Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The British Mandate In Iraq, 1914-1932

The British Mandate In Iraq, 1914-1932

Britain in Iraq: an introduction

Britain’s direct intervention in Iraq lasted 18 years. 
This time, during which Britain struggled to build an Iraqi state, can be usefully divided into four stages, 1914-1920, 1920-1923, 1923-1927  and  finally 1927-1932.  
The move from one period to another was triggered by major 
changes in British government policy as it attempted
to meet international commitments under the Mandate,
pacify an increasingly hostile Iraqi public whilst also
diffusing the growing resentment at home about the costs
of state building. The British state did not commit the time,
amounts of money or levels of expertise necessary to fulfil
its obligations to the
League of Nations or to the people
Iraq. In 1932 the new Iraqi governing elite appointed
by the British inherited a badly built and unstable state.
This elite, along with British influence in the country, was
swept aside 26 years later in a brutal military coup that
ushered in an era of violence and instability that persists
up until the present day.

Britain’s formal involvement in the creation of the Iraqi
state began in the early months of the First World War.
6 November 1914, troops from the British Indian
Expedition Force landed on the
Fao Peninsula in Ottoman
territory at the head of the
Persian Gulf. Six years later,
in April 1920, the British government formally accepted
responsibility for building an Iraqi state out of the post-
war wreckage of the
Ottoman Empire. It received the
‘sacred trust’ of a
League of Nations’ Mandate at the
San Remo conference. It publicly and self-consciously
committed itself, under the oversight of the League’s
Permanent Mandates Commission, to turn three former
provinces of the
Ottoman Empire, Basra, Baghdad and
Mosul, into a modern self-determining state. However,
within 12 years the British government had persuaded the
League to recognise
Iraq’s full independence. Britain had
successfully divested itself of the very costly responsibility
Iraq’s creation. It was during this period, from 1914
to 1932, that the institutional basis of the Iraqi state

should have been built. It was the failure of successive
British governments to fulfil the terms of the
League of
’ Mandate; to construct a stable, sustainable state
Iraq, that created the basis to the political instability.


  1. The United Nations was established on 24 October 1945 by 51 countries committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. Today, nearly every nation in the world belongs to the UN: membership totals 193 countries.

    When States become Members of the United Nations, they agree to accept the obligations of the UN Charter, an international treaty that sets out basic principles of international relations. According to the Charter, the UN has four purposes:

    to maintain international peace and security;
    to develop friendly relations among nations;
    to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights;
    and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.
    The United Nations is not a world government and it does not make laws. It does, however, provide the means to help resolve international conflicts and formulate policies on matters affecting all of us. At the UN, all the Member States — large and small, rich and poor, with differing political views and social systems — have a voice and a vote in this process.

    The United Nations has six main organs. Five of them — the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council and the Secretariat — are based at UN Headquarters in New York. The sixth, the International Court of Justice, is located at The Hague in the Netherlands.

  2. God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, the COURAGE to change things that I can, and the WISDOM to know the difference.