Monday, May 16, 2016

The King-Crane Commission

Interactive map: How the King-Crane Commission envisioned the Middle East
(Karl Sturm and Nick Danforth) (www.theatlantic.com)

In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson, a believer in national self-determination, dispatched theologian Henry King and businessman Charles Crane to explore possible political arrangements for the former Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of World War I. Their assignment was to find out how the region’s residents wanted to be governed. Their report shows the dilemmas involved in the drawing of borders. And it was all for nothing, secretly the French and the British had divided the region among themselves in the Sykes-Picot agreement of May 16, 1916 (today exactly 100 years ago).

The King-Crane Commission at the Hotel Royal, Beirut, July 1919.
Seated at table commissioners King (left) and Crane (right) (Oberlin College Archives)

next episode: Aleppo

7 comments:

  1. As a person who loves history...I find this fascinating. Thank you!

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  2. Sadly, the actual boundaries haven't worked out too well, for the most part.

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  3. What a mess the Treaty of Paris created in this area.

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