British–Saudi Relations 1902-1932

Almutairi, Mohammed (2019) British–Saudi Relations 1902-1932. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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The years 1902-1932 have received relatively little attention in Arab and British history. This study examines the British-Saudi relationship from its inception, covering the entire period from the restoration of Riyadh in 1902 to the creation of Saudi Arabia in 1932. The study focuses on the Arabian Peninsula, including Najd, Has’a, Hijaz, and the northern Arabian Peninsula, including Ha’il and Al-Jawf, as well as southern Arabia, including Asir, and is the first to do so in such depth. Together, these regions became the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932. The research has assessed a significant number of primary sources, including correspondence between the various parties involved, reports, public records, private papers, newspapers and photographs, and includes Arabic and English secondary literature. Special attention has been given to British primary sources, as well as Ottoman documents, obtained from the Ottoman archives in Istanbul. In addition, a number of Arabic primary sources were obtained from the King Abdul Aziz Foundation in Saudi Arabia. This Foundation also provided a number of primary sources in German, Dutch and French, translated from their original languages into Arabic.

The thesis explores the multiple factors that influenced the composition of Saudi Arabia before its actual creation. In particular, it examines British-Saudi relations focussing on the understanding of British and international perspectives, as well as those of the Ottomans prior to the departure of Ottoman forces from Has’a. The first phase of the British-Saudi relationship is examined from its inception to the signing of the first agreement by Ibn Saud with a great power, namely the Darin Convention of 1915.

This thesis aims to take a fresh approach to state formation in Saudi Arabia by focusing on all the factors that made Ibn Saud into a leader. It explores the extent to which Ibn Saud benefited from all the means surrounding him, from internal and external alliances, and the ways in which he used these to further his interests. An in-depth analysis of the period from 1902 to 1932 is therefore crucial. It explores the internal and external factors which moulded the development of British-Saudi relations, as initiated by Ibn Saud. This relationship went through uncertainties and frustrations that did not ultimately change the commitment that Ibn Saud received from the British. From these early stages, after Ibn Saud assumed control over local and regional conflicts, he emerged as a political leader with strategic plans to involve the British in his country's future. The annexation of Al-Qassim, Has’a and Hijaz heralded a change in Britain's policy toward Ibn Saud, such that the British had to establish direct relations with Ibn Saud.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2024 13:43
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2024 13:43


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