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April 18, 2014

Homework Help: Geography

Posted by y912f on Friday, April 16, 2010 at 1:35pm.

53. How has the Suez Canal been a catalyst for nationalism in Egypt.

For more than a thousand years Egypt was ruled as part of various Muslim empires, the last of which was the Ottoman Turks. However, by the late 1700s, the Ottoman Turks’ power was in decline, and European nations began to intervene in Egyptian affairs. The Suez Canal opened in 1869 and made Egypt a vital link between Britain and its eastern colonies in Asia. Though when Egypt’s ruler faced heavy debts, Great Britain purchased Egypt’s share of ownership in the Suez Canal. Near the 1879 Egyptian nationalists, people who want to form an independent nation to protect their common culture and interests, revolted and wanted to regain control of the canal. As a response, Britain invaded Egypt and defeated the new government in 1882. After WWI, the Egyptian nationalists again pushed for independence. Britain agreed to this but in effect continued to control Egypt, leaving the Egyptian rulers with little power. In 1952, a group of nationalist army officers overthrew the government of Egypt and Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser emerged as the new ruler. Just a few years later, Nasser seized control of the Suez Canal, creating an international crisis. Britain joined with Israel and France in an attempt to invade Egypt and retake the waterway. However Nasser held the canal, and the British left Egypt in 1957. Under his rule, industry was developed, and Egypt’s dependence on cotton was reduced.

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