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Oil in Determining the Social, Political and Economic History of the U.S - Essay Example

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Name Institution Date Oil in Determining the Social, Political and Economic History of the U.S Oil has played a very integral part in shaping the economic, social and political direction of the United States of America. The dependence on oil and its products as a major source of energy production in the United States has been witnessed since the 19th century to date…
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Oil in Determining the Social, Political and Economic History of the U.S
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Download file to see previous pages The sole dependence on oil for political, social and economic history is a dangerous trend that the United States of America should endeavor to address, since it has relied on it in the past, continues to do so in the present, and does not seem to address it for its future needs. Economically, oil has continued to play a very key role in the United States of America in the twentieth and twenty first centuries since it has become a very integral input in almost all forms of production processes that are undertaken in the Nation. In the areas of agriculture, mining and manufacturing in all areas have become very dependent on the input of petroleum and as such, the price of the final products in this sectors and the growth of the United States economy has depended at a very large scale on the global price of petroleum. This implies that in the case of an energy crisis, the impact on the United States economy would be very significantly negative (O’Rourke and Connolly 590). Though to a large extent the price of petroleum has remained significantly low for many years, there have been exemptions to this in the 1973 to 1990 in what historians have called the energy crisis where prices became subsequently high in the world and affected the prices of the production in the United States, the price of products and ultimately the economy as a whole (Parra 35). Unlike in the past when the United States was an oil exporter, its domestic consumption has made it the largest importer of oil in the world. There was a crisis in 1979 to 1981 during the Iranian revolution which made the United States to employ many rationing measures to counter the negative effect on the economy, for example the manufacture of cars that used less fuel per kilometer. There was a crisis too in 1990 during the Iraq attack of Kuwait which was resulted in a great increase in the price of oil (Parra 43). Though the crisis was not as severe as the earlier ones it was only because, the American Government has increased domestic reserves to forestall the eventualities of crises. The stockpiling of reserves has been done in anticipation of depletion of the world’s resources whereby the stored oil is preserved for emergency purposes and, it came in handy to absorb the impact that the 1990energy crisis would have brought to the nation. Though this reserve has exceeded 500millon barrels, the current consumption rate is such that in the case of any type of crisis, this reserve would last for a very short time (Parra 56). On the political front, oil has shaped the politics of the United States and especially in its policy concerning the Middle East the world’s major oil hub. The war in Iraq in 2001 for example has for example been seen by many as not as a war to protect Kuwait, but as an American plan to protect its oil interests in the middle East (Parra 73). It is on record that former President Bush’s cabinet said that Iraq remained a stabilizer to the smooth transportation of oil to global ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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