Egypt Attempts to Nationalize the Suez Canal (Great Events from History II: Human Rights Series)
Article abstract: Colonial and Western-superiority attitudes reasserted themselves when Great Britain and France, in concert with Israel, invaded Egypt in the wake of Nasser’s nationalization of the Suez Canal Company.
Summary of Event
On July 26, 1956, Gamal Abdel Nasser, president of Egypt, announced that Egypt was nationalizing the Suez Canal Company. His declaration that evening, during a speech in the port city of Alexandria, surprised the world. It also set in motion a train of events that soon led to a coordinated British, French, and Israeli attack on Egypt that some saw as a last hurrah for British and French colonialism. The repercussions were widespread, and many people were deprived of life, freedom, home, property, or country as events unfolded. The nationalization of the French, but substantially British-owned, Suez Canal Company twelve years before it would, in any event, have become Egyptian property was not simply a quixotic act by a military dictator. There is evidence that a takeover had been discussed within the Egyptian government. Nevertheless, it is generally accepted that the move at that time had clearly defined antecedents. Egypt, whose main enemy was Israel, had been seeking arms in the face of a U.S.-U.K.-French accord to limit the flow of arms into the Middle East. The turndown that Egypt received led Nasser to turn to the Soviet Union, although ostensibly his agreement was with...
(The entire section is 2491 words.)
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