Southern Asia 1913: Anglo-Ottoman Convention

By now the British dominated the Persian Gulf and the southern Arabian peninsula. To secure its gains in these regions, Britain persuaded the Ottoman Turks to sign the Anglo-Ottoman Convention, effectively renouncing any Ottoman influence over Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar. The Turks were having enough problems in Arabia without contesting the British - even as the convention was underway, the Saudis seized al-Hasa, the last major Ottoman holding in the Gulf.


British Protectorates in the Persian Gulf

The British Residency of the Persian Gulf maintained British India's influence in a number of Gulf states from the 19th Century until 1947. These states were nominally independent - and shown as such in most atlases from the period - but all signed treaties guaranteeing British control over their foreign affairs.

The Sultanate of Muscat and Oman was 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 was the region to the west of Oman which collectively signed treaties with Britain. The sheikhdoms of this region were often called the Trucial States, and later became the United Arab Emirates. However at this time they had little unity, with no regional council until 1952.

Indian Empire

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

The area under direct British rule was 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, were the hundreds of protectorates or 'princely states'. These were indirectly ruled states, the largest being Hyderabad, Kashmir, and Mysore. The others were either collected into agencies - which might in turn contain other smaller agencies - or fell under the sway of the provinces.

Main Events

8 Oct 1912–18 Jul 1913 Balkan Wars

The First Balkan War breaks out, seeing Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, and Serbia defeat the Ottoman Empire, taking most of its territory in Europe. This is quickly followed by the Second Balkan War, in which Bulgaria is defeated by its former allies, the Ottoman Empire, and Romania in a fight over the division of wikipedia

? May 1913 Conquest of al-Hasa

Saudi and Ikhwan forces of the Sultanate of Nejd, under Abdulaziz ibn Saud, conquered the Oasis of al-Hasa from the Ottoman Empire. The victory resulted in the annexation of the entire al-Hasa Sanjak to wikipedia

24 May 1913 Imamate of Oman

Salim ibn Rashid al-Kharusi, the Ibadite Imam of Oman at Nizwa, asserted the independence of the Imamate from the Sultans of Muscat and wikipedia

12 Jul–1 Sep 1913 Second Chinese Revolution

Half of China’s southern provinces rebelled against Yuan Shikai, President of the Republic of China, and in support of Sun Yatsen’s Kuomintang, beginning the Second Chinese Revolution. However Yuan defeated the leading Kuomintang military force of Jiangxi province in early August, capturing the southern capital of Nanjing on 1 September. Sun and other instigators of the rebellion fled to wikipedia

29 Jul 1913 Anglo-Ottoman Convention

In July 1913 the United Kingdom and the Ottoman Empire signed the Anglo-Ottoman Convention. The Ottomans agreed to recognize Kuwait as a fully autonomous kaza and to renounce claims to Qatar and Bahrain, effectively allowing for British influence in all three states. A boundary limiting Ottoman possessions—the ‘Blue Line’—was drawn from the coast west of Qatar to the Rub’ al Khali. The Ottomans also agreed to British policing of the Persian Gulf. However, the treaty was never wikipedia