy and foreign policy.

Nationalism and Conflict in the Middle East

After World War I, the vast Ottoman empire was partitioned into Turkey and several new nations that would make up the modern Arab world. Several Arab lands sat above large oil reserves, giving them global importance in a world that was increasingly dependent on gasoline-powered engines. Instead of granting independence to the Arab states carved out of the Ottoman empire, European powers turned them into mandates under their control.

The Rise of Pan-Arabism

Partly in response to foreign influence, Arab nationalism grew after World War I. One form of Arab nationalism was Pan-Arabism. This nationalist movement was built on the shared heritage of Arabs who lived in lands from the Arabian Peninsula to North Africa.

Today, this area includes Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Algeria, and Morocco. Pan-Arabism emphasized the common history and language of Arabs and recalled the golden age of Arab civilization. The movement sought to free Arabs from foreign domination and unite them in their own state.

The Pan-Arab movement however, faced obstacles. Arabs generally were not united. They tended to identify with their particular tribe, sect, religion, or region rather than with a single, unified nation-state.

European-Controlled Mandates

During World War I, some Arab leaders had helped the Allies against the Ottoman empire. These leaders expected to create their own kingdoms after the war. Even before the revolt, however, France and Britain had secretly agreed that they would take over the Arab lands within the Ottoman empire.

A map shows the Middle East from 1920 to 1930.
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Population movement, the Treaty of Versailles, and foreign influences changed the Middle East after World War I. How did foreign influences affect the Middle East?


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Table of Contents

World History Topic 1 Origins of Civilization (Prehistory–300 B.C.) Topic 2 The Ancient Middle East and Egypt (3200 B.C.–500 B.C.) Topic 3 Ancient India and China (2600 B.C.–A.D. 550) Topic 4 The Americas (Prehistory–A.D. 1570) Topic 5 Ancient Greece (1750 B.C.–133 B.C.) Topic 6 Ancient Rome and the Origins of Christianity (509 B.C.-A.D. 476) Topic 7 Medieval Christian Europe (330–1450) Topic 8 The Muslim World and Africa (730 B.C.-A.D. 1500) Topic 9 Civilizations of Asia (500–1650) Topic 10 The Renaissance and Reformation (1300–1650) Topic 11 New Global Connections (1415–1796) Topic 12 Absolutism and Revolution Topic 13 The Industrial Revolution Topic 14 Nationalism and the Spread of Democracy (1790–1914) Topic 15 The Age of Imperialism (1800–1914) Topic 16 World War I and the Russian Revolution (1914–1924) Topic 17 The World Between the Wars (1910–1939) Topic 18 World War II (1930–1945) Topic 19 The Cold War Era (1945–1991) Topic 20 New Nations Emerge (1945–Present) Topic 21 The World Today (1980-Present) United States Constitution Primary Sources 21st Century Skills Atlas Glossary Index Acknowledgments