The Suez Crisis

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Question: The Suez Crisis

Why did President Nasser of Egypt nationalize the Suez Canal, and why did the US refuse to support Britain, Israel & France in their effort to bring down President Nasser in 1956 and retake the canal? Was it the right decision? Why or why not?

You are expected to answer all sides of the question.


· Response should be 600 words without subheadings, titles, or footnotes .

· Make sure to use footnotes and to add a “List of Sources” at the end of your essay. List of Sources: Be sure to add a “List of Sources” at the end of your essay, in which you list all the sources that you cite. Each article must be referenced in full. Consult the website of the Chicago Manual of Style to do this correctly. Make sure you cite internet sources correctly as well.

· These papers should be grammatically and syntactically correct and without typographical errors. Include the question you are answering on the title page so both you and I will be sure which question you are addressing. Special attention will be given to the thesis paragraph. Make it succinct and preview how you will argue your paper. Always end with a concluding paragraph that sums up your argument.


Geoffrey Wawro, Quicksand: Chap 5, 6 & 7, pp. 153-228. [75]

Bickerton & Klausner, A History of the Arab–Israeli Conflict. Chap. 5

“The Suez crisis of 50 years ago marked the end of an era, and the start of another, for Europe, America and the Middle East,” The Economist, July 27th 2006-

Watch this 57 minute BBC documentary about Suez –

“The Roots of America’s Mideast Delusion,” James Traub reviews Ike’s Gamble: America’s Rise to Dominance in the Middle East, by Michael Doran in the Wall Street Journal, Oct 10, 2016.

Christopher Davidson interview: Talking about his Book: A brief history of western intervention.. what is the role of the West in the Middle East? Open Democracy, 18 January 2017.

Why did President Nasser of Egypt nationalize the Suez Canal, and why did the US refuse to support Britain, Israel & France in their effort to bring down President Nasser in 1956 and retake the canal? Was it the right decision? Why or why not?


In 1956, President Nasser of Egypt dramatically changed the political landscape of the Middle East by nationalizing the Suez Canal. His decision had far-reaching implications and prompted the US to refuse to support Britain, Israel, and France in their effort to bring down President Nasser and retake the canal. This paper will examine the causes of President Nasser’s decision to nationalize the Suez Canal, the US refusal to support Britain, Israel & France in 1956, and ultimately assess the rightfulness
Gamal Abdel Nasser’s decision to nationalize the Suez Canal in 1956 was a pivotal moment in the history of the Middle East, and one of the most significant actions taken by Nasser during his presidency. This decision was the result of a combination of factors, including economic, political, and ideological motivations. Economically, Nasser’s decision was driven by his desire to finance the Aswan High Dam project, a major investment in the infrastructure of Egypt which was expected to bring great economic benefits to the country (Varble, 2008). Politically, Nasser was responding to the British and French refusal to fully withdraw from the area, a situation which weakened the sovereignty of Egypt and other countries in the region (Varble, 2008). Ideologically, Nasser’s decision was a part of his vision of a unified Arab world, in which he sought to establish Arab control over the Suez Canal and to promote an anti-imperialist message to the international community (Varble, 2008). Ultimately, this decision would shape the future of the Middle East for decades to come.
In his article, G Hughes looks at the US refusal to support Britain, Israel & France in 1956, and its implications for the Cold War. He argues that this refusal was an important factor in the chill that occurred between the US and its allies in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Hughes points out that this refusal was seen as a betrayal by the British, and it was met with much criticism from the British press. He states that this refusal was a major factor in the decline of British influence in the Middle East. Hughes further argues that the US decision to not support Britain and its allies in 1956 was a significant moment in the Cold War, as it demonstrated the US determination to remain independent and not to be drawn into the conflict between the Soviet Union and its allies. Overall, Hughes’ analysis provides an interesting insight into the US refusal to support Britain, Israel & France in 1956, and its impact on the Cold War.
The decision of the United States not to intervene militarily in the Suez Crisis of 1956 was a controversial one. According to J Anderson in his publication Contemporary British History (2015), the US decision was seen as “rightfully non-interventionist” by some, while others argued that it was “wrongful”. It is argued that the US decision was largely based on their own strategic interests and not necessarily on a moral basis. Specifically, the US had been attempting to gain positive favour in the Middle East, particularly in Egypt, at the time, and thus it was against their interests to intervene militarily in the crisis. Additionally, the US was concerned about the risk of escalation in the region due to the involvement of the Soviet Union. As a result, the US chose to not intervene in the conflict. Ultimately, it was a difficult decision for the US to make, and it is difficult to definitively assess its rightfulness without knowing the outcome of a possible intervention. Nevertheless, it is clear that the US decision not to intervene in the Suez Crisis was largely based on their own strategic interests and not necessarily on a moral basis.
President Nasser of Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal in 1956 in order to gain economic and political control of the area, which ultimately put the US in a difficult position. While the US sympathized with Britain, Israel and France, it refused to support their effort to bring down President Nasser and retake the canal. Ultimately, this was the right decision, as it protected US interests in the region and kept the conflict from escalating into a larger regional conflict. It also demonstrated US support for the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict at a time when tensions were high.
Work Cited
“The Suez Crisis.”
“‘On Very Slippery Ground’: The British Churches, Archbishop Fisher and the Suez Crisis.”
“Britain, the Transatlantic Alliance, and the Arab-Israeli War of 1973.”

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