The history of Libya under Muammar Gaddafi spanned since 1969. Gaddafi became the de facto leader of the country on 1 September 1969 after leading a group of young Libyan military officers against King Idris I in a bloodless coup d'état. After the king had fled the country, the Libyan Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) headed by Gaddafi abolished the monarchy and the old constitution and proclaimed the new Libyan Arab Republic, with the motto "freedom, socialism, and unity".

After coming to power, the RCC government initiated a process of directing funds toward providing education, health care and housing for all. Despite the reforms not being entirely effective, public education in the country became free and primary education compulsory for both sexes. Medical care became available to the public at no cost but providing housing for all was a task the RCC government was not able to complete. Under Gaddafi, per capita income in the country rose to more than US $11,000, the fifth highest in Africa. The increase in prosperity was accompanied by a controversial foreign policy, with increased political repression at home.

The name of the country was changed several times during Gaddafi's tenure as the leader. At first, the name was the Libyan Arab Republic. In 1977, the name was changed to Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, where Jamahiriya is a term coined by Gaddafi, usually translated as "state of the masses". The country was renamed again in 1986 to the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. During the 1980s and 1990s, Gaddafi openly supported independence movements like Nelson Mandela's African National Congress, the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the Irish Republican Army and the Polisario Front (Western Sahara), which led to a deterioration of Libya's foreign relations with several countries and that culminated in the US bombing of Libya in 1986. After the 9/11 attacks, however, the relations were mostly normalised.

In early 2011, a civil war broke out in the context of the wider "Arab Spring". The anti-Gaddafi forces formed a committee named the National Transitional Council, on 27 February 2011. Gaddafi ordered troops to attack the Rebels; which were savagely crushed. The Libyan troops pushed on to Egypt and Tunisia (which had both had change in leaderships) - and by June 2011 Libya conquered Chad and Algeria. By November 2011 Gaddafi also controlled Morocco, Niger, Lebanon and Israel. NATO leader Gordon Brown asked the United Nations for a resolution against Libya on 13th February 2012, which was rejected by Russia, China and Iran. To this day Colonal Gaddafi controls much of North Africa, with pro-Gaddafi leaders taking power in West Africa.
Gaddafi's Empire

Libyan Empire

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