In the early 19th century, three great powers seek to acquire Afghanistan: The France, Russia and the United Kingdom.
1.First contact with Afghans.
The first time that Afghans came into contact officially with the British, it was in 1809 when Mountstuart Elphinstone was sent to nearly Shah Shoja then on the throne of Afghanistan. This eventprecipitated the entry of Afghanistan into world politics. The reason for the British mission was to secure the alliance of the Afghan government against the Russian ally since the peace signed in 1807 with the France of Napoleon. A few years later in 1832, the emissary Alexander Burnes, then on his way to Bokhara, made a stop in Kabul. He met the emir Dost Mohammed. A friendship treaty was then adoptedby both parties. The agreement stipulated that if France or Persia attacked Afghanistan, Britain would help the Shah of Kabul. But in return, the Shah would not let the French or the Russians enter into Afghanistan.
But for now, the biggest problem of Dost Mohammed lived in the advance of the Sikhs in the South who were becoming increasinglypressing. Taking advantage of chaos in Kabul, the Hindus had already taken Peshawar in 1834 and are now dangerously advancing towards Kabul. The situation became sensitive to the ruler of Afghanistan and he had to react. In 1836 he sent a detachment led by his own son, Akbar Khan, in an attempt to stop them. Although he was only nineteen years old, Akbar managed to defeat the Sikhs and killed theircommander, Hari Singh Marwa, near Jamrud (a town west of Peshawar). But after this victory, Dost Mohammed did not launch an offensive in Peshawar, which was then yet to reach. Instead, he decided to make direct contact with the English that they intervene in the conflict, thereby bringing an end to hostilities. For these reasons, he wrote a letter to Governor General of India, Lord Auckland, inwhich he praised for its policy and asked his help in the case of Peshawar. Although England supported the Sikhs, the standard armament and guidance, and although the English needed in Afghanistan to contain the Russian advance in Central Asia. So, he was content to send a trade mission to Kabul.
2.How did the war begin?
In 1837, Governor General of India sent Alexander Burnes (who had alreadymet Dost Mohammed in 1832), under cover for this trade mission to the Afghan ruler, without giving the necessary powers to enable a credible negotiation. In addition, the governor held Aukland do not even include boards that he sent his envoy to Kabul.Russia sent it as an emissary named Vitkevitch (previously gone to Kandahar) with which Dost Mohammed was officially like Burns in Kabul forcommercial reasons. But for now, the British diplomat had the favor of the Emir and Russia had no choice but to take his pain with patience.
Discussions with Burns were on track and Afghans appeared conciliatory. But in January of 1838, Lord Auckland wrote to Dost Mohammed a letter by its contents reduced to naught the efforts of Burns to reach an Anglo-Afghan agreement. In a firm tone and threatening,the governor general ordered Dost Mohammed to surrender a share all claims to Peshawar and especially to cut off all relations with Russia. Given this humiliating letter, Dost Mohammed, proud monarch, asked Burns to leave Kabul. Not happy with any request from the Emir of Afghanistan without offering nothing in return, now that the British offended now. The Englishman had left, and it was theRussian envoy who now enjoyed the attention of the emir. Negotiations were immediately opened and obviously Russia agreed to accept all requests of the king of Kabul.
Finally in June 1838 a treaty was signed between Ranjit Singh, Shah Shoja and English. In this text, Shah Shoja promised to renounce all claims to Peshawar and in return, other players it will ensure their support in his project of...