Topic 17: Post-war developments in the Middle East (1945–2000)


This topic will explore the various ideas such as nationalism, communalism, modernization and westernization in the Middle East after 1945. It will examine the complex issues of domestic reforms and to what extent such reforms were acceptable or successful in achieving their aims, in addition to analyzing the interference and influence of outside actors on developments internally within the region. Focus will also be on the factors leading to the creation of Israel and its subsequent relationship with neighbouring Arab states with investigation into the Palestinian question.

Specifically, this topic will cover the following:

  • The factors leading to the creation of the state of Israel which includes: (a) the post-war tensions between Palestinians and Jews and the instability under the British mandate; (b) the causes and effects of the 1948–1949 Arab-Israeli War.
  • Events between Arab states and Israeli including: (a) the Suez Crisis, (b) Six Day War, (c) 1973 War; (d) the consequence of the conflicts such as occupied territories, intifadas, formation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO); (e) manouveres for peacemaking like the Oslo Accord (1993) and Camp David (2000) •
  • Post-war Egypt that includes: (a) the rise and significance of Gamal Abdel Nasser and the political, economic and social policies under his leadership, (b) the role and impact of Anwar Sadat on developments in Arab-Israeli and western relations as well as political, economic and social policies under his government, (c) Hosni Mubarak and the political, economic and social policies under his rule and their impact; (d) the idea of PanArabism and the temporary formation of the United Arab Republic (UAR).
  • Post-war Iran which includes: (a) Iran's aim of modernization and westernization under Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi; (b) the western influence on Iran and its developments; (c) the White Revolution; (d) the origins and effects of the 1979 Islamic Revolution (e); the post-revolution Iran and the effects of the Iran–Iraq War (1980-1988) on developments in the region.
  • Lebanon and its evolution that includes: (a) the origins and effects of the protracted civil wars; (b) the outside interference and reconstruction of the country and its impact; (c) the Confessional state and its structure; (d) the economic, religious and social tensions and their causes; (e) growth of militias and the actions of the PLO.

1. Origins of the state of Israel

This page examines the reasons for the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. It also looks at the causes and effects of the first Arab-Israeli War 1948 - 1949.Guiding questions:

2. Arab-Israeli conflicts, 1956 to 1973

This page examines the causes and consequences of the military conflicts that took place between Israel and the Arab states in 1956, 1967 and 1973.Guiding questions:What were the causes and consequences...

3. The PLO and attempts at peacemaking.

The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) was founded in 1964 with the aim of the 'liberation of Palestine' through armed struggle. It later adopted a more diplomatic approach and became recognised...

4. Post-war Egypt

In 1952 a military coup brought down King Farouk of Egypt; the new military regime introduced a series of modernising reforms and also challenged the West's influence in their country and in the region...

5. Pan-Arabism and the UAR

The growth of Arab nationalism or Pan-Arabism had its roots in 19th Century European colonialism and the impact of the First World War. However its rapid development after the Second World War is closely...

6. Post-war Iran

Post war Iran was ruled by Mohammad Reza Shah. He was supported by the West and he focused on secularisation and modernisation. However, his autocratic rule and the unpopularity of his policies led to...

7. Lebanon's Civil War

The Lebanese Civil War was one of the most devastating conflicts of the late 20th Century. It was both an internal Lebanese affair and a regional conflict involving a host of regional and international...

8. Post-war developments in the Middle East: Essay planning

This page contains a variety of essay writing exercises and essay plans for this topic.To what extent was the 1979 Revolution in Iran the result of the policies of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi?

All materials on this website are for the exclusive use of teachers and students at subscribing schools for the period of their subscription. Any unauthorised copying or posting of materials on other websites is an infringement of our copyright and could result in your account being blocked and legal action being taken against you.