The Effects Of Oil On Saudi Arabia

2283 Words10 Pages
Zach Augenstein
Mr. Fauver
Modern World History CP
5 May 2014
The Political Effects of Oil on the Saudi Arabian Government
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a petrostate. It is a petrostate in the sense that the oil sector dominates the national economy and international exports. (Colgan 226) This is due to Saudi Arabia’s one crop economy, oil. (Ali 100) Oil accounts for 70-80% of the state revenue as well as roughly 95% of export revenues. Before the discovery of oil in the 1930s, the economy rested on Islamic pilgrims. Containing the Grand Mosque, Al-Masjid al-Haram, Saudi Arabia gets a large influx of believers every year for the Hajj, one of the Five Pillars of Islam. During this time of year, income was made by food and shelter sold to the travelers. This was enough to support the state, but not enough to make it the monetary power it is today. What allowed for Saudi Arabia’s climb in the world economic ladder was oil. Oil has been a valuable industrial resource since the beginning of World War 1. Since then the demand for oil has progressively become higher and higher amongst industrial nations, allowing for oil rich states to receive large amounts of affluence. Among these oil rich states is Saudi Arabia, the region with the highest capacity for oil production out of the entire Middle East. From their remarkably high oil production, Saudi Arabia was able to gain considerable amounts of wealth and political significance. Oil in Saudi Arabia politically affected the Saudi government in both their foreign and domestic policy by providing economic power, the ability to fund wars, the ability to use economic diplomacy.
From their extensive oil reserves, the Saudi Arabian government was able to gain economic power in the form of pur...

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...Arabia is a petrostate. Oil dominates the national economy, international exports, and the nation’s politics. It has greatly shaped what the kingdom is today. Having started out as somewhat of a tourist economy, the kingdom has become a world, monetary power. From their massive amounts of oil and extremely cheap production, the country has been able to gain large amounts of affluence and political power. With its large abundance of oil, the country has been able to profit immensely on sales and spur diplomatic outcomes to their benefit due to the great need of the resource. Without the discovery oil, Saudi Arabia would be of little importance in the modern world, having the Grand Mosque be the extent of its importance. But because of its discovery of oil, Saudi Arabia became of international importance, coming to be one of the greatest assets to world superpowers.

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