Posted On: Nov. 8, 2017
Beginning with the Constantinople Agreement followed by The Treaty of London, Treaty of Saint-Jean de Maurine and Sykes-Picot Agreement at conclusion of the First World War multiple secret treaties would carve out the Ottoman Empire and Middle East under stipulation that for fighting the victories had rights to territories as compensation (Gelvin, 2011, p. 186 – 187). The problem with these secret agreements is that everyone has a different view of what they mean and how they were to be implemented. The focus of our post is the Sykes-Picot Agreement which would ultimately divide the Middle East into Syria and Lebanon for the French; Israel, Palestinian, Jordon, and Iraq for the British, thus creating new nations. These new nations were at odds from the beginning as the new borders were drawn throughout the Arabic regions without the knowledge or approval of the local tribes, cities, or nations (Gelvin, 2011, p. 191). Additionally, the boarders cut into tribal territories which ignored ethnic, religious, and cultural beliefs in those regions. More importantly the Sykes-Picot Agreement ignored other secret treaties and caused serious animosities and mistrust between the new nations and those set out to establish control over them. Most notable of these secret treaties was between the British government and Amir Faysal who they had promised Syria to. At the end of the First World War France would have control of Syria and Faysal would be dismissed from Syria. In return his son Abdallah sought out to take control which caused the British two problems as illustrated by Gelvin (2011), first what to do with their war time alley, Faysal, and second what to do about Abdallah, who was threatening to make war on their more important war time alley” (p. 192). Ultimately the British solution was to appease Abdallah (at least this went better than their attempts to appease Hitler) by giving the son territories around Amman across the Jordan river which would create what would be today’s Jordan and Palestine. Faysal would move into control in Iraq (Basra, Baghdad, and Mosul) with descendants remaining in power until 1958 (Gelvin, 2011, p. 192). While the League of Nations had trusted Britain and France with the task of preparing the new nations for self governance neither truly made policies that created economic or political stability that favored any country other than themselves. From my post yesterday: I came across this article on Yahoo. I had read and of course seen the move Lawrence of Arabia, but never heard of Gertrude of Arabia. The article is written very well and touches on the political history of Iraq and how Persia was defined and new borders were written (Sykes-Picot Agreement). Here is the link: http://news.yahoo.com/woman-invented-iraq-094500726--politics.html References Gelvin, J. L. (2011). The Modern Middle East: A History. (3rd ed.) Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, Inc The division of Middle East into different parts led to the ultimate fall of the empire. Control of Syria and Lebanon by the French; and Israel, Palestinian, Jordon, and Iraq by the Britain were done without the knowledge of concurrence of the local tribes. Ethnic, religious, and cultural beliefs in those regions were totally ignored, that led to acrimony amongst people. Both Britain and French failed to make policies that would help and create political and economic stability in the region.