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Chapter Summary

In August 1904, Colonel S. G. Knox, an officer in the Indian political service landed from the mail steamer RIMS Lawrence to take up the new post of political agent, Kuwait. Kuwait was the only substantial port between Basra and Bahrain. Although hot and humid in August, for much of the year Kuwait enjoyed a cool, dry climate and as a result was healthier than most other ports in the Gulf. Kuwait's success sprang from its trade. Since Kuwait shared the British interest in keeping the Gulf open for trade and communication with India there was little reason for the hard pressed British authorities to devote scarce resources to Kuwait. Kuwait's enormous post-war accumulation of oil wealth set up an entirely different dynamic. The most enduring feature of the relationship has been Britain's recognition of Kuwait's vulnerability as a small state and a robust readiness to come to its defence.

Keywords: British authorities; Colonel S. G. Knox; Gulf; Kuwait; post-war accumulation



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