October 1, 1956 - Suez Crisis

Suez Crisis

            The Suez Crisis accorded in the Middle East and was considered an international crisis. It all started in July 26, 1956. Gamal Abdel Nassar, the Egyptian president, decided to nationalize the Suez Canal. The Suez is a man-made waterway that connects Egypt to the Mediterranean using the Red Sea and provided Europe with a quick passage to the Pacific Oceans. The canal was opened on November 17, 1869 after ten years of labor. The canal is a total of one hundred and twenty miles. The canal played a critical role in trade especially for Europe and Asia. The canal was created for every countries ship. The canal was controlled by the Suez Canal Authority and remained open during times of peace and of war.

In 1915 during World War one the British protected the neutrality of the canal during wartime. The British continued to protect and control the canal through World War two. In 1956 the British handed their control back over to the Egyptian president, Gamal Abdel Nassar. When Nasser regained control, he decided to nationalize the canal. This meant that the Nasser forced users to pay a fee in order to use the canal in order to fund a dam. This upset many countries who relied on the canal for shipping important good such as oil.

Angered by the nationalization of the canal in October of 1956 Britain, France and Israel threatened to invade Europe. This was the start of the Suez Crisis. At the start of the crisis the parties tried to handle it diplomatically. The United Nations joined in on the crisis worried that it would disturb the peace. However, any effort to create peace failed. The final decision was to overthrow Nasser. The Israelis attacked October 29, 1956. Shortly after the French and British joined. The Soviet Union wanting to gain relationships in the Middle East supplied Egypt with weapons and threated to launch nuclear warfare on Western Europe of the troops did not withdraw. The United States then involved themselves in an effort to make peace. The US threated to place economic sanctions on the British and French if they did not withdraw their troops. The threats worked. Later on, Israel also withdrew their troops.


By Kylie Benz


Works Cited

History.com editors. “Egypt nationalizes the Suez Canal.” HISTORY, A&E Television Networks, 21 July 2010, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/egypt-nationalizes-the-suez-canal. Accessed 24 May 2020.

History.com Editors. “Suez Crisis.” HISTORY, A&E Television Networks, Nov. 2009, http://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/suez-crisis. Accessed 24 May 2020.

Smith, Charles Gordon, and William B. Fisher. “Suez Canal.” Britannica, http://www.britannica.com/topic/Suez-Canal. Accessed 24 May 2020.

“The Suez Crisis, 1956.” Office of the Historian, Office of the Historian, Foreign Service Institute United States Department of State, history.state.gov/milestones/1953-1960/suez. Accessed 24 May 2020.