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INFO VINE * 50 Fascinating Facts About The History of The Suez Canal *

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INFO VINE *   50 Fascinating Facts About The History of The Suez Canal * Empty INFO VINE * 50 Fascinating Facts About The History of The Suez Canal *

Post by Paul Mon 19 Feb 2024, 12:40 pm

50 Fascinating Facts About The History of The Suez Canal




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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]
The Suez Canal is a giant manmade structure that had been attempted in Egypt since the time of the pharaohs and the construction of the pyramids, for it is a complex project that took humans thousands of years to develop the technology for. The canal was built in the middle of a desert (by utilizing a nearby isthmus), and thousands of lives were lost due to poor working conditions. After several years, the canal was complete, yet construction was delayed multiple times due to political and social conflicts within the country; other countries, particularly Britain, were highly involved with Egypt and controlled the area during much of the country's history.  

The Suez Canal is certainly a miracle to mankind, and now after more than 150 years, the structure serves an immaculate purpose to Egypt and other countries' economies. 





An Ancient Canal Was Built First 


Even though numerous Pharaohs tried to construct the canal, Senuset III was the most successful in attempting the masterpiece. It is said that he had the canal built and that it connected the Nile River with the Red Sea. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Sepia Times/Universal Images Group/Getty Images]


This Pharaoh's attempt was almost 2,000 years before the Suez Canal that we know today was put into place, therefore the first forms of groundwork were laid in 1850 B.C. 


There Is Ancient History Surrounding The Canal


Illustrated below is Dominique Grenet de Joigny's (1821-1885) depiction of the ancient Necho's Canal or the Canal of the Pharaohs, which was constructed under countless Pharaohs, yet it was never completely finished, and the project was officially canceled in 767 A.D. 


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


The Pharaohs had a different approach when it came to constructing the canal, for they linked the Nile to the Red Sea in their blueprints; as much as the 12th Dynasty and beyond attempted to construct a canal in this part of the world, Egyptians were not tremendously successful until the late 1800s. 


The Canal Connects The Mediterranean Sea To The Indian Ocean


Most people wanted a canal built in order to connect the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean, which would make trade and colonization more efficient and quicker. 


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


These two giant bodies of water are connected via the Red Sea, which is located right by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Africa; workers utilized the surrounding bodies of water to build the canal since they were working in the desert. 


The Isthmus Of Suez


The Isthmus of Suez is the boundary between the continents of Asia and Africa, and it is 75 miles wide; it is located between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Sepia Times/Universal Images Group/Getty Images]


Like most geographical treasures, this isthmus is highly prized in society, especially after the Suez Canal was successfully built because it has the ability to connect multiple pieces of land. 


Linant de Bellefonds Was A Specialist In Egypt Who Helped With The Canal


Louis Maurice Adolphe Linant de Bellefonds (1799-1883) was born in France and was highly educated and talented in many subjects including mathematics and art. He had a prosperous career where he traveled frequently, and he found himself as the chief engineer of public works in Egypt in 1831. 


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Photo Courtesy: [SSPL/SSPL/Getty Images]


During his entire career in Egypt, Linant consistently brought up ideas and preliminary plans for the canal, so he was a primary component to establishing a campaign for the project; his enthusiasm got him a long way, and through his efforts, he was able to get Ferinand Lesseps to take real action on the plans. 


The International Commission For The Piercing Of The Isthmus Of Suez Was Created 


In order to construct the canal, numerous organizations were formed to tackle the project (construction of the canal pictured below), including The International Commission for the Piercing of the Isthmus of Suez.


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


This commission consisted of a myriad of European experts, who were gathered by Ferdinand de Lesseps in 1855. Lesseps was ordered by the ruler of Egypt (Muhammad Sa'id) to form the commission to investigate the possibility of building a canal between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. 


Ferdinand de Lesseps Started A Second Essential Company 


Ferdinand de Lesseps (1805-1894) was known as a French diplomat and a primary leader for the construction of the Suez Canal. Lesseps also formed the Suez Canal Company, which was responsible for the Suez Canal project and its success. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Bildagentur-online/Universal Images Group/Getty Images]


This company was formed in 1858 and was in business for the entirety of the construction; the company only shut down after the Suez Crisis in 1956. 


The Sultan Of Turkey Did Not Want To Approve The Project 


At the time of the canal's construction, the viceroy or ruler of Egypt was also the vassal for the Sultan of Turkey (illustrated below); he thought it was essential to get the Sultan's approval before starting the canal. 


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


Everyone thought that the Sultan would approve the construction with ease, yet it was not that simple, for the British tried to stop the start of construction since they wanted power over Egypt; the British ambassador had influence over the Sultan, so there was no positive response given to those who wanted to build the canal (which slowed down the progress of the project). 


Construction Started In 1859


Ferdinand de Lesseps exclusively formed a company to build the Suez Canal, and within a year of forming the company, the first ground was broken in April of 1859 in Egypt. This was an influential time for Egypt, for the canal would bring them intense economic profits which could help improve the overall health of their country. 


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


Building this canal was one of the hardest things mankind has ever done as far as architecture, and countless hardships were endured to create this geographical link including thousands of deaths and the risk of political uproar from opposing world powers. 


The Town Of Suez Was Started Before The Canal


The Suez Canal did not create the town of Suez, for it already existed before the canal was planned out. Despite the canal being close by and the structure and town sharing a name, the building of the canal had almost no effect on this village. 


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


Even a decade after the canal's construction, the town was still on the verge of being a ghost town, despite it having a fishing port. Due to geological facts, a new town (Port-Tewfik) was built to coincide with the canal. 


Slaves Worked On The Project 


Unfortunately, thousands of workers who dug out the Suez Canal were forced laborers or slaves, and thousands of them died from the working conditions and diseases like cholera. 


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


Most working conditions were dreadful, and there are no photographs of laborers because of the situations they were put through; over 1 million Egyptians were forced to work in the scorching desert, with little food and water. 


Laborers Had To Work Through A Desert 


Workers had to work through the Sinai Desert to build the Suez Canal, and it certainly was a harsh working environment that they should have been compensated for. 


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


Moreover, many of the laborers did not have enough to eat or drink while their bodies were going through extreme heat exhaustion, and they only had temporary shelters as they worked day and night in the desert. 


Most Of The Workers Were From Egypt 


Much of the people who built the Suez Canal were Native Egyptians, meanwhile, the main people who planned and oversaw the project were French, and Britain tried to take control of the operation from the start. Additionally, through the utilization of manpower and steam-powered technology, the canal was able to be completed successfully, unlike ever before in history. 


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


Again, the laborers worked in immoral, treacherous conditions, and the authority of Egypt knew this but proceeded anyway. In short, the Egyptian government forced countless peasants to hand dig the Suez Canal. 


120,000 Egyptians Died While Building The Canal


Illustrated below are people working on the Suez Canal, with their main job being to carry dirt in long, wicker baskets; over 120,000 Egyptians died because of the intense labor that they were forced to perform. 


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


The Egyptian government had thought that these thousands of deaths were justified because the Suez Canal was the "Egyptian Dream", yet these people suffered devastating deaths and gave up their lives to build the structure. 


Colonial Forces Had A Large Impact On The Canal


Illustrated below is British royalty visiting the canal after being built, for both French and British powers were extremely involved with Egypt's affairs. The British ruled over Egypt from 1882 to 1956, and even though the official Egyptian viceroy was still in place, they had a giant influence on the political, social, and economic happenings of the country. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group/Getty Images]


Even though Egypt was not part of the British Empire, they still wanted to control the country's trading routes (especially the Suez Canal), because they wanted to profit off the area; Britain inhibited the construction as much as they could for the canal because they did not want Egypt making more money than them. Moreover, France was also a colonial power, for they were the ones who financed the canal and created the plan to build it. 


The Cost Of The Canal Was Gigantic 


The Suez Canal was paid for by the Suez Canal Company, for they were a stock company that was stationed in Paris; in 1859, the canal cost $9 billion to build! Additionally, when the canal was built, 52% of the stocks belonged to France, and the rest belonged to Egypt. 


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


Since the initial construction, numerous parts of the structure have needed to be fixed, and there have also been billions of dollars worth of expansion put into the Suez Canal over the past couple of decades. 


History About The Opening Day 


The opening day of the Suez Canal (illustrated below) was a time of immense celebration (there were fireworks, a military march, and a ball), especially for native Egyptians, for their culture had tried to build a canal for thousands of years.


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


On the opening day of the canal (November 17th, 1869), people from all around the world came to visit Egypt and sail their boats through the revolutionary structure. 


The First Ship To Sail Through The Structure 


The S.S. Dido was the first ship to officially sail through the Suez Canal, and this ship belonged to a Scottish merchant company; the anchor line ship sailed from south to north on the canal. 


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


This was a fascinating time for Egyptians and businessmen around the world, for the canal allowed for a much larger influx of exports, imports, and colonization. 


A Secret Ship Passed Through The Canal


Contrary to widespread belief, the first ship to sail through the Suez Canal was the HMS Newport, which was a navy ship from Britain. The captain had slipped the ship into the canal during the night and before the grand opening. 


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


George Nares was the captain of that ship, and he did receive consequences for his actions, yet he was also secretly rewarded by the British government for sailing the ship in the canal because it demonstrated Britain's dominance. 


There Are Three Primary Canal Locations 


The town of Suez, Ismailia (illustrated below in the 1800s), and Port Said surround the Suez Canal, and the only one not created to enhance the canal was the town of Suez, which instead received a new port. 


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


Ismailia is the halfway point between Port Said (north) and Suez (south) and the town has seen extensive population growth thanks to the canal. Overall, these locations were essential to maintain the efficient and profitable ideas for the Suez Canal.  


Only Steamships Were Allowed At First 


At first, the engineers of the Suez Canal made it clear that only steamships were allowed through, for the canal was relatively narrow, and they did not want to risk ships getting stuck.


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


This region has intense winds, so ships could easily be caught off track and cause damage to the canal, so until an expansion project could be initiated, the regulations for which types of ships could pass were strict. 


This Canal Helped To Colonize Africa 


Without the Suez Canal, Africa certainly would not have been colonized as fast, for there wouldn't have been an efficient route from Europe to Asia (which the Suez Canal did provide). 


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Photo Courtesy: [Print Collector/Hulton Archive/Getty Images]


Africa was on the top of everyone's colonization list because it was rich with profitable natural resources. When the canal created the shortest sea route to move between the two continents of Europe and Asia, people no longer had to go to the southern tip of Africa to trade, creating many opportunities. 


Britain's Influence On The Canal


When the canal was built, both Britain and France ruled Egypt, and Britain believed that the construction of the canal was a political scheme that had the intention of overpowering British influence in the global shipping industry. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group/Getty Images]


Ferdinand (the builder of the canal) had verbal arguments with British authority, people spoke against his idea in the parliament, and a duel even took place over the idea of building the canal. The British relentlessly criticized the plan to build the structure, yet they reaped much of its profits when it was complete. Pictured above is a political cartoon that was made during the Suez Canal power disputes between Britain and Egypt. 


It Inspired The Statue Of Liberty


The original idea for the Statue of Liberty was thought up by a French sculptor, Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi when he wanted to commemorate the successful construction of the Suez Canal. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images]


The sculptor heavily suggested the idea to Lesseps and the Egyptian government, and the statue (that also would have served as a lighthouse) would have been placed at the Mediterranean end of the Suez Canal; unfortunately, the statue was too expensive for Egypt considering that the canal was $9 billion. 


The Same Person Tried To Build The Panama Canal 


Ferdinand de Lesseps is known for successfully building the Suez Canal, and he even developed an idea to build a canal over the isthmus in Central America as well. Moreover, people invested in his idea because of his previous success, and Lesseps even hired the same engineer who created the Eiffel Tower. 


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


Lesseps stated that this canal would be easier to build, and there was an enormous amount of enthusiasm all around when the project was started, yet Lesseps actually failed early on in this project. When the project started in 1881, it had many initial failures and thousands of deaths; Lesseps company crashed eight years later due to the misfortunes and for the conspiracy of fraud. 


Several Businesses Were Involved With The Construction 


The Suez Canal Company was the core business that oversaw every aspect of construction, yet the work was delegated and entrusted to several businesses to better achieve the end goal. 


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


These companies would carry out work and develop innovative technologies for the project, and even though Lesseps wasn't involved in the technicalities, he was still always present during construction and was involved with the activities of the companies.


Napolean Bonaparte Wanted To Build This Canal


An innumerable amount of people have wanted to or attempted to build the Suez Canal, and one of those people included Napolean Bonaparte (shown below); when Napoleon had taken control of Egypt in 1789, he had gathered researchers to take measurements for the canal.  


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Photo Courtesy: [English Heritage/Heritage Images/Getty Images]


The researchers had (without their knowledge) taken incorrect measurements for the project, and this had made Napolean reconsider his enthusiasm for the canal. The correct measurements were revealed 10 years later, which showed that there was no difference in sea levels. 


The Canal Was Built With Steam Power


Illustrated below is some equipment that was used to build the canal, which spanned the width of the project. At first, all manual labor was used to build the canal, but later in the construction period, steam-powered technology was introduced. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Hulton Archive/Hulton Archive/Getty Images]


The gravitation towards technology started when forced labor was banned in 1863 and a labor shortage was created; after this, the canal companies decided to invest in steam power and machine power.


Egypt Originally Got 59% Of The Profits 


When the canal was finished in 1869, Egypt was guaranteed 59% of the profits, but unfortunately, this didn't stay the case for long and the profits caused decades of political turmoil. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images]


When the owners of the Suez Canal were experiencing financial barriers, the government had no choice but to sell their shares of the company to Britain, who eagerly took the shares in 1875. 


The Canal Solidified International Connections


Even though countless people fought over the canal, it did connect the continent and encourage large economic growth; primarily, the canal strengthened the connection between India and Britain. 


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


Moreover, the canal also solidified a connection between the Dutch East Indies and the Netherlands, and France additionally gained more power over their properties in Asia. 


Britain Did Not Officially Share The Canal Until 1904


In 1888, an international convention declared that the canal was neutral, and Britain would only interfere if there was an attack on the structure. Despite the convention's establishments, Britain did not recognize the canal as international property until much later in history. 


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


Illustrated above are British and French ironclads at Port Said, which was a common sight for the entirety of the canal's history. As far as Britain's influence, the world power did not fully agree with the convention's terms until 1904, to which they then were okay with all ships freely using the canal. 


It Took 10 Years To Construct 


The canal was an enormous project, and it took exactly 10 years to build the waterway and illustrated below are worker camps that were unreliably put up on the sides of the canal during construction. 


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


Throughout these 10 years, thousands of people had died of painful deaths and billions of dollars were spent to build the canal structure and route water into a desert. 


It Was Called The "Egyptian Dream" 


The Suez Canal was an Egyptian dream because it was extremely difficult to achieve sufficient construction, not to mention that the isthmus is a sacred piece of land that the native peoples of Egypt have treasured for thousands of years. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Three Lions/Three Lions/Getty Images]


The economic growth that the canal could provide was also what made the idea dream-like, for countless towns, ports, and ships could be built to improve the continent's conditions as far as human welfare. 


Egypt Relies On The Canal For Income


Money was one of the main reasons why people wanted to construct the canal and why Egyptian authorities had tried to do so for centuries. A few years after the Suez Canal's completion (and the debt was paid off), it was finally proven that the canal could make immense profits. 


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


For many decades and even currently, Egypt makes most of its profits off of tourism, and since 1975, the canal has been the second-largest moneymaker for the country. 


It Was Seen As An Easy Route For Oil 


With the construction of the canal, hundreds of businesses would have a better opportunity to become worldwide and make mega-profits, and one of these industries included oil.


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Photo Courtesy: [Dana Smillie/Bloomberg/Getty Images]


Pictured above is an oil tanker ship on the Suez Canal, and even though Britain tried to stop the construction of the Suez Canal, Europe was dependent on the canal as a cheap route for oil (from the Middle East). 


The Canal Was 120 Miles Long


It took 10 years to build this canal because of the logistic, political, and social conflicts that arose from the start. Despite all these obstacles, the canal was able to be completed and in November of 1896, it was revealed to be 120 miles long. 


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


Engineers and laborers were able to overcome the difficulties that coincided with this project, with one of the main troubles being how to calculate the needed length of the canal so that it could serve its purpose of being an efficient trading route. 


It Originally Took 20 Hours To Travel Through 


The canal was 120 miles long, so it is to no surprise that it took 20 hours to cruise through the structure in 1869 and many decades beyond that; only recently with construction projects has the time decreased from 20 hours to anywhere between 11 and 16 hours. 


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


20 hours was a sacrifice anyone at that time was willing to make to travel such a revolutionary route, and it is a miracle that engineers and scientists were able to minimize that time down by a few hours in recent years, seeing that it's still an expansive passageway to travel through. 


In Its First Full Year, Only 500 Ships Travelled Through The Canal 


Everyone was ecstatic about the completion of the canal, yet for several reasons, only 500 ships traveled through the canal in the first full year; political tensions were the primary reason. 


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


Navigators were also anxious to travel through the new structure because of the extreme winds that occasionally passed through the area, which were known to easily wipe ships out. 


The Canal Didn't Make Any Profit Until 1875


Due to the extensive costs, it took many years before the Suez Canal Company and the shareholders started to make real profits from the project. It wasn't until 1875 that the canal started to generate enough profits to pay off that $9 billion bill.


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


When the canal started making profits in 1875, there were still a lot of dominating world powers in Egypt (like Britain and France), so all of the profits did not go directly to Egypt, as they probably should have. 


The Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936 Involved The Suez Canal 


Pictured below is the British Foreign Secretary (Anthony Eden) signing the Ango-Egyptian Treaty (in front of a government room full of officials), which heavily involved the affairs of the Suez Canal. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Corbis/Corbis/Getty Images]


This treaty stated that Britain had power over the canal, which would highly benefit them later in World War II when Italy and Germany tried to take control of it. The canal was intended to be a neutral area, yet Axis boats were not allowed into the waterway for the entirety of the war; after the Second World War (in 1951), Egypt decided to withdraw from this treaty. 


The Canal Was At The Root Of The Suez Crisis 


The Suez Crisis went by countless names, but it was primarily also known as the Second Arab-Israeli War. In simple terms, this war started when the president of Egypt nationally declared that the Suez Canal only belonged to Egypt. 


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Photo Courtesy: [United States Army Heritage and Education Center/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain]


Israel, the UK, and France invaded Egypt in the late 1950s because of the president's declaration, and overall, it caused an international crisis in 1956. Furthermore, Britain and France were terrified that the president would not allow them into the canal anymore (which would cut off 'essential' petroleum supplies). 


Gamal Abdel Nasser Played An Important Role In Deciding The Fate Of The Canal 


President Nasser changed the history of the canal when he made an international statement declaring that Egypt was the sole owner of the canal and that it was no longer to be controlled by other countries. The president (pictured below) became a hero to Egyptians and people around the world when he made this revolutionary declaration.


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Photo Courtesy: [PhotoQuest/Archive Photos/Getty Images]


After this speech, President Nasser became an essential icon to the Arab and Egyptian nationalist movements as people fought to be heard and have equal rights within their own country. 


The Soviet Union Supported Egypt 


Throughout the entire Suez Crisis, the Soviet Union supported Egypt and even threatened nuclear warfare on France, Israel, and Britain if they didn't start minding their own business. Likewise, the Soviet Union sent armed forces to Egypt in 1955 to support them, and pictured below is Nikita Khrushchev (Soviet leader) with Gamal Abdel Nasser.


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Photo Courtesy: [Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group/Getty Images]


The Soviet Union sent money and armed forces to Egypt on numerous occasions, and the USSR oftentimes wanted to retaliate against any country that didn't support Egypt as a country. 


The Suez Crisis Caused The Resignation Of The Prime Minister Eden Of Britain 


The Suez Crisis (which was centered around the Suez Canal) was displayed as an international emergency, which was quite stressful on political authorities, and it even caused the resignation of the prime minister at the time. 


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Photo Courtesy: [AFP/AFP/Getty Images]


The prime minister resigned two months after the official ending of the crisis because he was chronically sick, and there was also confusion about his involvement with the Suez Crisis.


The President Used Code Words 


Egypt felt that it was essential to gain back complete ownership of the canal because the country had already suffered extensively from various world powers interfering with their affairs. An intense sense of nationalism developed in Egypt, as they sought to get back what they had lost.


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Photo Courtesy: [Bettmann/Bettmann/Getty Images]


The President decided to make his speech to nationalize the canal because he knew that Egypt would never gain control until British civil servants and troops were out of the country. In 1952, Egyptian forces started to take control, and the evacuation of the canal was completed by 1956. 

President Nasser made his speech on July 26th, 1956, where he declared that the Suez Canal Company was now nationalized, and he talked about the history of the canal; in his speech, he talked about Lesseps and mentioned his name 13 times, which was a code for Egyptian forces to proceed with the seizure of the canal. 


The Six-Day War of 1967 Involved The Suez Canal 


Pictured below are military operations in 1967, which were involved with the Six-Day War, and in this war, Nasser even wanted all of the U.N. forces out of the country so that Egypt could regain control of their country. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Photo12/Universal Images Group/Getty Images]


Israel insisted on having a presence in the country, and they had troops in the region and tried to take control of the east side of the Suez Canal (to which Nasser created a blockade to keep them out). The most notable part of the war involving the canal was when 15 ships got stuck in the structure when Nasser put the blockade into place. 


There Was An $8 Billion Expansion Project


In 2015, the Suez Canal experienced a historic change when an $8 billion expansion project was put into place. From the initial construction, the canal was too narrow, yet technology was unable to provide an expansion until almost 150 years after the first structure was built.


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Photo Courtesy: [David Degner/Getty Images News/Getty Images]


The expansion only took a year to complete, and the innovative design was able to cater to larger ships and ships that wanted to travel at a faster speed; this project was considered a nationalist move. 


China Got Stuck


In more recent history, China had gotten a ship stuck in the Suez Canal (pictured below) in 2021 when some dreadful winds had shifted the ship. 


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Photo Courtesy: [De Agostini/De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images]


This ship was more than 1,300 feet long, and it blocked the entire canal, causing an international disruption in the shipping industry; this ship getting stuck resulted in a 100-ship-long traffic jam in the canal. 


In Modern Times, Over 50 Ships A Day Go Through The Canal


Today, more than 50 ships pass through the Suez Canal every day, which may or may not have surprised the ancient Pharaohs of Egypt, seeing that the idea for the canal had been pursued for such a long time. 


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Photo Courtesy: [BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images]


Now that Egypt has maintained control over the canal, there is nothing but economic growth ahead for the country seeing that they are one of few places in the world that have the treasure of an isthmus. 
Paul
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