Oman is an independent nation in Western Asia. With the capital city of Muscat, Oman 2020 population is estimated at 5,106,637 according to countryaah. Oman went to Islam early and became an independent state in the 7th century. From the end of the 17th century, the Omani conquered areas far down in East Africa, which were held until the middle of the 19th century. In practice, in the late 18th century, Oman was divided into two parts with a religious rule in the interior and a secular base based in Musqat. At the same time, Oman came under British control and became formally independent only in 1951. Internal disputes with foreign involvement contributed to Oman not becoming a UN member until 1971.
Oman is probably mentioned for the first time on Sumerian wedge writing boards from the 3000s before Christ and it is clear that Roman geographers knew the area.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Oman, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
The residents joined the ibaditic outbreak of Islam (see Religion) already during the first battles over who would succeed Prophet Muhammad after his death in 632. In the 7th century the area became independent under the leadership of an imam. The kingdom was held together despite invasion attempts by Arabs, Persians and Indians, among others. In the 9th century, Suhar was one of the largest cities in the Arab world with extensive foreign trade and Omani seamen traveled all the way to China. For Oman political system, please check carswers.
In 1507, Musqat was conquered by the Portuguese and the coastal area was soon incorporated into Portugal’s commercial empire; it was not until 1650 that an Omani army could expel the Portuguese. The Omanis then extended their kingdom all the way to East Africa. By 1730, they had conquered the cities of Mogadishu in present-day Somalia, Mombasa in present-day Kenya as well as the present-day Tanzanian islands of Zanzibar and Pemba.
In 1749, Ahmed bin Said was elected imam and thus founded the Said dynasty that governs Oman to this day. In 1786, his grandson moved the capital from al-Rustaq inland to Musqat on the coast. However, the tribes inland did not accept the move but chose their own imams. These competed for power with the ruler of Musqat, who assumed the title of Sultan. Thus, in practice, two kingdoms had emerged: one religious under the Imam inland, the Imam, and one worldly under the Sultan of Musqat, the Sultanate.
Oman ties with Britain
From the end of the 18th century, British influence in the region increased and Britain came to serve as a protective force for the Sultanate. Even today, Britain and Oman have close relationships.
In 1829, the province of Dhofar in the southwest became part of the Sultanate. After a succession dispute at the death of the Sultan in 1856, however, the Sultanate was divided: a son inherited the East African part with the island of Zanzibar as a base; another became the Sultan over Musqat.
The economy of the Sultanate Musqat deteriorated sharply in the mid-19th century, partly because it lost the East African possessions and partly because the British banned the profitable slave trade. The Imamate inland now saw his chance and conquered Musqat in 1868. However, the Sultanate was re-established with British aid, but between Musqat and the Imamate a state of war prevailed until 1920.
When Said bin Taimur became the starvation in 1932, the country entered a long period of backward pursuit and isolation. He forbade his subjects to smoke, listen to the radio, play drums and wear glasses. Contacts with abroad were minimized. In the 1960s, Oman was still one of the most isolated countries in the world.
After the Second World War, the strategic importance of the Persian Gulf to Britain declined and in 1951, London recognized the Sultanate as an independent country. Three years later, a new imam was elected inland, trying to establish a sovereign state and new fighting broke out. With the help of British soldiers, the Sultan took control of the entire country in 1959, the imamat was incarcerated and the imam fled to Saudi Arabia. Other Arab countries, however, supported the imam, and the issue of Oman’s membership in the UN was delayed throughout the 1960s; only in 1971 could Oman become a UN member.