Sultanate of Lahej
|Sultanate of Laheg
Map of the Federation of South Arabia, with Lahej at bottom left
|Historical era||Aden Protectorate|
Lahej (Arabic: لحج Laḥij), the Sultanate of Lahej (Arabic: سلطنة لحج Salṭanat Laḥij), or, sometimes, the Abdali Sultanate (Arabic: سلطنة العبدلي Salṭanat al-ʿAbdalī), Was a Sheikdom based in Lahej in Southern Yemen. The Sheikdom was officially abolished in 1967.
18th — 19th century
The Sultanate of Lahej lost its independence to the British, after the Royal Navy Aden Expedition attack in 1839. The Sultan signed several treaties with the British. The 1863 opening of the Suez Canal caused the formation of the Aden Protectorate
The sultanate was one of the original "Nine Cantons" that signed individual British protectorate agreements with Great Britain, that in 1869 were joined together to become the Aden Protectorate. The Suez Canal also opened in 1869.
Lahej typically enjoyed good relations with the British, despite the accidental killing of Sultan Fadhl ibn Ali al Abdali by British troops in 1918 who mistook him for an enemy Ottoman Turk soldier. In 1948, the Subayhi tribal area was absorbed into their sultanate.
However, in 1958, Britain was worried that the sultan at the time, Ali bin Abd al Karim al Abdali, an Arab nationalist, would refuse to join the British-sponsored Federation of Arab Emirates of the South, and had him deposed. Lahej ended up joining the Federation and later the Federation of South Arabia in 1963.
The Sultanate of Lahej and others surrounding the Port of Adan had economic influence by supporting the important trade economy of the British Empire from South Asia. Early 19th century industrial Britain, with its rapidly expanding economy, needed improved and reliable communication with British India and the East India Company operations.
The 1863 opening of the Suez Canal intitiated further British trade protection strategies, securing the port of Adan and surroundings to serve the Red Sea shipping routes using its new canal. The Sultanate was part of an effort of the British Empire to protect the East India Route, the sea route between the Mediterranean and India, in and through the southern coasts of the Arabian Peninsula.
- Aden Protectorate
- Colony of Aden (1937–63)— Crown colony.
- Fadhli Sultanate
- Federation of Arab Emirates of the South (1959–62)
- Federation of South Arabia (1962–67)
- Protectorate of South Arabia (1962–67)
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