1899-1939 1961-1980

Kuwait, 1939-1960

Administration . Since 1899 Kuwait was a British Protectorate. A British political agent resided in Kuwait; he was subordinate to the Chief Political Resident in the Persian Gulf, residing in Bahrain. Until 1946, the Chief Political Resident in the Persian Gulf was subordinated to the President of Bombay; since 1946 the Political Residency in the Persian Gulf was a separate entity within the British Empire.
Sheikh Ahmad Al Jabir Al Sabah ruled from 1921 to 1950, Sheikh Abdullah III Al Salim Al Sabah ruled from 1950 to 1965, since 1961 as Emir.
In 1961, Kuwait was released into independence.

The Economy . Until 1959 the Indian Rupee was used as currency in Kuwait; that year it was replaced by the Gulf Rupee, which was pegged to the Indian Rupee.
In 1946, Kuwait produced 0.7 million metric tons of crude petroleum; in 1947 the figure was 2.2 million, in 1950 17.2 million, in 1955 54.7 million, in 1961 82.7 million (IHS p.362). The first oil refinery in Kuwait was established in 1949.
Kuwait National Airways was established in 1954.

Social History . Population estimates for 1939 are rough (50,000 according to NIYB 1940). The census of 1957 counted 206,500, the census of 1961 321,600. The rapid rise in the figures reflects the massive influx of migrant workers employed mainly in the oil industry.

Cultural History . The government took control of education in 1939; by 1945 17 schools had been established. The Kuwait National Olympic Committee was established in 1957 and recognized by the IOC in 1966.

Articles Abdullah III al Salim al Sabah, Sabah III al Salim al Sabah, Jaber al Ahmad al Jaber al Sabah, Saudi-Kuwaiti Neutral Zone, National Olympic Committee, from Wikipedia
Kuwait Timeline, from BBC News
Kuwait Aviation History, from Kuwait Airport
History of Education in Kuwait, from Kuwait Cultural Office
History of Oil in Kuwait, from KPC
DOCUMENTS Kuwait Statesmen : World Statesmen, by Ben Cahoon
Historical Population Statistics, Kuwait, from Population Statistics posted by Jan Lahmeyer
REFERENCE IHS : International Historical Statistics : Africa, Asia & Oceania 1750-2000, edited by B.R. Mitchell, Basingstoke : Palgrave MacMillan 4th ed. 2003
Article : Arabia - Kuwait, in : Statesman's Year Book 1943 p.696 [G]
Article : Arabia, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1949 p.51, 1950 p.54, 1951 p.53, 1952 p.50, 1953 p.49, 1954 p.49, 1955 p.110-111, 1956 p.47 [G]
Article : Persian Gulf States, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1957 pp.603-604 [G]
Article Kuwait, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1958 p.392, 1959 p.388, 1960 p.382, 1961 p.389 [G]
Article : Arabia - Kuwait, in : Americana Annual 1939 p.42, 1940 p.39, 1943 pp.48-49, 1944 pp.51-52, 1945 pp.50-53, 1946 pp.56-58, 1947 pp.34-36, 1957 pp.40-41 [G]
Kings of the Middle East pp.554-572 in : John Gunther, Inside Asia, 1942 War Edition, NY : Harper & Brothers (1938) 1942
Article : Arabia - Kuwait, in : New International Year Book 1939 p.33, Events of 1940 p.29, 1941 p.28, 1942 p.34, 1943 p.35, 1944 p.38, 1945 p.40 [G]
Article : Arabia - Kuwait, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1946 p.37 [G]
Article : Kuwait, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1952 pp.231-232 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on June 13th 2007, last revised on August 25th 2007

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