‘A sketch of the political history of Persia, Iraq and Arabia, with special reference to the present campaign.’  (44/58)
The record is made up of 29 folios. It was created in 1917. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.
This transcription is created automatically. It may contain errors.
effective dominion in the Hijaz. The possession of the two
holy cities, Mecca and Medinah, is essential to the Sultan as
Khalif of Islam. It was the extension of Wahhabi conquest
in this direction which roused the Porte to the gravity of the
movement, and when in 1840 the Ottoman Government resumed
direct control of the Hijaz after the occupation of the province
by Muhammad Ali, the Amir of Mecca was not permitted to
return to the position of practical independence which he had
enjoyed until the end of the 18th Century. If most of the
great chiefs of Arabia have a religious as well as a secular
authority the Sharif of Mecca, guardian of the Holy Places
and direct descendant of the Prophet, commands the considera
tion, willing or unwilling, of the Islamic world outside Arabia
and the veneration of the Sunni clergy of Syria and Mesopotamia.
But to the Puritan Wahhabi, who accords reverence to God
only, he is no more than any other powerful ruler of Beduin
and Oasis Arabs, and any extension of his influence eastward,
more especially in the Qasim, is a matter for jealous suspicion.
Temporal power is subject to rapid variations in nomadic
countries. No frontier lines have been drawn across the
Arabian deserts, the roving tribesmen pass easily from one
allegiance to another and their fluctuating obedience gives
ample opportunity for the rivalry of princes.
Although the Porte maintained in the Hijaz its own political
and military officers together with a small garrison in the
principal towns, the Sharif was recognized as the chief executive
officer of Mecca and he alone swayed the tribes. The construc
tion of the railway to Medinah was of high strategic importance
to the Sultan as a means of tightening his grasp on the Hijaz,
but the Sharif successfully resisted its extension to Mecca
and thereby preserved the isolation of his own stronghold.
This isolation, coupled with his mastery of the tribes, enabled
him successfully to raise the standard of revolt against the
Turks in June 1916.
In November 1916 he was proclaimed king of the Hijaz.
The close connection of his family with Egypt, where they
own large estates, and the dependence of the Hijaz upon Egyp
tian resources guarantee the amicable relations of the new
Arab kingdom with Great Britain.
II-—R elations with I bn Saitd,
'Abdul 'Aziz ibn Sa'ud, the present Hakim of Najd, may
be said to have begun his reign in 1901, when he was pro-
About this item
The volume is an overview of the political history of Persia, Iraq and Arabia, authored by the Office of the Chief Political Officer, Indian Expeditionary Force “D”, and printed by the Superintendent Government Printing, Calcutta [Kolkata], India in 1917. The volume is divided into a number of chapters:
1. An introduction to the political history of Persia, Iraq and Arabia, chiefly concerning Britain’s history of naval intervention and military occupation in the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. , and its efforts in eradicating the slave trade, arms traffic and piracy;
2. A chapter entitled ‘The Arab attitude in Iraq before the War’, including: political conditions in Turkish Iraq prior to the War; the arrival of the Indian Expeditionary Force “D” at the start of the War; Ottoman ‘jihad’ against the British; Arab attitudes to the British in Iraq, central Arabia and Persian Arabistan;
3. British relations with Arabistan, including an overview of the Anglo-Persian War (1856-57), and a brief outline of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company’s activities in the region;
4. The Bakhtiari tribes, their leaders and their standing with the Persian Government, and the importance of maintaining British relations with them, with reference to trade routes, the maintenance of order in the oil fields, and the maintenance of friendly relations with the Shaikh of Muhammareh [Khorramshahr] and the Russians at Ispahan [Isfahān, or Eṣfahān];
5. Pusht-i-Kuh – ‘the right flank of Indian Expeditionary Force “D”’: a description of the area, and its strategic and economic importance, including: topography; climate; the position and powers of its Wali [governor] (taken from Lorimer’s Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. ), the Wali’s relatives; and Kaka Siyah, who reside in the region and who are of African origin;
6. Arabia – the left flank of Indian Expeditionary Force “D”. The chapter is divided into two parts. The first part is a general description of the Arabian peninsula, including: topography and geographic features; political powers in Arabia: the Wahhabi, with a history of their development and territorial gains; Egypt; Ibn Rashid [Ibn Rashīd]; the British Government; and Turkish interests in Arabia. The second part is a detailed historical outline of British relations with Ibn Sa‘ūd;
7. Entitled The Trend of Turkish policy before the War and since (official) , and subdivided into parts on internal and external politics. The first part includes an assessment of the characteristics of ‘Ottoman people’ and their Government, the second concentrates on German influence and activity in Ottoman territories.
There are pencil annotations on the front flyleaf of the volume (folio 2), which make note of sections within the volume, with the corresponding page numbers.
- Extent and format
- 29 folios
The volume is arranged into seven chapters (I-VII), with subject subheadings used to organise each. A contents page (f 4), referencing the volume’s pagination sequence, lists the chapter headings. A preface (f 5) precedes the chapters.
- Physical characteristics
Foliation: There is a foliation sequence, which is circled in pencil, in the top-right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. of each folio. It begins on the front cover, on number 1, and ends on the inside of the back cover, on number 29.
Pagination: A printed pagination system runs through the volume (ff 7-27), the numbers of which are located top and centre of each recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. and verso The back of a paper sheet or leaf. .
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- English in Latin script View the complete information for this record
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- ‘A sketch of the political history of Persia, Iraq and Arabia, with special reference to the present campaign.’
- front, front-i, 1:8, 1:46, back-i, back
- East India Company, the Board of Control, the India Office, or other British Government Department
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- Open Government Licence