Author(s)Macleod, Calum Angus
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AbstractThis thesis analyses British policy in the final years of colonial rule in Aden and the Aden Protectorate (South Arabia), the period 1959 to 1967. This work deals first with the first century of British rule in Aden, from the capture of the port in 1839 until the end of the Second World War in 1945, examining the role of the Colony in British overseas policy. Secondly, the thesis gives the international and regional background to the period in question by giving a summary of British overseas policy, the Cold War and the Arab Cold War in the period 1945 to 1967. Thirdly, it tackles the history of colonial rule between 1945 and 1959, covering the increasing value of Aden to British defence policy in the Middle East, as well as the creation of a Federation among the local rulers in an attempt to bolster Britain's closest allies in South Arabia. The fourth point of the thesis is the examination of British defence policy, 1959 to 1963, which saw the military base in Aden become vital to London's overseas policy. This period saw Aden merge with the Federation, against a background of opposition from Arab Nationalists, in an attempt to secure British interests. Fifthly, the thesis analyses the gradual loss of British control over events in Aden and the Federation as the Arab Nationalist campaign became increasingly effective. The British Government finally decided to grant independence to appease the opposition, but retain the base for the defence of Britain's overseas interests. The thesis then attempts to chart the rise of the eventual victors in the conflict, the 'Marxist' National Liberation Front and its rivalry with other Arab Nationalist groups. Finally, the thesis examines the final period of British rule in Aden, from the Defence White Paper of February 1966, when the decision was taken to cut many of Britain's overseas commitments, including the base in Aden, to the withdrawal of November 1967. This period saw the disintegration of the Federation and the inability of the British to prevent the Nationalists taking power. The thesis concludes that towards the end of colonial rule, British policy in South Arabia was incoherent and suffered from division among the different Government departments. Furthermore, the inability to protect the Federation effectively enabled the Nationalists to undermine Britain's only allies in the Protectorate.
TypeThesis or Dissertation