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Discovering Libya: From Imperialism To The Present

2057 words - 8 pages

Libya has been formed by parts of various empires that have remodeled its entire society. As a result, Libyans were unable to achieve a common national identity. Many of the foreigners who dominated Libya include the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Ottomans, Italians, British and French. All of these external powers were able to rule over Libya’s provinces by conducting unfair policies that forced people to avoid looking inward for support in political, social, and economic matters. For instance, Tripoli Tania depended on its neighbors to the north, in Europe when it came to dilemmas dealing with salvation, trade, or culture. The Cyrenaica province received much support from its Egyptian neighbors to the east within the Arab world for trade and cultural situations. The African province of Fezzan looked south to African countries for any economical, political, and military links. These examples from Libya’s past help explain the current mindset of its people. Libyans have historic experience with external domination that to this day has left citizens fearful of being overpowered once again.
Libya underwent continuous changes because different empires invaded the land before fading away. It began with the Phoenician sailors who were amongst the first to visit Libya and trade with the entire fellow Africans while establishing permanent trading centers in Carthage and Tripoli. Carthage therefore was able to become a large, prosperous city where many people found economic stability. Prosperity continued in Carthage until the Phoenicians fought a series of wars against the Romans and were eventually destroyed.
The Romans however had power over only the western coast of Libya, while the Greeks were in charge of the eastern coast, where they found the city of Cyrene in 630 B.C. Cyrene soon became a wealthy city in which people from different social classes could survive efficiently. An Egyptian tribe called the Ptolemies, which ruled up to 96 B.C. and then surrendered its power to the Romans, who later conquered the Eastern part of Libya that included Cyrene.
Once the Roman Empire had control over both western and eastern Libya, it was able to reach a state of high prosperity. Libya progressed a great amount under Roman imperial rule, but this soon came to an end in the middle of the fourth century when the nation began to weaken. In the course of no longer being as powerful as it once was, Libya started to appeal to many foreign countries. At the time, a Germanic tribe by the name of the Vandals decided to invade Libya; nevertheless they were not successful in ruling over the natives and were quickly driven out by the Arabs.
Libya was greatly influenced by the Arab conquest due to the fact that the culture and Muslim faith became popular in the everyday lives of the citizens. Although the Arabs impacted Libyan society in numerous ways, they were conquered by the Ottoman Turks who spread oppression, corruption and blood revolts to...

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