The Arabian Frontier of the British Raj: Merchants, Rulers, and the British in the Nineteenth-Century Gulf
, Nov 22, 2007
- 352 pages
The Arabian Frontier of the British Raj is a study of one of the most forbidding frontier zones of Britain's Indian Empire. The Gulf Residency, responsible for Britain's relationship with Eastern Arabia and Southern Persia, was part of an extensive network of political residencies that surrounded and protected British India. Based on extensive archival research in both the Gulf and Britain, this book examines how Britain's Political Resident in the Gulf and his very small cadre of British officers maintained the Pax Britannica on the waters of the Gulf, protected British interests throughout the region, and managed political relations with the dozens of Arab rulers and governors on both shores of the Gulf.
James Onley looks at the secret to the Gulf Residency's effectiveness--the extent to which the British worked within the indigenous political systems of the Gulf. He examines the way in which Arab rulers in need of protection collaborated with the Resident to maintain the Pax Britannica, while influential men from affluent Arab, Persian, and Indian merchant families served as the Resident's "native agents" (compradors) in over half of the political posts within the Gulf Residency.