Effects of World War 1 and the Post War Settlement


Effects of World War 1 and the Post War Settlement
Effects of World War 1 and the
Post War Settlement
IB History HL
Main themes: Choosing sides
– The three big European players in the Middle East
are allies in World War 1.
– The competition between the three is decreased
due to the greater problem of fighting Germany
and the Austrian Empire removing all motivation
for supporting the Ottoman Empire
– The Ottoman Empire joins the enemy coalition
Main themes: Ottoman Empire joins the
Triple Alliance
– Out of fear of a Russian invasion
Continuous wars with Russia for the past 100 years
– Attempt to regain traditional territory in the
– Attempt to maintain control over other minority
groups still in the Empire
Armenians, Arabs, Kurds
Main themes: Post-War Settlement
– A product of great power politics – believed that
they were the only effective administrators
– Did not provide the area with political stability
because the administration did not reflect the
areas inhabitants
– Growing sense of Arab nationalism due to
increased expectations - Wilson 14 Points, war
Main themes – Post War Settlements
• Dramatically altered the political map of the
Arab world
• Set the state for many of today’s conflicts
• Many of today’s modern states did not exist
prior to World War 1
Map of the Middle East and Africa 1914
The Allied Wartime Promises
A. The nature of British Middle Eastern Policy
Design to foster Arab support against the Ottoman
Ottoman Sultan also the Caliph – fear of general Muslim
uprising/support particularly in India
Policy formation lacked a common direction resulting in
contradictory policies. Policy was being directed by
three different ministries
Foreign Affairs
The Indian Office
The Arab Bureau
The Allied Wartime Promises
B. Constantinople Agreement (March 1915)
Russia to be given Constantinople and the
Turkish Straits
– Russia
wanted recognition of their interests before any
collapse of the OE due to the lack of a military
presence in the region.
Promised to recognize British and French interests
The Allied Wartime Promises
C. The Hussein-McMahon correspondence of 1915
Main goal was to attempt to incite a revolt and collapse
the OE
Hussein – governor of the Holy Cities
British concerns –
Hussein may join the Triple Alliance and call for a holy war
against the Allied powers
Promise an independent Arab state
The Allied Wartime Promises
D. The Hussein-McMahon correspondence of
Hussein’s demands
Large territorial concessions that covered most of the
Arab world in the Middle East
British response
Vague – ran with British administrative advice
French interests were to be protected, Lebanon
Large territorial demand not rejected outright –
nothing soled or settled
The Allied Wartime Promises
E. Sykes-Picot Agreement 1916
The Allied Wartime Promises
E. Sykes-Picot Agreement 1916
A secret agreement between the European Powers that divided up the
Middle East between them. Conducted during the war and before the
war is won
Post-war plan that was to take place in case a sudden
collapse of the Ottoman Empire
France and Britain – try to avoid post-war fighting and
disputes over territory. Agreement to honor each others
The Allied Wartime Promises
Sykes-Picot Agreement 1916 – Details of the agreement
Creation of an independent Armenian state – Armenian revolt
and “genocide”
Human tragedy and mutual murder rather than “genocide”
“shall be allowed to establish such direct or indirect
administration or control as they desire and as they may think
fit to arrange with the Arab State or Confederation of Arab
France – Syria, Lebanon and Southern Turkey
Britain – South Iran, Jordan, West coast of Saudi Arabia, Iraq,
Aden or Eastern Yemen, “long-standing obsession with the
protection of the sea routes to India”
The Allied Wartime Promises
Sykes-Picot Agreement 1916 – Details of the
Britain – South Iran, Jordan, West coast of Saudi
Arabia, Iraq, Aden or Eastern Yemen, “long-standing
obsession with the protection of the sea routes to
Italy – Southern Turkey
International administration – Palestine, Central Iran
New British PM (1916) Lloyd George was a fierce
critic of the plan
The Allied Wartime Promises
F. The Balfour Declaration
Letter from the British Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour to the
leader of the Zionist movement indicating the creation of a
homeland for the Jewish people.
Vague wording – does not promise a homeland
Conditions applied – not to prejudice the rights of the existing
Territory is seen as “the territories lying between the Jordan and the
eastern borders of Palestine”. (Includes Jordan)
Balfour Declaration
Foreign Office
November 2nd, 1917
Dear Lord Rothschild,
I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty's Government,
the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has
been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.
"His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a
national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to
facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing
shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing nonJewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews
in any other country."
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the
Zionist Federation.
Yours sincerely,
Arthur James Balfour
Problems with Allied Wartime Promises
Many ambiguous problems = begin unprepared
for the collapse of the Ottoman Empire by the
same plans that were suppose to have prepared
Huge problems of process and perceptions
Arab nationalism – interpretation vague promises as
the right to national agenda
Imperialism mindset – European administration was
beneficial to the local inhabitants and would be
appreciated. Arab independence does not mean selfgovernment.
Problems with Allied Wartime Promises
Arab Revolt cont.
Lead by Emir al Fasial and T.E. Lawerence
Degree of impact/significance
British – minor success that had little significance to the fall
of the Ottoman Empire
Arab perspective – major role that fulfilled their end of the
deal, a war of independence
Problems with Allied Wartime Promises
Reading assignment: What was the
military or political significance of
the Arab Revolt?
Cleveland 150-153, 157-159
Karsh 185-187 (p) Bottom of 192
Jordan website
Not significant
Problems with Allied Wartime Promises
Dividing up territory not controlled
Since they didn’t own it – easier to give it away
The Arab revolt
Early British failures – Gallipoli and Kut
Tied up the Ottoman Empire
Blew up sections of the Medina-Damascus railway
stopping the flow of Turkish supplies
Significance of the Arab Revolt
• What are the similarities and differences between Cleveland and
• Military:
– Broke the Medina-Damascus Railway link and prevented Turo-German forces
from getting to Yemen (East Africa and Red Sea shipping)
– Diverted Turkish resources from Palestine/Egypt. 30,000 troops along Hejaz
rail line
– British forces captured major cities (Jerusalem, Damascus, Baghdad)
– Arab forces needed military and weapons supplies from the British
– Irregular army of armed tribesmen insignificant compare to the huge 3m
British forces in Egypt, Palestine and Mesopotamia
– Turks surrendered to the British
– Collapse of the Ottoman Empire was due more to the events of World War 1
– Weakness seen in eventual defeat and loss of Hejaz territory
Significance of the Arab Revolt
• Political
– Only acted when Turo-German forces were move towards
the Hejaz
– Insignificant ally of the British in their global Empire
– Widespread condemnation of revolt (opportunistic and
– “Not a revolutionary for national self –determination…
imperialist aspirant”
– Willing to make deal with Ottomans
– Religious hesitation in fighting fellow Muslims
– Little support offered by other Arab leaders
– Letters were from a low level British officer not a formal
Significance of the Arab Revolt
• Political
– While never promised “King of all Arab countries” He was
never discouraged from thinking this by the British
• “Great Britain is prepared to recognize and uphold the
independence of the Arabs in all the regions lying within the
frontiers proposed by the Sharif of Mecca”
– Reason to believe that he was promised an Arab State
Cleveland (157)
– Held prestigious position of Amir of Mecca, protector of
the Holy Cities. Used religious influence to reduce impact
of call for jihad
– Support grows after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire
becomes apparent
Views from Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
• The formerly cosmopolitan and tolerant Ottoman Empire
began overtly discriminating against its non-Turkish
inhabitants. Arabs in particular were faced with political,
cultural and linguistic persecution
• During this time, Arab nationalist groups in Syria, Iraq and
Arabia began to rally behind the Hashemite banner of
Abdullah and Faisal, sons of Sharif Hussein bin Ali, King of the
Military significance
• At the end of the war, Arab forces controlled all of modern Jordan,
most of the Arabian peninsula and much of southern Syria.
Views from Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Political significance:
Much of the trauma and dislocation suffered by the peoples of the Middle East
during the 20th century can be traced to the events surrounding World War I.
victors reneged on their promises to the Arabs, the interests of the colonial powers
took precedence over promises made to the Arabs
political aspirations of the Arabs were not to be realized, however, due to the
conflicting promises made by the British to their wartime allies
totally deceitful move”
“clearly contradicted the promises made to Sharif Hussein of Mecca”
effectiveness of the Great Arab Revolt that the Hashemite family was able to
secure Arab rule over Transjordan, Iraq and Arabia.
Arab nationalists in the Fertile Crescent and the Arabian Peninsula found in the
Hashemite commanders of the Great Arab Revolt the leadership that could realize
their aspirations, and thus coalesced around them.
British government ignored the will of the Iraqi people
The Post War Settlement Process: Problem
of Expectations vs. Reality
The 14 Points as the guiding principles of the Post War Wilson
declaration to the Right to self determination set high expectations:
“It will be our wish and purpose that the processes of peace, when they
are begun, shall be absolutely open, and that they shall involve and
permit henceforth no secret understandings of any kind.... What we
demand in this war ... is that the world be made fit and safe to live in;
and particularly that it be made safe for every peace-loving nation
which, like our own, wishes to live its own life, determine its own
institutions, be assured of justice and fair dealing by the other peoples
of the world...the only possible program as we see it, is this:
The Post War Settlement Process:
Problem of Expectations vs. Reality
• “V. Free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial
claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining
all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations
concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims
of the government whose title is to be determined.
• XII. The Turkish portions of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured
a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are now
under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security
of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of
autonomous development, and the Dardanelles should be
permanently opened as a free passage to the ships and commerce of all
nations under international guarantees.”
The Post War Settlement Process:
Problem of Expectations vs. Reality
B. Anglo-French Declaration of November 1918
“The goal envisaged by France and Great
Britain.... is the complete and final liberation
of the peoples who have for so long been
oppressed by the Turks, and
the setting up of
national governments and administrations that
shall derive their
authority from the free
exercise of the initiative and choice of the
The Post War Settlement Process:
Problem of Expectations vs Reality
C. Declaration to the Seven (1918)
– British government meets with seven Arab leaders
in Cario
– Future government of Arab territory liberated by
the action of Arab armies would be based on the
principle of the “consent of the governed”
The Post War Settlement Process:
Problem of Expectations vs. Reality
D. Nationalist groups – believed the conference
would be supportive of its goals
» Various Nationalist groups showed up to make claims –
huge undertaking that would have required large
amounts of political, economic and military support
» Conflicting claims – 40 different Armenian groups,
Palestine, Kurdistan Proposed map of Kurdistan
» Map of current Kurdish population distribution
» Note the similarity of Population distribution and
proposed state.
Map of proposed Kurdish state
Kurdish Population Distribution
The Post War Settlement Process:
Problem of Expectations vs. Reality
E. Past diplomatic practices
Previous British deals with the coastal
Arabian Skeikhs allowed for a level of
autonomy with a political and military
The Post War Settlement Process:
Problem of Expectations vs Reality
F. The King Crane Commission (June to August
1919) http://www.hri.org/docs/king-crane/
Investigatory committee whose mandate was to study
the people and the situation of the Eastern part of the
Ottoman Empire and make recommendation to the
League of Nations.
Europeans boycotted the commission leaded by two
Focused primarily on the areas to be controlled by the
Meet exclusively with member of the elite class, stayed
only six weeks.
The Post War Settlement Process:
Problem of Expectations vs Reality
King Crane Commission’s report
Found overwhelming majority of inhabitants did not want a mandate
Conformed closely to the boundaries of the Sykes-Picot agreement
Emphasized the possibility of the Arab self government in the near
Assumed that there would be a mandate system imposed, focused on
what shape it should take
Widespread opposition to Zionism and the Jewish state
[in Palestine.] “The majority of the inhabitants, both Moslems and
Christians, opposed the usurpation of their homeland, and preferred
either independence or unity with Greater Syria”
Desire for large single mandate rather than smaller mandate units
Emir Feisal as the most popular leader for the Syria state/mandate
The Post War Settlement Process:
Problem of Expectations vs Reality
King Crane Commission’s report
» Memo written to Wilson before the trip: the Syrian
mandate should go to France “not on the primary
desires of the people, but on the international need of
preserving friendly relations between France and Great
» Report was simply forgotten
Post War Settlement: Reality
A. Paris Peace Conference
Faisal given a 20 minute audience
USA/Wilson removed from the process – isolationism
Russia excluded due to the revolution
Britain and France set the agenda
Two year process – drawn out process that in the end
confirms the “reality on the ground”
– Division of territory between France and Britain
– Creation of modern territories of the Middle East
Post War Settlement: Reality
Compare the two maps
E. Sykes-Picot Agreement 1916
B. The Mandate System and Article 22 of the Covenant of the
League of Nations
– White Man’s Burden mentally –
“which are inhabited by peoples not yet able to stand by
themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern
world, there should be applied the principle that the wellbeing and development of such peoples form a sacred trust of
civilisation and that securities for the performance of this trust
should be embodied in this Covenant.”…
“entrusted to advanced nations who by reason of their
resources, their experience or their geographical position can
best undertake this responsibility, and who are willing to
accept it,…”
Mandate system
• Three types
– Class A – Mandatory was to give “advice and assistance”
with the goal of self government. All of the Middle East
mandates were class A.
– Class B – “Mandatory must be responsible for the
administration of the territory”
– Class C – “best administered under the laws of the
Mandatory as integral portions of its territory”
*** Class A mandates were legally veiwed as tempopary
entities. Mandatory governments were required to report
on their progress to self government on an annual basis
Reality –White Man’s Burden
Take up the White Man's burden-Send forth the best ye breed-Go, bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait, in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild-Your new-caught sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.
Take up the White Man's burden-In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain,
To seek another's profit
And work another's gain.
Reality – White man’s burden
Take up the White Man's burden-The savage wars of peace-Fill full the mouth of Famine,
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
(The end for others sought)
Watch sloth and heathen folly
Bring all your hope to nought.
Take up the White Man's burden-No iron rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper-The tale of common things
Reality – White Man’s Burden
Take up the White Man's burden-Ye dare not stoop to less-Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloak your weariness.
By all ye will or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent sullen peoples
Shall weigh your God and you.
B. The Mandate System and Article 22 of the
Covenant of the League of Nations cont.
– Not control just advice
» “Certain communities formerly belonging to the Turkish
Empire… [will be given] administrative advice and
assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are
able to stand alone.
– When will they be ready?
» To be determined by “Mandatories on behalf of the
B. The Mandate System and Article 22 of the Covenant of the
League of Nations cont.
– Historical Interpretations:
The Arab world was the “great loot of the war”
Imperialism with a new name – Gelvin writes, “sought to
consolidate and guarantee those [imperialist] interests within
the framework of the new international order.”
Long-term plan to create weak states that are easy to
Genuine desire to promote self-government and provide a
smooth transition to a radically new situation. Stability and
economic opportunities are related and greater chaos did
» “mandate system for colonies became Trustee System” [of the
United Nations]
C. San Remo Agreement (April 18, 1920)
Territorial agreements
Growing revolts, high financial costs, low troop moral emphasized
the need for the Europeans to quickly settle their territorial
British in the strongest bargaining position because of the presence
of troops already. Estimated 3 million soldiers in the region
Stresses that the Arab territories were not yet prepared to govern
themselves and would be guided by European powers during an
unspecified length transitional period
Creates the mandate system which transfers all administrative
powers to the British and the French.
D. Treaty of Sevres (Oct 10, 1920)
Treaty: http://www.lib.byu.edu/~rdh/wwi/versa/sevres1.html
Agreed to by remnants of the collapsed Ottoman Empire –a
formalization of the Armistice of Mudros which ended the fighting
of WW1
Extremely limited sovereignty and the division of most of its
territory among the victorious Allies.
Only one third of Anatolia remained free of direct occupation
Creation of autonomous countries of Kurdistan and Armenia with
international “assistance” with their formation.
Ottoman ceded their claim to Arab by recognizing San Remo
agreement and the Hashemite Kingdom of the Hijaz.
Article 6 states the British commitment to the establishment of
Jews in “close settlement” in Palestine but Article 26 states the
right to “postpone or withhold application of this provision …
[depending on] local conditions.”
Peace Treaty?
Conditions for a just and lasting peace
Both sides must agree to terms
Violence must end
Respect for core values
Support of a critical mass of the population
A leadership that promotes the new peace
Forgiveness and trust building
Some form of compromise and power sharing
between disputing parties
• Ability to enforce (security etc)
• Read pages 175 -178
• Provide examples and determine the extent in
what each of the conditions of peace were