Refer to the Baker excerpt and discuss the British effort in Afghanistan in the first half of the nineteenth century. Make specific reference to Russo-British relations during this period.

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To help you get started on this assignment, let's review the “Great Game” between the British and the Russians in the first half of the nineteenth century and how that “game” affected Afghanistan.

About 1830, England and Russia developed a rivalry of influence in India and Persia. Both countries wanted...

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To help you get started on this assignment, let's review the “Great Game” between the British and the Russians in the first half of the nineteenth century and how that “game” affected Afghanistan.

About 1830, England and Russia developed a rivalry of influence in India and Persia. Both countries wanted to control the area, and they struggled against each other, nudging and pushing. The British decided to turn Afghanistan into something of a buffer zone to keep the Russians from shoving their way into India. Further, the British were concerned that both Russia and Persia were becoming too influential in Afghan politics. They decided to invade Afghanistan themselves to put a stop to that.

The British successfully marched into Afghanistan in 1839 and overthrew the Afghan leader, putting another in place who was pro-British. Since his power was not stable, though, the British decided to stay. Having the British army in their country did not sit well with the Afghans, and they revolted in 1841. Tensions continued to climb until the British were forced to retreat from Afghanistan early in 1842.

The retreat proved to be disastrous. The British had received a promise that they could return to India in safety, but the Afghans did not keep that promise. They attacked, massacring the British in the mountains. Only one man made it out. Everyone else died in the mountains or were taken prisoner by the Afghans. The disaster and the events leading up to it have come to be known as the First Anglo-Afghan War.

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