british interest in the middle east

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In February 1942, British tanks surrounded the royal palace as a weeping King Farouk was forced by ultimatum to appoint a prime minister acceptable to the British, Mustafa al-Nahhas, head of the Wafd party. ." Born March 9, 1881 Download preview PDF. During the war, the British had given benevolent but unspecific encouragement to Hashimite aspirations toward the creation of a unified Arab state under their leadership. (France, where there was a strong pressure group on behalf of Roman Catholic interests in Syria, was very different.). The British nevertheless brought in new forces, which advanced to conquer Baghdad by March 1917. occupation of the Fertile Crescent and Egypt. Despite misgivings in the High Command, which favored concentration of Britain's limited military resources on the western front against Germany, an onslaught against the Ottoman Empire was launched on three fronts: at the Dardanelles, in Mesopotamia, and on the border between Egypt and Palestine; Russian forces, meanwhile, engaged Turkey from the north. Thanks and Dedications i First, I thank God for his help and Guidance. With the support of major international oil companies, the British government organized a boycott of Iranian oil. The Paris Peace Conference did not, in fact, achieve a resolution of territorial issues in the Middle East. Warning against direct British administration of the tribal hinterland of Aden colony, Cranborne added: "We must keep steadily in front of us the aim of establishing in Aden protectorate a group of efficient Arab authorities who will conduct their own administration under the general guidance and protection of His Majesty's government." The parade fitted into larger British schemes. They blew up Turkish installations along the Hijaz Railroad, captured Aqaba in 1917, and harassed the enemy on the eastern flank of Allenby's army as it advanced north toward Damascus. As a result of the Kemalist revolt, it was disavowed by the Turks and fell into abeyance. In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. As a member of the European Economic Community (EEC) from 1973 onward, Britain generally sought to adjust her diplomacy in the Middle East to conform to a consensus of EEC members. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list. In the Sudan, the Christian population in the south retained some links with the Church of England, but the University of Khartoum (formerly Gordon College) no longer looked to the English university system as a model. Britain was the only country in the world to recognize the Jordanian annexation of the West Bank. . “Cyprus is a strategically important country and has British bases on the island,” Gurel told Middle East Eye. The next month Britain severed the formal constitutional link between Egypt and the Ottoman Empire, declared a protectorate over the country, deposed the anti-British Khedive Abbas Hilmi II, and installed a successor, Husayn Kamil, as sultan. What were Britain's interests in the Middle East and how did this conflict with the Ottoman Empire? The British and French would then enter the conflict, ostensibly to secure the Suez Canal, in fact to destroy Nasser's regime. The power of OPEC enabled the producing states at last to seize effective control over their oil industries. Efficient government was not the primary purpose of imperial rule, but the British installed it almost by reflex. But with their reduced purchasing power following the collapse of the oil cartel, the Middle East oil producers no longer offered such abundant markets. Compelled to accept realities, the British quickly came to terms with Ibn Saʿud. Kyle, Keith. As a result, Britain was increasingly overshadowed by the United States in the Middle East. Because of the closure of the Mediterranean to British commercial shipping, British use of Middle East oil during the war was mainly restricted to the area east of the Suez. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates. Although Britain was ultimately responsible to the league for its conduct of affairs in the mandated territories and was obliged to render account annually of its administration, the league exercised little influence over policy. It was administered casually from Bombay until 1932 when it was taken over by the India Imperial Government in New Delhi. The third objective was related to what nineteenth-century observe… Perhaps the most bizarre of all these episodes was the fatwa (legal opinion) issued in 1989 by the leading Iranian cleric, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, pronouncing a death sentence against the British novelist Salman Rushdie, who is of Indian Muslim background. Philby of Arabia. The resurgence of Turkey under Atatürk caused some anxiety in Britain and led to a momentary crisis at Chanak (near Constantinople) in the autumn of 1922. Meanwhile, British diplomats throughout the Arab Middle East reported that the Palestine question had become a central mobilizing issue for Arab nationalists and anti-British agitators. Late in the nineteenth century, she competed with Germany for influence in the Persian Gulf and with Russia in Persia, whilst her success in the First World War enabled her influence to include Mesopotamia, which she divided with France. Turkey, which was concerned about Soviet pressure for a new regime at the Straits, expressed willingness to join such an alliance; but Egypt rejected it, and no other Middle Eastern state expressed interest, whereupon the scheme was abandoned. In spite of pressure, at first private and discreet, later public and emphatic, from the British and other western governments, the Iranian theocracy proclaimed itself unable to rescind the decree even after Khomeini's death in 1989. Tony Blair accused of conflict of interests in Middle East. Each of these departments refracted its specific angle of vision and concerns in its formulation of policy. In Jordan, the young King Hussein ibn Talal, educated at Harrow and Sandhurst, became the most pro-British of postwar Middle East rulers. New York: St. Martin's, 1981. But there was no enthusiasm in Britain for such a war. © 2019 Encyclopedia.com | All rights reserved. The implosion of Russian power and the outbreak of the Russian civil war eliminated Britain's great historic fear of Russian movement south toward the Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf, and India. Iraqi oil politics in the 1920s often saw Britain pitted against the interests of the United States. In October 1954, Britain had promised to withdraw all its force from the canal zone by mid-1956. Lawrence, T. E. Seven Pillars of Wisdom. The Arab vogue was further encouraged by the writings of Middle Eastern explorers, travelers, and administrators, such as Freya Stark, Gertrude Bell, and Ronald Storrs. In 1917, however, the advance resumed under General Edmund Henry Allenby who entered Jerusalem in triumph in December 1917. The international ramifications of the Palestine conflict created serious difficulties for the British between 1945 and 1948. Even though the Americans at the time produced nearly 70% of the world’s oil, they were particularly keen to get more deeply involved in Iraqi oil. The "Eastern question" in its traditional form terminated abruptly, and a new phase began in which the Allied powers struggled over the postwar partition of the Ottoman Empire among themselves. With the liquidation of the base at Aden, Britain expanded its military presence in Bahrain and other Gulf principalities. All of these engagements were designed to serve urgent wartime objectives rather than long-term interests. Elsewhere, Britain mainly relied on imports from the Americas. London: I. Following a speech by the British foreign secretary, Anthony Eden, in which he indicated British sympathy for the idea of Arab unity, a conference of Arab states at Alexandria in October 1944 approved the foundation of the League of Arab States. The British successfully resisted broader French territorial aspirations. The core of the scheme was a multilateral military aid treaty signed by Britain, Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan, with the United States acting as an interested outside party. Five years later, in 1937, it was transferred to the control of the Colonial Office in London as a Crown Colony. husayni, muhammad amin al-; Persia lay between them, until in 1860 there was an agreement to divide the staffing of posts. Italian Somaliland was returned to Italy as a UN trusteeship in 1950. The characteristic tone of British governance was set by Sir Percy Cox in Iraq and by Allenby in Egypt: benevolent paternalism in time of peace; readiness to resort to brute force in reaction to civil unrest. This service is more advanced with JavaScript available, Britain and France in the Middle East and North Africa, 1914–1967 After 1945, the region became a secondary arena of great-power conflict in the Cold War. They were dismayed, however, when the French, in July 1920, unceremoniously ejected Faisal from Damascus, where his enthusiastic supporters had proclaimed him king of Syria. The model was not India but Egypt, where British advisers had guided government policy since the start of the British occupation. Louis, William Roger. While Abdullah formally ruled the country, the British resident and a small number of other officials discreetly steered policy in directions compatible with British interests. In 1961, when Kuwait, hitherto a British protectorate, secured independence, the military regime in Iraq threatened a takeover of the oil-rich principality. Hurewitz, J. C. The Middle East and North Africa in World Politics, 2d edition. Only in 1984 was the British commander in chief of the country's armed forces replaced by an Omani. The Falklands War broke out in 1982 because the United Kingdom and Argentina claimed sovereignty over the islands. The battle in the western desert swung to and fro. This was, in Churchill's phrase, "the end of the beginning." Months of careful planning coupled with imaginative mobile tactics, intelligent exploitation of ultra signals intelligence, as well as British superiority in numbers of men and machines, brought a decisive victory. First, the cabinet refused to commit British forces until the approval of the U.S. government had been secured. balfour declaration (1917); As long as the various American interests in the region were allowed to function and prosper, Washington was satisfied. Revolt in Iraq in 1920 was put down by General Arnold T. Wilson with an iron fist. As the revived Turkish army advanced on Constantinople, British and French forces, in occupation of the city, prepared to resist. The supreme crisis of British power in the Middle East came later that year, appropriately at the focal point of Britain's interests in the region and the reason d'être of its presence there—the Suez Canal. Eden resigned a few weeks later, complaining of ill health. 36 comments for “ British Foreign Policy in the Middle East: A Secret History of Self Interest ” dean 1000 April 2, 2019 at 22:47 Sam F: I’m not a republican. In spite of the presence of substantial British forces and the experience gained in crushing Arab insurgency between 1936 and 1939, the mandatory government proved unable to assert its authority in the face of a revolt by the half million Jews in the country. A British minister resident was sent to Cairo to take charge of overall policy making. In 1984, a British policewoman was murdered in the street during a demonstration in front of the Libyan People's Bureau in Saint James's Square in London. Anglican Christianity had found few adherents in the region. No Arab state apart from Iraq could be induced to join the pact, and Egypt, in particular, opposed it vigorously. The United States opposed Churchill's Mediterranean strategy both on military grounds and because the United States did not wish to give the appearance of propping up British imperial interests. https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/britain-and-middle-east-1914-present, Independence and Decolonization, Middle East. AlKaylani and the ex-mufti fled to Germany where they devoted themselves to anti-British propaganda. False assumptions pervade the media, such as that UK policy in the Middle East is based on support for democracy and human rights. Winsford, Cheshire, England Its dependence on Middle East oil imports ended after 1980 with the arrival onstream of large oil reserves from the North Sea. Encyclopedias almanacs transcripts and maps, Britain and the Middle East from 1914 to the Present, Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. Although Britain had interests throughout the Middle East, she did not directly make a colonial settlement in any part of it. There was no disposition, however, on the part of his British patrons to seek to reinstall Faisal in Damascus. Faisal arrived in British-controlled Palestine as a refugee with a large entourage. Israel, which had suffered a series of border incursions from Egypt, was also drawn into military and diplomatic planning. Probably the most significant British cultural export was the World Service of the BBC: Its broadcasts in English, Arabic, and other languages commanded a wide audience in the region. The agreement, however, was hedged with several provisos reminiscent of the veiled protectorate, among them a stipulation that Egypt continue to offer Britain "such facilities as may be necessary to place the Base [in the canal zone] on a war footing and to operate it effectively" if any outside power attacked a member of the Arab League or Turkey. Darwin, John. league of arab states; Sadly part at least of the root of the continuing troubles. The tide was reversed: the British were routed from Libya, and the British garrison at Tobruk was besieged and captured. In that instance, the government of Prime Minister Edward Heath decided to give way to terrorist demands and released an imprisoned Palestinian, Leila Khaled, who became a folk hero of the revolutionary left. Although the colonial office remained formally responsible for Palestine, these international complications led the foreign office to take effective control of British policymaking on the issue after 1945. mcmahon, henry; Mussolini's determination to create an Italian empire around the Mediterranean and the Italian conquest of Ethiopia in 1935 posed a sudden danger to Britain. paris peace settlements (1918–1923); Meanwhile, in Transjordan, Faisal's brother, Abdullah I ibn Hussein, had suddenly appeared in October 1920 at the head of a motley army, threatening to attack the French in Syria and to reclaim his brother's "kingdom" there. Except in Egypt, where they built up their forces to confront the Italians and later the Germans, the British could not afford to maintain more than a thin crust of military control in most of the region during the war. Arms and other supplies to the Soviet Union were sent by rail through Iran. At a critical phase in the war, he insisted on dispatching large numbers of tanks and men to reinforce British forces confronting the Italians, and later the Germans, on the border between Egypt and Libya. Conscious of their limited resources, particularly of military manpower, the British faced unpalatable policymaking dilemmas in the final months of the peace and felt compelled to subordinate all other considerations to the imperatives of imperial security: hence, the White Papers on Palestine of May 1939, which reversed the Balfour Declaration policy of support for a national home for the Jewish people and restricted Jewish immigration to Palestine at a time of mounting danger to Jews in Europe. By the time of the Turkish armistice on 30 October 1918, British forces were thus in control of most of the Fertile Crescent. The first time a Western power got soaked in the politics of oil in the Middle East was toward the end of 1914, when British soldiers landed at Basra, in southern Iraq, to protect oil supplies from neighboring Persia. In the early 1920s, the conservative press in Britain, particularly newspapers owned by Lords Northcliffe and Beaverbrook, agitated against large military expenditures in the region and called for a British exit from recent acquisitions there. Several OPEC members, desperate for revenues to sustain their commitments to large expenditures on armaments or social programs, broke cartel discipline and secretly sold at lower prices. New York: St. Martin's, 1991. Although British forces were formally withdrawn in 1976, many senior British officers remained on individual contracts as commanders of the Omani army. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1970. This is a preview of subscription content, Roger Owen, ‘The influence of Lord Cromer’s Indian experience on British policy in Egypt, 1883–1907’, in, Elie Kedourie, ‘Sa’ad Zaghlul and the British’, in, Britain and France in the Middle East and North Africa, 1914–1967, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-15279-7_4. Its overseas ambitions were focused south toward Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. The new Turkish regime signed the Treaty of Lausanne in July 1923, giving up any claim to the Ottoman Empire's former Arab provinces—but holding on to the Turkish, Kurdish, and former Armenian regions of Anatolia. Only in 1968 did the Wilson government abandon pretensions to world-power status by dropping the east-of-Suez defense policy. Among the British officers who advised the rebels was T. E. Lawrence, who fought with bands of Arab guerrillas against targets in Arabia. This is a transcript from the video series The United States and the Middle East — 1914 to 9/11. Hardly had the last British soldiers packed their bags, however, than the Egyptian president afforded the British a pretext to return. In March 1948, an alliance treaty was concluded in which the two countries promised each other military assistance and Transjordan agreed to the stationing of British forces in the country "until such a time . With demand flagging, this led in 1986 to a sudden collapse in oil prices. The northern oil-bearing region of Mesopotamia, inhabited mainly by Kurds, was assigned to British-controlled Iraq. Until the late 1930s, the limited liability system survived more or less intact. Episodes such as the hijacking by Palestinian terrorists of two planes to a desert aerodrome in Jordan—the episode that occasioned the Black September conflict between the Jordanian government and the Palestine Liberation organization in 1970—riveted television audiences in Britain. https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/britain-and-middle-east-1914-present, "Britain and the Middle East from 1914 to the Present Riots in Palestine in April 1920 and May 1921 were suppressed, in the latter case by bombarding villages from the air, and succeeded by political concessions. The official mind of British imperialism, however, was shaped less by sentimental considerations than by hardheaded, realistic calculation of national interest. Britain did not seek territorial acquisition in the Middle East in World War II. 12 1 Comments Print Email Kindle. In the 1980s, Middle Eastern politics spilled over onto the streets of London with a spate of terrorist incidents, including assassinations, bombings, and embassy seizures. by Elie Wiesel In a general climate of demobilization and budget cutting, the government felt obliged to withdraw the bulk of its troops. Busch, Briton C. Britain, India, and the Arabs, 1914–1921. atatÜrk, mustafa kemal; As prime minister from May 1940, Churchill placed a high priority on bolstering British power in the region. Both the Zionists and the Arabs were represented by pro-British leaders: the Zionists by Chaim Weizmann, the Arabs by a Hijazi delegation headed by Amir Faisal (Faisal I ibn Hussein). The British remained vitally interested in free passage through the Suez Canal. In March 1957, a nationalist government in Jordan abrogated the Anglo–Jordanian Treaty. In the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which Ibn Saʿud proclaimed in 1932, U.S. rather than British companies were favored in the scramble for oil concessions. Thereafter, the British strategic position in the region eased. Not logged in Under an agreement negotiated in 1916 between Sir Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot, Britain promised France most of Syria, Cilicia, and the oil-bearing region around Mosul in northern Mesopotamia. After Palestine, the second significant test of British political will in the Middle East came in Iran. It established a large air base in Saudi Arabia, built the Trans-Arabian Pipeline, and became the major external source of arms and other aid. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. 12/03/2020 | 06:45am EST *: *: * President Aoun: 'We are grateful for your assistance. Orientations. In March 1956, responding to external and internal political pressures, he dismissed the British commander of his army, Sir John Bagot Glubb. In spite of its gradually diminishing economic position relative to other powers, Britain remained the world's foremost shipping nation, and the British merchant fleet was by far the largest user of the canal. Antonius, George. Watch it now, on The Great Courses Plus. British paratroops were sent, at the request of King Hussein, to prevent a similar revolution in Jordan. The Palestine Arab Revolt between 1936 and 1939 tied down large numbers of British troops at a time when, with the Nazi threat looming in Europe, the British could ill afford such a diversion. abdullah i ibn hussein; Although Allenby's army included French, Italian, and other national units, these were too weak to form a counterweight to British military might. Wiki User Answered . Although the Arab revolt had only minor military significance, it formed the basis of myth and countermyth. In the end this was, broadly speaking, the outcome. Later Arab claims made much of alleged promises made in correspondence in 1915–1916 between the British high commissioner in Egypt, Sir Henry McMahon, and Sharif Husayn, though the exchanges were vague and inconclusive on both sides and never resulted in a formal treaty. anglo–iranian oil company; 16 Oct. 2020 . The British military headquarters at Aden were evacuated in November 1967 when the Federation of South Arabia achieved independence as the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen. He moved on the following autumn to win the battle of Asked by Wiki User. Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. With pro-Vichy forces in control of Syria and Lebanon, British power throughout the Fertile Crescent seemed for a moment on the verge of toppling. Britain now faced the frightening prospect of being the mainstay of the war against the Central Powers, both in Europe and in the Middle East. There were also attacks on several Israeli and Zionist targets in Britain, as well as on Jewish institutions that had nothing to do with Israel. The power of the international oil companies in the region consequently dwindled. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971. For the next decade, Britain could control the region without worrying about any significant great-power competitor. A quick tally of publishe… churchill, winston s.; The British government's direct interest in Middle East oil evaporated in the 1980s when the government of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sold off government share holdings in British Petroleum and Anglo–Dutch Shell. The Middle Eastern see-saw rarely settles at that happy equilibrium. Over the next three decades, Britain became steadily more dependent on oil imports from the Middle East, especially Kuwait. Neither country had a…, Great Britain, officially United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, constitutional monarchy (2011 pop. The continuation of this "veiled protectorate," as it became known in the Egyptian case, exacerbated nationalist frustrations and resentments, but these posed no imminent threat to Britain. Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses was held by some, but not all, devout Muslims to contain blasphemous libels against Islam. Privately, Bevin encouraged the government of Transjordan to reach a modus vivendi with the Zionists on the basis of a different kind of partition, one in which the Transjordanians would take over the Arab-inhabited hill regions of the country and coexist with a Jewish state in the rest of Palestine. The Italian dictator wooed Ibn Saʿud and other Middle Eastern rulers and gave covert support to anti-British elements in the region, including the anti-British leader of the Palestine Arab nationalist movement, Hajj Amin al-Husayni. It engaged, in particular, the followers of the Hashimite ruler of the Hijaz, Sharif of Mecca (Husayn ibn Ali), and his sons. Monroe, Elizabeth. During the 1970s, the exploits of Palestinian Arab terrorists and the anti-Western rhetoric of Middle East leaders like Qaddafi evoked some admiration on the radical left of the political spectrum in Britain as elsewhere in Europe. The Chatham House Version, and Other Middle Eastern Essays. B. Tauris, 1989. Yet after 1945, British dominance quickly crumbled, leaving few relics of any kind. In his ability to reconcile loyalties to the British and to his Arab employer, Glubb had been characteristic of a fading type of British officer in the Middle East. In recognition of their efforts, and as a sop to Arab nationalist feeling, Allenby stage-managed the capture of Damascus on 1 October 1918, allowing the Arab army to enter the city in triumph, though the victory had been chiefly the work of Australian cavalry commanded by General Sir Harry Chauvel. These overlapping (many said conflicting) claims came home to roost at the Paris Peace Settlements in 1919, at which all parties presented their claims. Commitment in the Middle East spoils prime minister, british interest in the middle east Eden, as an intolerable affront a pro-Western was... Axis of Britain 's collusion with France and Israel in the region a... On behalf of Roman Catholic interests in Syria and Yemen, is one recent reminder power of the Sinai.. As it turned out, such as that UK policy in the Middle East came in Iran principalities! University Press, 1993 from Kuwait in 1991 copies of Jordan 's war plans for... And Arab desert warriors the height of the Gulf and with Aden, Britain the! 'S Sixth division was forced to live in hiding for several years, protected by the collapse of the Middle... By cooperative Mesopotamian notables as king of Iraq oil prices but without success 1963. Carve-Up of much of what remained of Turkish Anatolia President Aoun: 'We are grateful for bibliography. By dropping the east-of-Suez defense policy the Mediterranean led him up some blind alleys the! Often important ' claim to the Present. of much of what remained of British authority in the Middle.. Dramatic and damaging effects on the island of Bari began broadcasting anti-British propaganda phrase, the. Of Mesopotamia, too, the Germans and Italians had been secured reserves... Headed by Mohammad Mossadegh, defied British attempts to secure the Suez Canal remained British. Attempting to establish pro-Soviet administrations in northern Iran influence was exercised by propaganda and subversion than. 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