Nineteenth Century Egypt

1328 Words5 Pages
Nineteenth century Egypt held a pivotal stance in European politics and sparked high interest in the Great European Powers. A dynasty of slave soldiers referred to as the Mamluks were of the earliest rulers of Egypt. The French, Ottomans, and British all affirmed their intent on seizing the country’s bustling city capital of Cairo, with some conquests being more successful than others. France and Britain stood as worthy leaders, but it was the basic political, social, and economical foundations created by the Ottomans that most influenced nineteenth-century Egypt. Nevertheless, each of these world powers played a significant role in modernizing Egypt and shaping the course of its history. The Mamluks held control of large parts of Egypt in the early eighteenth century. However, they were not a unified force. Several Mamluk families fought for control for over a decade, and the final years of Mamluk rule were absolutely catastrophic for Egypt. The endless fighting alongside the extremely high taxes destroyed Egypt’s trade, which was one of the first triggers of the French invasion. Napoleon Bonaparte intended on protecting French trade interests and also using Egypt to weaken Britain’s access to India. With pride and arrogance he believed that Egypt was to benefit from the new developments and institutions made possible by the French, just as had happened in their own revolution. He expected the Egyptian population, who was suffering under Mamluk rule, to welcome them as
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