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A History of Military Occupation from 1792 to 1914$
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Peter M. R. Stirk

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780748675999

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748675999.001.0001

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Occupations to the Eve of the First World War

Occupations to the Eve of the First World War

(p.254) Chapter 6. Occupations to the Eve of the First World War
A History of Military Occupation from 1792 to 1914

Peter M. R. Stirk

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter sets the occupations of this period in the context of the age of empire and understandings of sovereignty linked to the imperial project. Here the occupations of the Eastern Crisis, the Russian occupation of Bulgarian and Ottoman lands, Austrian occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and British occupation of Cyprus. It shows how the emergent legal restraint on changing the laws in force in occupied territory met with limited respect. Yet it emphasises that what lay behind this was less hostility to imposed constitutions and more fear that occupation would be treated as a prelude to annexation. Suspicion of British motives in the prolonged occupation of Egypt lay behind the limited multilateral supervision of that occupation. Multilateral occupation also occurred in the Far East and in the Mediterranean. On the peripheries of empire occupation could turn into annexation as it did in the British annexation of the Boer Republics, though it need not do so as illustrated by Japanese occupations of Chinese territory in the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese wars. What is clear is that at the end of the period the experience of occupation was still haunted by the prospect of conquest from which occupation had gained its distinction.

Keywords:   empire, conquest, multilateral occupation, annexation

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