Kuwait: History

  1. 1600s

    The Northeast segment of the Arabian peninsula, the location of present-day Kuwait, becomes part of the Ottoman Empire.

  2. 1700s

    Settlers first reach Kuwait from other areas of the Arabian peninsula. The settlement grows into a popular trading port in the Persian Sea.

  3. 1899

    Kuwait becomes a British protectorate. As long as Kuwait allows London to control its foreign affairs, Britain will provide Kuwait with naval protection.

  4. 1937

    The United States-British Kuwait Oil Company discovers large oil reserves. These reserves go on to fuel the country’s expansion into a modern commercial center.

  5. 1951

    Kuwait’s infrastructure is transformed by the beginning of the public-works program. Citizens now enjoy a much higher standard of living.

  6. 1961

    Kuwait gains its independence from Britain and joins the Arab League.

  7. 1990

    Iraq invades and seizes Kuwait.

  8. 1991

    Aerial bombing, mandated by the UN, begins in Kuwait to force Iraq out of the country. Iraqi forces torch oil wells as they pull out.

  9. 1993

    The UN delineates a new Kuwait-Iraq border, giving Kuwait a number of oil wells.

  10. 2009

    Three women Members of Parliament win seats in parliamentary elections; this is a first for Kuwait.


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