How Oil Shaped Post War World

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What was the role of oil in shaping post war worlds?

”If one commodity can claim credit for the startling advances seen in the world in the 20th century, in particular in developed industrialized countries, it was crude oil- soon to be dubbed ‘black gold’.” Oil became an influential substance in the post war times, economically and also in shaping countries’ foreign policies. Whichever countries controlled oil controlled much of the world’s policies. After the increase in industrialisation and manufacture in the post war times, oil became a ‘must have’ resource, for a nation, in order for that nation to grow economically and become a self-sustaining state. The first Bush administration reiterated the need to invade the Gulf as, “a way to defend our way of life” in the form of acquiring and maintaining the supply of cheap oil into the American interior. Post war rebuild was the main agenda as most nations fought to rebuild their states from the damages sustained during the two World Wars. A drastic rise in the demand for oil in the world became eminent and those nations that held oil resources had substantial advantage over those that did not have easy access to it. In this essay, an outline of the role oil played in shaping post war worlds will be clearly discussed showing the various policies implemented by different nations in order to acquire the imperative resource. The general change from coal energy to oil energy was a catalyst for the increase in the rate of industrialisation. According to Yergin, Industrialisation sped up rapidly between the years 1949 and 1972. With economic recovery as the main focus of most nations affected by the catastrophes of both World Wars, oil had a vital role to play in each of the nation’s policies. With oil consumption tripling in each and every state, governments had to accommodate for the low death rates which increased population, high employment demand and increase in consumption which meant more oil had to be imported...
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