Clio Edition 4 - page 8

he year is 1956
, and Gamal Abdel Nasser
seizes control of the Republic of Egypt from his
predecessor in an election with only one name
on the ballots - his. He begins a series of far reaching
land reforms and turns the previously colonized state of
Egypt into a more communist-style state, introducing
nationalisation of all the country’s industries. Far up his list
was the Suez Canal, an extremely important thoroughfare for
the British, the Egyptians and the rest of the world.
History of the Suez
A little context is needed to understand the complex
historical and legal structures that surrounded the Canal at
the time of Nasser’s nationalisation. The canal was opened
in 1869 after 10 years’ work, financed by both Britain and
France. The canal was operated by an Egyptian chartered
company and the area around the canal remained sovereign
Egyptian territory. The canal, at this time, helped many
European countries, especially those who paid for it, expand
and control their empires, particularly in the Far East.
Unfortunately, in 1875, the Egyptian ruler became heavily
embroiled in debt and financial crisis and had to sell his
shares in the canal company. Although the British were
more than willing buyers, they decided to invade the entire
country anyway in 1882.
By Liam Guermache
1,2,3,4,5,6,7 9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,...46
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