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Destroying YemenWhat Chaos in Arabia Tells Us about the World$
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Isa Blumi

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520296138

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520296138.001.0001

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The Quest for Global Hegemony Starts There

The Quest for Global Hegemony Starts There

Chapter:
(p.28) One The Quest for Global Hegemony Starts There
Source:
Destroying Yemen
Author(s):

Isa Blumi

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520296138.003.0002

This chapter offers what the historiography tells of Yemen’s rise as a modern, unified (and recently fragmented, chaotic polity). Starting from the beginning of the twentieth century when Yemen was administered by the Ottoman and British Empires, the narrative repositions Yemen as being at the heart of modern European imperialism until World War II. This chapter challenges conventional wisdom by way of providing an accounting for how and why European financial interests sought and finally, through appropriated state resources in Britain, France, Italy, Ottoman Empire gained access to Yemen’s natural and human resources. Beyond this, accounting for the arrival of the United States in this manner by the 1920s seems critical. It is in fact by way of engaging Yemen and the larger Red Sea, often on local Yemeni terms, that the very modern institutions and practices synonymous with American Empire emerge. This rethinking the nature of the relationship Yemenis had with an emergent globalist regime starts with clashes locals had with British capitalist interests, by the mid-nineteenth century firmly entrenched in South Yemen. The relationship that would help create Saudi Arabia, for instance, is drawn specifically from the fact British bankers could not subordinate the ruling family of Northern Yemen—the Imams—forcing them to resort to new tactics, including promoting the rise of KSA and ultimately political Islam as we know it today.

Keywords:   Imperial Rivalries, Oil Industry, Saudi Arabia, Political, Economy

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