Ibn Saud and the Foundation of the Kingdom
From 1915 the Hashemites co-operated with the British to oust the Ottomans from the Hijaz, but they were driven from their historical Hijazi power base by Abdulaziz Al Saud, usually referred to as Ibn Saud (born 1876), in 1925. By 1930 all local emirates in Arabia vanished, with the exception of that of the Saudis, who declared their newly founded realm the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932, with Ibn Saud as its first king.
Two factors played in favour the Al Saud. Its emir Ibn Saud revived the puritanical Wahhabi religious tradition and enlisted the various tribes of Arabia in a religious war to fight blasphemy and purify Islam.
In its early days the Saudi Arabia had meagre resources. It depended on small taxes levied on commerce in the Eastern Province and revenues from pilgrims visiting the Hijaz, as well as British subsidies. The discovery of oil in 1938 brought new and transformative income to sustain the newly founded state.
The age of oil
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