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The Rise of British Imperialism in the Middle East - Coursework Example

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The author of "The Rise of British Imperialism in the Middle East" paper explains the rise and fall of British imperialism in the Middle East between 1914 and 1956. The British experience in the Gulf displayed the might of the British Empire on its death throes…
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The Rise of British Imperialism in the Middle East
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Download file to see previous pages According to Bilgin (2005), the practices that the British policymakers adopted during the early part of its foray in the Gulf included the signing of a General Peace Treaty with Arab tribes of the Gulf in order to suppress piracy and slave traffic, the capture of Aden and the assumption of the responsibility for Bahrain’s external affairs in return for the Sheikh of Bahrain’s pledge not to prosecute the war, piracy, and slavery by sea. (p. 90) With the rivalries between the British, German, and Ottoman empires, British policy shifted from “security by influence to security by occupation.” (p. 90)

The British imperialism in the Middle East was the culmination of the unprecedented territorial expansion that happened after the defeat of the German and Turkish empires in the nineteenth century. By 1918, Britain acquired her African territories and much of the Middle East, wherein after the war the country was awarded her protectorates.

The growing power of Britain over the region increased as it constructed railways and road networks, which further reinforced the link between the Mediterranean and the Gulf coasts. Then, in 1914, oil was discovered in Iran as well as the Arabian peninsula. This multiplied the Gulf’s strategic importance particularly since the Royal Navy had switched from coal to oil in 1912. Even though no estimates were yet available in regard to the magnitude of the Middle East’s oil reserves, British policymakers were already bent on securing its stake in the region. (Adelson1995, p. 95-100) Britain became a stakeholder in several companies exploiting oil in the Middle East.

After the First World War, the region was divided into British and French protectorates by virtue of the Sykes-Picot agreement in 1916. During this period, new states were created, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq, regardless of the multitudinous ethnic makeup of territories. (Milton-Edwards 2006, p. 26) With the partition of the Middle East into smaller state-protectorates, Britain was able to maintain stability and foothold in the region. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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