Bahrain Order in Council

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Effort to establish Bahrain as a formal British protectorate, 19091913.

In response to active German interest in the Persian/Arabian Gulf during the first decade of the twentieth century, Britain became concerned with protecting its trade, position, and interests there. In 1909, Britain's Committee of Imperial Defense saw the necessity for better trade and port facilities, but it rejected the India Office suggestion to issue an Order in Council delineating the jurisdiction of the British resident agent in Bahrainthus establishing a formal British protectorate (although Bahrain had been under British protection since 1820). It was concerned that the Order in Council might create unnecessary complications, since Persia (now Iran) and the Ottoman Empire both claimed the islands. An order was drawn in 1909 but was tabled in 1911 because of AngloOttoman negotiations. The Bahrain Order was prepared in 1913, but it was withheld and never formally implemented; in that year, however, Bahrain was informally placed under a protectorate status.

see also persian (arabian) gulf.


Busch, Briton Cooper. Britain and the Persian Gulf, 18941914. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967.

Emile A. Nakhleh