Southern Asia 1914: Simla Accord

While they were in discussions with the Ottomans over Arabia, the British were also seeking an understanding with China over Tibet. According to this new treaty, China, although holding suzerainty over Tibet, would not interfere in Tibetan affairs and would agree to the Tibetan borders defined by the British. Nobody was satisfied with these terms and the Chinese withdrew without signing. When the details reached the British government, it also rejected the treaty, believing the new extended Indian borders with Tibet to be incompatible with their 1907 agreement with Russia.


British Protectorates in the Persian Gulf

The British Residency of the Persian Gulf maintains British India influence in a number of Gulf states. These states are nominally independent - and shown as such in most atlases from the period - but have all signed treaties guaranteeing British control over their foreign affairs.

The Sultanate of Muscat and Oman is the only one of these states with significant international relations, having obtained trade agreements with the US and France before it signed its treaty with Britain. Maps of the time often show Trucial Oman and even Qatar as regions of Oman.

Trucial Oman is the region to the west of Oman which collectively signed treaties with Britain. The sheikhdoms of this region are often called the Trucial States, and will become the United Arab Emirates. However at this time they have little unity, with no regional council until 1952.

Indian Empire

The British Indian Empire, also known as the British Raj, is comprised of a complex of presidencies, provinces, protectorates, and agencies. Only the top level subdivisions are shown here.

The area under direct British rule is known as British India and made up of presidencies and provinces - a presidency simply being the name for an older province.

Outside British India, but often included within the sphere of the presidencies/provinces, are the hundreds of protectorates or 'princely states'. These are indirectly ruled states, the largest being Hyderabad, Kashmir, and Mysore. The others are either collected into agencies - which may in turn contain other smaller agencies - or fall under the sway of the provinces.

Main Events

22 Sep 1913 Ratification of Treaty of Daan

After initial rejection, the Treaty of Daan—signed in October 1911 between the Zaidi Yemen Imamate and the Ottoman Empire—was ratified by the Ottoman government. The Imam of Yemen was given the power to appoint governors and judges, as well as collect taxes, while remaining under Ottoman wikipedia

1 Mar 1914 Violet Line

The United Kingdom and the Ottoman Empire agreed on the ‘Violet Line’, linking the southern end of the Blue Line (1913) with the border between the Yemen Vilayet and the Aden wikipedia

15 May 1914 Ottoman-Saudi Treaty

The Ottoman Empire concluded a treaty with Ibn Saud of Nejd, recognizing Saud as the hereditary Wali of the Vilayet of Nejd in return for Saud’s pledge not to involve himself in foreign affairs or grant concessions to foreigners. Ibn Saud also agreed to participate in any wars the Ottoman Empire might wage, however he would quickly retract all obligations to the Ottomans after World War I broke wikipedia

3 Jul 1914 Simla Accord

The Convention Between Great Britain, China, and Tibet, Simla (Simla Accord) is finalized in Simla, summer capital of the British Indian Empire. The treaty divides Tibet into two parts: Outer Tibet, which is under Chinese suzerainty but under full control of the Tibetan government at Lhasa; and Inner Tibet, which is under Chinese jurisdiction. The Accord also revises the border between Tibet and British India to follow what will become known as the McMahon Line. China rejects the Accord immediately, while the British and Tibetans agree to sign it. However when the details reach the British government, it too rejects the wikipedia