The modern history of Egypt

The modern history of (Egypt) represents those years in which the country tried to get rid of the British monarchy and colonialism, and their bad effects on the economic and social conditions of the country, in addition to the successes and failures that the country faced even after gaining independence as a nascent independent nation trying to manage its own political affairs after centuries. Many are subject to and controlled by other powers

mohamed ali
mohamed ali

1- The beginning of the modern renaissance

In the eighteenth century, (Egypt) was under the rule of the Mamluks of the Ottoman Empire in (Turkey), and the country at that time was completely collapsed and divided against itself; Political and military power was divided between the Mamluks and the Turks, while the judicial and religious authority was in the hands of the Egyptians.

As for the economic aspect, the Egyptian economy in that century was exposed to increased entry by foreign capital in addition to exposure to global market pressure, and during that political and economic weakness, it was (Muhammad Ali) – who came with the force sent by the Ottoman Empire to eliminate the French campaign He took advantage of the weakness of the Mamluks and their struggles to ensure for himself control of (Cairo) and be able to get rid of them once and for all in the massacre of the castle in 1811 AD.


(Muhammad Ali) was able to carry out many reforms that returned the country some progress and prosperity, but they were mainly reforms with the aim of leaving a good inheritance for his family and ensuring the continuity and immortalization of the rule in his dynasty. 

The state, in addition to the relentless pursuit of a modern and powerful army, high tax pressure and forced conscription led to many revolts that were bloodily suppressed. On the other hand, there were some reforms in cotton cultivation, sugar production, and textile industry as well as mechanical industries to produce weapons and ships to strengthen the army, but these economic reforms were not effective to the extent that they provide prosperity for the people and the country.


As for the educational and cultural aspect, (Muhammad Ali) established many schools and sent many missions abroad to learn from the West, which resulted in minds and thinkers such as (Rafa’a Al-Tahtawi), (Al-Jabarti) and (Ali Mubarak), and as with the economy, these reforms were not Educational long-term was limited to a limited number of distinguished. The nationalist and patriotic ideas coming with these thinkers from (Europe), in addition to the revival of Islamic religious awareness, had helped the birth of Egyptian nationalism, which was exploited by (Muhammad Ali) to expand the scope of (Egypt) and its hegemony abroad to increase his influence with it, and ambitions of expansion tended towards ( Syria) and (Sudan), which represent the traditional Egyptian territories of expansion since the days of the pharaohs, but the conquest of (Sudan) was not beneficial to (Muhammad Ali) either economically or politically.


As for the occupation of (Syria), it frightened the Ottoman Sultan (Mahmoud), forcing him to seek help from (Russia), which angered the rest of the great powers represented in (France) and (England), and those powers fought to solve this crisis; Where (Muhammad Ali) was forced to abandon (Syria) in exchange for obtaining the continuation of the rule of (Egypt) in the hands of his family and his sons, so (Abbas Hilmi I) ascended to power in 1848 AD, then his uncle (Said) in 1854 AD who By allowing (France) to build the Suez Canal, the entire burden of which fell on the shoulders of the Egyptians; Where the peasants were exploited to work digging the canal for forced labor, which harmed agricultural production, in addition to the European techniques that were used that were paid for with Egyptian money.


2- British colonial encroachment on Egypt

The successor of (Said) was (Ismail) the grandson of (Muhammad Ali). He was more partisan and zealous for foreigners than his predecessor and his policies and expenditures destroyed the country’s economy; As his submission to the Western powers led the country to fall into huge debts with European banks that made it dependent on European countries, in addition to spending huge amounts of bribes to the Ottoman Empire to obtain the title of Khedive.

ahmed oraby
agmed oraby

and he even agreed to double the annual financial contribution imposed on (Egypt) to (Turkey). For that title, and in order to continue his grandfather’s ambition to expand the empire, he launched a campaign against (Ethiopia) in 1875 AD, which cost the Egyptian economy three million pounds, from which the Egyptian army returned defeated; In addition to all of the above there were many dispositions and expenditures undertaken by (Ismail) which made bankruptcy and inability to repay debts near and inevitable.


(Ismail) tried to take some reform measures in the economy and politics, and he began to form a ministry that included Egyptians only without foreign elements, which angered the Europeans until they forced him to step down to be replaced by his son (Tawfiq), who owes loyalty and obedience to the Europeans much more than his father.

At the same time, calls by Ahmed Orabi, Gamal El-Din El-Afghani and Mohamed Abdo were making their way to establish a national party that seeks more political independence for Egypt away from foreign interference and seeks to obtain a parliamentary constitution .


When the Urabi revolution succeeded and (Urabi) took over the Ministry of War, foreign powers felt the danger of destabilizing their control and hegemony over the country, so (Britain) launched a military intervention in 1882 AD, and (Urabi) was exiled and the number of the Egyptian army was reduced to only a few thousand under British control, to be (Egypt).

Thus, it fell under British colonial rule, ruled by the British commissioner, who was then Lord Cromer. The Khedive (Abbas Helmy II), who had a stronger personality than his father, tried to regain the reins of government in his hand, but to no avail. Cromer’s rule lasted for four years. And twenty years.


The desire of the Egyptians for independence did not decrease after the military colonialism, but rather it increased in strength and enthusiasm, and it was (Mustafa Kamel) who assumed the role of (Ahmed Orabi) as the leader of the nation, who wanted it to obtain its political independence and manage its own affairs by itself, but (Mustafa Kamel) died at the age of Small to leave the arena after him for (Saad Zaghloul), (Jamal Al-Din Al-Afghani), (Mohamed Abdo), (Qasim Amin) and (Ahmed Lotfi Al-Sayed), and with their different orientations, the main goal of each of them was to get rid of the English colonization of (Egypt) , and even from the Ottoman control over it as well. 

The First World War came to make the conflict over (Egypt) between the Ottoman Empire, which joins the Axis Powers, and (Britain), which represents one of the members of the Allied Powers, a matter of inevitable occurrence until (Britain) removed the Khedive from his position and declared Egypt’s independence from the rule of the Turks and subject to the English rule alone. .

abd elnasser presedent of egypt
abd elnasser presedent of egypt

The Egyptian infrastructure and economy were of great help to (Britain) in the World War; Therefore, as soon as the war ended, Britain wanted to tighten its grip on the country more and ensure its accession to the British Empire, which led to the occurrence of many events that eventually led to the outbreak of the 1919 revolution, which was ignited by (Saad Zaghloul) and the Wafd Party, and she was forced with it ( Britain) in 1922 AD to give (Egypt) its independence in its internal affairs to become a kingdom, while its external affairs are subject to British tutelage while ensuring absolute control over the Suez Canal because of its strategic importance to (Britain), which was making that independence a mere formal independence only.


3- Royal Egypt 1922-1952 AD

4- The Nasserite era 1952-1970

5- From Sadat to Mubarak

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