This paper explores the contribution of merchants to the rise of democracy in Kuwait during the early part of the twentieth century. In that period, a number of incidents combined to lay the foundations of a robust democratic system in Kuwait. Notwithstanding the specific flaws of each of these chains of incidents, they combined together to give rise to Kuwait’s first elected legislature, which held its first session in January of 1963. In examining these events, the author focuses particularly on the role which Kuwaiti merchants played in achieving democracy for their country and securing their political rights, and how this group imported democratic ideas and experiences from abroad, tempering the ideas to align better with local norms and customs. Of specific interest is the relationship which tied the merchant families to the ruling family of Kuwait.