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Map of YemenFlag of YemenYemen /
North Yemen
Also called: Yemen San'a

Flag of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen, 1918-1962.

Flag of Yemen Arab Republic, 1962-1990.

Yahya 1918-1948
Ahmad 1948-1962
Muhammad al-Badr 1962 (-1970)
Abdullah as-Sallal 1962-1967
Abdurrahman al-Iryani 1967-1974
Ibrahim al-Hamdi 1974-1977
Ahmed al-Ghashmi 1977-1978
Abdul Karim Abdullah al-Arashi 1978
Ali Abdullah Saleh 1978-1990
Country 1918-1990, today the western part of Yemen.
In 1990, North Yemen had 7.2 million inhabitants and a territory of 195,000 km².
North Yemen's history is divided into two periods, two state structures. The first, the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen lasted until 1962, then being replaced by Yemen Arab Republic. Until 1967, before the emergence of South Yemen, North Yemen was simply referred to as "Yemen".
The capital was San'a 1918-1948 and 1962-1990, when it became capital of a united Yemen. During the period 1948-1962, Ta'izz was the capital.
The population was dominated by Zaydi Muslims, with a large minority of Sunni Muslims and a small group of Isma'ilis.
Yemen during the monarchy developed into one of the most culturally isolated countries in the world, a result of deliberate politics of its rulers. Around 1962, the country had no paved roads, only a handful of foreign doctors and one of the poorest health situations in the world.
The law system of the republic was Sharia. It was largely a one-party state. Over time, it became more westernized, creating good relations with both the USA and Saudi Arabia.

1849: Ottoman occupation of the Tihama coast, forcing the Yemeni imam to accept formal Ottoman suzerainty.
1871: Ottoman occupation of Ta'izz.
1872: San'a falls to the Ottomans.
1882: Sa'da, the Zaydi capital, is conquered by the Ottomans.
1904: Yahya ibn Muhammad becomes new Zaydi imam. He soon launches an insurrection against the Ottomans.
1907: A peace treaty is signed between the Ottomans and Yahya.
1909: New rebellion against the Ottomans, this led by Sayydi Muhammad al-Idrisi in Tihama.
1910: Yahya joins the rebellion.
1911: The Ottomans suppress the forces of Yahya. Peace is achieved, granting Yahya more autonomy.
1913: More independence is granted the Yemeni highlands.
1918 October 30: With the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Imam Yahya establishes an independent state. Tihama remained under Idrisi's control.
1925: Yahya's troops take al-Hudayda. Idrisi creates an alliance with King Ibn Sa'ud, the sultan of Hijaz and Najd.
1926: Imam Yahya declares himself king, making the kin.
1934: Saudi-Yemeni War, in which Saudi Arabia conquers much of Asir and Tihama.
May 20: Treaty of Ta'if, establishing the border between North Yemen and Saudi Arabia, in which Asir and Najran effectively pass to what is now called Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia withdraws from Tihama.
1948: Imam Yahya is killed by a resistance group headquartered to Aden. His son, Ahmad, becomes new imam, and relocates the capital from San'a to Ta'izz.
1955: Coup against Ahmad removes him briefly from power, before regaining control.
1956 April: Ahmad signs a mutual defense pact with Egypt.
1958: North Yemen joins the United Arab Republic (Egypt and Syria) to form the United Arab States. This union had few practical implications.
1961 September: United Arab States are dissolved.
1962 September 27: Imam Yahya dies, and is succeeded by his son, Muhammad al-Badr. Army officers led by Colonel Abdullah Sallal launches a rebellion against Muhammad, beginning the North Yemen Civil War, which would last until 1970. The officers establish the Yemen Arab Republic, and reestablish San'a as capital.
1967: President Sallal is exiled to Iraq, a faction aiming at friendly relations with Saudi Arabia wins power in North Yemen.
— Egyptian troops leave Yemen, Egyptian president Nasser realizing that their ideological interests had no chances in a traditional society like Yemen.
December: The troops of Muhammad al-Badr lay a siege on San'a.
1968 February: The siege on San'a is defeated.
1970 March: The civil war comes to an end. The republicans had created alliances with tribal leaders and also received aid from Saudi Arabia.
1972: Clashes between North and South Yemen; President Abdurrahman al-Iryani of North Yemen and President Salim Ali Rubai reach an agreement to work towards a unification of the two countries.
1974: Coup that replaces the president with Colonel Ibrahim al-Hamdi.
1977: President al-Hamdi is assassinated.
1978: New president, Ahmad al-Ghasmi, is killed by a bomb. The assassination is linked to South Yemen. Colonel Ali Abdullah Salih becomes new president.
1979: Clashes between North and South Yemens.
1982: The last rebellion, in Dhamar, is suppressed. From this time on, North Yemen enters a period of stability.
1989: Negotiations between South and North Yemen begin, proving to be more successful than any anticipation.
1990 May 22: South Yemen and North Yemen unites into Yemen, with Ali Abdullah Saleh of the north becoming its president, the president of South Yemen, Haidar Abu Bakr al-Attas, becomes Prime Minister, while Ali Salim al-Baidh, also of the south, becomes Vice President. A 30-month transition period followed.
1994 May 21: Forces of South Yemen breaks out of the united state, forming the Democratic Republic of Yemen.
July 7: Breakdown of the Democratic Republic of Yemen, and Yemen reunites.

By Tore Kjeilen