1. A river in Palestine that empties into the Dead Sea; John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan; Also called: Jordan River.
2. An Arab kingdom in southwestern Asia on the Red Sea; Also called: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
3. City in Minnesota (USA); zip code 55352.
4. Town in Montana (USA); zip code 59337.
5. Village in New York (USA); zip code 13080.
Country in SW Asia, bounded N by Syria, NE by Iraq, E, SE and S by Saudi Arabia, S by the Gulf of Aqaba, and W by Israel.
Jordan is a constitutional monarchy, with the king effectively head of state and government. The 1952 constitution, amended 1974, 1976, and 1984, provides for a two-chamber national assembly comprising a 30-member senate, appointed by the king for an eight-year term (one-half rotating every four years), and an 80-member house of representatives (house of deputies), elected by universal suffrage for a four-year term. The house is subject to dissolution within that period. The king governs with the help of a council of ministers whom he appoints and who are responsible to the assembly. The prime minister is the most senior member of the council. Political parties were banned 1963, partially restored 1971, banned again 1976, then finally legalized 1992 (although they remain subject to government approval).
The area forming the kingdom of Jordan was occupied by the independent Nabataeans from the 4th century BC and perhaps earlier, until AD 106 when it became part of the Roman province of Arabia. It was included in the Crusaders' kingdom of Jerusalem 1099–1187. Palestine (partly in the West Bank of present-day Jordan) and Transjordan (the present-day East Bank) were part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire until its dissolution after World War I. Both were then placed under British administration by the League of Nations.
end of British mandates.
Transjordan acquired greater control of its own affairs than Palestine and separated from it 1923, achieving full independence when the British mandate expired 1946. The mandate for Palestine ran out 1948, whereupon Jewish leaders claimed it for a new state of Israel. Israel was attacked by Arab nations and fought until a cease-fire was agreed 1949. By then Transjordan forces had occupied part of Palestine to add to what they called the new state of Jordan. The following year they annexed the West Bank. In 1952 Hussein ibn Talai came to the Jordanian throne at the age of 17 upon the mental incapacity of his father; he was officially made king 1953. In 1958 Jordan and Iraq formed an Arab Federation, which ended five months later when the Iraqi monarchy was overthrown. In 1967, following the Six-Day War (see Arab-Israeli Wars), Israelis captured the West Bank.
search for peace.
King Hussein has survived many upheavals in his own country and neighboring states, including attempts on his life, and has kept control of Jordan's affairs as well as playing a central role in Middle East affairs. Relations with his neighbors have fluctuated, but he has generally been a moderating influence. After Israel's invasion of Lebanon 1982, Hussein played a key role in attempts to bring peace to the area, establishing a relationship with Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yassir Arafat. By 1984 the Arab world was split into two camps, with the moderates represented by Jordan, Egypt, and Arafat's PLO, and the militant radicals by Syria, Libya, and the rebel wing of the PLO. In 1985 Hussein and Arafat put together a framework for a Middle East peace settlement. It would involve bringing together all interested parties, but Israel objected to the PLO being represented. Further progress was hampered by the PLO's alleged complicity in a number of guerrilla operations in that year. Hussein trie.
d to revive the search for peace by secretly meeting the Israeli prime minister in France and persuading Yassir Arafat to renounce publicly PLO violence in territories not occupied by Israel.
In response to mounting unrest within Jordan 1989, Hussein promised greater democratization and in Nov elections to a new 80-member house of representatives were held. (From 1986, there had been in each chamber of parliament equal representation for the east and west (occupied) banks of the river Jordan, but in 1988 Hussein decided to to relinquish authority of the West Bank and the number of seats were reduced.) Soon after the elections the veteran politician Mudar Badran was made prime minister; he announced the lifting of martial law Dec 1989 (imposed since 1967). Martial law was ended and political parties legalized 1992. Assembly elections Nov 1993 were won by deputies loyal to the king (mainly independents), with several leading Islamic fundamentalists failing to win back their seats.
moves toward peace.
Following the Iraqi invasion and annexation of Kuwait Aug 1990, Hussein unsuccessfully attempted to act as a mediator. Meanwhile the United Nations trade embargo on Iraq and the exodus of thousands of refugees into Jordan strained the country’s resources. Jordan attended the historic Middle East peace conference in Spain Nov 1991. In May 1993 Hussein publicly distanced himself from Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and in the same month appointed his senior negotiator in the Middle East peace talks, Abd al-Salam al-Mujali, prime minister. A “common agenda” for peace was agreed with Israel Sept 1993. In Jan 1994 an economic cooperation pact was signed with the PLO, and in July a treaty with Israel to end the 46-year-old “state of war”, as a precursor to serious boundary negotiations. Hussein appointed his cousin, Field Marshal Sharif Zeid bin Shaker, as prime minister Jan 1995.
River rising on Mount Hermon, Syria, at 550 m/1,800 ft above sea level and flowing S for about 320 km/200 mi via the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea, 390 m/1,290 ft below sea level. It occupies the northern part of the Great Rift Valley; its upper course forms the boundary of Israel with Syria and the kingdom of Jordan; its lower course runs through Jordan; the West Bank has been occupied by Israel since 1967.