Catalogue


The Arabian frontier of the British Raj [electronic resource] : merchants, rulers, and the British in the nineteenth-century Gulf /
James Onley.
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 2007.
description
xxxv, 352 p. : ill., maps ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0199228108, 9780199228102
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 2007.
isbn
0199228108
9780199228102
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Conventions, terminology, and transliteration -- Acknowledgements -- Introduction -- The subject -- The sources -- Overview -- Empire -- British India's informal empire and spheres of influence in Asia and Africa -- British India's residency system in Asia and Africa -- The origins of the residency system, 1613-1763 -- The politicization and expansion of the residency system, 1764-1947 -- The residency system and Britain's Indian empire -- Imperialism and the strategy of informal empire -- The Indian political service (IPS), 1764-1947 -- Early British involvement in the Gulf, 1616-1822 -- Britain's political residency in the Gulf, 1822-1971 -- Britain's native agency in Bahrain, c. 1816-1900 -- Agents of empire -- British India's native agency system in Asia -- British India's native agency system in Asia -- British India's native agency system in the Gulf -- British motives for employing native agents -- Robinson's theory of collaboration -- The Indian origins of the native agency system -- The politicization of the native agency system in India and the Gulf -- Early native agents in the Gulf -- The establishment of the native agency system in the Gulf -- Advantages for the British -- Disadvantages for the British -- Advantages and disadvantages for the native agents -- The operation of British India's native agency in Bahrain -- The agency building -- The agency's finances and organization -- The agent's intelligence-gathering duties, c.1816-1900 -- The agent's judicial duties, 1861-1900 -- The agents' political duties, 1872-1900 -- The agents' social duties -- British India's native agents in Bahrain -- The banias, c.1816-34 -- The Safar family agents -- Mirza Muhammad Cali Safar, 1834-42 -- Hajji Jasim (Hajji Abu'l Qasim), 1842-62 -- Hajji Ibrahim bin Muhsin bin Rajab, 1862-4 -- Years of abeyance, 1865-71 -- Hajji Cabd al-Nabi Khan Safar, 1872-84 -- Hajji Ahmad Khan Safar, 1884-91 -- Temporary agents, 1891-3 -- Agha Muhammad Rahim Safar, 1893-1900 -- Hajji Cabbas bin Muhammad bin Fadhil, 1900 -- The native agency staff after 1900 -- Challenges to the agents, 1834-97 -- The decline of British India's native agency system in Bahrain and the Gulf -- The rift in agent-ruler relations, 1895-1900 -- The agent's conflict between trade and politics, 1897-9 -- The argument for a political agency, 1897-9 -- The transition to a political agency, 1899-1900 -- The Arabian frontier of the Indian empire -- Appendix A a British India's residency system in Asia and Africa -- British India's residency system, 1880s -- Gulf residency organization -- Gulf residency staff -- Gulf residency budget -- Graded officers serving in political residencies, 1877 -- British military establishments in the Gulf -- Appendix B rulers and residents -- Rulers of Bahrain -- Residents in Bushire -- Agents for the lower Gulf (qishm island) -- Political residents in the Gulf (Bushire) -- Political residents in the Gulf (Ras al-Jufair, Bahrain) -- Governors of Bombay -- Viceroys of India -- Appendix C British India's native agents in Bahrain -- Native agents -- Native agency staff -- British-Indian steam navigation Co. agents (Gray Paul & Co.) -- Merchant grades -- Appendix D British control : Bahrain v. the Indian states -- Appendix E Anglo-Bahraini legal obligations and rights.
catalogue key
8110406
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [289]-337) and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
a brilliant book by James Onley, which I consider the best piece of Gulf scholarship to appear in many, many years.
A first-rate study that is of crucial importance not only for work on the Middle East, but also for more general studies of imperialism and, in particular, of informal empire... Onley's study of the indigenous side of informal empire is an important contribution to work on imperialism and deserves widespread attention.
a new and exciting departure in the historiography of the [Persian Gulf] region. In an equally stimulating fashion this book prompts the reader to re-think the historical roots of the contemporary political geography of the region which is usually considered the preserve of Middle Eastern specialists. Onley's book is a remarkable display of bibliographical erudition and knowledge of the subject matter. This study is clearly brilliantly researched...its approach is original andtimely and likely to inspire other scholars in the field of regional and imperial history.
"An illuminating book."
Another superior work of scholarship
conveys a great sense of intellectual excitement in its confident, but careful, rethinking of the British Indian Empire... Onley has the enviable ability to convey a world that has passed to a modern reader. As I read, I felt that I was with these resilient merchant families (enduring the heat!) as they offered their services to the British, generation after generation after generation.
[James Onley] has made a major contribution to our understanding of the functioning of the British Empire, as exemplified by the situation in the Persian Gulf in general and in the Bahrain Agency in particular. At the same time, he has given us a much better understanding of Gulf society and culture, which, as in previous centuries, differed from that of the adjacent mainland nations.
James Onley's book is especially welcome. His work, founded on extensive research in both Britain and the Gulf itself, produces incisive conclusions which add greatly to our understanding of British methods of control in the informal empire.
James Onley's painstakingly researched monograph constitutes an important contribution to our understanding of the British Empire in the Persian Gulf and beyond...The book contains much fascinating detail...Onley is to be congratulated for a very well-researched and immensely readable book which will benefit both imperial historians as well as those concerned with the Gulf Area.
James Onley's well-researched study maps in great detail and with exemplary clarity how this collaboration [of indigenous elites with the British Indian Empire] came into being in the early modern Persian Gulf. . [It represents] a major step on the path toward integrating Middle Eastern studies into wider theoretical debates.
"Meticulously researched...an excellent introduction to the informal structures of British imperial rule...essential reading."--James Canton, Times Literary Supplement "Conveys a great sense of intellectual excitement in its confident, but careful, rethinking of the British Indian Empire.... Onley has the enviable ability to convey a world that has passed to a modern reader. As I read, I felt that I was with these resilient merchant families (enduring the heat!) as they offered their services to the British, generation after generation after generation."--2001 Malcolm H. Kerr Award Committee "Through the meticulous use of family archives and local as well as British sources, this study succeeds in rescuing from obscurity key local actors in the British imperial system."--2002 Leigh Douglas Memorial Prize Committee "This book is an excellent resource for scholars studying the Gulf region and for those interested in British imperialism. Onley has provided us with a unique view of the nineteenth-century Gulf."--Miriam Joyce, American Historical Review "Onley deserves immense credit for the many useful and convincing findings he has unearthed with his island tale. His most signal achievement remains his painstaking restoration of the full cast and crew behind the illusionary solitary British officer in the Persian Gulf."--Pryiya Satia, Journal of British Studies
"Meticulously researched...an excellent introduction to the informal structures of British imperial rule...essential reading."--James Canton,Times Literary Supplement "Conveys a great sense of intellectual excitement in its confident, but careful, rethinking of the British Indian Empire.... Onley has the enviable ability to convey a world that has passed to a modern reader. As I read, I felt that I was with these resilient merchant families (enduring the heat!) as they offered their services to the British, generation after generation after generation."--2001 Malcolm H. Kerr Award Committee "Through the meticulous use of family archives and local as well as British sources, this study succeeds in rescuing from obscurity key local actors in the British imperial system."--2002 Leigh Douglas Memorial Prize Committee "This book is an excellent resource for scholars studying the Gulf region and for those interested in British imperialism. Onley has provided us with a unique view of the nineteenth-century Gulf."--Miriam Joyce,American Historical Review "Onley deserves immense credit for the many useful and convincing findings he has unearthed with his island tale. His most signal achievement remains his painstaking restoration of the full cast and crew behind the illusionary solitary British officer in the Persian Gulf."--Pryiya Satia,Journal ofBritish Studies "James Onley''s painstakingly researched monograph constitutes an important contribution to our understanding of the British Empire in the Persian Gulf and beyond...The book contains much fascinating detail...Onley is to be congratulated for a very well-researched and immensely readable book which will benefit both imperial historians as well as those concerned with the Gulf Area." - Ulrike Freitag, H-Net "James Onley''s well-researched study maps in great detail and with exemplary clarity how this collaboration [of indigenous elites with the British Indian Empire] came into being in the early modern Persian Gulf. . [It represents] a major step on the path toward integrating Middle Eastern studies into wider theoretical debates." - Rudi Matthee, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient "a new and exciting departure in the historiography of the [Persian Gulf] region. In an equally stimulating fashion this book prompts the reader to re-think the historical roots of the contemporary political geography of the region which is usually considered the preserve of Middle Eastern specialists. Onley''s book is a remarkable display of bibliographical erudition and knowledge of the subject matter. This study is clearly brilliantly researched. This is a book of substance. ...its approach is original and timely and likely to inspire other scholars in the field of regional and imperial history. For Gulf and Middle Eastern historians its main achievement is to ''bring indigenous agency back in'' as a way of explaining the workings of the British Indian Empire in a regional context. For imperial historians this book will hopefully expand the geographical horizons of British India by focusing their attention on the relevance of its peripheries." - Nelida Fuccaro, Reviews in History Online "James Onley''s book is especially welcome. His work, founded on extensive research in both Britain and the Gulf itself, produces incisive conclusions which add greatly to our understanding of British methods of control in the informal empire." - Simon C. Smith, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society "[James Onley] has made a major contribution to our understanding of the functioning of the British Empire, as exemplified by the situation in the Persian Gulf in general and in the Bahrain Agency in particular. At the same time, he has given us a much better understanding of Gulf society and culture, which, as in previous centuries, differed from that of the adjacent mainland nations." - Willem Floor, Middle East Journal "A first-rate study that is of crucial importance not only for work on the Middle East, but also for more general studies of imperialism and, in particular, of informal empire." "Onley''s study of the indigenous side of informal empire is an important contribution to work on imperialism and deserves widespread attention." - Jeremy Black, History: The Journal of the Historical Association "[A] brilliant book by James Onley, which I consider the best piece of Gulf scholarship to appear in many, many years." -- Paul Rich, author of Creating the Arabian Gulf: The British Raj and the Invasions of the Gulf
Meticulously researched, James Onley's work provides an excellent introduction to the informal structures of British imperial rule. The first part, in particular, should be essential reading for any student of British imperial history; it radically readjusts the focus from British imperialists on to the indigenous agents of empire, largely unstudied by historians.
this book is an excellent resource for scholars studying the Gulf region and for those interested in British imperialism. Onley has provided us with a unique view of the nineteenth-century Gulf.
This is, all told, a very nice book making a very nice point. With enviable resourcefulness, Onley plumbs a range of official and private, metropolitan and colonial archives and a precious set of oral histories to reconstruct the lives and work of his 'invisible agents of empire' (223), generously illuminating the fascinating workings of the Indian empire-within-the-empire along the way." "Onley deserves immense credit for the many useful and convincing findings he has unearthedwith his island tale. His most signal achievement remains his painstaking restoration of the full cast and crew behind the illusionary solitary British officer in the Persian Gulf.
Through the meticulous use of family archives and local as well as British sources, this study succeeds in rescuing from obscurity key local actors in the British imperial system.
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
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.
Main Description
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 thatsurrounded 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 Britishinterests 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, whileinfluential 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.
Table of Contents
Introduction
British India's Informal Empire and Spheres of Influence in Asia and Africa
British India's Native Agency System in Asia
The Operation of British India's Native Agency in Bahrain
British India's Native Agents in Bahrain
The Decline of British India's Native Agency System in Bahrain and the Gulf
Conclusion: The Arabian Frontier of the Indian Empire
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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