ISC History 2013 Class-12 Previous Year Question Papers Solved

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ISC History 2013 Class-12 Previous Year Question Papers Solved for practice. Step by step Solutions with Questions of Part-1 and 2 (Section-A and B). By the practice of History 2013 Class-12 Solved Previous Year Question Paper you can get the idea of solving.

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ISC History 2013 Class-12 Previous Year Question Papers Solved


-: Select Your Topics :-

 Part-I

Sections-A of Part-II

Section-B of Part-II


Maximum Marks: 80
Time allowed: Three hours

  • Candidates are allowed additional 15 minutes for only reading the paper. They must NOT start writing during this time.
  • Answer Question 1 (Compulsory) from Part I and five questions from Part II, choosing two questions from Section A, two
  • questions from Section B and one question from either Section A or Section B.
  • The intended marks for questions or parts of questions are given in brackets [ ].

Part-I (20 Marks)
Answer all questions

ISC History 2013 Class-12 Previous Year Question Papers Solved

Question 1. [20]
(i) Who laid the foundation of the Federation Hall in Bengal in 1905 ? What was its objective ?
(ii) Who was elected as the President of the Indian National Congress in Surat in 1907?
(iii) Give any one example of Sir Sayyid Ahmad’s efforts to spread Western sciences and culture among the Indian Muslims.
(iv) Why were the Indian Muslims critical of the British after the First World War?
(v) What was the most significant provision of the Nehru Report ?
(vi) What was the significance of the Khilafat Movement ?
(vii) Where did Gandhiji ’s first experiment with Satyagraha (1917) take place?
(viii) Why did the British authorities arrest the Congress leaders on 9th August, 1942?
(ix) What was the objective of setting up the All Indian States People’s Conference?
(x) Give any one reason for India’s decision to follow the policy of Non-Align-ment.
(xi) Which event led to hyper inflation in Germany in 1923 ?
(xii) What is the significance of the Night of the Long Knives incident ?
(xiii) Why did the property owners in Italy support the Fascists ?
(xiv) How did Hitler use the Reichstag Fire incident to strengthen his position?
(xv) Give one example of Anglo-French appeasement of Hitler.
(xvi) Why was the battle of Britain regarded as the first major turning point of the Second World War ?
(xvii) Which event during the Cold War marked the completion of the Iron Curtain in Europe in 1948 ?
(xviii) In what way was the establishment of NATO a reversal of America’s foreign policy ?
(xix) Why did the General Assembly adopt the ‘Uniting for Peace Resolution’ ?
(xx) What was the immediate reaction of the Arab States to the creation of the new State of Israel in 1948 ?
Answer 1:
(viii) To prevent the ‘Quit India Movement’ the British authorities arrested Gandhiji and all Congress leaders on 9 August, 1942.

(ix) The objective of setting up the All India States People’s Conference was to coordinate political activities in different states.

(x) One reason for India’s decision to follow the policy of Non-Alignment was the Desire for Nationalism.

(xv) By treaty of Versailles, Rhineland had been declared demilitarized zone, ignoring this clause of the treaty, Germany occupied Rhineland. At this point England and France would have taught Hitler a lesson. Instead they gave Hitler a chance to increase his power at home.

(xvi) The Battle of Britain was a turning point in World War II as it gave Germany the superiority over Britain and would have opened the door for the German invasion.

(xvii) Czechoslovakia was the only remaining democratic country in Eastern Europe. It was hoped that it would form a bridge between the East and the West but the communist coup ended hope. The Iron Curtain was complete.

(xviii) NATO was a reversal of America’s foreign policy because of America’s historic policy of shunning, entangling European alliances and attempting to steer clear of old World conflicts.

(xix) The General Assembly adopted the ‘Uniting for Peace Resolution’ because Security Council failed to exercise its primary responsibility for the mainte-nance of international Peace and Security.

(xx) The immediate reaction of the Arab states to
the creation of the new state of Israel in 1948 was that the Arab-Israeli war of 1948 broke out when five Arab nations invaded territory in the former Palestinian mandate immediately following the announcement of the independence of the state of Israel on May 14,1948.


Part—II (60 Marks)

ISC History 2013 Class-12 Previous Year Question Papers Solved

Answer five questions in all, choosing two questions from Section A, two questions from Section B and one question from either Section A or Section B.

Section—A

Question 2.
Various factors were responsible for the rise of radical nationalism in India in the early years of the 20th century. In this context, explain the following :
(a) The contributions of Tilak in popularizing radical nationalistic ideas. [6]
(b) The impact of Curzon ’s policies on the rapid growth of Radical Nationalism. [4]
(c) The growth of revolutionary dispositions (1904-1907). [6]

Question 3.
(a) Discuss the events leading to the establishment of the Muslim League with reference to the following: [10]
(i) The Hindi-Urdu controversy.
(ii) The demands of the Shimla deputation.
(b) State three important objectives of the Muslim League when it was formed. What was the British government’s attitude towards the League ? [6]

Question 4.
(a) Why was the Simon Commission sent to India in 1927 ? How did the Indians react to it ? [4]
(b) Give an account of the significance, events and developments of the Civil Disobedience Movement from the Dandi March in 1930 to the signing of the Gandhi-Irwin Pact in 1931. [8]
(c) Highlight the main features of the Gandhi Irwin Pact that led to the suspension of the Civil Disobedience Movement. [4]

Question 5.
(a) Several changes in circumstances after the end of the war in 1945, led to a change in the attitude of the British Government towards India. Explain. [6]
(b) State the main provisions of the Cabinet Mission Plan. [6]
(c) How did the League react to the proposals of the Cabinet Mission Plan. [4]
Answer 5:
(a) Although Germany and Japan were defeated in the Second World War, the towering imperial power of Great Britain had also weakened. The Soviet Union and the USA emerged as the two great powers in the World. There was a common anti-imperialist feeling all over the Asian colonies, including India. The Congress, though banned by the Government in 1942, had gained more popularity. Quit India was the main agenda of its campaigns. The threat of the movement was always hovering over the Government. People were in a mood to do or die. There were regular strikes protesting against unemployment, price-hike and food shortage. It looked as if the country was going to face another famine. Nehru declared “If people die of hunger, their deaths will be revenged.”

The new struggle took the form of a massive movement against the trial of the INA soldiers, all over India. These soldiers were considered as war heroes. Hindus and Muslims united in protest against the seven years rigorous punishment passed on Abdul Rashid. Hundreds of people died while protesting against the trial. Finally, the Government had to quash the decision and remit the three INA officers.

The explosive situation, which had developed in India after the war, continued till 1946. Hundreds of non-industrial workers, bank employees, post and telegraph workers participated in the agitation. Railway men also threatened to go on a strike.

On February 18, 1946, the ratings of the Royal Indian Navy in Mumbai openly revolted against the miserable service conditions, poor meals, racial discrimination and arrogance of their British officers. Within 48 hours, the strike spread to naval bases all over the country. The Congress and League flags were hoisted on the ships. The mutineers, led by the naval strike committee, renamed the Royal Indian Navy as the Indian National Navy.

The Government threatened them with serious consequences. When they returned to their respective ships and barracks on February 20, they found themselves cordoned off b y armed guards. A pitched-battle broke out between the British army, police and the RIN strikers. The cause of the ratings evoked tremendous support from the people.

On February 22, the Mumbai working class, already agitated over ration cuts, called for a general strike. All textile mills, railway workshops and city transport closed down. Hindu and Muslims, students and workers also supported the naval mutiny. Violent street fighting and serious clashes took place on February 22 and 23. Karachi remained disturbed throughout the month of February. About 300 people were killed and 1500 injured in Mumbai on 22nd and 23rd February.

However, the strike was called off on 23rd when Sardar Patel and Jinnah urged the mutineers to lay down their arms. While surrendering they declared, “We surrender to India and not to Britain.” The INA episode and the Naval Mutiny had bridged the gap between the people and armed forces and both found themselves on the common platform fighting for the cause of freedom.

Though the Quit India Movement and the strikes were called off, they clearly revealed the strong determination of the Indian people to do away with the British rule. The British had never faced such an opposition before. They realised that it was no longer possible to hold India by force. In a letter to Churchill, Lord Wavell had pointed out, “It would be impossible to hold India by force after the war… it would in fact be wise to start negotiation before the end of the war.”

The people in England were also fed up of the struggle. They wanted the Government to concentrate on internal reconstruction and problems created by the war. As a result, Winston Churchill who was determined to hold on to the British Colonies, was voted out of power and Labour party leader, Clement Attlee was elected as Prime Minister in 1945. It had become clear that the British would have to leave India sooner or later.

Conclusion : Finally, the Quit India Movement and the stiff opposition to British rule by the people of India had created a strong public opinion in foreign countries in favour of India. America and China were specially influenced by the tide of this revolution. The American President, Roosevelt, wrote to the Chinese Prime Minister that the best policy for the English would be to grant independence to the people of India as soon as possible.

(b) The Cabinet Mission Plan : In the absence of any agreed solution, the Cabinet Mission announced its own recommendations on 16 May, 1946.
These recommendation are known as the Cabinet Mission Plan which included :
A Union of India, embracing both British India and the Princely States, would deal with three subjects namely, defence, foreign affairs and communication and would have the powers necessary to raise the finance required for the above subjects.

All subjects other than the union subjects and all residuary powers would rest with the provinces of British India.

The Princely States would also retain all subjects other than those ceded to the Union.

Provinces would be free to form groups and each group would be free to decide the provincial subjects to be held in common. The three groups proposed were :

  • Madras, Bombay, United Provinces, Bihar, Central Province and Orissa.
  • Punjab, North-West Frontier Province and Sindh.
  • Bengal and Assam.

A province could opt out of the group if the majority of the members of its legislature so decided.

The new constitution was also to contain a provision that any province might call for the amendment or reconsideration of the Constitution after the initial period of ten years and a ten year interval thereafter.

It provided for Constituent Assembly to draw up the future constitution of the country. The Constituent Assembly was to consist of 389 members, 292 from British India and 93 from Princely States and 4 members represented the Chief Commissioners’ Provinces.

To carry on the country’s administration while the Constitution making was proceeding, an interim Government having the support of the major political parties would be set up.

(c) Both the Congress and the Muslim League . were quite ambivalent in their reaction to the Cabinet Mission proposals. While certain ambiguities remained unsolved, the Mission left for Britain on 29 June, 1946 in exasperation without satisfying either the Congress or the Muslim League. However, later both the Congress and the Muslim league accepted the proposals of the Cabinet Mission Plan. Subsequently, the Interim Government was formed and the elections to the Constituent Assembly were also held in September 1946.

Question 6.
(a) Discuss the origin of the Kashmir problem and the events that culminated in its accession to the Indian Union. [6]
(b) Give a brief account of the conflict between India and Pakistan that arose as a result of partition, with specific reference to the following: [10]
(i) Indus waters dispute.
(ii) Refugee problem.
Answer 6:
(a) The heavenly state Kashmir has always been a trouble spot for India since independence. It has consumed a lot of lives, time, money and resources of India and Pakistan. Number of Wars were fought between two countries on this issue. However, no solution of this problem could be found till date. The origin of this problem started with the partition of Indian sub-continent along religious lines which led to the formation of India, Pakistan and East Pakistan which later became Bangladesh.

The State of Jammu and Kashmir can be subdivided into three major regions:

  • Kashmir
  • Jammu
  • Ladakh.

However, majority of the people living in Jammu and Kashmir were Muslims and it was ruled by a Hindu ruler, Maharaja Hari Singh. After Independence, Maharaja Hari Singh was unable to decide which nation should Kashmir join or whether it should remain independent. The National Conference Party under the leadership of Sheikh Abdullah, however, started an agitation for popular Government. On the other hand, Pakistan dashed all hopes on Maharaja Hari Singh to remain independent and started military campaign in Kashmir. Gradually, Pakistani invaders reached Baramula and Srinagar. Maharaja Hari Singh was left with no other option.

He appealed for military assistance to Indian Government. Then, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indian Prime Minister accepted his appeal and thus, Instrument of Accession was signed and Kashmir was ceded to India. India sent its military force and thus, first war was fought between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. India referred this matter to UNO and the intervention of UNO brought the war to an end. Though Kashmir was integrated to India, a large portion is still under Pakistan administration. The ceasefire line which was agreed under UN supervision has been named as ‘Line of Control’. Around one third of the territory is under Pakistan administration and rest under India. However, Pakistan still considers Kashmir as its territory and thus, continues to fight proxy war.

(b) The relationship between India and Pakistan was never cordial since its formation after partition of Indian sub-continent. Both the countries suffered a lot and fought several wars from 1947 to 1965. However, Kashmir remained the main issue of dispute. Pandit Nehru and successive leaders tried to improve the relations between India and Pakistan, but all failed. Among all issued, Indus water dispute and Refugee problem were the two most important issues of disputes.

Indus waters dispute : Indus waters dispute started over sharing of the Indus river, water and some of its tributaries for irrigation purpose and became an important issue between India and Pakistan. After partition, India got only five million acre of land out of 28 million irrigated by Indus water and its tributaries like Ravi, the Beas and the Satluj. Pakistani canals were solely dependent on the eastern rivers flowing through East Punjab for their supplies. On the other hand, India wanted to utilise water of the eastern river for agriculture.

As a result, Indus water became an important issue of dispute. However, dispute was settled through the intervention of Eugene Black, the President of World Bank. Indus Water Treaty was signed on 19th September, 1960. Pandit Nehru went to Karachi and signed the treaty. However, Indian people were not happy because it was a one sided agreement and India got small share in comparison to Pakistan. Moreover, India was supposed to contribute ? 83.3 crores for the construction work to Pakistan. Pandit Nehru however, considered it as a remarkable agreement and thus wanted to settle problems with Pakistan.

Refugee problem : Indian sub-continent was divided on the religious line. Muslim majority became Pakistan and Hindu majority became India. While, India was established as a secular state, Pakistan decided to be an Islamic republic. The reports of maltreatment oyer the minorities on either side started causing bilateral problems among India and Pakistan. Pandit Nehru and Pakistan Prime Minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, held talks on April, 1950 to resolve the minorities problem and an agreement was reached.

This agreement gave constitutional guarantees for minorities and promised the retum/transfer of refugees and recovery of abducted women. It was also assured freedom of movements and protection during travel to the migrants. Due to this pact, refugee migration dropped to some extent. However, it was increased again with the influx of Hindus from East Pakistan in 1951. Throughout late fifties and early sixties refugees continued to cross over to India. It was becoming a serious problem for Indo-Pak relation. In 1971 there was a massacre and large number of people were killed. This lead to a war between India and Pakistan. Eventually, Pakistan conceded defeat and Bangladesh was formed.


Section—B

Answer any two questions.

ISC History 2013 Class-12 Previous Year Question Papers Solved

Question 7 .
By the end of 1932, the Weimar Republic seemed to be on the verge of collapse. Meanwhile, Hitler and the Nazis had been carrying out a propaganda campaign setting out Nazi solutions to the problems. In this context, answer the following :
(a) What were the economic problems facing the Weimar Republic. [8]
(b) What made the Nazis so popular ? [8]

Question 8.
(a) Describe the changes in Mussolini’s foreign policy towards Germany from 1934 to 1940. [10]
(b) How did Mussolini’s involvement in World War II eventually lead to his downfall? [6]
Answer 8:
(a) This apparent alienation in Europe drove Mussolini even further to Hitler. Mussolini referred to Italy and Germany being the most influential countries in Europe and that all the rest of Europe would revolve around this “axis”.

In September 1937, Mussolini visited . Germany. Hitler put on a major display of military power for Mussolini and by the end of the visit; Mussolini became convinced that Germany was the power he should ally with. He was sure that an alliance with Germany would lead to Italy becoming more powerful throughout Europe. As Germany had left the League of Nations in 1933, so Mussolini left the League in 1937 after the League had imposed economic sanctions on Italy for the invasion of Abyssinia.

In 1938, Germany occupied Austria in the Aeschylus (forbidden by Versailles). Hitler did . not forewarn Mussolini about what he was going to do and this upset Mussolini’s belief that he was an equal partner. However, there was nothing Mussolini could do about the Nazi occupation of Austria and it was clear from 1938 on that Mussolini was definitely the minor partner in the relationship.

Hitler’s invasion of Czechoslovakia in March 1939 angered Mussolini because it was clear that Germany was carving out its own empire and Italy was not.
In May 1939, the Germans and Italians cemented their friendship with the Pact of Steel. This pact committed both countries to support the other if one of them became involved in a war.

On September 1st, 1939, Nazi Germany invaded Poland. Hitler had informed Mussolini what his plans were and fully expected Italian help. Mussolini, for all his boasts, realized that the Italian Army was not up to fighting in September 1939. Therefore, the Italians did not join in the German attack despite the Pact of Steel.

(b) Mussolini was misled by the Germans into thinking that the war led by the allied forces would not start until the mid-1940s. He was taken by surprise, however, when Hitler unexpectedly started the war in 1939, just months after becoming allied with Italy. Since Mussolini’s military was ill prepared and worn down from previous battles that they had fought, he was forced to stay out of the war when it began. The next year, in 1940, however, he got his country’s troops involved in the war, but Italian forces were quickly defeated when they attempted to take over African and Greek regions.

In 1942, Mussolini tried to encourage Hitler to ally with Stalin to strengthen the Axis forces even further, but these attempts failed and the Italian dictator began losing power in his country. After Mussolini was ousted from power, Hitler employed him as a puppet dictator where he continued making war plans for Hitler and facilitated German military actions. In 1945, the Germans surrendered to the Italian forces and Mussolini was killed.

Question 9.
(a) What were Hitler’s motives for the invasion of Russia in 1941 ? Give a brief account of the invasion and Hitler’s failure to achieve his objective by the end of 1941. [6]
(b) Why did Japan attack Pearl Harbor in 1941 ? What was its significance ? [6]
(c) Mention any two important reasons for Japan’s defeat in the Second World War. [4]
Answer 9:
(a) There were a number of reasons for Hitler’s attack on Russia:
Hitler hated Russia for introduction of communist rule. He hated communism from the bottom of his heart.
Hitler apprehended that Russia might attack Germany while Germany would be pre-occupied in the war in the west.
Hitler thought that Japan would attack Russia in the Far East.
Above all, there was his strong hatred for communism and his desires for lebensraum or living space.

Course of the attack : This campaign of Germany was known as the operation Barbarossa which started on 22 June, 1941. Hitler made an elaborate arrangement for the invasion of Russia from three sides- Leningrad, Moscow and Ukraine. Within short time, German army advanced within the striking distance of Leningrad and Moscow, but was held up by Russian resistance. Germans reached Stalingrad and destroyed all bridges factories, etc.

Reasons for the failure : The German army officers severely underestimated their opponent. One of the important causes of the German failure was their faulty planning. The greatest mistake the Germans made was that they came as conqueror, not as a liberator against communist oppression.
(b) The only military force that Japan had to fear was the US pacific fleet based at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, so on December 7th, 1941, Japan ordered aerial attack on the Pearl Harbor.
It was significant because :
Japan destroyed important airfields of USA and 3700 people were killed. On December 8th, 1941, the USA joined the war halting the Japanese advance.

The Americans started their offensive against . Japan to liberate the islands in the south-west pacific by using Island hopping. By this policy the allied forces secured some islands which had strategic value like an airfield. By this policy of hopping some island to island, the distance to Japan was shortened, established forward land bases and cut off Japanese supply line. On August 6th and 9th USA dropped atom . bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan surrendered unconditionally and world war-II came to an end.
(c) The American forces destroyed a number of Japanese carriers and about 330 planes. Midway proved to be a crucial turning point in the battle for the pacific. The loss of ammunitions and strike planes weakened the Japanese.

By this policy of hopping some island to island, the distance to Japan was shortened, established forward land bases and cut off Japanese supply line.

Question 10.
(a) Discuss the reasons for the thaw in the Cold War in the 1950s. Give examples to show that the thaw was only partial. [6]
(b) What led to a permanent relaxation of tensions (detente) in the 1970s. [4]
(c) Why did many European world leaders develop the idea of greater cooperation and unity in Western Europe after World War II ? [6]
Answer 10:
(a) The thaw was related to the East-West relationship in early 1950s. The reasons of thaw in the Cold War of 1950s can be described in two points :

The death of Stalin : The death of Stalin was probably the starting point of the thaw. The new Russian leaders like Malenkov, Bulganin and Khrushchev wanted to improve relationship with USA. The probable cause was the manufacture of more nuclear weapons by both the countries in August 1953, Russia and America had developed hydrogen bombs and both sides were so nicely balanced that if there was international tension, nuclear war could not be avoided.
In his famous speech of February 1956 over the new policy of Russia, Nikita Khrushchev criticized Stalin and said that ‘peaceful co-existence’ with west was essential. There are two ways—either peaceful co-existence or the most destructive war in history.

There was no third way’. This never means that Khrushchev had given up his idea or dream of communist world. He wanted to achieve this by showing superior economic system of Russia to western powers. He was also hopeful of winning neutral states by Lavish economic aid.

McCarthy Discredited : Anti-communist feeling in America started decreasing when McCarthy was discredited in 1954. Actually, McCarthy had stirred up anti-communist feeling in America. When he began to accuse leading generals of having sympathy for the communists, the American senate condem-ned him. It clearly showed that America’s policy towards Russia had been changed. The Republican President, Eisenhower, announced that the American people wanted to be friendly with the Soviet people.
Thaw was only partial. This can be shown by the following examples :

  • The Warsaw Pact of 1955 between Russianand her satellite states shortly introduction of Germany into NATO.
  • Russia continued building of nuclear armaments.
  • Shooting down of American U-2 spy plane by Russia thousand of miles inside its territory and subsequently defending the act by American president caused more tension. Russia wanted the withdrawal of western powers, from Berlin, while America denied it. This also caused more tension.
  • The most provocating was the installation of Soviet missiles in Cuba less than hundred miles from American coast.

(b) The word ‘detente’ is used to mean a permanent relaxation of tensions between East and West. The major reasons of permanent relaxation of tension or detente were as follows:
Due to the build up of nuclear arsenals by both Russia and America, there was increasing fear of the catastrophe of nuclear war where no one will be the real winner. On the other hand, Russia wanted to reduce their defense budget so as to increase standard of living of their people along with the satellite states. Moreover, Russia never wanted to be isolated when the relationship of China and America was improving.

America began to realize that their way of coping with communism brought little success for them. They were clear on this fact that military power could achieve very little. So, some congressmen and senators started talks of ‘Isolationism’.

American intention in Vietnam made China more anxious. Moreover, they were not happy about their worsening relationship with USSR.

Nations of western Europe were worried as they would be in forefront of possible nuclear war. Policy known as ‘Ostpolitik’ was worked out by Willy Brandt, Chancellor of the West Germany so as to improve relations with countries of Eastern Europe.

(c) After World War II, European leaders brought together Russia, England and America. They formed Allied force with other countries and eventually Axis force was defeated. However, the war time unity among the Allied powers was lost. They failed to come to an agreement about the terms and conditions to be imposed on Germany. Russia wanted to have a Government in Germany where communists would take lead. But America and England favored otherwise. In such a difference of opinions, Russia and western powers took different steps and this resulted in creation of two German states, namely Federal Republic of Western Germany and German Democratic Republic in the East.

The gradual deterioration in the relationship between Russian and western powers brought European leaders together and developed the idea of greater cooperation. The chief objective behind the cooperation was to strengthen politically, economically and socially. The first step towards economic cooperation took place after Benelux Customs convention of 1944. The Signatory Governments of this convention agreed upon free trade. Moreover, to finance European countries, America sponsored the ‘Economic Cooperation Act’ in 1948 and in 1960 this organisation was transformed into ‘Organisation for European Economic Cooperation and Development’.

The Cold war of America and Russia also brought European countries together. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) formed on April 4,1949 was also a step that brought together America, Britain, France, Italy, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Iceland and Netherlands. It was a defense organisation against the Soviet Bloc.

Question 11.
(a) Discuss the causes and results of the Suez War in 1956. [10]
(b) What were the reasons for the Civil War in Lebanon in 1975 ? [6]
Answer 11.
(a) The Suez war was mainly fought between Israel and Egypt. It started with the invasion of Egypt by Israel through Sinai Peninsula on 29th October, 1956. Israel was supported by Britain and France who bombed Egypt through airfields and landed troops at the western end of Suez Canal. The main purpose of this war was to overthrow Colonel Nasser, the new ruler of Egypt. The Arabs blamed Israel, communist and many other Arab states blamed Britain and France accusing them of imperialist tactics and Britain blamed colonel Nasser for his anti-western approach. However, the different views on the causes of Suez war are discussed below :
Colonel Nasser, the new ruler of Egypt was in favor of Arab unity and independence including the liberation of Palestine from the Jews. Moreover, he did almost everything which could exasperate British, Americans and French :

  • He organized guerrilla fighters, known as fedayeen to carry out sabotage and murder inside Israel. The Gulf of Aqaba was blockaded by an Egyptian ship, which was leading to the Israeli port of Eilat.
  • An agreement which was signed by British and Egypt in 1936 that allowed British to keep troops at Suez. Colonel Nasser refused to renew this agreement and insisted the British troops to be withdrawn immediately.
  • He supported the Algerian Arabs in their struggle against France, prodded the other Arab states into opposing British sponsored Baghdad Pact.
  • He signed an arms deal with Czechoslovakia for Russian fighters, bombers and tanks.

The Americans were outraged over the arms supply by Russia to Egypt. They took it as a sinister plot by Russians to move into Middle-east. Thus, Egypt became a part of the cold war. Any country which was not a part of the western alliance and bought arms from Eastern Europe was considered as bad as a communist country in the American eyes. Americans, therefore, cancelled a promised grant of 46 million dollars towards the building of a dam. Their intention was to force Nasser to abandon his new links with Russia.

After cancellation of 46 million dollars aid for the construction of a dam, Nasser retaliated by nationalizing the Suez canal, intending to use the income from it to finance the dam project. However, he promised to provide compensation to the shareholders in the canal, the majority of whom were British and French.

Anthony Eden, the British Prime Minister could not digest nationalization of Suez canal by Egypt. He believed that Colonel Nasser was forming United Arabia under Egyption control and Communist influence which could cut off oil supplier for Europe. He started to view Nasser as another Hitler or Mussolini. However, he ignored this fact that Nasser offered them compensation and promised to allow ships of all nations.

Britain, French and Israel had a secret talk and a plan was hatched. According to the plan, Israel would invade Egypt across the Sinai peninsula, whereupon British and French troops would occupy the canal zone on the pretext that they were protecting it from damage in the fighting. Anglo-French control over the canal would be restored and it hoped that the defeat would topple Nasser from power.

Historians still believe that the war would have been avoided if the British Prime Minister had not come under the influence of MIG (British Intelligence Service) and Harold Macmillan (Chancellor of Exchequer).

The attack to Egypt caused an outcry from rest of the world. The Americans, who were afraid of upsetting the Arabs, who might opt to side with USSR, on the other hand refused to support Britain. At United Nations, America and Russia demanded an immediate ceasefire and prepared to send a UN force. With the pressure from all sides, Britain, France and Israel called off the war, while UN troops moved in to police the frontier between Israel and Egypt.

Outcome of War : The Suez war was a complete humiliation for Britain and France who achieved nothing. However, it was considered a triumph for Nasser. The outcomes of the war are as follows :

  • The war failed to overthrow Colonel Nasser. As a result, his prestige as a leader of Arabs was increased. Arab people started to look at Nasser as a hero.
  • The Egyptians blocked the canal and Arabs reduced oil supplies to Western Europe where petrol rationing was introduced for a time. Russian aid replaced that from the USA.
  • Nuri-es-Said, premier of Iraq who was considered as one having pro-British attitude, soon came under attack and he was murdered in 1955. Thus, Britain lost Iraq as their ally.
  • Britain was now weak and unable to follow any foreign policy independent of the USA.
  • The Algerians got support in the struggle for independence from France which they achieved in 1962.
  • On the other hand, Israel had some success. Although she had been compelled to hand back all captured territories, but she had inflicted heavy losses on the Egyptians. Moreover, guerrilla raids were stopped and had a hastened space to consolidate.

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