It enables a more direct route for shipping between Europe and Asia, effectively allowing for passage from the north Atlantic to the Indian ocean without circumnavigating the African continent.
Why Was the Construction of the Suez Canal Important?
The construction of the Suez Canal was a momentous event in the history of global transportation. It provided a direct connection between the Mediterranean and Red Seas, allowing ships to travel between Europe, Africa, and Asia without taking the long, dangerous route around the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa. This new transportation route revolutionized international trade and had numerous implications for political and economic power.
The Suez Canal was the brainchild of Frenchman Ferdinand de Lesseps, who had seen the potential of connecting the two seas and had obtained permission from the Egyptian ruler to build it. Construction began in 1859, and the canal was opened to traffic in 1869. The channel was a remarkable engineering feat and was considered one of the most impressive projects of the 19th century.
The importance of the Suez Canal lies in its ability to reduce transportation time and costs. Before the canal was built, ships had to travel around the southern tip of Africa, a voyage that could take months and was often dangerous. The Suez Canal drastically reduced the time and cost of traveling between Europe and Asia. This increased trade and commerce between the three continents, with goods moving more quickly and cheaply than ever before.