Iraq (Major World Nations) by John P. Docherty

By John P. Docherty

Explores the folks, background, tradition, land, weather, and economic climate of Iraq, the "Cradle of Civilization."

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Iraq has had many conquests and occupations by other peoples and cultures. The overall population density of Iraq stands at 138 persons per square mile (53 per square km). But the population density varies greatly across the country, with the largest populations of this arid land concentrated near the river systems. About 76 percent of the population resides in urban areas, whereas in the rural sections of 51 52 Iraq the country most people still live in tribal communities. 2 percent per year in the early 1980s declined by the early 1990s as the birth rate fell during the Iran-Iraq War and the Persian Gulf War.

The area came under Persian control in 1508, and by 1534 the Ottoman Turks conquered much of it. Persian armies took control of Baghdad and large parts of Iraq in 1623 until 1638, when Iraq was again brought under Ottoman rule. Iraq would remain under Ottoman control for almost three centuries. Modern History Modern Iraq’s history began with the last era of Ottoman rule in the 1800s. Until the 1830s, Ottoman rule in Iraq was weak. Control of the area alternated between powerful local chieftains and Mamluk rulers.

He imposed this authority on the tribal countryside, and for the first time the Arabs felt the impact of a strong Ottoman government, especially with regard to tax collections. The people resented this domineering central 31 32 Iraq authority, and this resentment gave rise to a strong sense of Arab nationalism. Britain and Iraq Britain and Germany became rivals in the commercial development of the Mesopotamian area by the end of the 19th century. First interested in Iraq as a direct overland route to India, the British by 1861 had established a steamship company for navigating the Tigris to the port of Al Basrah.

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