1-)And soon they faced a crisis - one that would decide the future of egypt.
-2)And soon they faced a crisis - one would decide the future of egypt.

  • I don't understand the second sentence. One what? Are the two supposed to mean the same thing? Maybe in question 2 the crisis was the need to determine which of the two (people?) would be the one to decide the future of Egypt? – Paul Tanenbaum Mar 7 at 22:44

The first is grammatical, the second is not (or, more precisely, the second is grammatical only with a different and very unlikely meaning, taking one as an indefinite pronoun).

The relative pronoun ("which/who") or complementiser ("that") can be omitted from a relative clause only when it is not the subject of the relative clause. Here, that (or the relative pronoun it replaces) is the subject of would decide, so it cannot be omitted.

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