Identify what you think is the single most important factor—political, economic, cultural, or environmental--in the Middle East prior to 1948 that has influenced today's world. Explain and discuss this factor and its influences today in the Middle East using detailed and specific examples to support your argument.
Without equivocation oil in the Middle East has been the biggest factor to influence today’s world. With the exception of food, no commodity is more widely in demand than oil. On May 26, 1908 a British company strikes oil in Persia (now Iran).” It's the first big petroleum find in the Middle East, and it sets off a wave of exploration, extraction and exploitation that will change the region’s -- and the world’s – history [Randy]. Oil is not only used in the transportation industry (e.g. cars, trucks, trains, boats), it also is used in the production of all types of plastics. “Make no mistake, our world today needs petroleum. Oil is petroleum, and the Middle East nations know they control most of the production … nations line up at their door…looking for more oil” [Roger].
When oil was first discovered in 1908, in what is modern day Iran, the importance was immediately recognized. Surely nobody could foresee what an international commodity it would become, and the control it would have on the global economy. D'Arcy and Burmah, which was the company that first discovered oil in this region in 1908, reorganized their holdings in 1909 as the Anglo-Persian Oil Co. (which became the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. in 1935, British Petroleum in 1954 and BP in 2000. Britain became a principal power in Persian and later in Iranian politics. British and American political operations in that nation shaped the developments that led to the Iranian revolution in 1979. These activities have also directly lead to the current Middle Eastern power struggle. This discovery of oil in the Middle East has been a major influence in politics, culture,...
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