The Cyprus Tribute and Geopolitics in the Levant, 1875–1960
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‘Diana Markides’ superb path-breaking study of finance, diplomacy and politics puts the history of Cyprus under British rule in an entirely fresh light. Money is shown to lie at the heart of the story from the British occupation in 1878 through to the end of colonial rule. This book revolutionizes our understanding of Cypriot history in the era of empire.’
- Robert Holland, Centre for Hellenic Studies, King’s College London, UK
This book examines the history of the Cyprus Tribute, and takes a longer and broader view of the issue than previous studies. It analyses the regional context of the decision to use revenue surpluses for the repayment of debt within the framework of the Eastern Question and Ottoman bankruptcy. We see that the island was always strategically and financially overshadowed by Egypt. Scrutinising political developments in Cyprus through the prism of the tribute issue facilitates a better understanding of its considerable effect on them. The absence of any imperial role for Cyprus as a 'place d’armes’ meant that there was no imperial interest in funding the infrastructural development of the island. British policy was treasury-driven. Diana Markides analyses why it failed, and how its failure resulted in the local colonial government having to impose a deeply unpopular fiscal policy, for which there was no adequate explanation. She examines the extent to which local resistance to this policy affected not only constitutional development on the island and Anglo-Cypriot relations, but the nature of the relations between the two major communities.