Libya: A Deep and Rich History
In the beginning of the 20th century Libya was a country that was not to populate nor did it have much power. The name Libya was given by the Italians, who had a major influence in Libya from 1911 until the end of World War II. At the turn of the century the Ottoman Empire was in control of Libya, which at the time was spilt up into three parts. One part was around Tripoli called Tripolitania in the west. The second was around Banghazi called Cyrenaica in the east. The third was in the southwest part of the country called Fezzan. Over the next 90 years Libya would see it shares of rulers and bloodshed. Some important factors that have helped Libya become the country it is today were the creation of the Sanusiyah brotherhood and their resistance against the Italians, Italian colonialism from 1911 to WWII, Libya gaining it’s independence, and the discovery of oil in the late 1950’s. So much has happened to Libya in the last 90 years, which has developed a unique history that involves a country over coming annexation and leading up to Libya becoming an independent country.
The Ottoman Empire had been in control of Libya since the 16th century. The Karamanli dynasty ruled the area around Libya, Algeria, and Tunisia from 1711 to 1835. Over the 124 years they were in power there were many rulers, but it was not until the Ottoman decided to review how that area was being run and decided to change to control to include officials from Istanbul and limited that areas modernization so that it was the same with the rest of the empire.
One of the most important events in Libyan history was the formation of the Sanusiyah brotherhood in 1837. This brotherhood was an Islamic order that preached a stricter form of Islam. The Sanusiyah would give people help and tell others how things should be done. This gave all the new followers a feeling of unity. The original meeting place of the Sanusiyah was in the ruins of Cyrene in eastern Cyrenaica, but was moved to the oasis of Jaghbub near Egypt. The founder was called the Grand Sanusi. His son took over in 1895 and tried to gain influence southward in the oasis of Al-Kufrah. The Ottomans noticed this and did not intervene, but keep their eye the situation.
In 1902 Italy saw that the British and the French were not that interested in Libya. They gave their blessings for the Italians to pursue their interest in Libya. After that was say and done, there was a small but steady follow if Italian influences coming into the area. A few of them were an Italian post office, medical services, and the Banco di Roma to set up Italian industries like a esparto grass mill, flourmill, and to purchase land for agricultural development.
Around the same time a Young Turk revolution started in 1908. The start of revolution boasted the Italians interest in Libya because they wanted to build a bigger gap between Sanusiyah and the Turks, in the case of war, the two might not combine forces (Wright, 116)....