One of the basic characteristics of the social conditions that marked political life in the Arab states in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s was the complex relationship between the politicians from among the elites of traditional notables of the Fertile Crescent cities and the effendiyya, or Westernized middle stratum. These elites consisted not only of traditional notable families, but also of families newly risen since the Tanzimat reforms in the 19th-century Ottoman Empire. Since the end of World War I, these elites had stood at the center of the new states established by the Western powers—Great Britain and France—and it was now the politicians from within those elites who headed the struggle of those states for independence. This relationship, as well as the character of the elite of notables and the effendiyya, constituted an important element in the social conditions characterizing the political and ideological environment in which the Iraqi politicians from the elite of notables had operated, and in which Arab nationalism and Pan-Arab ideology became a highly influential factor.
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