Bahrain by Carol Ann Gillespie, Manufactured by Chelsea House

By Carol Ann Gillespie, Manufactured by Chelsea House

Discusses the geography, background, humans, tradition, financial system, and way forward for Bahrain.

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Its importance was to have a huge impact on the future and fortunes of the Persian Gulf countries and the entire Middle East. The British government of India controlled all the original oil rights (called concessions) in the Persian Gulf region. q 4/15/02 1:27 PM Page 39 Bahrain Through Time The industrial age brought new importance to Bahrain’s underground oil. Demand for petroleum products has dramatically increased since the first wells were drilled in 1932, which has vastly increased the nation’s wealth.

Although the Portuguese were driven out by a local uprising in 1602, the ruins of this imposing fort remain. q 4/15/02 1:27 PM Page 33 Bahrain Through Time Bahrain once again fell under control of Persia (today’s Iran), an arrangement that lasted until the mid-18th century. Beginning of the Al-Khalifa Dynasty By the 1700s Bahrain had regained some of its importance as a commercial center, a role that it had enjoyed off and on for the past 4,000 years. Its greatest attractions were beautiful pearls and the islands’ freshwater springs.

British Control of Bahrain Bahrain, along with other Persian Gulf countries, came under British influence during the early 19th century. The gulf region had become extremely important to the British; India was now a British colony, and Britain was anxious to protect the sea routes that linked the two lands. But the Persian Gulf region was troubled. Pirates constantly sacked ships, and in Bahrain there was constant feuding among the Al-Khalifa family members who were heirs to power. The British became convinced that they needed to get involved to help keep order.

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