Suez crisis

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Classe(s) : Tle ES - Tle L - Tle S | Thème(s) : The Middle East : a conflictual area
Corpus Corpus 2
Suez crisis



Documents Analysis


1 A cartoon from Vicky [Victor Weisz],
Daily Mirror, October 31st, 1956

2 Eisenhower on the Middle East (1957)

[…] The reason for Russia’s interest in the Middle East is solely* that of power politics. […] It is easy to understand her hope of dominating the Middle East. […] The Middle East provides a gateway between Eurasia and Africa. It contains about two thirds of the presently known oil deposits of the world! […]

The action which I propose would have the following features.

It would, first of all, authorize the United States to cooperate with and assist any nation or group of nations in the general area of the Middle East in the development of economic strength dedicated to the maintenance of national independence.

[…] It would […] authorize such assistance and cooperation to include the employment of the armed forces of the United States to secure and protect the territorial integrity and political independence of such nations, requesting such aid, against overt* armed aggression from any nation controlled by International Communism. […]

Source: A special message from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Congress on the situation in the Middle East, January 5th, 1957



 1st document: a cartoon published in an English newspaper. [Historical background] Two days after the Israeli invasion in Egypt, a plot between France, Israel and Britain.

 2nd document: a speech from President Eisenhower to Congress. [Historical background] Suez crisis and growing Russian interest in the Middle East.


 The camel is crumbling under the bags symbolizing the weight of each issue:

– the Arab-Israeli wars: “Arab border raids”, “Israel’s reprisals”, “Arab threats to destroy Israel”;

– the effects of the Cold War: “Arms from East / West”;

– “Baghdad Pact”: a defensive organization founded in 1955 by Turkey, Iraq, Great Britain, Pakistan and Iran.

 The second document emphasizes the American answer:

– importance of the Middle East: “a gateway between Eurasia and Africa”, the most important “oil deposits of the world”;

– the Eisenhower Doctrine: an aid would be given to any Middle Eastern country threatened by any communist assailant.


This set of documents presents the Suez Crisis and its two main consequences:

– the decline of British power in the region;

– the Eisenhower Doctrine and the increase of the US influence as a response to the Soviet Union’s pressure.

  • the last straw
    = la dernière goutte
  • solely = seulement
  • overt = évident