Kuwait’s history is closely linked to the country’s strategic location at the heart of the Gulf of Persia, and early as a center for international trade; later as one of the world’s leading oil producers.

The area has been under varying influence and control, but direct precursors to later state formation are linked in particular to the immigration of Arab tribes from the Arabian peninsula in the 17th and 18th centuries. Among these were the al-Sabah family, which founded the dynasty that ruled Kuwait from 1756. The area was formally part of the Ottoman Empire, but with autonomy. The threat of direct rule led to Kuwait’s ruler, Sheikh Mubarak, in 1899 signed a protection agreement with the United Kingdom. After World War I, Kuwait became a British protectorate.

In the 18th century, Kuwait became a center for trade between India, the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, as well as Mesopotamia and the Levant. To see more information other than history, please visit Abbreviationfinder to learn more about climate, population, government, and economy for the country of Kuwait. Alongside trade, the economy of the 1920s was dominated by pearl fishing. After World War II, oil exports provided substantial revenues to the country, which enabled early modernization, and laid a good foundation for independence from 1961.

  • Countryaah: Check to see the location of Kuwait on the world map. Also covers major mountains, rivers and lakes in Kuwait.

Already in 1938, Iraq claimed Kuwait and the country did not recognize the new state by its independence. Kuwait therefore called for British military protection, until 1971. During the first Gulf War, between Iraq and Iran, Kuwait fully supported Iraq, considering the threat posed by the new regime in Iran as greater.

Nevertheless, Iraq reiterated its territorial claims on Kuwait in 1990, invading the country. As a result, a multinational military force was deployed in Operation Desert Storm in 1991, and Kuwait was released in 1991. Norway participated in this operation, and in the subsequent UN observer force (UNIKOM). The tense situation in the region has characterized Kuwait’s foreign policy.

After the war, demands for political liberalization have to some extent emerged, with several elections at a national assembly. However, the emir still sits with widespread power, and the tug-of-war between parliament on the one hand and him and his government on the other has characterized Kuwait’s recent political history. During the Arab Spring, demonstrations also took place in Kuwait, but to a lesser extent than in other countries, such as Bahrain.

After the Arab Spring, the government has still been criticized for, among other things, corruption, and has responded with the arrest of critics. Criticism of the royal family is criminalized.

History of Kuwait
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