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From ABC-CLIO's History Hub website

These resources provide insight into how U.S. foreign policy of the 1970s was related to domestic dependency on oil. Use these resources to support your students' understanding of U.S. foreign policy and oil consumption during the 1970s. Use the Export to My Lists button above to turn this into a research list for your students.

Time Period Key Understandings

  • Historical events can shape political institutions
  • Legislative policy changes are often a result of events that led to demands for change
  • A nation's economic policy is tied closely to its foreign policy
  • Popular sentiments often change from left to right and can be represented on a pendulum
  • Conflicts resolution is not always intentional, conflicts can resolve naturally and over time
  • A nation's foreign policy actions have legacies that impact future foreign policy
  • A democratic nation's social and cultural norms and practices are likely to change

Key Questions

  • What were the reasons behind the formation of OPEC? Do you think their reasons for increasing prices and decreasing supplies during the 1970s were justified?
  • What do you think of the American response to the energy crisis of the 1970s? How do you think Americans would react to having to wait in hours-long lines to buy gasoline?
  • Why do you think the United States took such a hard line toward Iran in 1979? Do you think there was any way that this could have improved the already severe energy crisis?


  1. Overview: Oil and Foreign Policy
  2. Visuals: Oil and Politics: How They Mix, 1975-1989 (Visual)
  3. Outline: Outline
  4. Lesson: Introduction
  5. Photos & Illustrations: Energy crisis
  6. Reference Articles: Eagle Claw, Operation
  7. Reference Articles: Iran hostage crisis
  8. Reference Articles: Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
  9. Reference Articles: Six-Day War
  10. Reference Articles: Yom Kippur War
  11. Speeches: Carter, Jimmy: Camp David Accords speech (1978)
  12. Speeches: Carter, Jimmy: Failed Hostage Rescue speech (1980)
  13. Speeches: Carter, Jimmy: Human Rights and Foreign Policy speech (1977)


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MLA Citation
"Oil and Foreign Policy." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019, Accessed 25 Aug. 2019.
Chicago Citation
"Oil and Foreign Policy." In History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019. Accessed August 25, 2019.
APA Citation
Oil and Foreign Policy. (2019). In History Hub. Retrieved from
Entry ID: 2153101