Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/148085
Title: SUEZ CRISIS OR LEADERSHIP CRISIS? : BRITAIN AND THE ROAD TO SUEZ 1951-56
Authors: PRITAM SINGH KHAIRA
Issue Date: 2000
Citation: PRITAM SINGH KHAIRA (2000). SUEZ CRISIS OR LEADERSHIP CRISIS? : BRITAIN AND THE ROAD TO SUEZ 1951-56. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The Suez Crisis of 1956 was the psychological blow delivered to the British leadership that finally ended any speculation of Britain's status as a world power. The Conservative incumbents at Downing Street from 1951-56 were trapped in time warp that was adjusted during Britain's colonial heyday. Pax Britannica was an obsolete intellectual blueprint, and Britain, constrained in its ability to project power, was facing a diminution of its position within the international realm, given the new power equilibriums established at the end of World War Two. Festooned with eighteenth century notions of prestige and imperial grandeur, the Churchill and Eden governments were reluctant to depart from the Suez Canal zone, the headquarters of a credible British presence in the Middle East. The central argument of this Academic Exercise is two pronged. First, the lack of direction and initiative, coupled with an unrealistic assessment of Britain's ability to project power by the Conservative prime ministers from 1951-56, was arguably the most significant factor in accounting for the British 'defeat' at Suez. Second, in tandem with the lack of direction, initiative and realism, the writer believes that Anthony Eden, being a product of the Conservative system, provided dubious leadership, representative of the Conservative years of 1951-56 providing a solution to the Suez crisis. Simply put, British leadership was found wanting in the period 1951-56. Employing a chronological reference to the run-in to the Suez crisis as its framework, this thesis will show that the inept leadership offered by Churchill and Eden in regard to the Middle East during their respective periods in office, directly led to the embarrassing position Britain found itself in by the end of 1956, and hastened its relegation from a first-class power to a third class power.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/148085
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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