TO WHAT DEGREE WAS OMAN COLONIZED BY THE BRITISH EMPIRE?

1487 Words6 Pages
Before starting to analyze the aspects in which the British Empire’s existence in Oman was considered as colonization, we should go back in history lane and see what was Oman’s position in the area prior to the British interference. Throughout early centuries Oman was recognized as one of a kind dominant power in the Arabian Gulf region. Its sovereignty was at its peak to an extent that nearly all coastal areas of the Arabian Sea including Bahrain, Qatar and some parts of Iraq used to pay tributes in exchange with the insurance of safe trade routes across the Arabian Sea to the Far East and India. Oman had also dominated the slave and weaponry trade from and to East shores of Africa. These examples strongly supported the fact that Oman had superior naval power in the region. However, in the early period of 14th century Oman coastal area of Muscat came under the control of the new dominant power in the region, Portugal. The Portuguese managed to maintain Muscat as a foothold for their flourishing Indies spice trade at that period. Nevertheless, the Portuguese never interfered with Oman’s government policies at that time because their concerns were purely economic rather than controlling the political system in Oman. After nearly a century and a half of colonization Oman was able to flip the table onto the Portuguese and expel them from their lands for good and finally get their independence from Portugal in 1650. But how were the Portuguese thrown off Oman all of a sudden? Was it just a sudden decision that popped into Oman’s leader Imam Sultan bin Saif mind at that time? Or was it a joint planned process that was initialized by competitors of the Portuguese Empire in that period? Certainly the competition in the region was out of question, The British empire itself had its own international trade routes to protect which went from the British Empire mainland to
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