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By Maxime Rodinson, M. Perl

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From its inception, the emirate was a dependent entity. Abdullah took up residence in Transjordan in 1921, and it became officially attached to the British mandate (for Palestine and Transjordan) in September 1922, two months after its inception. Transjordan was distinct from the mandate for Palestine in that the Balfour Declaration, which provided for a Jewish “national home” in Palestine, did not apply to Transjordan, although Transjordan remained subject to British control. During the years of the mandate, Transjordan and Britain signed several agreements that defined Transjordan’s political status.

In April 1916, the British and French signed the Sykes-Picot Agreement. 15 Colonial ambitions, however, did not allow the British to relinquish the possibility of controlling Palestine. They sought to control Palestine and Iraq (its oil and pipeline) and maintain a geostrategic position that would allow easy access to Britishcolonial India. The word “Palestine” was thus never mentioned in the correspondence, although Husayn did not recognize the significance of this omission. 1. Division of the Ottoman Empire, per the Sykes-Picot Agreement, envisioned for the post–World War I situation.

The British mandate for Palestine—a revised, more palatable name for British colonialism—emerged in 1922 to which the Emirate of Transjordan was quickly linked. Abdullah sought to continue the ideologies developed with his father in the Hijaz: to champion Arab rights in Palestine, while promoting the banner of Arab unity in an enlarged Hashemite kingdom and to engage in statesmanship with the British mandate authorities. Britain retained its influence in Transjordan for ten years after the formal independence of the kingdom in 1946, largely in the person of commander of the Arab Legion army, John Bagot Glubb, also known as Glubb Pasha.

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