A Short History of Iraq: From 636 to the Present
The twentieth century witnessed the transformation of the area known currently as Iraq from a backward region of the Ottoman Empire, to one of the most important and dynamic states in the Middle East. The rise of modern Iraq has its roots in the second half of the nineteenth century when Ottoman reforms led to gradual state modernization and increasing integration in the World Economy. British control after World War I was one of the determining factors in the establishment of the current borders of the country and the nature of its subsequent national identity. The other important factor was the highly heterogeneous nature of Iraqi society being divided along tribal, ethnic, religious, and sectarian lines.