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Imperialism in Egypt
Transcript of Imperialism in Egypt
Imperialism in Egypt: 1790s-Modern Day
During the 1700s, Egypt was part of the Ottoman Empire, ruled by the powerful Turkish Mamluk warriors
1798: French Invasion
French, led by Napoleon, attack Egyptian cities, (including Alexandria and Cairo)
Their goal is to disrupt British trade routes to India, taking control of the east and becoming a power to rival the British
Battle of Aboukir Bay
British blow up the French fleet, stranding the French soldiers in Egypt
1801: French surrender to the British
British presence in Egypt continues, until...
Muhammad Ali Pasha comes to power in Egypt, gaining control of the Mamluk army
The Alexandria Expedition of 1807:
Ali and the Mamluks force out the British. The Turks regain control of Egypt.
Background: Alexandria ~1850
Battle of Aboukir Bay, also known as the Battle of the Nile
The British do not take interest in Egypt again until...
1832: Egypt vs. the Ottomans
Muhammad Ali tries to lead his army against the Turks and declare independence
The British side with the Ottomans; they want the Ottoman empire to maintain stability because the other power in the area is the Russians
British step in and forced Egypt back under Ottoman control
Once again, the British leave Egypt alone for the most part until...
1858-1869: Construction of the Suez Canal
Construction of Suez Canal
Egyptian Ruler Muhammad Sa'id Pasha, together with French diplomat Ferdinand de Lessups, establish the Suez Canal Company.
Construction of the Suez Canal officially begins
Suez Canal opens
At its opening, the canal is largely controlled by the French, who hold the majority of shares in the Suez Canal Company.
This concerns the English because the canal is a major trade route for them, dramatically increasing their speed to India and other regions
1861-1865: American Civil War
Prior to 1861, the British relied on cotton imported from the United States.
However, the American Civil War slows cotton production significantly.
The British look to Egypt as a source of cotton, wanting to expand the Egyptian cotton industry for their own economic benefit.
1875: British invest in Suez Canal Company
During the building of the Suez Canal, Egyptian leader (Khedive) Isma'il Pasha built up enormous debt.
Seeing its chance, England buys the Khedive's shares of the Suez Canal Company.
England gains marked economic power in the area, though France still holds the most shares.
Few Years Later: England and France "co-colonize" Egypt
The Egyptian government hits economic difficulties again.
Britain and France, seizing the opportunity, co-"help," giving money to the Egyptian government and forming a sort of “joint colonization” or “stewardship" over Egypt.
1878: Britain and France, striving for more control
Together, the French and British want to send advisers to Egyptian ministries and begin taking control of day-to-day operations.
Isma’il Pasha protests. So they kick him out of office and appoint his son, Tawfiq Pasha, to be Khedive.
1878: Revolt from within Egyptian army
In response, Ahmed 'Urabi leads a revolt from inside Egyptian army against Tawfiq Pasha.
As the British and French infiltrate Egypt, pay and overall wealth disparity between Egyptians and Europeans living in Egypt becomes more apparent.
Political cartoon showing the French and the British claiming land to expand their empires.
Ahmed ‘Urabi, an Egyptian nationalist and army officer
1882: British and French declare recognition of the Khedive’s authority
Sensing the growing unrest in their new colony, they officially show support of Tawfiq as ruler of Egypt.
Of course, they are controlling him from behind the scenes, and planned to continue doing so.
However, their declaration does little to calm the mounting turmoil.
1882: Anglo-Egyptian War
Drawing of British ships as they shelled Alexandria
Knowing that discourse and potential rebellions are on the rise, British and French warships arrive on the coast.
anti-Christian (anti-European) riot; Ahmed ‘Urabi makes an effort to put down the riot.
Battle at Tel el-Kebir - power is restored (on paper) to the Khedive, and in practice to the British controllers of Egypt. France did not participate in the battle, pushing them out of control. British troops then occupied Egypt from that point until their independence.
British bombardment of Alexandria
Political cartoon of French and British officials taking shares of the Suez Canal Company
International matters - determined by British government.
Internal matters -
British Consul-General, Lord Cromer, primary controller.
Officially, Egypt was not a colony nor a protectorate of the British Empire. However, it was characteristically a
and was later declared to be one officially.
With British advisers stationed throughout the Egyptian government, they controlled most of Egypt's operations, including their finances and army.
British rule was
in that they installed their own officials. However, They emphasized the continuation of khedivial government, although this set- up no longer held the majority of the power.
Sketch emphasizing the way the British took away Egypt's free rule in order to "protect" them
Treatment of Locals
As previously mentioned, the wealth disparity between Egyptians and Europeans in Egypt was cause for unrest and resistance.
On the other hand, the more elite classes were more likely to accept British rule, valuing the western way of education and even sending their children to British schools.
Lord Cromer, the British Consul-General of Egypt, was the primary controller of Egyptian affairs.
1914: Outbreak of WWI
British declare Egypt as a British protectorate in order to protect their control over it and over the Suez Canal. The canal is closed to all but ally/neutral ships.
1918: End of WWI
Multiple parties want independence from the British.
Egyptian Revolution of 1919
Nationalist activists led by Saad Zaghloul request to end the protectorate and to have Egyptian representation at the peace conference in Paris. People protest through demonstrations, riots, disobedience tactics, petitions, and more.
British exile Zaghloul
British send advisers to Egypt to assess the anti-imperialist situation and to give advice. In 1921, Lord Milner recommends ending the protectorate.
Demonstrations across Egypt, strikes by all classes, professions, age groups, religions, genders. Some become violent attacks.
1922: Unilateral Declaration of Independence
The British issue the
Unilateral Declaration of Egyptian Independence
, ending the protectorate. However, they maintain control of Egypt's foreign affairs, communications, and military to a certain extent.
1923: New Egyptian Constitution
The Wafd Party (headed by Saad Zaghloul) grows in popularity in Egypt. Wafd representatives draft a constitution calling for more complete independence from the British as well as civil rights and a parliament-centered government.
1924: Wafd Party gains power in government
In the 1923/24 election, 90% of Chamber seats go to Wafd Party members. Saad Zaghlil becomes Prime Minister. This new Egyptian government emphasizes the effort to push for independence from Britain.
Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936
In response to growing pressure, the British agree to the
Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936
. The British military withdraws from Egypt except for protection of the Suez Canal and a naval base at Alexandria.
1947 - India becomes independent
When India gains its independence, Egypt becomes less necessary and strategic a location for the British.
1956: Abdel Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal
The chain of events causes remaining British forces to leave Egypt.
During WWI, the Ottomans are part of the Central Powers, the adversaries of the Allies
Because of this, the British feel the need to strengthen their hold over Egypt
At the end of the war, Egyptian nationalism is high.
Over the course of the war, people had become increasingly dissatisfied with all the involvement in the war the British had forced upon them, including troops on Egyptian soil and conscription (basically drafting) of Egyptians.
Egyptian protest in 1919
Saad Zaghloul, Egyptian revolutionary and leader of the Wafd political party
Wafd Party insignia
It also acts as a treaty of alliance and Egypt becomes member of the league of nations.
Stamp commemorating the treaty.
British interest in Egypt is on the decline for the next several years, until...
Gamal Abdel Nasser, president of Egypt, retaliates against European powers by reclaiming the Suez Canal for Egypt.
Britain and France attack Egypt in protest, but the United State shows dissent rather than support, and they stop.
, a group of British authorities engaged in a scuffle with some Egyptian villagers, resulting in injuries on both sides and the death of a British officer. The trial proceedings following the incident found the villagers guilty of killing the officer, and many were subjected to cruel and harsh punishment.
Depictions of the trial and punishments following the Dinshaway incident.
There are four main political groups at play in Egypt today...
The "Old Regime"
The Muslim Brotherhood
Honsi Mubarak, who was abusing his power, is removed from power and replaced. Egypt holds an election. Muhamad Morsi, a member of the Muslim brotherhood, wins the election but also turns out to be a dictator.
Revolutionaries take to the streets in a massive protest against Morsi. The military eventually sides with them and removes Morsi from power.
CNN: Violence erupts as Egyptians vote on new constitution
January 14, 2014
Lasting Effects of Imperialism
Article can be found at:
On Tuesday, January 14th of this year, Egyptians prepared to vote on a new constitution. The previous one was suspended after Morsi's downfall the previous July. The new constitution would emphasize more human rights and freedoms and would take steps to balance the power of the president with that of parliament. In addition, it would outlaw cruel punishment and discrimination of various sorts. However, it would give even more power to the military than it already has.
As polling stations opened and people made their way to cast their ballots, violence broke out across the country - bombs, fights, and clashes between soldiers and citizens. Even so, many people were undeterred and cast their ballots anyway.
Voters lining up outside a polling station
Protection from the British to some extent, even after independence
Emphasis on education
Ongoing difficulty in establishing and maintaining a stable government system
Loss/Thievery of important native artifacts
May 12, 2014