Where is the Middle East?

Here it is! Well obviously it's a bit

more complicated than that. Where the

East is, let alone its middle, is

obviously highly dependent on whom you

ask, so this video will specifically talk

about what the term Middle East means in

the English language. In the 1800s this

area of the world was called the Far

East by Europeans since it was far away

and the East. The near East generally

meant the lands controlled by the Ottoman

Empire, since it was nearer to Western

Europe, but still to the east. Depending

on whom you asked the near East could be

either the whole Ottoman Empire, just the

Levant, or in some cases just the Balkans.

Turns out arbitrary geographic terms tend to

be arbitrary. The Middle East therefore

could be anywhere in between the near

and far east, but for some reason the

modern definition seems to cover almost

all of what was called the Near East. The

term Middle East was popularized in the

1902 book titled the Persian Gulf and

international relations, which explained

the strategic importance of the region,

particularly for the British who wanted

to protect their India colony from

Russian influence. Keeping the sea lanes

open between the Suez Canal and India

was critical to tying the empire

together. Depending on the exact

definitions this Middle East may or may

not have intersected with the Near East,

but with the fall of the Ottoman Empire

some people expanded the definition of

the Middle East to include the old

Ottoman lands, however many still kept

calling the area the Near East. In

English the term Middle East won out

because in World War two the British

Army called their forces in the area the

Middle East Command the command fought

many battles in the Middle East and in

Africa as the war progressed. After the

war, the term Middle East continued to

grow in usage due to events like the

1956 Suez Crisis, various regional wars,

and the 1979 Iranian Revolution and

subsequent oil shocks. While the terms

near and far east fell out of favor. This

means the world currently has a Middle

East but no real reason for it to be the

"middle". Even though it does not make much

sense anymore, much of the world,

including the Middle East itself, have

adopted the term. Presently the terms

Middle East and Near East

are interchangeable in English with

Middle East being dominant, but for

example in German, Near East is the

dominant term. Let me know in the

comments what you consider to be the

middle east and what you call it in your

native language. Also you might be

interested in watching this video I made

which explains the difference between

the groups who live in the Middle East

with the maps. Also since youtube

decided that video should be demonetized

I've decided to start a patreon.