British Imperialism in Iraq, 1914 - 1932: asking for trouble.

Author: Ann Matters

Matters, Ann, 2016 British Imperialism in Iraq, 1914 - 1932: asking for trouble., Flinders University, School of History and International Relations

Terms of Use: This electronic version is (or will be) made publicly available by Flinders University in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. You may use this material for uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material and/or you believe that any material has been made available without permission of the copyright owner please contact with the details.


This thesis shows that the institutional blockages created by a system of government characterised by a proliferation of departments working largely independently, but with overlapping and conflicting areas of responsibility, substantially hampered the formulation of a clear and consistent British war-time policy for Mesopotamia. The post-war allocation of the League of Nations mandate for Mesopotamia accorded with Britain’s aim to rule Iraq indirectly. However, indecision and confusion at the higher levels of government persisted, partly due to suspicions regarding the authority of the League. The decision in 1923 to ‘quit’ the mandate early was, however, accompanied by mis-steps and unintended consequences. Ultimately, despite the ideals of liberal internationalism, Britain turned back to mid-Victorian forms of informal imperialism in order to secure British interests in ‘independent’ Iraq by means of a treaty, unfettered by the responsibilities and costs of the mandate, and the unwanted scrutiny of the League of Nations.Mes

Keywords: Mesopotamia, Iraq, First World War, British Imperialism, League of Nations, Mandates

Subject: History thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2016
School: School of History and International Relations
Supervisor: Dr Andrekos Varnava