Egypt in Modern History

THE descendants of Mehemet Ali are still the nominal rulers of Egypt. In reality, however, England has taken complete control of the country, and has given it the blessing of a modern government, under which it has prospered exceedingly. The new era really began in Egypt with the construction of the Suez Canal. This was finished in 1869, and England secured financial control of it in 1875. The interests of European financiers in Egypt became so large that they secured the deposition of the ruler or Khedive by his nominal overlord the Turkish sultan; and the Khedive who followed was submissive to their wishes. This caused the rise of a native Egyptian party under the lead of Arabi Pasha, who demanded that the Khedive should expel all Europeans from his councils. The Khedive was helpless against Arabi, who became the military dictator of Egypt.

The European powers consulted. England, which was mainly interested, urged the other states to join her in sending a fleet to Alexandria to overawe the followers of Arabi. Only France complied. The presence of the united fleet merely made matters worse at Alexandria, for Arabi defied Europe and began building fortifications. The French refused to advance farther than a threat, and their ships left Alexandria. Then the British fleet bombarded Alexandria and drove Arabi to retreat. Thus England assumed responsibility for the Egyptian situation.

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Read about Egypt in Modern History in the The Story of the Greatest Nations and the Worlds Famous Events Vol 1

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