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Volume :12 Issue : 46 1986      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF KUWAIT DURING THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY A.D.

Auther : By: Dr. Maymuna Al-Sabah

           Kuwait was established at the beginning of the 18th century A.D. when the Cutub family arrived in it between the years 1701 – 1702 .A.D.  This date is different from the one given by F. Warden – E – 1716 and which was accepted by nearly all historians of Kuwait.  Warden’s date is reguted on the basis of evidence derived from Ottoman documents and local and Arab manuscripts, recently discoursed, in addition to recent archaeological discoveries and other local events.

           Of all the Cutaibis there were three eminent families: Al-Sabah, Al-Khalifa and Al-Jalahma.  The affairs of the country were divided among them: government for Al-Sabah, trade for Al-Khalifa and sea-faring for Al-Jalahma.  It corrects, therefore, to assume that Sabah-Bin-Jabir (Sabah I) was the first ruler of Kuwait.  This is contrary to what Ahmed Abu Hakima assumes in his book The Modern History of Kuwait (in Arabic) that Kuwait was ruled directly by Beni Khaled and that it was under the domination of Sulaiman bin Mohamed, Beni Khaled’s leader. Abu Hakima based his assumption on the name of the leader of Al-Sabah wrongly given by Warden as Sulaiman bin Ahmed.  This accidental similarity of the name given by Warden to that of Beni Khaled’s leader, cannot be prooved enough that Kuwait was directly ruled by Beni Khaled.  There is evidence cited in the paper that Kuwait was independent and that it was ruled by Al-Sabah.  However, it was protected by Beni Khaled on the basis of a friendship and neighbourhood treaty signed by Abdulla bin Sabah (on behalf of his father) and Beni Khaled.

           During Sheikh Sabah Bin Jaber’s era, small emirate of Kuwait witnessed a lot of progress and development because of some major political changes.  The wisdom of the ruling Sheikh and the meticulus cooperation of the Cutubs contributed greatly to the stability and progress of their new homeland.  The 1850’s can be considered as an important date in the political position of Kuwait because of the economic progress and political stability that was rapidly achieved.  As outlined in the paper, this political stability can be attributed to the following factors:

 1.                 The wise policies of Sheikh Sabah Bin Jaber and Sheikh Abdulla Bin Sabah and their regular consultations with the people of the country.

 2.                 The disturbances in Iraq which presented the Ottoman surprise from changing the nominal affiliation of Kuwait into actual annexation, in addition to the spread of the plague in Baghdad and Basra and then the Persian occupation of Basra.

 3.                 The weakness of Persia (outside the scope of this paper) and its inability to dominate or annex Kuwait.

 4.                 The distant position of Kuwait from the Wahabi threat when it first began and its brave stand against it. 

 5.                 The establishment of the Kuwait Navy in the last quarter of the 18th century and its ability to defend Kuwait against foreign dangers.

 

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