Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen

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Mutawakkilite Kingdom

المملكة المتوكلية
al-Mamlakah al-Mutawakkilīyah
1918–1970
Anthem: Royal Salute
Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen in its region.svg
Location of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen
on the Arabian Peninsula after dwarfing in 1934.
StatusMember of United Arab States (1958–1961)
Capital Sana'a (19181948)
Ta'izz (19481962)
Common languages Arabic
Religion
Zaidi Islam
Government Theocratic absolute monarchy
Imam  
 19181948
Imam Yahya Hamid ed-Din
 19481962
Ahmad bin Yahya
 19621970
Muhammad al-Badr
Historical era 20th century
 Independence from the Ottoman Empire
30 October 1918
30 September 1947
1 December 1970
Area
1962195,000 km2 (75,000 sq mi)
Currency North Yemeni rial
Time zone UTC+3
Calling code 967
ISO 3166 code YE
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag of the Emirate of Ha'il.svg Emirate of Jabal Shammar
Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg Yemen Vilayet
North Yemen Flag of North Yemen.svg
Today part ofFlag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia
Flag of Yemen.svg  Yemen

The Mutawakkilite Kingdom (Arabic : المملكة المتوكليةal-Mamlakah al-Mutawakkilīyah), also known as the Kingdom of Yemen or, retrospectively, as North Yemen , was a state that existed between 1918 and 1962 in the northern part of what is now Yemen. Its capital was Sana'a until 1948, then Taiz. From 1962 to 1970, it maintained control over portions of Yemen (frequently most) until its final defeat in the North Yemen Civil War. Yemen was admitted to the United Nations on 30 September 1947.

North Yemen generic term designating the north-western part of the state of Yemen

North Yemen is a name given to the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen (1918–1962) and the Yemen Arab Republic (1962–1990), states that exercised sovereignty over the territory that is now the north-western part of the state of Yemen in southern Arabia.

Yemen Republic in Western Asia

Yemen, officially the Republic of Yemen, is a country at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is the second-largest Arab sovereign state in the peninsula, occupying 527,970 square kilometres. The coastline stretches for about 2,000 kilometres. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, the Gulf of Aden and Guardafui Channel to the south, and the Arabian Sea and Oman to the east. Yemen's territory encompasses more than 200 islands, including Socotra, one of the largest islands in the Middle East. Yemen is a member of the Arab League, United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Taiz City in Yemen

Taiz is a city in southwestern Yemen. It is located in the Yemeni Highlands, near the port city of Mocha on the Red Sea, lying at an elevation of about 1,400 metres (4,600 ft) above sea level. It is the capital of Taiz Governorate. With a population of over 600,000 in 2005, it is the third largest city in Yemen after the capital Sana'a and the southern port city of Aden. Taiz is considered to be the cultural capital of Yemen.

Contents

History

Background

Zaidi Religious leaders expelled forces of the Ottoman Empire from what is now northern Yemen by the middle of the 17th century but, within a century, the unity of Yemen was fractured due to the difficulty of governing Yemen's mountainous terrain.

Zaidiyyah branch of Shia Islam

Zaidiyyah or Zaidism is one of the Shia sects closest in terms of theology to the Ibadi and Mutazila schools. Zaidiyyah emerged in the eighth century out of Shi'a Islam. Zaidis are named after Zayd ibn ʻAlī, the grandson of Husayn ibn ʻAlī and the son of their fourth Imam Ali ibn 'Husain. Followers of the Zaydi Islamic jurisprudence are called Zaydi and make up about 50% of Muslims in Yemen, with the vast majority of Shia Muslims in the country being Zaydi.

Ottoman Empire Former empire in Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa

The Ottoman Empire, historically known to its inhabitants and the Eastern world as Rome (Rûm), and known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. Although initially the dynasty was of Turkic origin, it was thoroughly Persianised in terms of language, culture, literature and habits. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.

Topography The study of the shape and features of the surface of the Earth and other observable astronomical objects

Topography is the study of the shape and features of land surfaces. The topography of an area could refer to the surface shapes and features themselves, or a description.

In 1849, the Ottoman Empire occupied the coastal Tihamah region to put pressure on the Zaiddiyah imam to sign a treaty recognizing Ottoman suzerainty and allowing for a small Ottoman force to be stationed in Sana'a. However, the Ottomans were slow to gain control over Yemen and never managed to eliminate all resistance from local Zaydis. In 1913, shortly before World War I, the Ottoman Empire was forced to cede some power formally to highland Zaydis.

Tihamah Red Sea coastal plain of the Arabian Peninsula from the Gulf of Aqaba to the Bab el Mandeb

Tihamah or Tihama refers to the Red Sea coastal plain of the Arabian Peninsula from the Gulf of Aqaba to the Bab el Mandeb.

Suzerainty is any relationship in which one region or polity controls the foreign policy and relations of a tributary state, while allowing the tributary state to have internal autonomy.

World War I 1914–1918 global war starting in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the resulting 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

Independence

On 30 October 1918, following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Imam Yahya Muhammad of the al-Qasimi dynasty declared northern Yemen an independent sovereign state. In 1926, Yahya proclaimed the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen, becoming both a temporal king as well as a (Zaydi) spiritual leader, and won international recognition for his new state, such as with the Kingdom of Italy, entering into the Italo-Yemeni Treaty in 1926.

Yahya Muhammad Hamid ed-Din Imam of yemen

Yahya Muhammad Hamid ed-Din became Imam of the Zaydis in 1904 after the death of his father, Muhammad Al-Mansur, and Imam of Yemen in 1918. His name and title in full was "His majesty Amir al-Mumenin al-Mutawakkil 'Ala Allah Rab ul-Alamin Imam Yahya bin al-Mansur Bi'llah Muhammad Hamidaddin, Imam and Commander of the Faithful".

Dynasty sequence of rulers considered members of the same family

A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family, usually in the context of a feudal or monarchical system, but sometimes also appearing in elective republics. Alternative terms for "dynasty" may include "house", "family" and "clan", among others. The longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, otherwise known as the Yamato dynasty, whose reign is traditionally dated to 660 BC.

Sovereign state Political organization with a centralized independent government

In international law, a sovereign state, sovereign country, or simply state, is a political entity that is represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defined territory, one government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood that a sovereign state is neither dependent on nor subjected to any other power or state.

Consolidation

In the 1920s, Yahya had expanded his power to the north into Tihamah and 'Asir, but he collided with the rising influence of the Saudi king of Nejd and Hejaz, Abdul Aziz ibn Sa'ud. In the early 1930s, Saudi forces retook much of these gains before withdrawing from some of the area, including the southern Tihamah city of Al Hudaydah. The present-day boundary with Saudi Arabia was established by the 20 May 1934 Treaty of Taif, following the Saudi-Yemeni War in 1934. Yahya's non-recognition of his kingdom's southern boundary with the British Aden Protectorate (later the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen) that had been negotiated by his Ottoman predecessors resulted in occasional clashes with the British.

House of Saud the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia

The House of Saud is the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia. It is composed of the descendants of Muhammad bin Saud, founder of the Emirate of Diriyah, known as the First Saudi state (1744–1818), and his brothers, though the ruling faction of the family is primarily led by the descendants of Ibn Saud, the modern founder of Saudi Arabia. The most influential position of the royal family is the King of Saudi Arabia. King Salman, who reigns currently, chose first his nephew and then his son as the crown prince without consulting the Allegiance Council. The family is estimated to comprise 15,000 members, but the majority of the power and wealth is possessed by a group of about 2,000 of them.

Ibn Saud Founder of Saudi Arabia

Abdulaziz ibn Abdul Rahman ibn Faisal ibn Turki ibn Abdullah ibn Muhammad Al Saud, usually known within the Arab world as Abdulaziz and in the West as Ibn Saud, was the first monarch and founder of Saudi Arabia, the "third Saudi state".

Al Hudaydah City in Yemen

Al-Hudaydah, also transliterated as Hodeda, Hodeida, Hudaida or Hodeidah, is the fourth-largest city in Yemen and its principal port on the Red Sea. As of 2004, its population was 402,560 and it was the centre of the Al Hudaydah Governorate.

In 1932, the governments of Yemen and the Kingdom of Iraq signed a treaty which led to the training of Yemeni Army officers in Iraq. Later, several of them would play a key role in the 1962 coup d'état in North Yemen. [1]

Kingdom of Iraq 1921-1958 monarchy in the Middle East

The Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq was founded on 23 August 1921 under British administration following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the Mesopotamian campaign of World War I. Although a League of Nations mandate was awarded to the UK in 1920, the 1920 Iraqi revolt resulted in the scrapping of the original mandate plan in favour of a British administered semi-independent kingdom, under the Hashemite allies of Britain, via the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty. The Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq was granted full independence in 1932, following the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty (1930). The independent Iraqi Kingdom under the Hashemite rulers underwent a period of turbulence through its entire existence. Establishment of Sunni religious domination in Iraq was followed by Assyrian, Yazidi and Shi'a unrests, which were all brutally suppressed. In 1936, the first military coup took place in the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq, as Bakr Sidqi succeeded in replacing the acting Prime Minister with his associate. Multiple coups followed in a period of political instability, peaking in 1941.

The Kingdom of Yemen became a founding member of the Arab League in 1945 and joined the United Nations on 30 September 1947. It committed a small expeditionary force to the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. [2]

Instability and decline

Imam Yahya was assassinated in an unsuccessful coup d'état in 1948, but was eventually succeeded by a firm heir - Yahya's son, Imam Ahmad bin Yahya, who regained power several months later. His reign was marked by growing development, openness and renewed friction with the United Kingdom over the British presence in the south that stood in the way of his aspirations for the creation of Greater Yemen. He was slightly more forward-thinking than his father, and was more open to foreign contacts. Nonetheless, his regime, like his father's, was autocratic and semi-medieval in character; even the most mundane measures required his personal approval.

In March 1955, a coup by a group of officers and two of Ahmad's brothers briefly deposed the king but was quickly suppressed. Ahmad faced growing pressures, supported by the Arab nationalism objectives of President of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser and, in April 1956, he signed a mutual defense pact with Egypt. In 1958, Yemen joined the United Arab Republic (a federation of Egypt and Syria) in a confederation known as the United Arab States, but this confederation was dissolved soon after Syria withdrew from the United Arab Republic and the United Arab States in September 1961, and relations between Egypt and Yemen subsequently deteriorated.

Imam Ahmad died in September 1962, and was succeeded by his son, the Crown Prince Muhammad al-Badr, whose reign was brief. Egyptian-trained military officers inspired by Nasser and led by the commander of the royal guard, Abdullah as-Sallal, deposed him the same year of his coronation, took control of Sana'a, and created the Yemen Arab Republic (YAR). This fighting sparked the North Yemen Civil War, and created a new front in the Arab Cold War, in which Egypt assisted the YAR with troops and supplies to combat forces loyal to the imamate, while the monarchies of Saudi Arabia and Jordan supported Badr's royalist forces opposing the newly formed republic. Conflict continued periodically until 1967 when Egyptian troops were withdrawn. By 1968, following a final royalist siege of Sana'a, most of the opposing leaders reached a reconciliation, and Saudi Arabia recognized the republic in 1970.

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See also

Related Research Articles

History of Yemen aspect of history

Yemen is one of the oldest centers of civilization in the Near East. Its relatively fertile land and adequate rainfall in a moister climate helped sustain a stable population, a feature recognized by the ancient Greek geographer Ptolemy, who described Yemen as Eudaimon Arabia meaning "fortunate Arabia" or "Happy Arabia". Yemenis had developed the South Arabian alphabet by the 12th to 8th centuries BCE, which explains why most historians date all of the ancient Yemeni kingdoms to that era.

Yemen Arab Republic former country

The Yemen Arab Republic, also known as North Yemen or Yemen (Sanaʽa), was a country from 1962 to 1990 in the western part of what is now Yemen. Its capital was at Sanaʽa. It united with the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, on May 22, 1990, to form the current Republic of Yemen.

Abdul Rahman al-Eryani President of North Yemen

Abdul Rahman Yahya Al-Eryani was President of the Yemen Arab Republic from 5 November 1967 to 13 June 1974. Originally a leader of the Free Yemeni Movement (Al-Ahrar) opposition group during the time of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen, al-Eryani served as Minister of Religious Endowments under North Yemen's first republican government and later became the only civilian politician to have led Northern Yemen. He was eventually overthrown by Ibrahim al-Hamdi and died in exile.

Muhammad al-Badr imam

Muhammad Al-Badr was the last king of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen and leader of the monarchist regions during the North Yemen Civil War (1962–1970). His full name was Al-Mansur Bi'llah Muhammad Al-Badr bin Al-Nasir-li-dinu'llah Ahmad, Imam and Commander of the Faithful and King of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of the Yemen.

Ahmad bin Yahya Imam of Yemen

Ahmad bin Yahya Hamidaddin was the penultimate king of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen, who reigned from 1948 to 1962. His full name and title was H.M. al-Nasir-li-Dinullah Ahmad bin al-Mutawakkil 'Alallah Yahya, Imam and Commander of the Faithful, and King of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of the Yemen.

Greater Yemen South of the Arabian Peninsula

Greater Yemen is a geographic term denoting territories of historic South Arabia which included the present territory of the Republic of Yemen as well as the Saudi regions of 'Asir, Najran, Jizan, adjacent islands in the Red Sea, adjacent parts of Tihamah and the Omani governorate of Dhofar.

North Yemen Civil War

The North Yemen Civil War was fought in North Yemen from 1962 to 1970 between royalist partisans of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom and supporters of the Yemen Arab Republic. The war began with a coup d'état carried out in 1962 by revolutionary republicans led by the army under the command of Abdullah as-Sallal, who dethroned the newly crowned Imam Muhammad al-Badr and declared Yemen a republic under his presidency. The Imam escaped to the Saudi Arabian border where he rallied popular support from northern Shia tribes to retake power, escalating shortly to a full-scale civil war.

North Yemeni rial currency

The rial or riyal was the currency of North Yemen, first the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen, then the Yemen Arab Republic.

The Saudi–Yemeni War was a war between Saudi Arabia and Yemen in 1934.

Islamic history of Yemen

Islam came to Yemen around 630 during Muhammad's lifetime and the rule of the Persian governor Badhan. Thereafter, Yemen was ruled as part of Arab-Islamic caliphates, and became a province in the Islamic empire.

The modern history of Yemen began with the withdrawal of the Ottoman Empire. In 1839 the British set up a protective area around the southern port of Aden and in 1918 the northern Kingdom of Yemen gained independence from the Ottoman Empire. North Yemen became a republic in 1962, but it was not until 1967 that the British Empire withdrew from what became South Yemen. In 1970, the southern government adopted a communist governmental system. The two countries were formally united as the Republic of Yemen on May 22, 1990.

Rassids

The Imams of Yemen and later the Kings of Yemen were religiously consecrated leaders belonging to the Zaidiyyah branch of Shia Islam. They established a blend of religious and secular rule in parts of Yemen from 897. Their imamate endured under varying circumstances until the republican revolution in 1962. Zaidiyyah theology differed from Ismailis or Twelver Shi'ites by stressing the presence of an active and visible imam as leader. The imam was expected to be knowledgeable in religious sciences, and to prove himself a worthy headman of the community, even in battle if this was necessary. A claimant of the imamate would proclaim a "call" (da'wa), and there were not infrequently more than one claimant. The historian Ibn Khaldun mentions the clan that usually provided the imams as the Banu Rassi or Rassids. In the original Arab sources the term Rassids is otherwise hardly used; in Western literature it usually refers to the Imams of the medieval period, up to the 16th century. The Rassid branch that came to power with imam al-Mansur al-Qasim is known as Qasimids.

Imams of Yemen

The Imams of Yemen and later the Kings of Yemen were religiously consecrated leaders belonging to the Zaidiyyah branch of Shia Islam. They established a blend of religious and secular rule in parts of Yemen from 897. Their imamate endured under varying circumstances until the republican revolution in 1962. Zaidiyyah theology differed from Sevener or Twelver Shi'ites by stressing the presence of an active and visible imam as leader. The imam was expected to be knowledgeable in religious scholarship, and to prove himself a worthy headman of the community, even in battle if this was necessary. A claimant of the imamate would proclaim a "call" (da'wa), and there were not infrequently more than one claimant.

The Treaty of Daan was an agreement signed on 9 October 1911 at Daan in the Yemen Vilayet by a representative of the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and Imam Yahya Muhammad Hamid ed-Din, the Zaydi Imam of Yemen expanding autonomy in the Ottoman province, and ending the Yemeni–Ottoman Conflicts.

The Alwaziri coup, also referred as the Yahia clan coup was a violent dynasty overthrow attempt in the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen in 1948, which created a great deal of violence and ended with around 5,000 fatalities. During the coup attempt, Imam Yahya Muhammad Hamid ed-Din, the ruler of the kingdom, was killed and the rival Sayyid family, the Alwazirs, seized power for several weeks. Backed by the al-Saud family of Saudi Arabia, the Hamidaddins restored their rule. After deposition of the Alwaziris, the restored monarchy of Imam Yahya was succeeded by his son Ahmad bin Yahya.

The Free Yemeni Movement was a nationalist political movement active in the politics of North Yemen from the mid-1930s until the 1962 coup which ushered in the Yemen Arab Republic and the 8-year North Yemen Civil War.

The Yemeni–Ottoman conflicts were a series of conflicts between the Ottoman Empire and Zaidi tribes in Upper Yemen, which began in 1538 and ended with the signing of the Treaty of Daan on 9 October 1911.

References

  1. Robert D. Burrowes: Historical Dictionary of Yemen, Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press 2000, p. 190.
  2. Morris, Benny (2008), 1948: The First Arab-Israeli War, Yale University Press, p.205, New Haven, ISBN   978-0-300-12696-9.

Sources