1939-1961 1980-1990

Kuwait, 1961-1980

Independence and Administration . Sheikh Abdullah III Al Salim Al Sabah ruled from 1950 to 1965, since 1961 as Emir. Emir Sabah III Al Salim Al Sabah ruled from 1965 to 1977. Emir Jaber al Ahmad al Jaber al Sabah ascended to the throne in 1977; he was to rule from 1977 to 1990 and from 1991 to 2006. In 1961 the British protectorate was terminated, Kuwait released into independence. In 1962 a constitution was promulgated, in 1963 a National Assembly elected. The National Assembly was suspended in 1976, reconvened in 1981.

Foreign Policy . Upon independence in 1961, Kuwait joined the Arab League and OPEC. In 1961 Kuwait's application for membership in the UN was rejected by Iraq and the USSR; a second application in 1963 was accepted.
Neighbour Iraq did not recognize the independence of Kuwait and threatened to annex the Emirate. The United Kingdom remained committed to the defense of Kuwait until 1971. From 1961 to 1963 there was a distinct threat of an Iraqi invasion; In 1961 briefly British forces were stationed in Kuwait, replaced by forces from the Arab League forces, which were withdrawn in 1963. In 1963, Iraq and Kuwait signed an accord, which marked a decrease in tension.
Kuwait and Saudi Arabia were separated by a neutral zone, which in an age of rising oil production became of increasing importance. The neutral zone was partitioned between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in 1970.
Kuwait and the USSR established diplomatic relations in 1963. Kuwait and the PR China established diplomatic relations in 1971.

The Economy . In 1961 the Kuwaiti Dinar was introduced, replacing the Gulf Rupee. The Kuwaiti Dinar was pegged to the Pound Sterling. In 1961, Kuwait produced 82.7 million metric tons of crude petroleum; in 1980 the figure was 84 million (IHS pp.362, 364). In 1974 Kuwait acquired 60 % of Kuwait Oil Company. In 1975 a Ministry of Oil was established, and the remainder of KOC was acquired. By 1979, the state had acquired all oil industries in the country; in 1980 they were merged into Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC). The Kuwait Stock Exchange was established in 1962.

Social History . The 1961 census counted 321,600 Kuwait residents, the 1965 census 465,400, the 1970 census 738,700, the 1975 census 994,800, the census of 1981 1.466 million. The extraordinary population increase is to be explained by a massive influx of migrant workers.

Cultural History . Television broadcasting began in 1961. In 1965, education was made compulsory. Kuwait University was established in 1966. Athletes from Kuwait participated in the Summer Olympics of Mexico City 1968, Munich 1972, Montreal 1976 and Moscow 1980.

Articles Kuwait Stock Exchange, Abdullah III al Salim al Sabah, Sabah III al Salim al Sabah, Jaber al Ahmad al Jaber al Sabah, Kuwait at the 1968 Summer Olympics, Kuwait at the 1972 Summer Olympics, Kuwait at the 1976 Summer Olympics, Kuwait at the 1980 Summer Olympics, Saudi-Kuwaiti Neutral Zone, Kuwait University, from Wikipedia
Kuwait Timeline, from BBC News
Iraqi Annexation Threat : Kuwait 1960, from ACED
Gauging the Iraqi Threat to Kuwait in the 1960s, by Richard A. Mobley
CASCON Case KUI : Kuwait-Iraq 1961-1963, from Cascon
Kuwait : The First Crisis, 1961, Operation Vantage, from Britain's Small Wars
Brief History of Kuwait's Membership to the United Nations, from Kuwait Mission to the United Nations
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 Kuwait, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1961 p.389, 1962 p.385, 1963 p.503, 1964 p.482, 1965 p.470, 1966 pp.440-441, 1967 p.464, 1968 p.464, 1969 p.451, 1970 p.453, 1971 p.433, 1972 p.402, 1973 pp.396-397, 1974 pp.399-400, 1975 p.425, 1976 pp.452-453, 1977 pp.444-445, 1978 p.481, 1979 pp.474-475, 1980 p.477, 1981 pp.479-480 [G]
Article : Kuwait, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1970-1971 pp.1113-1115, 1975-1976 pp.1112-1114, 1976-1977 pp.1113-1115, 1978-1979 pp.767-769, 1979-1980 pp.771-773, 1980-1981 pp.774-776 [G]
Article : Kuwait, in : The World in Figures 1st ed. 1976 pp.182-183, 2nd ed. 1978 pp.182-183 [G]
Article : Kuwait, in : Americana Annual 1962 pp.418-419, 1963 pp.377-378, 1964 p.375, 1965 p.389, 1967 p.392, 1968 p.390, 1969 p.402, 1970 p.399, 1971 p.390, 1972 p.386, 1973 p.389 [G]
Article : Kuwait, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1961 p.183 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on June 13th 2007

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