Jordan: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About the location, history, size, population, and government of the country Jordan.



Location--In Southwest Asia, Jordan is bordered on the west by Israel, stretching to the Gulf of Aqaba on the southwest. On the south and east lies Saudi Arabia, except for a short stretch of border with Iraq. Syria lies to the north.

How Created--In the wake of W.W. I, Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill was concerned that Britain maintain close control of the strategically important region east of the Jordan River. Thus the territory of Transjordan came to be separated from the rest of Palestine and Syria. The Amir Abdullah was installed as surrogate ruler for the British. After the 1949 Arab-Israeli War, Abdullah unilaterally annexed the west bank of the Jordan River and proclaimed the Kingdom of Jordan. Israel conquered the west bank in 1967, and though Jordan still claims the area, Palestinians reject such claims.

Size--36,909 sq. mi. (95,594 sq. km.), about the size of Indiana.

Population--2,750,000: Arab, with a smattering of others. 93.6% Sunni Muslim, 6% Christian.

Who Rules--The King, Hussein, grandson of King Abdullah. He has the trappings of a government around him, but the style tends to be personal.

Who REALLY Rules--Hussein and his top military officers rule internally, but are kept in power by the U.S. Personal devotion of the bedouins to Hussein is essential to his ability to control the Army, and he keeps their loyalty by providing benefits to tribal leaders.

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