Gamal Abdel Nasser on the Nationalization of the Suez Canal

(1956)

Context

The nationalization of the Suez Canal was one move in a complex geopolitical chess match. The canal, which had opened in 1869, was originally financed by the governments of France and Egypt. It was placed under the control of an enterprise chartered by the Egyptians called the Universal Company of the Suez Maritime Canal. In 1875 the Egyptian viceroy, Isma'il Pasha, was forced to sell his shares in the company because of a financial crisis. The British government bought the shares, which gave it a 44 percent interest in the canal company. British influence in the region...

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The Red Sea at the entrance to the Suez Canal (Library of Congress)

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