Mubarak Al-Sabah: Founder of Modern Kuwait 1896-1915

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Arabian, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 461 pages
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In this new biography, author B.J. Slot examines in unsurpassed detail, the career of Mubarak Al-Sabah, who ruled Kuwait from 1896 to 1915. The book presents a balanced assessment of the man and his political achievements, drawing exhaustively from a range of sources in British, French, and German archives. Mubarak Al-Sabah took control of his tiny state in 1896, just as the Ottoman Empire seemed on the point of swallowing it up. He managed to kindle a hesitant British interest in Kuwait, doing so by deftly exploiting a rivalry among European powers that was fuelled by speculation over Kuwait‚??s strategic importance as the possible terminus of a railway‚??conceived as a vital link in rapid communication between Europe and India. Mubarak contrived to make Kuwait a British protectorate, but in the vaguest and most deniable way. British officials came to seem more in his power rather than the other way around. Britain nursed doubts about the real strategic value of Kuwait, but remained afraid that another power might acquire it. Hence Mubarak could be confident that well-timed overtures to Turks, Russians, Germans, French, or even Persians would sow alarm among British officials and policy-makers. Ultimately it was only with the outbreak of the First World War that Britain dared publicly to declare Kuwait a protectorate, by which time its autonomy within the British system had become an accepted fact. Mubarak‚??s reign was thus pivotal in the history of Kuwait, establishing it clearly as a separate and sovereign entity under international law, while limiting the freedom of its British protectors.

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The Regional Crisis of 18901895
Change of Rule in Kuwait 1896

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