Omani and British during the Wahhabi Period
The Wahhabi period is the era between 1800-1869. During this time, the British and Omani had significant dealings in the east. They controlled so many activities. Omani had previously built its empire when many kingdoms had surrendered to them including the Portuguese, who had been in the region from the 16th century. They controlled trade and business from Ottoman Empire to the East African coast. The British had come in search of raw materials at that time for their industries. It was at a time when the industrial revolution was on. They needed materials of which some of them were available from the Arab region. Omani themselves had their interest in the area. The paper will compare and contrast the Omani and British dealings with the Wahhabi period.
They were both traders, Omani, and British had trade interest in the region. They wanted raw materials for separate reasons. Omani had no industries but had access to resources. Their leader Ahmad Bin Said and other leaders who succeeded him used such an opportunity to supply raw materials to the traders. The British interest in trade was evident where they would exchange their goods for raw materials. Both of them were interested in the prosperity of their individual nations.
British and Oman had advanced marine technology that they developed independently. For Omani to gain influence and gain territory, the empire had advanced marine technology that could navigate through the sea quickly. The same marine technology was used in the trade and helped in the administration of different regions. Areas under Omani administration were vast and therefore needed advanced marine technology for transport. The same applies for the British; they had excellent sea vessels that they had built from Britain. It helped them navigate through the Indian Ocean for trade purposes. They all used sails that sailed with ease reducing chances of the vessels capsizing.
Oman’s central administrative center was at Muscat. It was their central administrative center was in the town that is where the ruler dwelled, and the ruling of the Empire was made in the city. Muscat was also a trade center and a transport center as it was in the sea. Due to the activities in the town, the profile of the city was highly upheld. On the other hand, the British were being administered from Britain. By then, the main aim for Britain was raw materials and the market for their goods. Therefore, they never needed much since they were in a foreign land that they were not interested in occupying.
Oman believed in the creation of a peaceful coexistence between them and the British; they never wanted to be involved in any war or any form of conflict. Therefore, Oman volunteered in many activities so long as the British were happy and contented. They provided security to British traders and offered safe delivery of their trade right. I enhanced peace and coexistence between the two groups. In contrast, the British were cunning; they used the Oman to make sure they ended up weaker. They were tricked in various ways; a good illustration is in Egypt where the French under the leadership of Napoleon took over Egypt. Instead of the British facing the French, they used Oman to defend their territory. Oman was terribly defeated by Napoleon. They also incited the local communities to rebel against Oman in their divisive ways of divide and rule. The more the inhabitants rebelled against Oman, the better chances the British had to control the locals leading to colonization.
Oman primary interest was to secure the kingdom. Sultan could do anything to make sure the empire was stable. As a result, he traded with other communities and foreign traders such as the Dutch so that he could raise enough money to support his kingdom. He never wanted to lose his authority that he had fought hard to gain. His enemies were many, they included, Persians and Indians among others. They posed so much security threat resulting him to fighting the Persians and subduing them. For the Indians, he made peace with them thereby promoting peace along the Indian Ocean. The British had their interest vested on trade. They wanted to look for markets for their trade goods in exchange for more raw materials. They were never interested in ruling the empire, for that reason, they left the administrative part of the region to Oman.
Omani was Islamic; therefore, the rulers there encouraged the spread of Islamic religion and its practice. As a Muslim belief, they highly upheld Mecca as their place of worship. Anyone who tries to go against the Muslim religion was persecuted to death. The British had a slight interest in the spread of Christianity. From Britain where they had a Christian background, they wanted to spread Christianity. It resulted in them inviting missionaries to the empire to spread Christianity. It came at the end of the 19th century. The coming of missionaries paved the way for colonization and the fall of Oman Empire. Some experts argue that the introduction of Christianity by the British was some trick to show how tender they were. It was soon realized when the turned to become brutal.
The distance between the empires divided the empire. Oman had a vast region that he did not have the manpower and adequate loyalty to rule. It led to some sultans charged with administration fighting among themselves leading to division in the empire. Some two sultans along the east African coast never saw each other eye to eye. They had different ideological differences. Sultan Al Mazrui; Sultan in Mombasa and Sultan Nabahabi who was based in Malindi never agreed when it came to ideology. It led to Mazrui being loyal to Oman while Nabahani became a traitor. Mazrui fought Nabahani further weakening the kingdom.
Regarding superiority, British were more superior than the Oman Although the British never showed their superiority at first. They had superior and more advanced fighting techniques. Although Oman was fierce, it feared anything that would have brought war between those two countries. They know they could never get catechu o with the British fighting techniques. It led to them not questioning the British means of trade, as long as they were benefiting, they never had any questions to the British pertaining their dealings as they knew they would be defeated.
Based on the historical analysis of the Oman and the British n the Wahhabi period, there were very many activities that happened by then. To some there were similarities between Oman and British, they had the same interest in trade and also had the superior marine technology. However, they differentiated at different avenues such as their ways of ruling, their central headquarters, their religious differences and various beliefs. In many cases, the differences were avoided to prevent instances where there would be conflict or war breaking out. In the end, the Omani empire was subdued and defeated then came the British, who started to concentrate their colonies in the struggle and partition in Africa and parts of Asia.