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2020-09-16 00:07:02
(PERSIA; IRAN.) PARLIAMENTARY PAPER.
Bagdad Railway. No. 1 (1911).
London: His Majesty's Stationery Office,, 1911. Foolscap octavo, stitched in the original self-wrappers. Map of "Railways in Asiatic Turkey" and large map of "Persian Gulf and Adjacent Countries". Wrappers a little rubbed and marked, rear wrapper slightly chipped. A very good copy. Government White Paper containing the definitive text of the Baghdad railway convention from 1903, including the terms of the concession granted by the Ottoman government, as well as an additional convention from 1908 and a series of loan contracts. This railway project was, in the contemporary assessment of Morris Jastrow, "the largest single contributing factor in bringing on the [First World] War" (Jastrow, p. 114). The concession to build a railway line eastwards from Berlin was given to German run Imperial Bagdad Railway Company in 1903 and the British saw a threat to their dominance of trade in the Indian and Persian spheres. "If, as Napoleon is said to have remarked, Antwerp in the hands of a great continental power was a pistol levelled at the English coast, Bagdad and the Persian Gulf in the hands of Germany would be a 42-centimetre gun pointed at India" (Jastrow, p. 97). The suspicions that surrounded this project led to increased tensions between the great-powers which unquestionably contributed to the march towards war. One map at the back of the report shows the contemporary state of the railway system in the Ottoman Empire in 1911 and the other is a large and detailed map of the Persian Gulf area. Jastrow, The War and the Bagdad Railway, 1917.
Vendeur: Peter Harrington [United Kingdom]
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