The Suez Canal is an artificial waterway which connects the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. It is a 160 km long channel which is made through the Sinai Desert. The canal was designed by a French engineer Ferdinand de Lesseps. …
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To undertake construction Ferdinand de Lesseps created a company with Egyptian partners known as the Universal Suez Ship Canal Company. At the time the Ottoman Empire had influence and control over Egypt’s politics. The economic crisis forced Egypt’s ruler to sell his shares of the Universal Suez Ship Canal Company to England. England now had considerable share in the operation of the canal along with French investors, whereas Egypt lost control over the canal and its profits. The period saw great turmoil and the wars made the potential and strategic importance of the canal apparent to all forces. The British Imperial Empire had colonies across the world and the canal proved to be essential for trade. In 1882 Egypt was invaded by the British and the country was termed an indispensable possession of the British Empire. The canal became a super highway for the British to link its trade to its colonies in East Africa, India, and Australia. Egyptian rebel groups tried to push British Colonial Empire but were not successful.
2. Weakening of the British Colonial Empire
After the World War II, the British Empire faced economic difficulties to maintain its colonial empire. The Indian subcontinent was left after the war and the British forces were weakened. The time saw an uprising among the Egyptians to phase out the British from the country. The British maintained presence of a garrison at Suez to protect her strategic interests. The British were allowed to maintain presence of 10,000 troops on the basis of Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936 (Tucker 107). But Egyptian rebel groups started gaining popularity of the masses and pressure increased over Britain to vacate the area. The events ultimately led to a coup in 1952 and finished kingship in the country. Egypt was made a republic by the key member of the coup and the new president of Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser. 3. Nationalization of Suez Canal Gamal Abdel Nasser was the second president of Egypt and gathered support against the colonialist. He shifted cooperation of Egypt towards the Soviets and the actions were against the two super powers of the time, the British and the French. He was viewed as a great threat by the two forces. At the time the US had very less influence in the Middle East. Its main ally in the region was Saudi Arabia. Gamal Abdel Nasser moved towards Saudi Arabia for its future ties and the US saw an opportunity to increase influence in the region. The biggest step that Gamal took against the British and the French was perhaps the nationalization of the Suez Canal on 26 July 1956 (Witte 51). This step was the basis of this crisis. The British and the French militaries were exhausted and their economies were at a low stage. Gamal took over the Suez Canal without firing a single shot and the Suez Canal came under Egypt. He cancelled the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936 and forced the British to vacate the canal within the next 20 months (Tucker 107). This was a surprise move by the army and the British forces were not given a chance to react. The Suez Canal Company was frozen and all its shareholders were given the share. 4. Buildup of Egyptian Army Foreseeing the threats, Gamal used his newly developed relations to build up his army on modern weapons through an arms deal with Czechoslovakia (DeRouen and Heo 346). These weapons were from the Soviets and the two countries became close allies. The Soviets equipped Egypt with modern tanks and its air force with fighters and bombers. Artillery guns were given to Egypt and Self Propelled Artillery pieces were procured from the Soviets to move along with the tanks in the desert
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It was also known as the Tripartite Aggression. However, armed conflict only took place between 29th October 1956 and 6th November of the same year. This part of the Crisis is also referred to as “The Seven Day War” due to its duration. Although, the Crisis only lasted just over three months it created a considerable amount of turmoil in the region.
Also, mother nations faced pressure from Communist Russia. An economic collapse was France in Africa. Between 1946 and 1952, the labor movement pushed for equal rights for all colonies with success. However, in 1956 the demand for labor became too much. According to Cooper (2005) a French minister stated citizenship meant, "equality in wages, equality in labor legislation, in social security benefits, equality in family allowances, in brief, equality in standard of living” (p.
Suez Canal caught the news paper headlines many times in the history. Whenever a war crisis occurs in the Middle Eastern region, Suez Canal often comes into the picture because of its strategic importance in this region. Suez Canal is the waterway which connects Mediterranean Sea with Red Sea.
True, in the past, "strong men" --such as Mohamed Ali, dictator of Egypt for over forty years, and Khedive Ismail--have imposed their will on Egypt. When they passed from the stage, however, their accomplishments were dissipated by the ineptness of their successors and by the apathy of Egypt's ruling classes.
No doubt there have been a number of occasions as the Suez crisis of 1956 and the War in Vietnam in the 1960's and 1970's that the relationship has been less than perfect. However this has been the longest standing relationship between two nations in modern history.
Britain, with her Imperial interests, remained a power, but not a superpower, and it would take some time for her to adjust to this new position in the International Community. An examination of Policy in the Middle East from 1945 until 1967 gives a clear picture of this decline in influence.
esult was that Egypt being defeated militarily but came out a winner politically as Israel was forced to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula and in its place an international peacekeeping force was installed to serve as a buffer. Another event that foreshadowed the 1967 War was
In analysing the fact that power today is becoming increasingly more complicated in nature and less concrete a notion than before, Nye proposed the notion of soft power or co-optive power. In Nye’s words soft power is “the ability to
The Suez Canal is also known as the Highway to India. The Canal is in Egypt and connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea and is a man made water route. The canal was opened in November 1869, and is a sea level water route
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