Anglo Iraqi War Of 1941 Essay

2469 words - 10 pages

The effects of Second World War reached countries around the entire globe from Europe to Africa and from the Pacific to the Middle East. Although at the close of the First World War European imperialism for the most part ended, the governments of some newly established, quasi-independent countries like Iraq were still under the influence of European nations. In the spring of 1941, due to the increasing rise of Arab nationalism, the ever present resentment towards British influence in the region and the distraction of war, Iraqi nationalists attempted to take advantage of the situation and remove the ruling monarchy supported by the British. This brief conflict would come to be known as the Anglo-Iraqi War of 1941 and would leave a lasting impact on the development of Iraq throughout the majority of the second half of the 20th century.
British influence in the Middle East emerged during the 18th as Great Britain expanded their empire across the globe securing land, resources and riches. The Middle East, anciently referred to as Mesopotamia, developed into a vital midpoint connecting the land routes between the Orient and the coasts of the Mediterranean, which then connected to the European mainland. As Great Britain’s dominance in the Far East grew, the expanding empire fought to gain control of the Middle Eastern territory linking their holdings in the East and in the West. Great Britain maintained colonial influence in the majority of the land now within the modern boundaries of Jordan, Iraq, Israel and parts of Saudi Arabia for nearly 2 centuries. Following World War One and the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, the League of Nations partitioned the lands of the Middle East and Britain was given control of the lands in what was referred to the as the British Mandate of Mesopotamia with the capitol having been established in Baghdad.[1] Throughout the years between the two World Wars, Arab rebellion against British rule in the region, most notably the Great Iraqi Revolution of 1920, would eventually lead to the creation of the nominally independent Kingdom of Iraq in 1932. The British, still wanting to keep some influence in the region to protect their oil and military interests, signed the treaty granting Iraqi freedom on the conditions that oil concessions were made, the British would keep several military bases in the area and that British military forces could move freely throughout the country upon request to the Iraqi government. Additionally, the British arranged the appointment of a pro-British Iraqi monarch, King Faisal, to setup what was essentially a puppet government still dependent on, and in reality controlled by, the British.[2]
With the growing discontent of the Iraqi people towards the heavy influence of the British on the government of what was supposed to be an independent Iraq, in 1940 Rashid Ali, a nationalist, replaced the pro-British Prime Minister Nuri as-Said. However in January of 1941, Ali would resign his...

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