Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2018

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Susan Kingsley Kent

Second Advisor

Matthew Gerber

Third Advisor

Nancy Billica


This paper explores British India and the Government of India’s involvement in Mesopotamia [modern-day Iraq] before, during, and after World War I. By bringing these regions together, this study challenges prior assumptions that India and the Middle East exist in entirely distinct historic spheres. Instead I show that the two regions share close, interrelated histories that link both the British Empire and the changing colonial standards. Specifically, the argument here is that even though the Government of India developed multifaceted ties to Mesopotamia before and during World War I, several factors contributed to major changes in the region’s dynamics. Wartime realities, shifting geopolitical standards, political complications, and the Revolt of 1920 formally ended the Government of India’s involvement in Mesopotamia, forever changing the British Empire’s role in Mesopotamia.