The Expansion Of The United States Essay

1918 WordsNov 30, 20168 Pages
The United States in 1973 had spent the past two decades in the largest economic boom of world history. The rapid growth of industry and expansion of the automobile industry that characterized this time period led the U.S. to comprise a staggering 30% of the world’s total energy consumption, the chief source of which was oil. However, the U.S. only contained 6% of the world’s known oil reserves, so there was no way it could meet it’s own demands through domestic production alone. This created a huge dependency on oil imports from foreign countries, primarily in the Middle East, and gave these countries immense power over the U.S.’s economic affairs. In 1973, Middle Eastern OPEC members were tired of exploitation by British and American oil companies and angered over the US’s support of Israel in the Arab-Israeli conflicts over the Palestine, so they decided to unleash their power by decreasing output and in some cases totally stopping their export of oil to the U.S. in order to artificially increase prices. The crisis lasted only a year, but it’s effects on the American peoples’ view of their position in the world and on domestic and foreign policy were far-reaching. The Oil Crisis of 1972 to 1973 was a watershed event in American history because it made the U.S.’s dependence on and vulnerability to the influence other nations undeniable, highlighted the need for international interdependence in order to best make use of the world’s limited natural resources, and gave the

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