Four centuries of stagnation during Ottoman rule came to an end during World War I by the 1916 Arab Revolt; driven by long-term resentment towards the Ottoman authorities, and growing Arab nationalism.[70] The revolt was led by Sharif Hussein of Mecca, and his sons Abdullah, Faisal and Ali, members of the Hashemite dynasty of the Hejaz, descendants of the Prophet Muhammad.[70] Locally, the revolt garnered the support of the Transjordanian tribes, including Bedouins, Circassians and Christians.[73] The Allies of World War I, including Britain and France, whose imperial interests converged with the Arabist cause, offered support.[74] The revolt started on 5 June 1916 from Medina and pushed northwards until the fighting reached Transjordan in the Battle of Aqaba on 6 July 1917.[75] The revolt reached its climax when Faisal entered Damascus in October 1918, and established the Arab Kingdom of Syria, which Transjordan was part of.[73]
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Abdullah was succeeded by his son Talal, who would soon abdicate due to illness in favour of his eldest son Hussein.[98] Talal established the country's modern constitution in 1952.[98] Hussein ascended to the throne in 1953 at the age of 17.[97] Jordan witnessed great political uncertainty in the following period.[99] The 1950s were a period of political upheaval, as Nasserism and Pan-Arabism swept the Arab World.[99] On 1 March 1956, King Hussein Arabized the command of the Army by dismissing a number of senior British officers, an act made to remove remaining foreign influence in the country.[100] In 1958, Jordan and neighbouring Hashemite Iraq formed the Arab Federation as a response to the formation of the rival United Arab Republic between Nasser's Egypt and Syria.[101] The union lasted only six months, being dissolved after Iraqi King Faisal II (Hussein's cousin) was deposed by a bloody military coup on 14 July 1958.[101]
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In the west, a highland area of arable land and Mediterranean evergreen forestry drops suddenly into the Jordan Rift Valley.[112] The rift valley contains the Jordan River and the Dead Sea, which separates Jordan from Israel and the Palestinian Territories.[112] Jordan has a 26 kilometres (16 mi) shoreline on the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea, but is otherwise landlocked.[7] The Yarmouk River, an eastern tributary of the Jordan, forms part of the boundary between Jordan and Syria (including the occupied Golan Heights) to the north.[7] The other boundaries are formed by several international and local agreements and do not follow well-defined natural features.[112] The highest point is Jabal Umm al Dami, at 1,854 m (6,083 ft) above sea level, while the lowest is the Dead Sea −420 m (−1,378 ft), the lowest land point on earth.[112]
To use this crossing the most inexpensively from Amman, take a taxi to the north bus station (Tabrboor). Here service taxis (reportedly, regular taxis from Amman are not permitted to drive within 10 km of the border), and sometimes minibuses and regular buses (as of December 2014, for 5 JD), go to the border. At the border crossing in Jordan, Arabs must exit through customs to the right of the drop-off point, whereas foreigners must walk straight (perpendicular to the drop off point). Arabs and foreigners then must (walking across the border is not permitted) get on separate Jett buses, which when full, drive 1 km across the border (as of December 2014, 5 JD per passenger and 1.5 JD per large piece of luggage). From the Israel border, sheruts (service taxis) travel to Damascus Gate in Jerusalem (48 NIS as of December 2014) and coach buses operate to Jericho.
Only after Ibrahim Pasha's campaign did the Ottoman Empire try to solidify its presence in the Syria Vilayet, which Transjordan was part of.[69] A series of tax and land reforms (Tanzimat) in 1864 brought some prosperity back to agriculture and to abandoned villages, while it provoked a backlash in other areas of Transjordan.[69] Muslim Circassians and Chechens, fleeing Russian persecution, sought refuge in the Levant.[70] In Transjordan and with Ottoman support, Circassians first settled in the long-abandoned vicinity of Amman in 1867, and later in the surrounding villages.[70] After having established its administration, conscription and heavy taxation policies by the Ottoman authorities, led to revolts in the areas it controlled.[71] Transjordan's tribes in particular revolted during the Shoubak (1905) and the Karak Revolts (1910), which were brutally suppressed.[70] The construction of the Hejaz Railway in 1908–stretching across the length of Transjordan and linking Mecca with Istanbul–helped the population economically as Transjordan became a stopover for pilgrims.[70] However, increasing policies of Turkification and centralization adopted by the Ottoman Empire disenchanted the Arabs of the Levant.[72]
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