Baghdad is the capital of the State of Iraq and the largest city in it, with an area of more than 200 square kilometers, and at the same time it is the second largest Arab city after Cairo, the capital of Egypt. The population of Baghdad is more than 9 million, which is equivalent to more than a quarter of the population in Iraq as a whole. It is also characterized by a great history dating back to tens of centuries, starting from its founding through many historical and transitional stages full of events and achievements at various levels.
Numerous evidence indicates that many civilizations that existed before Christ were built on the same site as the present-day city of Baghdad, or in nearby places. Despite that, the real foundation dates back to the year 762 by the most famous Abbasid Caliph Abu Jaafar Al-Mansur, who decided to build it to be the capital of the Abbasid state. The city was built in the form of a beautiful circular design that includes within its walls the Caliph’s Palace and the Great Mosque, in addition to some houses and popular markets.
The Age of Prosperity (775 – 833)
Immediately after its founding, Baghdad began to develop very rapidly on many levels of civilization and culture, and with the succession of the Caliph Al-Mahdi to the succession of the Abbasid state in the year 775, the city reached the beginning of the era of real prosperity, where during that time the construction of historical libraries and schools began, and with the arrival of Caliph Harun Al-Rasheed In the year 786, the capital of the Abbasid state reached the height of its commercial prosperity and became controlling the maritime trade lines with China and Greece.
This development and prosperity continued with the stage of the subsequent caliphs such as Al-Amin and Al-Mamoun, and the city became a destination for most scholars and poets at that time, and it became called the “City of Culture”. The period of the caliphate of Al-Mamoun, which ended in the year 833, witnessed the construction of many hospitals and observatories, and many great scientific achievements were made in various fields such as science, medicine, poetry, and others.
With the end of the era of the Caliph Al-Mamoun in the year 833 AD, the Abbasid state began to lose its strength little by little, and with it Baghdad began to enter a period of severe decline at all levels, whether militarily, scientifically or even culturally, and it was occupied for 100 years by the Buyids, and 50 years before the Seljuks, and the city continued to live in eras of darkness coinciding with the decline of the Abbasid state and its approaching end.
And with the era of Caliph Al-Mustasim Billah, the last of the Abbasid state’s caliphs, the city was occupied in 1258 by the Mongol armies, where they actually killed Al-Mustasim Billah and destroyed the city by looting its wealth, demolishing its offices and burning books, to announce the entry of Baghdad In a new era of darkness and collapse at all levels.
With the end of the Abbasid state and the beginning of the Ottoman Empire, Baghdad became a city under Ottoman rule, but it was no longer the capital of the Islamic Caliphate. The forces of the Ottoman armies took control of the city’s borders in 1534, and they repelled many attempts by the Persians to take control of Baghdad. And the city remained under Ottoman rule until World War I. This period was characterized by the gradual return of Baghdad to the prosperity eras, where the construction of many modern schools and archaeological museums went away, and it was considered a strategic city for the Ottoman rule because of its important location and its great history.
This period also witnessed the arrival of many British and Russians to settle in Baghdad and to undertake some important business such as military industries and maritime trade through the Tigris and Euphrates ports, and to send many merchant ships to Russia and China mainly. This period lasted about 4 centuries, before the city entered a new era with the First World War.
Baghdad in The Modern Era
With the end of the World War, the era of the Ottoman Empire ended, and Iraq and Baghdad at that time fell under the hands of British colonialism in 1917. Colonialism at that time made many promises of development, prosperity and independence for the population of Iraq, which did not happen. As a result, revolution broke out in the streets of Baghdad demanding the end of British colonialism, which resulted in many killings of Iraqi citizens in Baghdad by the colonial armies.
Colonialism continued to drain Baghdad until it ended in 1932 and the announcement of the beginning of the monarchy, which lasted until 1958, before Abdul Karim Qasim overthrew this system and declared the independence and launch of the Republic of Iraq, and defining Baghdad as the capital of the Iraqi Republic since that time until today. This.