Under the Ottoman empire, Transjordan did not correspond any previous historical, cultural or political division, though most of it belonged to the Vilayet of Syria and a strategically important southern section with an outlet to the Red Sea were incorporated into Transjordan by Abdullah, the provinces of Ma'an and Aqaba from the Vilayet of Hejaz. The inhabitants of northern Jordan had traditionally associated with Syria, those of southern Jordan with the Arabian Peninsula, and those of western Jordan with the administrative districts west of the Jordan River. However, the creation of the Hejaz railway by the Ottoman Empire had started to reshape the associations within the territory. Historically the territory had formed part of various empires; among these are the Babylon, Assyrian, Achaemenid, Macedonian (Seleucid), Ptolemaic, Roman, Byzantine, Sassanid and the Ottoman empire, also Jordan incorporates areas of the ancient kingdoms of Hauran, Edom, Nabatean Judea, Moab, Canaan and the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.
The British administration in Jerusalem only ever covered the area west of the Jordan, while the area east of the Jordan was administered by the British representative in Ma'an, Captain Alex Kirkbride. Until the arrival in November 1920 of Abdullah. The Mandate for Palestine, while specifying actions in support of Jewish immigration and political status, stated that in the territory to the east of the Jordan River, Britain could 'postpone or withhold' those articles of the Mandate concerning a Jewish National Home. In August 1922, the British government presented a memorandum to the League of Nations stating that Transjordan would be excluded from all the provisions dealing with Jewish settlement, and this memorandum was approved by the League on 12 August. From that point onwards, Britain administered the part west of the Jordan as Palestine, and the part east of the Jordan as Transjordan. Technically they remained one mandate, but most official documents referred to them as if they were two separate mandates. In May 1923 Transjordan was granted a degree of independence with Abdullah as ruler and Harry St. John Philby as chief representative. Transjordan remained under British control until 1928 when the first Anglo-Jordanian treaty was concluded with Great Britain. Transjordan became nominally independent although the British still maintain a military presence, control of foreign affairs and retained some financial control over the kingdom. This failed to respond to Jordanian demands for a fully sovereign and independent state, a failure that led to widespread disaffection with the treaty among Jordanians, prompting them to seek a national conference (25 July 1928) the first of its kind, to examine the articles of the treaty and adopt a plan of political action.
The borders and territory of Transjordan were not determined until after the Mandate came into effect. The borders in the east of the country were designed so as to aid the British in building an oil pipeline from their Mandate of Iraq through Transjordan to seaports in the Palestine Mandate.
The Hashemite Emir Abdullah, elder son of Britain's wartime Arab ally Sharif Hussein of Mecca, was placed on the throne of Transjordan. Britain recognized Transjordan as a state on May 15, 1923, and gradually relinquished control, limiting its oversight to financial, military and foreign policy matters. This had an impact on the goals of Revisionist Zionism, which sought a state on both banks of the Jordan, as it effectively severed Transjordan from Palestine and so reduced the area on which a future Jewish state in the region could be established. In March 1946, under the Treaty of London, Transjordan became a kingdom and on May 25, 1946, the parliament of Transjordan proclaimed the emir king, and formally changed the name of the country from the Emirate of Transjordan to the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan. After capturing the 'West Bank' area of Cisjordan during the 1948–49 war with Israel, Abdullah took the title King of Jordan, and he officially changed the country's name to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in April 1949. The following year he annexed the West Bank. With the exception of the French Cisjordanie, the coinage, Cisjordan, meant to apply specifically to the West Bank at that time, has not since caught on, outside Jordanian circles.