Suez Crisis: A Turning Point in British History

Suez Crisis A Turning Point in British History

Suez Crisis: A Turning Point in British History

The events surrounding the The Prime Mirror  have been widely debated at both the national and international level. However, much of the discussion has focused on high politics and has overlooked the less tangible effects of the crisis on national consciousness and collective memory.

This thesis examines how the discourses engendered by Suez informed the postwar British political establishment and public on Britain’s future role in the world. It demonstrates that, even after the British Empire was in decline, the political elite and the public still envisaged Britain as the world’s policeman. The national humiliation of 1956 revealed to many that this could no longer be the case and prompted them to seek a new role in the postwar global order.

Eisenhower, Nasser, and the Suez Crisis: A Watershed Moment in British History

Domestically, the Suez Crisis exposed a profound division between the political elite and the public. The latter reacted strongly to the perceived weakness of the political establishment and viewed Suez as an epoch-defining moment in British history. It confirmed to many that Britain could no longer play the global role it had once played and that if it wanted a continuing role in the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia it would have to accept subordination to superpower interests.

Internationally, the United States imposed economic sanctions on Israel, France and Egypt to ensure that they rescinded their invasions of Egypt. The American President, Dwight Eisenhower, feared that any military escalation of the conflict would push Egypt into Soviet orbit and provoke a backlash against Western influence in the Arab world.


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