Publication Date

April 2015

Advisor(s)

Bruce Masters

Major

History (HIST)

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

This thesis examines the history of British tax reform in mandate Palestine. Despite justifying its colonial presence through a rhetoric of replacing “backward’ Palestinian systems of land holding and taxation with modern imported ones, the British administration actually reinforced the principles of Ottoman land law and taxation that they found in place. The history of tax reform complicates existing theories about colonial control and the role of representing the native as ’backward” as part of a mechanism of control over the colonized. This thesis seeks to show that it was not a smooth process; the binaries of modern/backward did not work in practice; and there was a constant negotiation of both representations and practices in the colonial process of mandate rule.

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