A History of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia was established in 1933 by Abdulaziz Al Saud after a political committee between the ministry of finance and foreign affairs formalized military arrangements (Robert, 1981). In 1926, USSR and representatives from Jeddah recognized the kingdom. They were followed suit by France, Britain, and the Netherlands among other nations. Members of the Saudi Hijazi army with support from police officers were discovered in the 1930s. However, Royal guards and Jihadi warriors were tasked with handling battles and political conflicts in the kingdom. The kingdom was endowed with oil resources. After the resources were discovered, the minister of finance Abdullah ibn Sulayman signed an agreement with an American based oil drilling company based in California to explore the resource. This agreement also defined the relationship between Muslims and Infidels or Sura al-Kafirun seeking separation and cooperation. This was a guarantee that both parties would not interfere with religious beliefs, practices, doctrines, and customs from either group (Madawi, 2002).
Saudi Arabia was mainly populated with citizens practicing Islam. After the oil agreement was signed, the numbers in relation to non-Muslims rose. They were attributed to an increase in Americans, Dutchmen, Italians, Frenchmen, Russians, and Britons who were not Muslim believers. Muslims were mainly based in cosmopolitan Hijaz areas while non-Muslims were engaged in consulates, pharmaceuticals, the sale of spare parts, and in petrol-pump stations. This aspect laid a solid foundation in Saudi Arabia prompting the two groups to engage in major material transformations (Madawi, 2002).
Economic depression had pressured financial status in the kingdom. More so, extra pilgrims visiting Mecca were adversely affecting the States’ financial strength. After the American oil company known as SOCIAL agreed to explore the resource in the country, it offered twenty thousand Pounds to the State’s king as well as an annual rental of five thousand Pounds. Thus, oil discovery and exploration was a major financial and economic boost for Saudi Arabia. It was able to collect funds and pay various debts including the country of India. Oil drilling commenced in 1935 while the first tanker was sailed in 1939. Over one thousand five hundred barrels of oil would be produced per day. However, World War II interrupted these activities. Although the exploration and drilling did not stop, the number of barrels produced declined rapidly. After the war ended, the king resumed accounting for massive wealth attributed to the oil resource between the 1940s and 1950s. Consequently, he built royal palaces, the Riyadh construction site was expanded, and the states’ populace, as well as the revenues, increased (Madawi, 2002).
However, the king had to reduce the huge influence Britain had in Saudi Arabia through the ARAMCO oil firm. After World War II, the country developed a close relationship with the United States aimed at reducing Britain’s influencing policies strengthening Hashemite rivals in the Middle East. The United States appointed diplomats located in Jeddah. The two nations maintained a mutually beneficial relationship. Saudi Arabia gained social and economic independence while the United States strived to acquire commercial benefits from the oil resource (Robert, 1981).
Between 1973 and 1990, Saudi Arabia imposed regulations against oil production by Europe and the United States. Although this caused disagreements and a reduction of oil prices, the country strived to acquire and sustain sovereignty under the leadership of Muhammad ibn Saudi. Since his death in 1953, his sons have been ruling the Saudi Arabia kingdom through the monarch system of leadership. Thus, the development, existence, and success of Saudi Arabia can be attributed to the discovery, exploration, and drilling of the oil resource. The resource played political, economic, and social roles in establishing and developing the country (Madawi, 2002).
The reading affirms that the establishment and existence of Saudi Arabia can be attributed to the oil resource and industry. The oil resource played a major role in attracting global nations to drill and explore oil for economic benefits. However, they also attempted to interfere with the social, political, and religious aspects of the kingdom. Thus, the king had to ensure Islamic practices and the monarch governance systems were preserved. The social and religious practices and values in the kingdom were conserved. Consequently, the political values aligned to the monarchy system were also conserved. Currently, Saudi Arabia still benefits from the vast oil and petroleum industry.
Madawi, A. R. (2002). A History of Saudi Arabia, University of Cambridge Press Syndicate.
Robert, L. (1981). The Kingdom: Arabia and the House of Sa’ud, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Library of Congress.