The History and Future of Saudi Arabia

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8 Questions

Which country is the largest oil exporter in the world?

Saudi Arabia

What percentage of Saudi Arabia's government annual budget does petroleum account for?


Which country controls approximately a quarter of the world's proven oil reserves?

Saudi Arabia

What is Saudi Arabia often referred to as due to its ability to influence global oil prices?

Central Bank of world oil

Which factor has contributed to Saudi Arabia's geopolitical influence worldwide?

Its control over gasoline prices

What challenges does Saudi Arabia face as the global shift away from oil continues?

Heavily depleted oil reserves

What allowed for a strict interpretation of Sunni Islam to develop in Saudi Arabia?

The isolated and sparsely populated interior of the peninsula

What changed Saudi Arabia's fortunes and attracted American interest?

The discovery of oil in 1938

Study Notes

The History and Future of Saudi Arabia: From Oil Discovery to Geopolitical Influence

  • Saudi Arabia's oil reserves have helped control gasoline prices, but the reserves are now heavily depleted.
  • The US has limited options to keep gasoline prices down, and may need to rely on Saudi Arabia's spare capacity.
  • Saudi Arabia's oil power is a key factor in its geopolitical influence worldwide.
  • However, the country faces challenges as the global shift away from oil as an energy source continues.
  • Without change, Saudi Arabia may face an uncertain future with a lack of protection and enemies.
  • The Arabian Peninsula was historically divided between tribes, with little of note in the center.
  • Saudi Arabia's current lands are largely uninhabitable, with scarce rainfall and no rivers.
  • The interior of the peninsula was isolated and sparsely populated, allowing for a strict interpretation of Sunni Islam to develop.
  • The alliance between the House of Saud and the Wahab clan led to the creation of the first Saudi state.
  • The Saudi state faced challenges and collapses throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • Ibn Saud led a campaign of conquest across Arabia, gaining support from the British against the Ottoman Empire.
  • The discovery of oil in Saudi Arabia in 1938 changed the country's fortunes and attracted American interest.

Test your knowledge on the history and future of Saudi Arabia in this informative quiz. Explore topics such as the impact of oil reserves, Saudi Arabia's geopolitical influence, and the historical events that shaped the country. Discover the challenges faced by Saudi Arabia as the world shifts away from oil as an energy source and the potential implications for its future.

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