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Volume :3 Issue : 11 1977      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

THE DISRUPTIVE INFLUENCE OF GREAT BRITAIN’S TRUCIAL POLICY

Auther : Calvin H. Allen, Jr.

 

         This study deals with Great Britain’s Trucial policy and its disruptive influence on the trucial states.  The establishment of the Al-Bu Falasa at Dubayy in 1833 had profound effects on the history of the southern shores of the Arabian Gulf.  Dubayy’s initial weakness required that the shaykhdom enter into a close alliance with the Qawasimi in order to maintain its independence from Abu Dhabi.  The Subsequent struggle resulted in a balance of power between the Baniyas of Abu Dhabi and Qawasssimi-Al-Bu- Falasa alliance.  However, the struggle also had disastrous economic consequences, which caused a resurgence of piracy.  Britain which had suppressed out breaks of piracy in 1809 and 1819, remained concerned for the overland communications route between Bombay and London and assumed a more active role in the Gulf.  To insure the security of that route against yet another outburst of piracy, a series of maritime truces was negotiated with the coastal Shaykhs.

           These truces according to the writer, had a disruptive influence which recorded the military situation on the Coast.  Each Shaykh was recognized as independent, regardless of his actual political states, and the balance of power was destroyed.  While Qawasimi naval superiority was neutralized Abu Dhabi’s advantage on land remained unchecked.  This enabled Dubayy to break from the Qawasimi by 1842 and undertake independent action.  An eleven year period of constant warfare followed as the three principal Shaykhs realigned themselves continually in attempt to limit their rival’s power.

           The writer then concluded that the military weakness brought about by the ceaseless fighting rendered the Shaykhdoms susceptible to domination from the interior.  Britain, opposed to the existence of a unified state in the Gulf exerted political pressure on Muhammad Ali and the Wahhabis to quit their Gulf schemes.  The British then allied themselves permanently with the coast Shaykhs through the maritime Truce in Perpetuity.  These actions resulted in the virtual guarantee of the Independence of each Shaykhdom and the establishment of a protectorate.


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