The Middle East Online: Iraq, 1914-1974 (GALE Archives Unbound)
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Map showing the distribution of Kurds in the Middle East, 1963, The National Archives
Iraq 1914-1974 offers the widest range of original source material from the Foreign Office, Colonial Office, War Office and Cabinet Papers from the Anglo-Indian landing in Basra in 1914 through the British Mandate in Iraq of 1920-32 to the rise of Saddam Hussein in 1974. Here major policy statements are set out in their fullest context, the minor documents and marginalia revealing the workings of the mandate administration, diplomacy, treaties, oil and arms dealing. Topics covered include: The Siege of Kut-al-Amara, The War in Mesapotamia and the capture of Baghdad in 1917, Introduction of the British Mandate, and the installation of King Faisal in 1921, The British administration in Baghdad, Gertrude Bell, advisor to the British administration, in both reports and memos, The Arab Uprising of 1920, Independence, and Iraq’s membership of the League of Nations in 1932, Coups d’etat in the 1930s and 1940s, The Baghdad Pact of 1955 and the military coup of 1958 leading to the establishment of a republic, The Cold War and Soviet intervention in Iraq, Kurdish unrest and the war in Kurdistan, Oil concessions and oil exploration, The Rise of Ba’athism and Saddam Hussein, The USSR-Iraq Treaty of Friendship in 1972, Iran-Iraq relations.
Great Britain’s intimate involvement with the foundation of the state of Iraq and with the early direction of its government makes the National Archives at Kew the single major source for understanding the processes which formed the modern state and its politics. It is through the documents filed here that the reader can form an accurate impression of the British administrators, their concerns, their views of Iraq and the Iraqis and their reasons for devising policies that were to have a marked effect on the course of Iraqi political history long after British influence had come to an end.
The files reproduced in this collection have been selected on the basis of the light they can throw on routine policy-making, as well as on key episodes and developments in the political history of Iraq and its relationship with Great Britain. The editorial role has been confined to the selection of subject files which together form a comprehensive and multi-faceted picture of Iraq’s political history. The files themselves are reproduced in their entirety, including all the comments, annotations and revisions made by the officials through whose hands they passed, giving the reader the opportunity to assess how British policy was made and often revised to deal with changing circumstances.
From the National Archives at Kew, UK. Selected by Dr. Charles Tripp, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, these documents cover the political and administrative history of the modern state which has emerged from the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia. This database offers conference reports, ministerial memos and diplomatic dispatches, as well as official letters of correspondence from regional leaders, press releases and arms deal reports. This collection will also appeal to those with an interest in economics, politics and peace studies.
[taken from the introduction by Professor Charles Tripp, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London