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1920 Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India

Marquess George Nathaniel Curzon of Great BritainLord Curzon, Viceroy of India for nearly 7 years and then Foreign Secretary of Great Britain from 1919 to 1924.

As long as we rule India we are the greatest power in the world … if we lose it we shall drop straight away to a third rate power.”

Viewing the Empire from this India-centric perspective, Curzon saw Britain’s victories in the Middle East (e.g. WWI) as a golden opportunity to strengthen the forward defense of the Raj. He even wanted a British Protectorate in Persia and “strong independent states” on the ruins of Tsarist Empire in the Caucasus, backed by British power.

Source: Reynolds, David. The Long Shadow. David Gilmour, Curzon (London, 1994), p.30 [Asquith]; David Dilks, Curzon In India (2 vols., London, 1969-70), vol. I, p. 113; Darwin, Britain, Egypt and the Middle East, pp.153, 160.

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