Political map of South & Southwest Asia on 05 Dec 1936 (Arrival of the New Order: Stalin Constitution), showing the following events: Italian annexation of Ethiopia; Montreux Convention; Adoption of Stalin Constitution; Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic; Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic; Dissolution of Transcaucasian SFSR.

Stalin Constitution

Arrival of the New Order

Southern Asia 1936.1205

Stalin Constitution

Italo-Ethiopian War, Indian self-government, Xinjiang Wars, South Asia before World War II (5 December 1936)

Historical Map of South & Southwest Asia

Right-wing expansionism in the 1930s - exemplified by the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, and Hitler's rise in Germany - prompted Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union, to seek better relations with the Western democracies. In 1936 the Soviets adopted a new constitution, reforming the Soviet state and creating a number of new Soviet Socialist Republics.


Changes to the map 05 May 1936 - 05 December 1936

Soviet Union: The 1936 Soviet Constitution has led to the recognition of Armenian, Azerbaidzhan, Georgian, Kazakh, and Kirghiz SSRs.

Second Italo-Ethiopian War: Italy has conquered most of Ethiopia, except for the west where the Ethiopian army holds out along with the British enclave of Gambela.

Turkey: Turkey has been allowed to remilitarize the Turkish straits.

British Protectorates in the Persian Gulf

The British Residency of the Persian Gulf maintained British India's influence in a number of Gulf states from the 19th Century until 1947. These states were nominally independent - and shown as such in most atlases from the period - but all signed treaties guaranteeing British control over their foreign affairs.

The Sultanate of Muscat and Oman was the only one of these states with significant international relations, having obtained trade agreements with the US and France before it signed its treaty with Britain. Maps of the time often show Trucial Oman and even Qatar as regions of Oman.

Trucial Oman was the region to the west of Oman which collectively signed treaties with Britain. The sheikhdoms of this region were often called the Trucial States, and later became the United Arab Emirates. However at this time they had little unity, with no regional council until 1952.

Indian Empire

The British Indian Empire, also known as the British Raj, was comprised of a complex of presidencies, provinces, protectorates, and agencies. Only the top level subdivisions are shown here.

The area under direct British rule was known as British India and made up of presidencies and provinces - a presidency simply being the name for an older province.

Outside British India, but often included within the sphere of the presidencies/provinces, were the hundreds of protectorates or 'princely states'. These were indirectly ruled states, the largest being Hyderabad, Kashmir, and Mysore. The others were either collected into agencies - which might in turn contain other smaller agencies - or fell under the sway of the provinces.

Main Events

Italian annexation of Ethiopia

The Italian government under Duce Benito Mussolini proclaims the annexation of Ethiopia into Italian East Africa, with King Emmanuel assuming the title of Emperor of Ethiopia. However most of the country is still unconquered and the last Ethiopian army will not surrender until the end of the year.

Montreux Convention

The Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits is signed at the Montreux Palace in Switzerland by Australia, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, Romania, the Soviet Union, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Yugoslavia, with Italy refusing to attend. It is effective as of 9 November 1936 and gives Turkey full control over the Bosporus Straits and the Dardanelles while guaranteeing free passage to civilian vessels in peacetime.

Adoption of Stalin Constitution

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics adopts the 1936 Soviet Constitution, also known as the Stalin Constitution, reforming the Soviet government. The constitution reorganizes the Soviet Republics and introduces universal suffrage, a two-chamber parliament, economic rights, and freedom of religion. However it also recognizes the leading role of the Communist Party, implying that it is the only legal political party in the country.

Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic

Upon the adoption of the 1936 Soviet Constitution, the Kazakh Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within the Russian RSFSR becomes the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, a separate constituent republic of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic

With the adoption of the 1936 Soviet Constitution, the Kara-Kirghiz Autonomous Oblast of the Russian SFSR becomes the Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic, a separate constituent republic of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Dissolution of Transcaucasian SFSR

With the adoption of the 1936 Soviet Constitution, the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic is dissolved and succeeded by the Armenian, Azerbaidzhan, and Georgian Soviet Socialist Republics.

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