British Imperialism in Afghanistan December 4, 2012 John Palmer Rea
Background • Afghanistan was a key to India • Was a main piece in the “Great Game” • Struggle between the UK and Russia
First anglo-afghan war• 1839 • British invasion of Afghanistan • Needed to secure Afghanistan because of its importance in the Great Game • Also, to expand the British East India Company• Initially, this was a success.• Great Britian attempted repeatedly to impose a puppet government
1st A-A War, ctd.• 1842 • Failure started coming about, both in the military and political realms. • Slaughter of British army • Afghan puppet ruler tried to convince Afghans that he convinced the British to leave• British bail out of Afghanistan.
Second anglo-afghan war• Provoked by a new interest by Russia• Treaty of Gandamak – British vowed to not go further into Afghanistan.• The British imposed head was revolted against and taken off the thrown and the British run out of town.• British argued they “preserved honor” by massacring Afghan villages as they marched out.
Durand line• 1893 • British imperialist government demanded to draw a line between Afghanistan and British India• This was an informal end to British imperialistic influence in Afghanistan.• A similar line was tried twice before, but did not work.• Two goals in the eyes of the British • Gain as much land and population of Afghanistan as possible • Establish a defensive perimeter and control passes of the Hindu Kush mountains
repercussions• Durand Line laid a foundation for a rocky relationship between Afghanistan and all other countries.• All things considered, this worked out well for the British as they could control British India well, but it was not a great victory by any stretch.• Afghanistan lost 1/3 of its population and some of its most fertile land in the Peshawar region.• Eventually, Afghanistan gained their independence after the Third Anglo-Afghan War.
BibliographyBarthorp, Michael. Afghan Wars and the North-West Frontier, 1839-1947. London: Cassell, 2002. Print.Forbes, Archibald. The Afghan Wars, 1839-42 and 1878- 80. New York: C. Scribners Sons, 1892. Print.J.A. Norris. Anglo-Afghan Relations. Encyclopedia Iranica. 2010. Online.Tanner, Stephen. Afghanistan: A Military History from Alexander the Great to the Fall of the Taliban. New York: Da Capo, 2002. Print.Vogelsang, W. J. The Afghans. Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 2002. Print.