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Suez canal: what the 'ditch' meant to the British empire in the 19th century

By Jonathan Parry, Professor of Modern British History Director of Studies in History and Politics, Pembroke College, University of Cambridge
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The week-long blockage of the Suez canal by the Ever Given container ship has reminded us that the canal, though immensely important to the world’s commerce, is also very vulnerable.

Since its completion in 1869, it has symbolised global interconnectedness. But it has also demonstrated how fears, rivalries and bottlenecks…


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