Lesson in Imperialism: The Sykes–Picot Agreement


Britain and France agreed to carve up the Middle East among themselves; this is what the First World War was really about.

The Sykes–Picot Agreement, officially known as the Asia Minor Agreement, was a secret agreement between the governments of the United Kingdom and France,[1] with the assent of Russia, defining their proposed spheres of influence and control in the Middle East should the Triple Entente succeed in defeating the Ottoman Empire during World War I. The negotiation of the treaty occurred between November 1915 and March 1916.[2] The agreement was concluded on 16 May 1916.[3]

The agreement effectively divided the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire outside the Arabian peninsula into areas of future British and French control or influence.[4] The terms were negotiated by the French diplomat François Georges-Picot and British Sir Mark Sykes. The Russian Tsarist government was a minor party to the Sykes–Picot agreement, and when, following the Russian Revolution of October 1917, the Bolsheviks exposed the agreement, ‘the British were embarrassed, the Arabs dismayed and the Turks delighted.’[5]

Source: Wikipedia

Link to Original Document

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One Response to Lesson in Imperialism: The Sykes–Picot Agreement

  1. beetleypete says:

    We don’t have to look too hard, to find the root causes of most, if not all problems in the Middle East today. The betrayal of Arab allies who fought the Turks, the future need for oil after WW1, and the old imperialist nations still clinging to former glories. Thanks for a timely reminder. I doubt we will see any of this in next year’s commemorations of the outbreak of that war, or indeed any discussion of the real reasons behind it.
    Regards from England, Pete.

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