Start Encyclopedia69 Dictionary | Overview | Topics | Groups | Categories | Bookmark this page.
dictionary -  encyclopedia  
Full text search :        
   A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z   #   




  Ba\'athism literally means ‘resurrection’ in Arabic. It was the name coined by the Pan-Arabist movement which emerged in Syria in 1953. It was based on a combination of nationalist and state socialist ideologies, and distanced itself from Islam without utterly rejecting it, portraying the religion as a central product of Arab culture. The original Ba\'athist movement was an amalgam of Akram Howrani\'s Syrian Arab Socialist Party and Michel Aflaq\'s Arab Resurrection Party. Ba\'athism appealed broadly to the anti-aristocratic interests of the Arab peasantry and the newly emergent middle classes, creating, by 1960, a powerful network of parties in Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon.

In Syria the ba\'athist ideal of Arab unity was partially realized with the formation of the United Arab Republic (UAR) between Syria and Egypt in 1958. However, ba\'athism was banned by the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1960 in his attempt to consolidate power within the UAR. Ba\'athist retaliation against the Egyptian putsch led to the dissolution of the UAR and the emergence of a radicalized ba\'athist movement which seized control in Syria in 1963. By 1970 the radical wing of the movement under General Hafiz al-Assad consolidated its power by co-opting the Syrian communist movement, which led to the establishment of military and economic alliances with the former Soviet Union.

In Iraq, ba\'athism emerged as a forceful political movement following the overthrow of the Hashemite monarchy in 1958. The pan-Arabist movement which led to the creation of the UAR accentuated divisions among Iraq\'s Sunni and Shi\'ite Muslims as well as the Kurds and facilitated the emergence of the Ba\'ath Party as a secular alternative to sustained religious and ethnic division. The Ba\'ath Party achieved partial control in 1968 when General Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr seized power and invited the ba\'athists to form a government. The ba\'athist takeover was completed in 1980 when al-Bakr gave way to Saddam Hussein (a Sunni Muslim) who quickly consolidated power by systematically eliminating all his political rivals. Saddam Hussein\'s authority was challenged by the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran who threatened to mobilize Iraq\'s Shi\'ite Muslim majority against the secular ba\'athist régime. This threat led to a pre-emptive strike by Iraq which escalated into a bloody and long war between the two countries (1980-1988). Syria\'s support for Iran in the eight-year war suggested that ba\'athism had in practice become a form of national socialism in both Syria and Iraq. BO\'L

See also Arabism; Islamic political thought.Further reading Raymond Hinnebusch, Authoritarian Power and State Formation in Ba\'athist Syria: Army, Party and Peasant.



Bookmark this page:



<< former term
next term >>


Other Terms : Libido | Substance | Enzymes
Home |  Add new article  |  Your List |  Tools |  Become an Editor |  Tell a Friend |  Links |  Awards |  Testimonials |  Press |  News |  About |
Copyright ©2009 GeoDZ. All rights reserved.  Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us