The Suez Canal

The Suez canal is a canal in the north connecting Port Said, and Suez, allowing travel and water passage between Europe and Asia. This avoids having to go all the way around Africa, thereby saving months of travel and expenses. Its around 120 miles long, yet at its deepest it is only 60 feet. The operation is under the control entirely of the Egyptian canal authority. The passing through here has proven useful and beneficial, connecting the Mediterranean sea to the Red sea and its northern connection at Suez.

The canal existed in one form or another for many millennia prior to its modern construction. It was historically known, at about 1300 BC, a west to east canal was built to connect the Nile, with the eastern Sea. It was built by Ramses the Second, or the Pharaoh directly post or prior to him, history is unsure at that point. The 1800s had some construction started by the French, but was quashed as Bedouin forces were sent to cause chaos with the work forces, all at the Behest of the British government, whom at the time were at the top of the Naval power chain in the world. It was remarked that the play was easily seen as a power grab, since they hadn’t cared about the forced labor on their own rail system in Egypt a few years prior. Work temporarily halted as shares in the companies involved dropped.

The french maintained a prime hold on the stock of the canal when it opened in 1869. after more than double had been paid for its construction. But, it was worth it to all the countries that used it, for it made the crossing of the world much quicker and direct. The British were also now able to go deeper into Africa and expand their empire further than it had previously been able to. Hence, the British had a constant post of support personnel and military at the site was listed as being Protected and run by Britain after the Constantinople convention in 1888.

There existed many periods of distress in the area and fights over who really owned it through what treaty. 1956 saw the return of the canal operation to Egyptian authority, and today the canal still operates with as much importance as it did form its foundation in ancient times.

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