Egyptian Independence and the Suez Crisis

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  • Egyptian Independence and the Suez Crisis
    • Britain's Influence in Egypt
      • Britain invested heavily in Egypt in the 19th century.
      • In 1875, Britain brought a large number of shares in the Suez Canal, which Egypt was selling to raise money to pay off debts.
      • Britain used the canal to transport oil and other goods from India so access was vital for them.
      • Britain wanted to increase its control over Egyptian affairs to protect its investments.
      • Britain used military force to invade Egypt in 1882. Britain could continue to rule the country until 1922.
      • Britain agreed to Egyptian Independence in 1922 but still had a strong presence into the 1950s.
      • Following WWII there was a demand for Britain to leave Egypt.
      • The 1954 Egyptian government said they would end British influence in Egypt.
    • The Suez Crisis
      • In 1956 Egyptian president, Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal. This was against the interest of Britain and France who relied on it for shipping.
      • British PM Anthony Eden took part in negotiations to save the Suez Canal but not agreement could be reached.
      • Britain, France and Israel held secret talks planning a military invasion of Egypt to regain control of the canal.
      • In October 1956, Israel invaded Egypt.
      • Britain and France invaded shortly after. their actions were condemned by the US, USSR and the United Nations.
      • The US put pressure on Britain and France to withdraw from Egypt, which they did.
    • Britain's Reputation
      • Britain had been embarrassed on a global scale following the Suez Crisis.
      • The conflict made them unpopular as it appeared 'old-fashioned' and desperate trying to cling on to its colonial territories.
      • The conflict encouraged other countries in Africa to seek independence from Britain.
      • Britain and the US's relationship became strained. Britain had been forced to back down by the US which showed they had less power.


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