Sykes Picot Agreement Primary Sources

The Sykes-Picot Agreement, also known as the Asia Minor Agreement, was a secret agreement made between France and Britain during World War I that aimed to divide the Ottoman Empire into separate spheres of influence. The agreement was signed in 1916 and has since become a controversial topic, with many historians arguing that it was a major factor in the destabilization of the Middle East.

Primary sources are essential in understanding historical events, providing insight into the context and motivations behind key decisions. Fortunately, there are several primary sources available that shed light on the Sykes-Picot Agreement.

The first primary source is the actual agreement itself. The agreement was named after the British and French diplomats who negotiated it, Sir Mark Sykes and Francois Georges-Picot. The text of the agreement was not made public until after the war, but it can now be found in several archives, including the British National Archives and the Library of Congress.

The agreement divided the Ottoman Empire into zones of influence for France and Britain, with the areas of Palestine, Transjordan, and Iraq designated as British, and the regions of Lebanon and Syria given to the French. The agreement also established an independent Arab state in the Arabian Peninsula under British protection.

Another valuable primary source is the correspondence between Sykes and Picot leading up to the agreement. These letters provide insight into the negotiations and the motivations behind the agreement. Many of these letters can be found in the British National Archives.

In addition to these primary sources, there are also several contemporary accounts of the agreement. One such account is « The Great War and the Middle East » by Rob Johnson, which provides a thorough analysis of the agreement and its impact on the Middle East. Other primary sources include newspaper articles from the time and memoirs from individuals involved in the negotiations.

It is important to note that while primary sources provide invaluable insight into historical events, they must be considered in context. The Sykes-Picot Agreement, for example, cannot be fully understood without considering the broader geopolitical context of World War I and the role of colonial powers in the Middle East.

In summary, primary sources are essential in understanding historical events, and there are several available that shed light on the Sykes-Picot Agreement. These include the agreement itself, correspondence between Sykes and Picot, contemporary accounts, and newspaper articles. When considering primary sources, it is important to remember to consider the broader context in order to fully understand their significance.