Southern Asia 1902: Saudi Restoration

By the early 1890s, the Emirate of Ha'il had risen to dominate the Arabian interior, conquering the rival Emirate of Nejd and forcing its Saudi rulers to flee to Kuwait. However, local discontent with Ha'il gradually grew and in 1901 the House of Saud returned, recapturing Riyadh the following year.


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 Jun 1899–7 Sep 1901 Boxer Rebellion

The Boxer Rebellion, an anti-imperialist uprising breaks out in China. The Militia United in Righteousness, or “Boxers”, attack foreigners and Christians in Shandong and the North China plain before converging on Beijing in support of the imperial Qing family. An Eight-Nation Alliance is formed by Britain, Russia, Japan, France, the United States, Germany, Italy, and Austria-Hungary to relieve the siege of foreigners in Beijing, capturing the Chinese capital on August 14. As punishment, China is forced to sign the humiliating Boxer wikipedia

? Jan 1901 Saudi return to Nejd

Saudi-Kuwaiti forces led by fugitive Saudi emir Abdul Rahman and his son Abdul Aziz (Ibn Saud) leave the British protectorate of Kuwait to invade Nejd in the hope of capturing Riyadh from their Rashidi wikipedia

28 May 1901 D’Arcy Concession

British entrepreneur William Knox D’Arcy and Mozzafar al-Din Shah of Persia sign an oil concession, giving D’Arcy exclusive rights to prospect for oil in southern Persia. The Shah receives £20,000 cash, another £20,000 worth of shares, and 16 percent of annual net wikipedia

12–15 Jan 1902 Saudi capture of Riyadh

Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, accompanied by 40 followers and with the support of other tribesmen hostile to the Rashidis, infiltrated the Rashidi-held former Saudi capital of Riyadh. There they assaulted Al Masmak Castle, assassinating Ibn Ajlan (the Rashidi governor) and massacring the entire garrison. This capture of Riyadh greatly enhanced Ibn Saud’s reputation, and he was declared emir four months wikipedia