naof suez canal french maker

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    The 1956 Suez Canal Crisis!!

    The 1956 Suez Canal Crisis during the Eisenhower Presidency was one of the most momentous events of the 20th century. Its immediateeffect was the creation of the European Economic Community in 1957, and the poisoning of Pope Pius XII in 1958.

    Unfortunately, the Suez crisis is overshadowed by the Cuban missile crisis; but the only similarity between the two events was the fact that both events could have triggered World War III.

    The Suez Canal opened in 1869 and was the work of a brilliant French civil engineer named Ferdinand de Lesseps, with financing provided by the French government. A treaty signed in 1888 guaranteed that the canal would be open to the maritime traffic of all nations:

    The principal international instrument governing the Suez Canal, an instrument much cited' during the crisis of 1956, was the Convention of Constantinople of 1888 between Turkey (the nominal sovereign of the Canal) and the European Powers of the day. It substantially confirmed a compromise worked out by France and Britain–French principles and British exceptions. It started off with a fine flourish: 'The Suez Maritime Canal shall always be free and open in time of war as in time of peace to every vessel of commerce or of war, without distinction of flag.' In time of war the Canal was to be not so much 'neutralised' –de Lesseps's favourite expression does not in fact appear in the Convention – as made into a safe corridor for any and all belligerents. The signatories were not to keep any war vessels stationed in the Canal or raise any defence structures along its banks, but they were each entitled, if they so wished, to maintain two warships in or off the two ports of access, Port Said and Suez. (Kyle, Suez, pp. 15-16).

    The Convention was signed by the United Kingdom, Germany, Austro-Hungary, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, the Russian Empire, and the Ottoman Empire. During the Russo-Japanese War, the British blocked Russian access to the canal. As a result, the Russian fleet had to make an 18,000 mile voyage to relieve Port Arthur.

    The British acquired a majority of the stock in the Canal Company and the vast revenue from this goldmine enriched its private stockholders. In June 1954, Muhammad Naguib threw off the yoke of British imperialism and exploitation by declaring Egypt a Republic.

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