The Arab Ba'ath Movement and The Rise of the Baath Party in Syria

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Contrary to popular beliefs, civil activism and civil society has managed to thrive in the Middle East. Social movements on a variety of topics have occurred despite the lack of democracy and democratic institutions in certain countries. One popular movement was the Arab Ba’ath Movement which eventually led to the formation of the Baath Party. By analyzing the movement’s history, ideological stance, goals, the actors, dissenters, and international aspect, one can determine how and why the movement flourished in Syria.
Syria was granted de jure independence from the French in 1941. However, the country was not truly independent until 1946. For the next twenty-five years, the country would be launched into extreme political instability and
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They were attracted to the idea of equality on the basis of being an Arab and the promise of social reform, something that was desperately needed in the countryside. Additionally, the nationalist ideals the Baath promoted would neither exclude nor destroy the middle class and the positions they held (Galvani 4). The Baath also had a base in the military. Therefore, they were able to help members of rural communities join and gain prestige in the military.
The Baath Party had two goals: to unite the Middle East into one Arab nation and to create a new set of political elites completely comprised of the rural, lower class to replace the tradition urban elites (Antoun and Quataert 33). They wanted to reverse the effects caused by imperialist intervention and the agrarian crisis in the 1950s. Therefore, when they took power, transformation – a reformation from the top down – occurred. The new regime took a more revolutionary turn and incorporated extreme leftist elements such as the idea of a one party system. It also had the state play a major role in national development, social welfare services, labor rights, regulation of private business in the national interest, and agrarian reform (Hinnebusch 680).
What made the Baath Movement so successful was its ability to bring together various classes of society that divided Syria. It did this by promoting movements that were aligned

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