What caused the Arab Spring and What are some Consequences?

Even though there were different local causes for the Arab Spring fundamentally the protests had the same motivations. Generally people saw the corruption, greed, and violence that was surpressing them, and they wanted changed. Tunisia was the first country to over throw their government which sparked other revolutions in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, and sparked protests in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, and Sudan. The governments underestimated the anger lying just below the surface threw out the region. The rise of the internet and a new generation of internet saavy youth also played a big role in organizing the Arab Spring. The internet allowed for mass communication quickly allowing many to express their desires for change. The internet can unify people under one cause or spread ideas quickly regardless of location, but because of proximity of the countries and similarity of the ruling class it was easy to ignite the Arab Spring. Also, having a relatively educated urban population wanting to move towards a more democratic society played a role in creating the Arab Spring. Some examples of the local causes that triggered the Arab Spring are as follows. In Tunisia the ruling Bengali family’s immense wealth and corruption became a cause to overthrow them. In Egypt the demographics consisting of a large youth population with two-thirds of Egyptians are under 30 that are influenced by expansion of university education. Libya and Yemen over threw the controlling regimes as a fight for freedom and independence from these regimes that were set up in the colonial period by the Europe.

Since the Arab Spring began we have seen a lot of turmoil in the region. In places where military intern governments have been put into place there has been a lot of violence and killing. A lot of chaos has been created in some areas and instability. These will also fracture the economies and the political culture of the countries. Since the revolutions have been successful in over throwing the autocracies people could resort back to protesting when they don’t agree with governmental decisions continuing the instability. The Middle East is a multi-ethnic region that also has high chances of civil war with no effect government at the moment. Morocco and Jordan are going through processes of reform in order to avoid an uprising because of the Arab Spring. This meaningful reform could be successful since they have more progressive oligarchies. There is more pressure on Israel in allowing Palestine to become its own state because of the progression towards democracy. The United States has great interest in securing oil and Israel which could lead to the involvement of the United States.  The Arab Spring may help diminish terrorism in the region by overthrowing regimes and cutting funding to groups.

I think the people are going to have to be very patient because now it is the hard part. It’s going to take a while before a democracy is achieved and maintained, and whatever new government is put in place is going to have a lot of fixing to do, especially in Libya, Syria, and Egypt where the countries are torn apart, and being controlled by the military.

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