Egypt was the first of the Arab-speaking Muslim countries to come into close contact with modern European states. The experience was not a particularly happy one. It resulted in political and economic subjugation and in the breakdown of her traditional culture and society: but it led also to her emancipation from the Ottoman Empire and to the eventual development of a modern and autonomous Egyptian identity.
The central aim of this book is to trace the history of Egypt during this period of change, from Napoleon’s invasion at the end of the eighteenth century to the Free Officer’s Revolution in the middle of the twentieth. The author describes the effects of European – particularly British and French – involvement on the course of Egyptian history, shown variously for example in her changing trade pattern, in her forced participation in two world wars and in the planning and construction of the Suez Canal. One of these effects was to stimulate the development of Egyptian nationalism and the emergence of her own leaders.
A major factor in the course of Egyptian history, and one of which the author is constantly aware, was the European ignorance of Islamic and Arabic thought and attitudes, which was largely responsible for the misunderstandings and conflicts which characterized the period. The book provides a valuable analysis of interaction between communities with different and sometimes opposing value systems. To understand this interaction is essential to the study of the history, politics and culture of the Middle East.
Illustrations. Maps. Ottoman Sultans of the Period. Valis, Khedives, Sultans and Kings of Egypt of the House of Mohamed Aly. Preface. 1. Prologue 2. The French in Egypt, 1798-1801 3. Mohamed Aly 3.1. The climb to power, 1801-1811 3.2. The early expansion and the Greek campaign, 1811-1831 3.3. The Egyptian base 4. The European Takeover, 1841-1879 4.1. Two valis and a khedive 4.2. The legal conditions 4.3. The integration of Egypt into world trade 4.4. The Suez Canal 4.5. The debt 4.6. The deposition of Isma’il 4.7. Accompanying social and educational change 5. The Law of Liquidation and the Arabist Movement, 1879-1882 6. The Reign of Evelyn Baring, Lord Cromer, 1883-1907 6.1. Finance, diplomacy and administration 6.2. The Sudan 6.3. The nationalist revival 7. Egypt after Cromer, 1907-1918 7.1. The liberalization experiment 7.2. The restoration of paternalism 7.3. The impact of World War I 8. Egypt’s British Problem, 1918-1936 8.1. The posing of the problem (a) the 1919 rebellion (b) the Milner mission 8.2. The working out of the problem 9. The Lingering Death of Constitutional Monarchy, 1936-1952 9.1. Its constitutional weaknesses 9.2. The course and effect of World War II in Egypt 9.3. The last seven years, 1945-1952 10. Epilogue. A Note on Transliteration. Glossary. Bibliography. Index.