Central Asia Map, 1907

This map shows the Western end of the British Raj and Central Asia. For much of the 19th Century, this area had provided the setting for the shadow boxing of British and Russian ambitions in the region. By 1907 however, Britain and Russia were beginning to come together in an entente aimed at the common enemy of Germany. This meant that compromise and negotiations had to settle the outstanding competition of the Great Game. Persia was divided into clearly demarcated spheres of influence notwithstanding the fact that it was supposed to be an independent nation. Britain and Russia settled borders between India and Russia by agreeing not to neighbour one another. Afghanistan was extended to ensure that it reached China and so kept the two powers of Britain and Russia apart.

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by Stephen Luscombe