The area of modern-day Kuwait City was first populated in the 18th century by settlers from the Arabian interior and the ruling dynasty was founded by Sheikh Sabah al-Awwal in 1756. In 1899 Sheikh Mubarak concluded a treaty with Great Britain wherein, in return for the assurance of British protection, he undertook to support British interests. In 1914 the British Government recognized Kuwait as an independent government under British protection. Large oil reserves were first discovered in 1938 by the US-British Kuwait Oil Company.
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