Ronald Storrs 1918-1926 a Forgotten Legacy: Part I

This is the first episode of a short series dedicated to the British Military rule of Jerusalem between 1917 and 1920 introducing the almost forgotten figure of Ronald Storrs. Following the conquest of the city, the British established military rule which lasted until 1 July 1920. From the perspective of the local population the government of the city had passed from Ottoman rule to that of a new foreign power. However, the British were not only European Christian rulers: they had also shown their support for Jewish immigration and settlement in Palestine by issuing the Balfour Declaration. Although the civil administration of the city after 1920 has been studied extensively, the military administration has been reviewed as a transitional period. Indeed, military rule forced the renegotiation of several aspects of Jerusalem: politics, urban geography, language and the economy, amongst other things, were all reshaped according to the requirements and values of the new rulers. The military establishment was generally reluctant to engage with the complexities of high politics, so how did their rule affect the city of Jerusalem? To answer this question, attention should be paid to one of the key characters of the British administration: the military governor Ronald Storrs. Military rule did not create a complex structure of government in Jerusalem, but was based upon a high concentration of power in the hands of Storrs. As military governor Storrs ruled the city almost undisturbed between 1917 and 1920, de facto reshaping the city according to his sense of aesthetics and his own values.


R. Mazza. From the Ottomans to the British (IB Tauris, 2011)

R. Mazza '“The Preservation and Safeguarding of the Amenities of the Holy City without Favour or Prejudice to Race or Creed”: The Pro-Jerusalem Society and Ronald Storrs, 1917–1926'

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