Arabia 1789 CE

The first Saudi kingdom has appeared in Arabia.

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What is happening in Arabia in 1789CE

Oman won control of the Indian Ocean coast of East Africa as far as Zanzibar. However, internal instability led to a Persian invasion in 1737, and Omani maritime influence dwindled. The Omanis drove the Persians out again in 1749, under the leadership of Ahmad ibn Sa’id, who established the Sa’id dynasty.

The 18th century has seen other small states appearing along the Gulf coast, often by clans moving to the coast from the interior: Kuwait (1756), which has become a thriving trading community, Qatar (1766) and Bahrain (1783). Other small Arab sheikdoms along the Gulf coast have a long tradition of piracy, and this area has became known as the “Pirate coast” to Europeans.

Other European merchants and sailors have begun operating around the coast of Arabia. The British East India Company is especially active, and has began entering into commercial treaties with coastal sheikhs.

The interior of the Arabian peninsula has seen the foundation of the Wahhabi movement, in the mid-18th century. This sect espouses a radical conservative version of Islam. Its founder forged a close alliance with a minor chiefly family called the Sauds, and together they have won an extensive kingdom in central Arabia.

Next map: Arabia 1837

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