Britain as A Middle Eastern Power

  • Max Beloff


The almost simultaneous collapse of the European overseas empires after the second world war must suggest to the historian that their ability to sustain themselves until then had to some extent rested upon a common world system that made such survival possible. On the other hand, the acquisition of overseas territories had been the fruit of rivalry only occasionally tempered by diplomacy, and one of the results of the first world war had been a redistribution of colonies to the advantage of the victors. Once the political map had been stabilised in 1921–2 with the allocation and entering into force of the mandates, the longevity of the surviving empires was not seriously called into question. The only immediate doubts were over the future of the Portuguese colonies in Africa, which were in fact to be among the longest to remain under European rule — a case of ‘first in, last out’.1


Middle East Arab World British Government Suez Canal Labour Party 
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Copyright information

© Max Beloff 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Max Beloff
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OxfordUK

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