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History of Ottoman Egypt

 This article is part of the
History of Egypt series.
 Ancient Egypt
 Greek and Roman Egypt
 Early Arab Egypt
 Ottoman Egypt
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Egypt was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1517. Egypt was always a difficult province for the Ottoman Sultans to control. It remained dominated by the semi-autonomous Mameluks until it was conquered by the French in 1798. After the French were expelled it was ruled by the Albanian Mehemet Ali and his descendants who pulled Egypt even further out of Ottoman control. This lasted until 1882 when the British invaded and Egypt became a de facto colony of Great Britain.

Table of contents
1 Early Turkish Period
2 The French Occupation
3 Return to Ottoman control
4 Albanian Seizure of Power
5 Civil War
6 Mehemet Ali seizes power
7 Mehemet's rule of Egypt
8 Mehemet Ali's Successors
9 Ismail the Magnificent
10 Dual Control
11 Egypt occupied by the British

Early Turkish Period

After the conquest of Egypt the Ottoman sultan Selim I left the country, leaving his viceroy Khair Bey with a guard of 5000 janissaries, but otherwise made few changes in the administration of the country. The register by which a great portion of the land was a fief of the Mamelukes was left unchanged, and it is said that a proposal made by the sultan's vizier to appropriate these estates was punished with death. The Mameluke amirs were to be retained in office as heads of twelve sanjaks into, which Egypt was divided; and under the next sultan, Suleiman I, two chambers were created, called the Greater Divan and Lesser Divan, in which both the army and the ecclesiastical authorities were represented, to aid the pasha by their deliberations. Six regiments were constituted by the conqueror Selim for the protection of Egypt; to these Suleiman added a seventh, of Circassians.

It was the practice of the Sublime Porte to change the governor of Egypt at very short intervals, after a year or even some months. The third governor, Abmad Pasha, hearing that orders for this execution had come from Constantinople, endeavoured to make himself an independent ruler and had coins struck in his own name. His schemes were frustrated by two of the amirs whom he had imprisoned and who, escaping from their confinement, attacked him in his bath and killed him.

In 1527 the first survey of Egypt under the Ottomans was made, the official copy of the former registers having perished by fire; this new survey did not come into use until 1605. Egyptian lands were divided in it into four classes: the sultans domain, fiefs, land for the maintenance of the army, and lands settled on religious foundations. The constant changes in the government seem to have caused the army to get out of control at an early period of the Ottoman occupation, and at the beginning of the 17th century mutinies became common; in 1013 Troubles (1604) the governor Ibrahim Pasha was murdered by the soldiers, and his head set on the Bab Zuwflla. The reason for these mutinies was the attempt made by successive pashas to put a stop to the extortion called the tulbah, a forced payment exacted by the troops from the inhabitants of the country by the fiction of debts requiring to be discharged, which led to grievous ill-usage. In 1609 something like civil war broke out between the army and the pasha, who had on his side some loyal regiments and the Bedouins. The soldiers went so far as to choose a sultan, and to divide provisionally the regions of Cairo between. them. They were defeated by the governor Mahommed Pasha, who on February 5, 1610 entered Cairo in triumph, executed the ringleaders, and banished many others to Yemen. The contemporary historian speaks of this event as a second conquest of Egypt for the Ottomans. A great financial reform was now effected by Mahommed Pasha, who readjusted the burdens imposed on the different communities of Egypt in accordance with their means.

With the troubles that beset the metropolis of the Ottoman empire, the governors appointed thence came to be treated by the Egyptians with continually decreasing respect. In July 1623 there came an order from the Porte dismissing Mustafa Pasha and appointing Ali Pasha governor in his place. The officers met and demanded from the newly-appointed governors deputy the customary gratuity; when this was refused they sent letters to the Porte declaring that they wished to have Mustafa Pasha and not Ali Pasha as governor. Meanwhile Ali Pasha had arrived at Alexandria, and was met by a deputation from Cairo telling him that he was not wanted. He returned a mild answer; and, when a rejoinder came in the same style as the first message, he had the leader of the deputation. arrested and imprisoned. Hereupon the garrison of Alexandria attacked the castle and rescued the prisoner; whereupon Ali Pasha was compelled to embark. Shortly after a rescript arrived from Constantinople confirming Mustafa Pasha in the governorship. Similarly in 1631 the army took upon themselves to depose the governor, in indignation at his execution of Kits Bey, an officer who was to have commanded an Egyptian force required for service in Persia. The pasha was ordered either to hand over the executioners to vengeance or to resign his place; as he refused to do the former he was compelled to do the latter, and presently a rescript came from Constantinople, approving the conduct of the army and appointing one Khalil Pasha as Musas successor. Not only was the governor unsupported by the sultan against the troops, but each new governor regularly inflicted a fine upon his outgoing predecessor, under the name of money due to the treasury; and the outgoing governor would not be allowed to leave Egypt till he had paid it. Besides the extortions to which this practice gave occasion the country suffered greatly in these centuries from famine and pestilence. The latter in the spring of 1619 is said to have carried off 635,000 persons, and in 1643 completely desolated 230 villages.

By the 18th century the importance of the pasha was superseded by that of the beys, and two offices, those of Sheik al-Balad and Amir al-~ajj, which were held by these persons, represented the real headship of the community. The process by which this state of affairs came about is somewhat obscure, owing to the want of good chronicles for the Turkish period of Egyptian history. In 1707 the Sheik al-Balad, Qgsim Iywaz, is found at the head of one of two Mameluke factions, the Qasimites and the Fiqarites, between whom the seeds of enmity were sown by the pasha of the time, with the result that a fight took place between the factions outside Cairo, lasting eighty days. At the end of that time Qasim Iyw~z was killed and the office which he had held was given to his son Ismail. Ismail held this office for sixteen years, while the pashas were constantly being changed, and succeeded in reconciling the two factions of Mamelukes. In 1724 this person was assassinated through the machinations of the pasha, and Shirkas Bey, of the opposing faction, elevated to the office of Sheik al-Balad in his place. He was soon driven from his post by one of his own faction called Dhui-Fiqar, and fled to Upper Egypt. After a short time he returned at the head of an army, and some engagements ensued, in the last of which Shirkas Bey met his end by drowning; Dhul-Fiqar was himself assassinated in 1730 shortly after this event. His place was filled by Othman Bey, who had served as his general in this war. In 1743 Othman Bey, who had governed with wisdom and moderation, was forced to fly from Egypt by the intrigues of two adventurers, Ibrahim and Rilwgn Bey, who, when their scheme had succeeded, began a massacre of beys and others thought to be opposed to them; they then proceeded to govern Egypt jointly, holding the two offices mentioned above in alternate years. An attempt by one of the pashas to remove these two by a coup d'etat signally failed, owing to the loyalty of their armed supporters, who released Ibrahlm and Rilwan from prison and compelled the pasha to flee to Constantinople. An attempt by a subsequent pasha in accordance with secret orders from Constantinople was so successful that some of the beys were killed. Ibrahim and Rilwan escaped, and compelled the pasha to resign his governorship and return to Constantinople. Ibraihim shortly afterwards was assassinated by someone who had aspired to occupy one of the vacant beyships, which was conferred instead on Ali, who as Ali Bey was destined to play an important part in the history of Egypt. The murder of Ibraihim Bey took place in 1755, and his colleague Rilwan perished in the subsequent disputes.

Ali Bey, who had first distinguished himself by defending a caravan in Arabia against bandits, set himself the task of avenging the death of his former master Ibraihim. He spent eight years in purchasing Mamelukes and winning other adherents, exciting the suspicions of the Sheik al-Balad Khalil Bey, who organized an attack upon him in the streets of Cairo, in consequence of which he fled to Upper Egypt. Here he met one Salib Bey, who had injuries to avenge on Khalil Bey, and the two organized a force with which they returned to Cairo and defeated Khalil, who was forced to flee to Iaifla, where for a time he concealed himself; eventually he was discovered, sent to Alexandria and finally strangled. The date of Ali Bey's victory was 1164 A.H. (Ar. 1750), and after it he was made Sheik al-Balad. He executed the murderer of his former master Ibrahim; but the resentment which this act aroused among the beys caused him to leave his post and flee to Syria, where he won the friendship of the governor of Acre, Ahir b. Omar, who obtained for him the goodwill of the Porte and reinstatement in his post as Sheik al-Balad. In 1766, after the death of his supporter the grand vizier Raghib Pasha, he was again compelled to fly from Egypt to Yemen, but in the following year he was told that his party at Cairo was strong enough to permit of his return. Resuming his office he raised eighteen of his friends to the rank of bey, among them Ibrhim and Murd, who were afterwards at the head of affairs, as well as Mahommed Abul-Dhahab, who was closely connected with the rest of All Beys career. He appears to have done his utmost to bring Egyptian affairs into order, and by very severe measures repressed the brigandage of the Bedouins of Lower Egypt. He appears to have aspired to found an independent monarchy, and to that end endeavoured to disband all forces except those which were exclusively under his own control. In 1769 a demand came to All Bey for a force of 12,000 men to be employed by the Porte in the Russian war. It was suggested, however, at Constantinople that Ali would employ this force when he collected it for securing his own independence, and a messenger was sent by the Porte to the pasha with orders for his execution. All, being apprised by his agents at the metropolis of the despatch of this messenger, ordered him to be waylaid and killed; the despatches were seized and read by All before an assembly of the beys, who were assured that the order for execution applied to all alike, and he urged them to fight for their lives. His proposals were received with enthusiasm by the beys whom be had created. Egypt was declared independent and the pasha given forty-eight hours to quit the country. ~ahir Pasha of Acre, to whom was sent official information of the step taken by Ali Bey, promised his aid and kept his word by compelling an army sent by the pasha of Damascus against Egypt to retreat.

The Porte was not able at the time to take active measures for the suppression of All Bey, and the latter endeavoured to consolidate his dominions by sending expeditions against marauding tribes, both in north and south Egypt, reforming the finance, and improving the administration of justice. His son-in-law, Abul-Dhahab, was sent to subject the Hawwrah, who had occupied the land between Assuan and Assiut, and a force of 20,000 was sent to conquer Yemen. An officer named Ismail Bey was sent with 8000 to acquire the eastern shore of the Red Sea, and one named Ilasan Bey to occupy Jidda. In six months the greater part of the Arabian peninsula was subject to All Bey, and he appointed as sherif of Mecca a cousin of his own, who bestowed on All by an official proclamation the titles Sultan of Egypt and Khan of the Two Seas. He then, in virtue of this authorization, struck coins in his own name (1185 A.H) and ordered his name to be mentioned in public worship.

His next move turned out fatally. Abul-Dhahab was sent with a force of 30,000 men in the same year (1771) to conquer Syria; and agents were sent to negotiate alliances with Venice and Russia. Abul-Dhahabs progress through Palestine and Syria was triumphant. Reinforced by All Beys ally Ahir, he easily took the chief cities, ending with Damascus; but at this point he appears to have entered into secret negotiations with the Porte, by which he undertook to restore Egypt to Ottoman suzerainty. He then proceeded to evacuate Syria, and marched with all the forces he could collect to Upper Egypt, occupying Assiut in April 1772. Having collected some additional troops from the Bedouins, he marched on Cairo. Ismail Bey was sent by All Bey with a force of 3000 to check his advance; but at Bastin Ismil with his troops joined Abul Dhahab. Ali Bey intended at first to defend himself so long as possible in the citadel at Cairo; but receiving information to the effect that his friend ~hir of Acre was still willing to give him refuge, he left Cairo for Syria (April 8, 1772), one day before the entrance of Abul-Dhahab.

At Acre Ali's fortune seemed to be restored. A Russian vessel anchored outside the port, and, in accordance with the agreement which he had made with the Russian empire, he was supplied with stores and ammunition, and a force of 3000 Albanians. He sent one of his officers, All Bey al-Tantawi, to recover the Syrian towns evacuated by Abul-Dhahab, and now in the possession of the Porte. He himself took Jaffa and Gaza, the former of which he gave to his friend ~lahir of Acre. On the February 1, 1773 he received information from Cairo that Abul-Dhahab had made himself Sheik al-Balad, and in that capacity was practising unheard-of extortions, which were making Egypt with one voice call for the return of All Bey. He accordingly started for Egypt at the head of an army of 8000 men, and on April 19 met the army of Abul Dhahab at Salihia. Ali's forces were successful at the first engagement; but when the battle was renewed two days later he was deserted by some of his officers, and prevented by illness and wounds from himself taking the conduct of affairs. The result was a complete defeat for his army, after which he declined to leave his tent; he was captured after a brave resistance, and taken to Cairo, where he died seven days later.

After Ali Bey's death Egypt became once more a dependency of the Porte, governed by Abul-Dhahab as Sheik al-Balad with the title pasha. He shortly afterwards received permission from the Porte to invade Syria, with the view of punishing Ali Beys supporter ~ahir, and left as his deputies in Cairo Ismgil Bey and Ibrahim Bey, who, by deserting Ali at the battle of Salihia, had brought about his downfall. After taking many cities in Palestine Abul-Dhahab died, the cause being unknown; and Murad Bey (another of the deserters at Salihia) brought his forces back to Egypt (May 26, 1775).

Ismll Bey now became Sheik al-Balad, but was soon involved in a dispute with Ibrhim and Murad, who after a time succeeded in driving Ismail out of Egypt and establishing a joint rule (as Sheik al-Balad and Amir al-I.Ijj respectively) similar to that which had been tried previously. The two were soon involved in quarrels, which at one time threatened to break out into open war; but this catastrophe was averted, and the joint rule was maintained till 1786, when an expedition was sent by the Porte to restore Ottoman supremacy in Egypt. Murad Bey attempted to resist, but was easily defeated; and he with Ibrahim decided to fly to Upper Egypt and await the trend of events. On August 1, 178 the Turkish commander entered Cairo, and, after some violent measures had been taken for the restoration of order, Ismail Bey was again. made Sheik al-Balad and a new pasha installed as governor. In January 1791 a terrible plague began to rage in Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt, to which Ismail Bey and most of his family fell victims. Owing to the need for competent rulers IbrghIm and Murad Bey were sent for from Upper Egypt and resumed their dual government. These two persons were still in office when Bonaparte entered Egypt.

The French Occupation

The ostensible object of the French expedition to Egypt was to reinstate the authority of the Sublime Porte, and suppress the Mamelukes; and in the proclamation printed with the Arabic types brought from the Propaganda press, and issued shortly after the taking of Alexandria, Bonaparte declared that he reverenced the prophet Mohammed and the Koran far more than the Mamelukes reverenced either, and argued that all men were equal except so far as they were distinguished by their intellectual and moral excellences, of neither of which the Mamelukes had any great share. In future all posts in Egypt were to be open to all classes of the inhabitants; the conduct of affairs was to be committed to the men of talent, virtue, and learning; and in proof of the statement that the French were sincere Moslems the overthrow of the papal authority in Rome was alleged.

That there might be no doubt of the friendly feeling of the French to the Porte, villages and towns which capitulated to the invaders were required to hoist the flags of both the Porte and the French republic, and in the thanksgiving prescribed to the Egyptians for their deliverance from the Mamelukes, prayer was to be offered for both the sultan and the French army. It does not appear that the proclamation convinced many of the Egyptians of the truth of these professions. After the battle of Ambabah, at which the forces of both Murd Bey and Ibrhaim Bey were dispersed, the populace readily plundered the houses of the beys, and a deputation was sent from al-Azhar to Bonaparte to ascertain his intentions; these proved to be a repetition of the terms of his proclamation, and, though the combination of loyalty to the French with loyalty to the sultan was unintelligible, a good understanding was at first established between the invaders and the Egyptians.

A municipal council was established in Cairo, consisting of persons taken from the ranks of the sheiks, the Mamelukes and the French. Soon after delegates from Alexandria and other important towns were added. This council did little more than register the decrees of the French commander, who continued to exercise dictatorial power. T

he destruction of the French fleet at the Battle of the Nile, and the failure of the French forces sent to Upper Egypt (where they reached the first cataract) to obtain possession of the person of Murd Bey, shook the faith of the Egyptians in their invincibility; and in consequence of a series of unwelcome innovations the relations between conquerors and conquered grew daily more strained, till at last, on the occasion of the introduction of a house tax, an insurrection broke out in. Cairo on October 22, 1798, of which the headquarters were in the Musiem University of Azhar. On this occasion the French general Dupuy, lieutenant-governor of Cairo, was killed. The prompt measures of Bonaparte, aided by the arrival from Alexandria of General J.B. Klber, quickly suppressed this rising; but the stabling of the French cavalry in the mosque of Azhar gave great and permanent offence.

In consequence of this affair, the deliberative council was suppressed, but on December 25 a fresh proclamation was issued, reconstituting the two divans which had been created by the Turks; the special divan was to consist of 14 persons chosen by lot out of 60 govern.mentnominees, and was to meet daily. The general divan was to consist of functionaries, and to meet on emergencies.

In consequence of despatches which reached Bonaparte on January 3, 1799, announcing the intention of the Porte to invade the country with the object of recovering it by force, Bonaparte resolved on his Syrian expedition, and appointed governors for Cairo, Alexandria, and Upper Egypt, to govern during his absence.

From that ill-fated expedition he returned at the beginning of June. Advantage had been taken of this opportunity by Murd Bey and Ibraihim Bey to collect their forces and attempt a joint attack on. Cairo, but this Bonaparte arrived in time to defeat, and in the last week of July he inflicted a crushing defeat on the Turkish army that had landed at Aboukir, aided by the British fleet commanded by Sir Sidney Smith.

Shortly after his victory Bonaparte left Egypt, having appointed Klber to govern in his absence, which he informed the sheiks of Cairo was not to last more than three months. Klber himself regarded the condition of the French invaders as extremely perilous, and wrote to inform the French republic of the facts. A double expedition shortly after Bonapartes departure was sent by the Porte for the recovery of Egypt, one force being despatched by sea to Damietta, while another under Yousuf Pasha took the land route from Damascus by al-Arish. Over the first some success was won, in consequence of which the Turks agreed to a convention (signed January 24, 1800), by virtue of which the French were to quit Egypt. The Turkish troops advanced to Bilbeis, where they were received by the sheiks from, Cairo, and the Mamelukes also returned to that city from their hiding-places.

Before the preparations for the departure of the French were completed, orders came to Sir Sidney Smith from the British government, forbidding the carrying out of the convention unless the French army were treated as prisoners of war; and when these were communicated to Klber he cancelled the orders previously given to the troops, and proceeded to put the country in a state of defence. His departure with most of the army to attack the Turks at Mataria led to riots in Cairo, in the course of which many Christians were slaughtered; but the national party were unable to get possession of the citadel, and Klber, having defeated the Turks, was soon able to return to the capital. On April 14 he bombarded Bulak, and proceeded to bombard Cairo itself, which was taken the following night. Order was soon restored, and a fine of twelve million francs imposed on the rioters. Murgd Bey sought an interview with Klber and succeeded in obtaining from him the government of Upper Egypt. He died shortly afterwards and was succeeded by Osman Bey al-Bardisi.

On June 14 Klber was assassinated by a fanatic named Suleiman of Aleppo, said to have been incited to the deed by a Janissary refugee at Jerusalem, who had brought letters to the sheiks of the Azhar, who, however, refused to give him any encouragement. Three of these, nevertheless, were executed by the French as accessories before the fact, and the assassin himself was impaled, after torture, in spite of a promise of pardon having been made to him on condition of his naming his associates. The command of the army then devolved on General J.F. (Baron de) Menou (1750-1810), a man who had professed Islam, and who endeavoured to conciliate the Muslim population by various measures, such as excluding all Christians (with the exception of one Frenchman) from the divan, replacing the Copts who were in government service by Muslims, and subjecting French residents to taxes. Whatever popularity might have been gained by these measures was counteracted by his declaration of a French protectorate over Egypt, which was to count as a French colony.

In the first weeks of March 1801 the English, under Sir R. Abercromby, effected a landing at Aboukir, and proceeded to invest Alexandria, where they were attacked by Menou; the French were repulsed, but the English commander was mortally wounded in the action. On the 25th fresh reinforcements arrived under Husain, the Kapudan Pasha, or high admiral; and a combined English and Turkish force was sent to take Rosetta. On May 30, General A.D. Belhiard, who had been left in charge at Cairo, was assailed on two sides by the British forces under General John Hely Hutchinson (afterwards 2nd earl of Donoughmore), and the Turkish under Ytisuf Pasha; after negotiations Belhiard agreed to evacuate Cairo and to sail with his 13,734 troops to France. On August 30, Menou at Alexandria was compelled to accept similar conditions, and his force of 10,000 left for Europe in September. This was the termination of the French occupation of Egypt, of which the chief permanent monument was the Description de l'Egypte, compiled by the French savants who accompanied the expedition.

Return to Ottoman control

Soon after the evacuation of Egypt by the French, the country became the scene of more severe troubles, in consequence of the attempts of the Turks to destroy the power of the Mamelukes. In defiance of promises to the British government, orders were transmitted from Constantinople to Husain Pasha, the Turkish high admiral, to ensnare and put to death the principal beys. Invited to an entertainment, they were, according to the Egyptian contemporary historian al-Jabarti, attacked on board the flag-ship; Sir Robert Wilson and M.F. Mengin, however, state that they were fired on, in open boats, in the Bay of Aboukir. They offered an heroic resistance, but were overpowered, and some killed, some made prisoners; among the last was Osman Bey al-Bardisi, who was severely wounded. British General Hutchinson, informed of this treachery, immediately assumed Turks and threatening measures against the Turks, and in consequence the killed, wounded and prisoners were Mamelukes given up to him. At the same time Ysuf Pasha arrested all the beys in Cairo, but was shortly compelled by the British to release them. Such was the beginning of the disastrous struggle between the Mamelukes and the Turks.

Mahommed Khosrev was the first Turkish governor of Egypt after the expulsion of the French. The form of government, however, was not the same as that before the French invasion, for the Mamelukes were not reinstated. The pasha, and through him the sultan, endeavoured on several occasions either to ensnare them or to beguile them into submission; but these efforts failing, Mahommed Khosrev took the field, and a Turkish detachment 7000 strong was despatched against them to Damanhur, whither they had descended from Upper Egypt, and was defeated by a small force under al-Alfi; or, as Mengin says, by 800 men commanded by al-Bardisi, when. al-Alfi had left the field. Their ammunition and guns fell into the hands of the Mamelukes.

Albanian Seizure of Power

In March 1803 the British evacuated Alexandria, and Mahommed Bey al-Alfi accompanied them to England to consult respecting the means to be adopted for restoring the former power of the Mamelukes, who meanwhile took Minia and interrupted communication between Upper and Lower Egypt. About six weeks after, the Arnaut (or Albanian) soldiers in the service of Khosrev tumultuously demanded their pay, and surrounded the house of the defterdr (or finance minister), who in vain appealed to the pasha to satisfy their claims. The latter opened fire from the artillery of his palace on the insurgent soldiery in the house of the defterdgr, across the Ezbekia. The citizens of Cairo, accustomed to such occurrences, immediately closed their shops, and every man who possessed any weapon armed himself. The tumult continued all the day, and the next morning a body of troops sent out by the pasha failed to quell it. Thir, the commander of the Albanians, then repaired to the citadel, gained admittance through an embrasure, and, having obtained possession of it, began to cannonade the pasha over the roofs of the intervening houses, and then descended with guns to the Ezbekia and laid close siege to the palace. On the following day Mahommed Khosrev made good his escape, with his women and servants and his regular troops, and fled to Damietta by the river. This revolt marks the beginning in Egypt of the breach between the Albanians and Turks, which ultimately led to the expulsion of the latter, and of the rise to power of the Albanian Mehemet Ali, who was destined to rule the country for nearly forty years and be the cause of serious European complications.

Thir Pasha assumed the government, but in twenty-three days he met with his death from exactly the same cause as that of the overthrow of his predecessor. He refused the appear- pay of certain of the Turkish troops, and was immediately assassinated. A desperate conflict ensued between the Albanians and Turks; and the palace was set on fire and plundered. The masters of Egypt were now split into these two factions, animated with the fiercest animosity against each other. Mehemet Ali, then in command of an Albanian regiment, became the head of the former, hut his party was the weaker, and he therefore entered into an alliance with the Mameluke leaders Ibrahim Bey and Osmn Bey al-Bardisi.

Civil War

A certain Ahmed Pasha, who was about to proceed to a province in Arabia, of which he had been appointed governor, was raised to the important post of pasha of Egypt, through the influence of the Turks and the favor of the sheiks; but Mehemet Ali, who with his Albanians held the citadel, refused to assent to their choice; the Mamelukes moved over from El-Giza, whither they had been invited by Thir Pasha, and Ahmed Pasha betook himself to the mosque of al-Zflhir, which the French had converted into a fortress. He was compelled to surrender by the Albanians; the two chiefs of the Turks who killed Thir Pasha were taken with him and put to death, and he himself was detained a prisoner. In consequence of the alliance between Mehemet Ali and al-Bardisi, the Albanians gave the citadel over to the Mamelukes; and soon after, these allies marched against Khosrev Pasha, who.having been joined by a considerable body of Turks, and being in possession of Damietta, was enabled to offer an obstinate resistance. After much loss on both sides, he was taken prisoner and brought to Cairo; but he was treated with respect. The victorious soldiery sacked the town of Damietta, and were guilty of the barbarities usual with them on such occasions.

A few days later, Ali Pasha Jazirli landed at Alexandria with an imperial firman constituting him pasha of Egypt, and threatened the beys, who now were virtual masters of Upper Egypt, as well as of the capital and nearly the whole of Lower Egypt. Mehemet Ali and al-Bardisi therefore descended to Rosetta, which had fallen into the hands of a brother of Ali Pasha, and having captured the town and its commander, al-Bardisi purposed to proceed against Alexandria; but the troops demanded arrears of pay which it was not in his power to give, and the pasha had cut the dyke between the lakes of Aboukir and Mareotis, thus rendering the approach to Alexandria more difficult. Al-Bardisi and Mehemet Ali therefore returned to Cairo.

The troubles of Egypt were now increased by an insufficient inundation, and great scarcity prevailed, aggravated by the taxation to which the beys were compelled to resort in order to pay the troops; while murder and rapine prevailed in the capital, the riotous soldiery being under little or no control. Meanwhile,, Ali Pasha, who had been behaving with violence towards the French in Alexandria, received a halt-isherif from the sultan, which he sent by his secretary to Cairo. It announced that the beys should live peaceably in Egypt, with an annual pension each of fifteen purses and other privileges, but that the government should be in the hands of the pasha. To this the beys assented, but with considerable misgivings; for they had intercepted letters from Ali to the Albanians, endeavouring to alienate them from their side to his own. Deceptive answers were returned to these, and Ali was induced by them to advance towards Cairo at the head of 3000 men. The forces of the beys, with the Albanians, encamped near him Ali Pasha at Shalakan, and he fell back on a place called Zufeyta.

They next seized his boats conveying soldiers, servants, and his ammunition and baggage; and, following him, they demanded wherefore he brought with him so numerous a body of men, in opposition to usage and to their previous warning. Finding they would not allow his troops to advance, forbidden himself to retreat with them to Alexandria, and being surrounded by the enemy, he would have hazarded a battle, but his men refused to fight. He therefore went to the camp of the beys, and his army was compelled to retire to Syria. In the hands of the beys Ali Pasha again attempted treachery. A horseman was seen to leave his tent one night at full gallop; he was the bearer of a letter to Osman Bey Hasan, the governor of Kine. This offered a fair pretext to the Mamelukes to rid themselves of a man proved to be a perfidious tyrant. He was sent under a guard of forty-five men towards the Syrian frontier; and about a week after, news was received that in a skirmish with some of his own soldiers he had fallen mortally wounded.

The death of Ali Pasha produced only temporary tranquillity; in a few days (February 12, 1804) the return of Mahommed Bey al-Alfi (called the Great) from England was the signal for fresh disturbances, which, by splitting the Mamelukes into two parties, accelerated their final overthrow. An ancient jealousy existed between al-Alfi and the other most powerful hey, al-Bardisi. The latter was now supreme among the Mamelukes, and this fact considerably heightened their old enmity. While the guns of the citadel, those at Old Cairo, and even those of the palace of al-Bardisi, were thrice fired in honor of al-Alfi, preparations were immediately begun to oppose him. His partisans were collected opposite Cairo, and al-Alfi held Giza; but treachery was among them; Husain Bey (a relative of al-Alfi) was assassinated by emissaries of al-Bardisi, and Mehemet Ali, with his Albanians, gained possession of Giza, which was, as usual, given over to the troops to pillage. In the meanwhile al-Alfi the Great embarked at Rosetta, and not apprehending opposition, was on his way to Cairo, when a little south of the town of Manfif he encountered a party of Albanians, and with difficulty made his escape. He gained the eastern branch of the Nile, but the river had become dangerous, and he fled to the desert. There he had several hairbreadth escapes, and at last secreted himself among a tribe of Arabs at Ras al-Wgdi. A change in the fortune of al-Bardisi, however, favored his plans for the future. That chief, in. order to satisfy the demands of the Albanians for their pay, gave orders to levy heavy contributions from the citizens of Cairo; and this new oppression. roused them to rebellion. The Albanians, alarmed for their safety, assured the populace that they would not allow the order to be executed; and Mehemet Ali himself caused a proclamation to be made to that effect. Thus the Albanians became the favorites of the people, and took advantage of their opportunity. Three days later (March 12th, 1804) they beset the house of the aged Ibrahim Bey, and that of al-Bardisi, both of whom effected their escape with difficulty. The Mamelukes in the citadel directed a fire of shot and shell on the houses of the Albanians which were situated in the Ezbekia; but, on hearing of the flight of their chiefs, they evacuated the place; and Mehemet Ali, on gaining possession of it, once more proclaimed Mahommed Khosrev pasha of Egypt. For one day and a half he enjoyed the title; the friends of the late Thir Pasha then accomplished his second degradation and Cairo was again the scene of terrible enormities, the Albanians revelling in the houses of the Mameluk chiefs, whose hareems met with no mercy at their hands. These events were the signal for the reappearance of al-Alfi.

The Albanians now invited Ahmed Pasha Khorshid to assume the reins of government, and he without delay proceeded from Alexandria to Cairo. The forces of the partisans of al-Bardisi were ravaging the country a few miles south of the capital and intercepting the supplies of corn by the river; a little later they passed to the north of Cairo and successively took Bilbeis and Kalyub, plundering the villages, detroying the crops, and slaughtering the herds of the inhabitants. Cairo was itself in a state of tumult, suffering severely from a scarcity of grain, and the heavy exactions of the pasha to meet the demands of his turbulent troops, at that time augmented by a Turkish detachment. The shops were closed, and the unfortunate people assembled in great crowds, crying Y Latif! Y LatIf! (0 Gracious ) Al-Alfi and Osman Bey Hasan had professed allegiance to the pasha; but they soon after declared against him, and they were now approaching from the south; and having repulsed Mehemet Ali, they took the two fortresses of Tur. These Mehemet Ali speedily retook by night with 4000 infantry and cavalry; but the enterprise was only partially successful. On the following day the other Mamelukes north of the metropolis actually penetrated into the suburbs; but a few days later were defeated in a battle fought at Shubra, with heavy loss on both sides. This reverse in a measure united the two great Mameluke parties, though their chiefs remained at enmity. Al-Bardisi passed to the south of Cairo, and the Mamelukes gradually retreated towards Upper Egypt. Thither the pasha despatched three successive expeditions (one of which was commanded by Mehemet Ali), and many battles were fought, but without decisive result.

At this period another calamity befell Egypt; about 3000 Dells (Kurdish troops) arrived in Cairo from Syria. These troops had been sent for by KhorshId in order to strengthen himself against the Albanians; and the events of this portion of the history afford sad proof of their ferocity and brutal enormities, in which they far exceeded the ordinary Turkish soldiers and even the Albanians. Their arrival immediately recalled Mehemet Ali and his party from the war, and instead of aiding KhorshId was the proximate cause of his overthrow.

Mehemet Ali seizes power

Cairo was ripe for revolt; the pasha was hated for his tyranny and extortion, and execrated for the deeds of his troops, especially those of the Delis: the sheiks enjoined the people to close their shops, and the soldiers clamoured for pay. At this juncture a firmgn arrived from Constantinople conferring on Mehemet Ali the pashalic of Jedda; but the occurrences of a few days raised him to that of Egypt.

On the 12th of Safar 1220 (May 12, 1805) the sheiks, with an immense concourse of the inhabitants, assembled in the house of the 1~alI; and the ulema, amid the prayers and cries of the people, wrote a full statement of the wrongs which they had endured under the administration of the pasha. The ulema, in answer, were desired and to go to the citadel; but they were apprised the treachery; and on. the following day, having held another council at the house of the ki4i, they proceeded to Mehemet Ali and informed him that the people would no longer submit to Khorshid. Then whom will ye have? said he. We will have thee, they replied, to govern us according to the laws; for we see in thy countenance that thou art possessed of justice and goodness. Mehemet Ali seemed to hesitate, and then complied, and was at once invested. On this, a bloody struggle began between the two pashas. Khorshld, being informed of the insurrection, immediately prepared to stand a siege in. the citadel. Two chiefs of the Albanians joined his party, but many of his soldiers deserted. Mehemet Alis great strength lay in the devotion of the citizens of Cairo, who looked on him as a deliverer from their afflictions; and great numbers armed themselves, advising constantly with Mehemet Ali, having the sayyid Omar and the sheiks at their head, and guarding the town at night. On the 19th of the same month Mehemet Ali began to besiege Khorshld. After the siege had continued many days, Khorshld gave orders to cannonade and bombard the town.; and for six days his commands were executed with little interruption, the citadel itself also lying between two fires. Mehemet Alis position at this time was very critical:

His troops became mutinous for their pay; the silhdar, who had commanded one of the expeditions against the Mamelukes, advanced to the relief of Khorshid; and the latter ordered the Dells to march to his assistance. The firing ceased on the Friday, but began again on. the eve of Saturday and lasted until the next Friday. On the clay following (May 28) news came of the arrival at Alexandria of a messenger from Constantinople. The ensuing night in Cairo presented a curious spectacle; many of the inhabitants, believing that this envoy would put an end to their miseries, fired off their weapons as they paraded the streets with bands of music. The silhdgr, imagining the noise to be a fray, marched in haste towards the citadel, while its garrison sallied forth and began throwing up entrenchments in the quarter of Arab al-Yesgr, but were repulsed by the armed inhabitants and the soldiers stationed there; and during all this time the cannonade and bombardment from the citadel, and on it from the batteries on the hill, continued unabated.

The envoy brought a firmn confirming Mehemet Ali and ordering Khorshid to go to Alexandria, there to await further orders; but this he refused to do, on the ground that he had been appointed by a hatt-i-sherff. The firing ceased on the following day, but the troubles of the granted people were rather increased than assuaged; murders the and robberies were daily committed by the soldiery, the shops were all shut and some of the streets barricaded. While these scenes were being enacted, al-Alfi was besieging Damanhur, and the other beys were returning towards Cairo, Khorshid laving called them to his assistance: but Mehemet Ali forced them to retreat.

Soon after this, a squadron under the command of the Turkish high admiral arrived at Aboukir Bay, with despatches confirming the former envoy, and authorizing Mehemet Ali to continue to discharge the functions of governor. Khorshid at first refused to yield; but at length, on condition that his troops should be paid, he evacuated the citadel and embarked for Rosetta.

Mehemet Ali now possessed the title of Governor of Egypt, but beyond the walls of Cairo his authority was everywhere disputed by the beys, who were joined by the army of the silhdr of Khorshid; and many Albanians deserted from his ranks. To replenish his empty coffers he was also compelled to levy exactions, principally from the Copts. An attempt was made to ensnare certain of the beys, who were encamped north of Cairo. On August 17, 1805 the dam of the canal of Cairo was to be cut, and some chiefs of Mehemet Alis party wrote, informing them that he would go forth early on that morning with most of his troops to witness the ceremony, inviting them to enter and seize the city, and, to deceive them, stipulating for a certain sum of money as a reward. The dam, however, was cut early in the preceding night, without any ceremony. On the following morning, these beys, with their Manfelukes, a very numerous body, broke open the gate of the suburb al-Husainia, and gained admittance into the city from the north, through the gate called B~b el-Futl~. They marched along the principal street for some distance, with kettle-drums behind each company, and were received with apparent joy by the citizens. At the mosque called the Ashrafia they separated, one party proceeding to the Azhar and the houses of certain sheiks, and the other continuing along the main street, and through the gate called BI-b Zuwla, where they turned up towards the citadel. Here they were fired on by some soldiers from the houses; and with this signal a terrible massacre began. Falling back towards their companions, they found the bye-streets closed; and in that part of the main thoroughfare called Bain al-Kasrain they were suddenly placed between two fires. Thus shut up in a narrow Street, some sought refuge in the collegiate mosque Barkukia, while the remainder fought their way through their enemies and escaped over the city-wall with the loss of their horses. Two Mamelukes had in the meantime succeeded, by great exertions, in giving the alarm to their comrades in the quarter of the Azhar, who escaped by the eastern gate called Bib al-Ghoraib. A horrible fate awaited those who had shut themselves up in the Barkukia. Having begged for quarter first and surrendered, they were immediately stripped nearly massacre naked, and about fifty were slaughtered on the spot; of the and about the same number were dragged away, with brutal aggravation of their pitiful condition. Among them were four beys, one of whom, driven to madness by Mehemet Alls mockery, asked for a drink of water; his hands were untied that he might take the bottle, but he snatched a dagger from one of the soldiers, rushed at the pasha, and fell covered with wounds. The wretched captives were then chained and left in the court of the pashas house; and on the following morning the heads of their comrades who had perished the day before were skinned and stuffed with straw before their eyes. One bey and two others paid their ransom and were released; the rest, without exception, were tortured and put to death in the course of the ensuing night. Eighty-three heads (many of them those of Frenchmen and Albanians) were stuffed and sent to Constantinople, with a boast that the Mameluke chiefs were utterly destroyed. Thus ended Mehemet Alis first massacre of his too confiding enemies.

The beys, after this, appear to have despaired of regaining their ascendancy; most of them retreated to Upper Egypt, and an attempt at compromise failed. Al-Alfi offered his submission on the condition of the cession of the Fayum and other provinces; but this was refused, and that chief gained two successive victories over the pashas troops, many of whom deserted to him.

At length, in consequence of the remonstrances of the English, and a promise made by al-Alfi of 1500 purses, the Porte consented to reinstate the twenty-four beys and to place al-Alfi at their head; but this measure met with the opposition of Mehemet Ali and the determined resistance of the majority of the Mamelukes, who, rather than have al-AlfI at their head, preferred their present condition; for the enmity of al-Bardisi had not subsided, and he commanded the voice of most of the other beys. In pursuance of the above plan, a squadron under Salih Pasha, shortly before appointed high admiral, arrived at Alexandria on the 1st of July 1806 with 3000 regular troops and a successor to Mehemet Ali, who was to receive the pashalik of Salonica. This wily chief professed his willingness to obey the commands of the Porte, but stated that his troops, to whom he owed a vast sum of money, opposed his departure. He induced the ulemg to sign a letter, praying the sultan to revoke the command for reinstating the beys, persuaded the chiefs of the Albanian troops to swear allegiance to him, and sent 2000 purses contributed by them to Constantinople. Al-Alfi was at that time besieging Damanhur, and he gained a signal victory over the pashas troops; but the dissensions of the beys destroyed their last chance of a return to power. Al-Alfi and his partisans were unable to pay the sum promised to the Porte; Salih Pasha received plenipotentiary powers from Constantinople, in consequence of the letter from the ulema; and, on the condition of Mehemet Alis paying 4000 purses to the Porte, it was decided that he should continue in his post, and the reinstatement of the beys was abandoned. Fortune continued to favor the pasha. In. the following month al-BardisI died, aged forty-eight years; and soon after, a scarcity of provisions excited the troops of al-Alfi to revolt. That hey very reluctantly raised the siege of Damanhur, being in daily expectation of the arrival of an English army; and at the village of Shubra-ment he was attacked by a sudden illness, and died on January 30, 1807, at the age of fifty-five. Thus was the pasha relieved of his two most formidable enemies; and shortly after he defeated Shahin Bey, with the loss to the latter of his artillery and baggage and 300 men killed or taken prisoners.

On March 17, 1807 a British fleet appeared off Alexandria, having on board nearly 5000 troops, under the command of General A. Mackenzie Fraser; and the place, The being disaffected towards Mehemet Ali, opened its British gates to them. Here they first heard of the death expedition of al-Alfi, upon whose co-operation they had founded their chief hopes of success; and they immediately despatched messengers to his successor and to the other beys, inviting them to Alexandria. The British resident, Major Missett, having represented the importance of taking Rosetta and Rahmanieh,to secure supplies for Alexandria, General Fraser, with the concurrence of the admiral, Sir John Duckworth, detached the 31st regiment and the Chasseurs Britanniques, accompanied by some field artillery under Major-General Wauchope and Brigadier-General Meade, on this service; and these troops entered Rosetta without encountering any opposition; but as soon as they had dispersed among the narrow streets, the garrison opened a deadly fire on them from the latticed windows and the roofs of the houses. They effected a retreat on Aboukir and Alexandria, after a very heavy loss of 185 killed and 281 wounded, General Wauchope and three officers being among the former, and General Meade and nineteen officers among the latter. The heads of the slain were fixed on stakes on each side of the road crossing the Ezbekia in Cairo.

Mehemet Ali, meanwhile, was conducting an expedition against the beys in Upper Egypt, and he had defeated them near Assiut, when he heard of the arrival of the British. In great alarm lest the beys should join them, especially as they were far north of his position, he immediately sent messengers to his rivals, promising to comply with all their demands if they should join in. expelling the invaders; and this proposal being agreed to, both armies marched towards Cairo on opposite sides of the river.

To return to the unfortunate British expedition. The possession of Rosetta being deemed indispensable, Brigadier-Generals Sir William Stewart and Oswald were despatched thither with 2500 men. For thirteen days a cannonade of the town was continued without effect; and on April 20, news having come in from the advanced guard at Hamad of large reinforcements to the besieged, General Stewart was compelled to retreat; and a dragoon was despatched to Lieutenant-colonel Macleod, commanding at Hamad, with orders to fall back. The messenger, however, was unable to penetrate to the spot; and the advanced guard, consisting of a detachment of the 31st, two companies of the 78th, one of the 35th, and De Rolls egiment, with a picquet of dragoons, the whole mustering 733 men, was surrounded, and, after a gallant resistance, the hurvivors, who had expended all their ammunition, became prisoners of war. General Stewart regained Alexandria with the remainder of his force, having lost, in killed, wounded and missing, nearly 900 men. Some hundreds of British heads were now eposed on stakes in Cairo, and the prisoners were marched between these mutilated remains of their countrymen.

The beys became divided in their wishes, one party being desirous of co-operating with the British, the other with the pasha. These delays proved ruinous to their cause; and General Fraser, despairing of their assistance, evacuated Alexandria on September 14. From that date to the spring of 1811 the beys from time to time relinquished certain of their demands; the pasha on his part granted them what before had been withheld; the province of the Fayum, and part of those of Giza and Beni-Suef, were ceded to Shahin; and a great portion of the Said, on the condition of paying the land-tax, to the others. Many of them took up their abode in Cairo, but tranquillity was not secured; several times they met the pashas forces in battle and once gained a signal victory. Early in the year I 811, the preparations for an expedition against the Wahhbis in Arabia being complete, all the Mameluke beys then in Cairo were invited to the ceremony of investing Mehemet Ali's favorite son, Tuslin, with a pelisse and the command of the army. As on the former occasion, the unfortunate Mamelukes fell into the snare. On the 1st of March, Shahin Bey and the other chiefs (one only excepted) repaired with their retinues to the citadel, and were courteously received by the pasha. Having taken coffee, they formed in procession, and, preceded and followed by the pashas troops, slowly descended the steep and narrow road leading to the great gate of the citadel; but as soon as the Mamelukes arrived at the gate it was suddenly closed before them. The last of those to leave before the gate was shut were Albanians under Salih Kush. To these troops their chief now made known the pashas orders to massacre all the Mamelukes within the citadel; therefore, having returned Final by another way, they gained the summits of the walls massacre and houses that hem in the road in which the Mameof the lukes were confined, and some stationed themselves upon the eminences of the rock through which that road is partly cut. Thus securely placed, they began a heavy fire on their victims; and immediately the troops who closed the procession, and who had the advantage of higher ground, followed their example. Of the betrayed chiefs, many were laid low in a few moments; some, dismounting, and throwing off their outer robes, vainly sought, sword in hand, to return, and escape by some other gate. The few who regained the summit of the citadel experienced the same fate as the rest, for no quarter was given. Four hundred and seventy Mamelukes entered the citadel; and of these very few, if any, escaped. One of these is said to have been a bey. According to some, he leapt his horse from the ramparts, and alighted uninjured, though the horse was killed by the fall; others say that he was prevented from joining his comrades, and discovered the treachery while waiting without the gate. He fled and made his way to Syria. This massacre was the signal for an indiscriminate slaughter of the Mamelukes throughout Egypt, orders to this effect being transmitted to every governor; and in Cairo itself the houses of the beys were given over to the soldiery. During the two following days the pasha and his son TUsun rode about the streets and tried to stop the atrocities; but order was not restored until 500 houses had been completely pillaged. The heads of the beys were sent to Constantinople.

A remnant of the Mamelukes fled to Nubia, and a tranquillity was restored to Egypt to which it had long been unaccustomed.

In the year following the massacre the unfortunate exiles were attacked by Ibrahim Pasha, the eldest son of Mehemet Ali, in the fortified town of Ibrim, in Nubia. Here the want of provisions forced them to evacuate the place; a few who surrendered were beheaded, and the rest went farther south and built the town of New D,ongola (correctly Dunkulah), where the venerable Ibrahim Bey died in 1816, at the age of eighty. As their numbers thinned, they endeavoured to maintain their little power by training some hundreds of blacks; but again, on the approach of Ismail, another son of the pasha of Egypt, sent with an army in 1820 to subdue Nubia and Sennar, some returned to Egypt and settled in Cairo, while the rest, amounting to about 100 persons, fled in dispersed parties to the countries adjacent to Senngr.

Mehemet's rule of Egypt

Mehemet Ali was now undisputed master of Egypt, and his efforts henceforth were directed primarily to the maintenance of his practical independence.

Campaign agasint the Wahhabis

The suzerainty of the sultan he acknowledged, and at the reiterated commands of the Porte he despatched in 1811 an army of 8000 men, including 2000 horse, under the command of his son Tflsfln, a youth of sixteen, against the Wahhabis. After a successful advance, this force met with a serious repulse at the Pass of Jedeida, near Safra, and retreated to Yembo (Yambu). In the following year Tflsn, having received reinforcements, again assumed the offensive, and captured Medina after a prolonged siege. He next took Jidda and Mecca, defeating the Wahhabis beyond the latter place and capturing their general. But some mishaps followed, and Mehemet Ali, who had determined to conduct the war in person, left Egypt for that purpose in the summer of 1813. In Arabia he encountered serious obstacles from the nature of the country and the harassing mode of warfare adopted by his adversaries. His arms met with various fortunes; but on. the whole his forces ~ proved superior to those of the enemy. He deposed and exiled the sharif of Mecca, and after the death of the Wahhabi leader Saud II. he concluded in 1815 a treaty with Saud's son and successor, Abdullah. Hearing of the escape of Napoleon from Elba and fearing danger to Egypt from the plans of France or Great BritainMehemet Ali returned to Cairo by way of Kosseir and Kena. He reached the capital on the day of the battle of Waterloo. His return was hastened by reports that the Turks, whose cause he was upholding in Arabia, were treacherously planning an invasion of Egypt.

Second Arabian Campiagn

Tusun returned to Egypt on hearing of the military revolt at Cairo, but died in 1816 at the early age of twenty. Mehemet Ali, dissatisfied with the treaty concluded with the Wahhabis, and with the non-fulfilment of certain of its clauses, determined to end another army to Arabia, and to include in it the soldiers who had recently proved unruly. This expedition, under his eldest son Ibrahim Pasha, left in the autumn of 1816. The war was long and arduous, but in 1818 Ibrahim captured the Wahhabi capital of Deriya. Abdullah, their chief, was made prisoner, and with his treasurer and secretary was sent to Constantinople, where, in spite of Ibrahim's promise of safety, and of Mehemet Ali's intercession in their favor, they were put to death. At the close of the year 1819, Ibrahim returned to Cairo, having subdued all present opposition in Arabia.


During Mehemet Ali's absence in Arabia his representative at Cairo had completed the confiscation, begun in 1808, of almost all the lands be]onging to private individuals, who were forced to accept instead inadequate pensions. By this revolutionary method of land nationalization Mehemet Ali became proprietor of nearly all the soil of Egypt, an iniquitous measure against which the Egyptians had no remedy. The attempt which in this year (1815) the pasha made to reorganize his troops on European lines led, however, to a formidable mutiny in Cairo. Mehemet Ali's life was endangered, and he sought refuge by night in the citadel, while the soldiery committed many acts of plunder. Ihe revolt was reduced by presents to the chiefs of the insurgents, md Mehemet Ali ordered that the sufferers by the disturbances ;hould receive compensation from the treasury. The project of the Nizm Gedid (New System), as the European system was called, was, in consequence of this mutiny, abandoned for a time.

While Ibraihim was engaged in the second Arabian campaign the pasha had turned his attention to the improvement of the manufactures of Egypt, and engaged very largely in commerce. He created for himself a monopoly in the chief products of the country, to the furtber impoverishment of the people, and set up and kept going for years factories which never paid. But some of his projects were sound. The work of digging (1819-1820) the new canal of Alexandria, called the Mahmudiya (after the reigning sultan of Turkey), was specially important. The old canal had long fallen into decay, and the necessity of a safe channel between Alexandria and the Nile was much felt. Such was the object of the canal then excavated, and it answered its purpose; but the sacrifice of life was enormous (fully 20,000 workmen perished), and the labor of the unhappy fellahin was forced.

Another notable fact in the economic progress of the country was the development of the cultivation of cotton in the Dealte in 1822 and onwards. The cotton grown had been brought from the Sudan by Maho Bey, and the organization of the new industry from which in a few years Mehemet Ali was enabled to extract considerable revenues was entrusted to a Frenchman named Jumel.

Invasion of the Sudan

In 1820 Mehemet Ali ordered the conquest of the eastern Sudan to be undertaken. He first sent an expedition westward conquest (Feb. 1820) which conquered and annexed the oasis of the Siwa. Among the pashas reasons for wishing to Sudan extend his rule southward were the desire to capture the valuable caravan trade then going towards the Red Sea, and to secure the rich gold mines which he believed to exist in Sennr. He also saw in the campaign a means of getting rid of the disaffected troops, and of obtaining a sufficient number of captives to form the nucleus of the new army. The forces destined for this service were led by Ismail, then the youngest son of Mehemet Ali; they consisted of between 4000 and 5000 men, Turks and Arabs, and left Cairo in July 1820. Nubia at once submitted, the Shagia Arabs immediately beyond the province of Dongola were worsted, the remnant of the Mamelukes dispersed, and Sennr reduced without a battle. Mahommed Bey, the defterdgr, with another force of about the same strength, was then sent by Mehemet Ali against Kordofan with a like result, but not without a hard-fought engagement. In October 1822 Ismail was, with his retinue, burnt to death by Nimr, the mek (king) of Shendi; and the defterdr, a man infamous for his cruelty, assumed the command of those provinces, and exacted terrible retribution from the innocent inhabitants. Khartoum was founded at this time, and in the following years the rule of the Egyptians was largely extended and control obtained of the Red Sea ports of Suakin and Massawa.

Ahamd Revolt

In 1824 a native rebellion of a religious character broke out in Upper Egypt headed by one Ahmad, an inhabitant of Es-Salimiya, a village situated a few miles above Thebes. He proclaimed himself a prophet, and was soon followed by between 20,000 and 30,000 insurgents, mostly peasants, but some of them deserters from the Nizm Gedid, for that force was yet in a half-organized state, and in part declared for the impostor. The insurrection was crushed by Mehemet Ali, and about one fourth of Ahmads followers perished, but he himself escaped and was never, after heard of. Few of these unfortunates possessed any other weapon than the long staff (nebbut) of the Egyptian peasant; still they offered an obstinate resistance, and the combat in which they were defeated resembled a massacre. This movement was the last internal attempt to destroy the pasha's authority.

The fellahin, a patient, long-suffering race save when stirred by religious fanaticism, submitted to the kurbash, freely used by the Turkish and Bashi Bazuk taxfdiahin. gatherers employed by Mehemet Ali to enforce his system of taxation, monopolies, corve and conscription. Under this rgime the resources of the country were impoverished, while the finances fell into complete and incomprehensible chaos.

The Economy

A vivid picture of the condition to which Egypt was reduced is painted in the report drawn up in 1838 by the British consulgeneral, Colonel Campbell: The government (he wrote), possessing itself of the necessaries of life at prices fixed by itself, disposes of them at arbitrary prices. The fellah is thus deprived of his harvest and falls into arrears with his taxes, and is harassed and bastinadoed to force him to pay his debts. This leads to deterioration of agriculture and lessens the production. The pasha having imposed high taxes has caused the high prices of the necessaries of life. It would be difficult for a foreigner how coming to Egypt to form a just idea of the actual state of the country as compared with its former state. In regard to the general rise in prices, all the ground cultivated under the Mamelukes was employed for producing foodwheat, barley, beans, &cin immense quantities. The people reared fowls, sheep, goats, &c., and the prices were one-sixth, or even one-tenth, of those at present. This continued until Mehemet Ali became viceroy in 1805. From that period until the establishment of monopolies prices have gradually increased; but the great increase has chiefly taken place since 1824, when the pasha established his regular army, navy and factories.

The conclusion in 1838 of a commercial treaty with Turkey, negotiated by Sir Henry Bulwer (Lord Dalling), struck a deathblow to the system of monopolies, though the application of the treaty to Egypt was delayed for some years. The picture of Egypt under Mehemet Ali is nevertheless not complete without regard being had to the beneficent side of his rule. Public order was rendered perfect; the Nile and the highways were secure to all travellers, Christian or Muslim; the Bedouin tribes were won over to peaceful pursuits, and genuine efforts were made to promote education. and the study of medicine. To European merchants, on whom he was dependent for the sale of his exports, Mehemet Ali showed much favor, and under his influence the port of Alexandria again rose into importance. It was also under Mehemet Ali's encouragement that the overland transit of goods from Europe to India via Egypt was resumed.

Greek Campiagn

Mehemet Ali was fully conscious that the empire which he had so laboriously built up might at any time have to be defended by force of arms against his master Sultan Mahmud II., whose whole policy had been directed to curbing the power of his too ambitious valis, and who was under the influence of the personal enemies of the pasha of Egypt, notably of Khosrev, the grand vizier, who had never forgiven his humiliation in Egypt in 1803. Mahmud also was already planning reforms borrowed from the West, and Mehemet Ali, who had had plenty of opportunity of observing the superiority of European. methods of warfare, was determined to anticipate the sultan in the creation of a fleet and an army on modern lines, partly as a measure of precaution, partly as an instrument for the realization of yet wider schemes of ambition. Before the outbreak of the War of Greek Independence in 1821 he had already expended much time and energy in organizing a fleet and in training, under the supervision of French instructors, native officers and artificers; though it was not till 1829 that the opening of a dockyard and arsenal at Alexandria enabled him to build and equip his own vessels. By 1823, moreover, he had succeeded in carrying out the reorganization of his army on European lines, the turbulent Turkish and Albanian elements being replaced by negroes and fellahin. His foresight was rewarded by the invitation of the sultan to help him in the task of subduing the Greek insurgents, offering as reward the pashaliks of the Morea and of Syria.

Mehemet Ali had already, in 1821, been appointed him governor of Crete, which he had occupied with a small Egyptian force. In the autumn of 1824 a fleet of sixty Egyptian war-ships carrying a large force of disciplined troops concentrated in Suda Bay, and, in the following March, Ibrahini as commander-in-chief landed in the Morea. But if or the action of European powers the intervention of Mehemet Ali would have the work was carried out under the supervision of the Frenchman, Colonel Khbve, who had turned Mahommedan and was known in Islam as Suleiman Pasha. The effectiveness of the new force was first tried in the suppression of a revolt of the Albanians in Cairo (1823) by six disciplined Sudanese regiments; after which Mehemet Ali was no more troubled with military emeutes.

His naval superiority wrested from the Greeks the command of the sea, on which the fate of the insurrection ultimately depended, while on land the Greek irregular bands were everywhere routed by Ibrahims disciplined troops. The history of the events that led up to the battle of Navarino and the liberation of Greece is told elsewhere; the withdrawal of the Egyptians from the Morea was ultimately due to the action of Admiral Sir Edward Codrington, who early in August 1828 appeared before Alexandria and induced the pasha, by no means sorry to have a reasonable excuse, by a threat of bombardment, to sign a convention undertaking to recall Ibrahim and his army.

Before the final establishment of the new kingdom of Greece, the Eastern question had late in 1831 entered into a new and more perilous phase, owing to the revolt of Mehemet The Syrian .

War with the Sultan

~ Ali against the sultan on pretext of chastising the ex-slave Abdullah, pasha of Acre, for refusing to send back Egyptian fugitives from the effects of Mehemet Ali's reforms. The true reason was the refusal of Sultan Mahmud to hand over Syria according to agreement, and Mehemet Ali's determination to obtain at all hazards what had been from time immemorial an object of ambition to the rulers of Egypt. For ten years from this date the relations of sultan and pasha remained in the forefront of the questions which agitated the diplomatic world. It was not only the very existence of the Ottoman empire that seemed to be at stake, but Egypt itself had become more than ever an object of attention, to British statesplen especially, and in the issue of the struggle were involved the interests of Great Britain in the two routes to India by the Isthmus of Suez and the valley of the Euphrates. The diplomatic and military history of this period will be found sketched in the article on Mehemet Ali. Here it will suffice to say that the victorious career of Ibrahim, who once more commanded in his fathers name, beginning with the storming of Acre on May 27, 1832, and culminating in the rout and capture of Reshid Pasha at Konia on December 21, was arrested by the intervention of Russia. As the result of endless discussions between the representatives of the powers, the Porte and the pasha, the convention of Kutaya was signed on May 14, 1833, by which the sultan agreed to bestow on Mehemet Ali the pashaliks of Syria, Damascus, Aleppo and Itcheli, together with the district of Adana. The announcement of the pashas appointment had already been made in the usual way in the annual firman issued on May 3. Adana, reserved for the moment, was bestowed on Ibrahim under the style of muhassil, or collector of the crown revenues, a few days later.

Mehemet Ali now ruled over a virtually independent empire, subject only to a moderate tribute, stretching from the Sudan to the Taurus Mountains. But though he was hailed, especially in France, as the pioneer of European civilization the unsound foundations of his authority were not long in revealing themselves. Scarcely a year from the signing of the convention of Kutaya the application by Ibrahim of Egyptian methods of government, notably of the monopolies and conscription, had driven Syrians, Druses and Arabs, who had welcomed him as a deliverer, into revolt. The unrest was suppressed by Mehemet Ali in person, and the Syrians were terrorized, but their discontent encouraged the Sultan Mahmud to hope for revenge, and a renewal of the conflict was only staved off by the anxious efforts of the powers. At last, in the spring of 1839 the sultan ordered his army, concentrated under Reshid in the border district of Bir on the Euphrates, to advance over the Syrian frontier. Ibrahim, seeing his flank menaced, attacked it at Nezib on the 24th of June. Once more the Ottomans were utterly routed. Six days later, before the news reached Constantinople, Mahmud died.

Once more the Ottoman Empire lay at the feet of Mehemet Ali; but the powers were now more prepared to meet a contingency which had been long foreseen. Their intervention was prompt; and the dubious attitude of France, which led to her exclusion from the concert and encouraged Mehemet Ali to resist, only led to his obtaining less favorable terms.

End of Ali's rule

The end was reached early in 1841. New firmans were issued which confined the pashas authority to Egypt, the Sinai peninsula and certain places on the Arabian side of the Red Sea, and to the Sudan. The most important of these documents are dated February 13, 1841. The government of the pashalik of Egypt was made hereditary in the family of Mehemet Ali. A map showing the boundaries of Egypt accompanied the firman granting Mehemet Ali the pashalik, a duplicate copy being retained by the Porte. The Egyptian copy is supposed to have been lost in a fire which destroyed a great part of the Egyptian archives. The Turkish copy has never been produced and its existence now appears doubtful. The point is of importance, as in 1892 and again in 1906 boundary disputes arose between Turkey and Egypt (see below). Various restrictions were laid upon Mehemet Ali, emphasizing his position of vassalage. He was forbidden to maintain a fleet and his army was not to exceed 18,000 men. The pasha was no longer a figure in European politics, but he continued authority to occupy himself with his improvements, real or imaginary, in Egypt. The condition of the country was deplorable; in 1842 a murrain of cattle was followed by a destructive Nile flood; in 1843 there was a plague of locusts, whole villages were depopulated. Meantime the uttermost farthing was wrung from the wretched fellahin, while they were forced to the building of magnificent public works by unpaid labor. In 1844-1845 there was some improvement in the condition of the country as a result of financial reforms the pasha was compelled to execute. Mehemet Ali, who had been granted the honorary rank of grand vizier in 1842, paid a visit to Istanbul in 1846, where he became reconciled to his old enemy Khosrev Pasha, whom he had not seen since he spared his life at Cairo in 1803. In 1847 Mehemet Ali laid the foundation stone of the great barrage across the Nile at the beginning of the Delta. He was barely persuaded from ordering the barrage to be built with stone from the pyramids! Towards the end of 1847 the aged pashas mind began to give way, and by the following June he was no longer capable of administering the government. In September 1848 Ibrahim was acknowledged by the Porte as ruler of the pashalik, but he died in the November.

Mehemet Ali survived another eight months, dying on the 2nd of August 1849, aged eighty. He had done a great work in Egypt; the most permanent being the weakening of the tie binding the country to Turkey, the starting of the great cotton industry, the recognition of the advantages of European science, and the conquest of the Sudan.

Mehemet Ali's Successors

On Ibrahims death in November 1848 the government of Egypt fell to his nephew Abbas I, the son of Tusun Abbasad. Abbas put an end to the system of commercial monopolies, and during his reign the railway from Alexandria to Cairo was begun at the instigation of the British government. Opposed to European ways, Abbas lived in great seclusion, and after a reign of less than six years he was murdered in July 1854 by two of his slaves.

He was succeeded by his uncle Said Pasha, the favorite son of Mehemet Ali, who lacked the strength of mind or physical health needed to execute the beneficent projects which he conceived. His endeavour, for instance, to put a stop to the slave raiding which devastated the Sudan provinces was wholly ineffectual. He had a genuine regard for the welfare of the fellahin, and a land law of 1858 secured to them an acknowledgment of freehold as against the crown. The pasha was much under French influence, and in 1856 was induced to grant to Ferdinand de Lesseps a concession. for the construction of the Suez Canal. Lord Palmerston was opposed to this project, and the British opposition delayed the ratification of the concession by the Porte for two years. To the British Said also made concessionsone to the Eastern Telegraph Company, and another in 1854 allowing the establishment of the Bank of Egypt. He also began the national debt by borrowing 3,293,000 from Messrs Fruhling & Gbschen, the actual amount received by the pasha being 2,640,000. In January 1863 Said Pasha died and was succeeded by his nephew Ismail, a son of Ibrahim Pasha.

Ismail the Magnificent

The reign of Ismail, from 1863 to 1879, was for a while hailed as introducing a new era into modern Egypt. He attempted vast schemes of reform, but these coupled with his persoan extravagance led to bankruptcy, and the later part of his reign is historically important simply for its compelling European intervention in the internal affairs of Egypt.

Yet in its earlier years much was done which seemed likely to give Ismail a more important place in history. In 1866 he was granted by the sultan a firman obtained on condition of the increase of the tribute from 376,000 to 720,000. This made the succession to the throne of Egypt descend to the eldest of the male children and in the same manner to the eldest sons of thy successors, instead of, after Turkish law, to the eldest male of the family. In the following year another firman bestowed upon him the title of khedive in lieu of that of vali, borne by Mehemet Ali and his immediate successors. In 1873 a further firman placed the khedive in many respects in the position of an independent sovereign.

Ismail re-established and improved the administrative system organized by Mehemet Ali, and which had fallen into decay under Abbas's indolent rule; he caused a thorough remodelling of the customs system, which was in an anarchic state, to be made by English officials; in 1865 he established the Egyptian post office; he reorganized the military schools of his grandfather, and gave some support to the cause of education. Railways, telegraphs, lighthouses, the harbour works at Suez, the breakwater at Alexandria, were carried out by some of the best contractors of Europe. Most important of all, the Suez Canal was opened in 1869. Early is Isamil's reign Egypt took adavantage of vastly inflated cotton prices, caused by the American Civil War. Once that conflict ended Ismail had to find new sources of funding to keep his reform efforts alive. Thus the funds required for these public works, as well as the actual labor, were remorselessly extorted from a poverty-stricken population.

A striking picture of the condition of the people at this period is given by Lady Duff Gordon in Last Letters from Egypt. Writing in 1867 she said: "I cannot describe the misery here now every day some new tax. Every beast, camel, cow, sheep, donkey and horse is made to pay. The fellaheen can no longer eat bread; they are living on barley-meal mixed with water, and raw green stuff, vetches, &c. The taxation makes life almost impossible: a tax on every crop, on every animal first, and again when it is sold in the market; on every man, on charcoal, on butter, on salt. . . . The people in Upper Egypt are running away by wholesale, utterly unable to pay the new taxes and do the work exacted. Even here (Cairo) the beating for the years taxes is awful."

In the years that followed the condition of things grew worse. Thousands of lives were lost and large sums expended in extending Ismail's dominions in the Sudan and in futile conflicts with Abyssinia. In 1875 the impoverishment of the fellah had reached such a high point that the ordinary resources of the country no longer sufficed for the most urgent necessities of administration; and the khedive Ismail, having repeatedly broken faith with his creditors, could not raise any more loans on the European market. The taxes were habitually collected many months in advance, and the colossal floating debt was increasing rapidly. In these circumstances Ismail had to realize his remaining assets, and among them sold 176,602 Suez Canal shares to the British government for 976,582 pounds, giving up any Egyptian control of the waterway.

These crises induced the British government to inquire more carefully into the financial condition of the country, where they had many investments. In December 1875 Mr Stephen Cave, M.P., and Colonel (afterwards Sir John) Stokes, R.E., were sent to Egypt to inquire into the financial situation; and Mr Caves report, made public in April 1876, showed that under the existing administration national bankruptcy was inevitable. European powers used Egypt's indepteness to extract concessions. Other commissions of inquiry followed, and each one brought Ismail more under European control. The establishment of the Mixed Tribunals in 1876, in place of the system of consular jurisdiction in civil actions, made some of the courts of justice international. The Caisse de la Dette, instituted in May 1876 as a result of the Cave mission, led to international control over a large portion of the revenue. Next came (in November [1876) the mission of Mr (afterwards Lord) Goschen and M. Joubert on behalf of the British and French bondholders, one result being the establishment of Dual Control, i.e. an English official to superintend the revenue and a French official the expenditure of the country. Another result was the internationalization of the railways and the port of Alexandria. Then came (May 1878) a commission of inquiry of which the principal members were Sir Rivers Wilson, Major Evelyn Baring (afterwards Lord Cromer) and MM. Kremer-Baravelli and de Blignires. One result of that inquiry was the extension of international control to the enormous landed property of the khedive.

Driven to desperation, Ismail made a virtue of necessity and accepted, in September 1878, in lieu of the Dual Control, a constitutional ministry, under the presidency of Nubar Pasha, with Rivers Wilson as minister of finance and de Blignires as minister of public works. Professing to be quite satisfied with this arrangement, he announced that Egypt was no longer in Africa, but a part of Europe; but before seven months had passed he found his constitutional position intolerable, got rid of his irksome cabinet by means of a secretly-organized military riot in Cairo, and reverted to his old autocratic methods of government. England and France. anxious about losing influece. under this affront, decided to administer chastisement by the hand of the suzerain power, which was delighted to have an opportunity of asserting its authority. The Europeans and the Sultan decided to force Ismail out of office. On the June 26, 1879 Ismail suddenly received from the sultan a curt telegram, addressed to him as ex-khedive of Egypt, informing him that his son Tewfik was appointed his successor. Taken unawares, he made no attempt at resistance, and Tewfik was at once proclaimed khedive.

Dual Control

After a short period of inaction, when it seemed as if the change might be for the worse, England and France in November 1879, re-established the Dual Control in the persons of Major Baring and M. de Blignires. For two years the Dual Control governed Egypt, and initiated the work of progress that England was to continue alone. Its essential defect was what might be called insecurity of tenure. Without any efficient means of self-protection and coercion at its disposal, it had to interfere with the power, privileges and perquisites of a class which had long misgoverned the country. This class, so far as its civilian members were concerned, was not very formidable, because these were not likely to go beyond the bounds of intrigue and passive resistance; but it contained a military element who had more courage, and who had learned their power when Ismail employed them for overturning his constitutional ministry.

Among the mutinous soldiers on that occasion was an officer calling himself Ahmed Urabi. He was a charismatic leader who was followed by a group of fellow army officers and many amongst the lower classes. He became the centre of a protest aimed at protecting the Egyptians from the grasping tyranny of their Turkish and European oppressors. The movement began among the Arab officers, who complained of the preference shown to the officers of Turkish origin; it then expanded into an attack on the privileged position and predominant influence of foreigners, many of whom were of a by no means respectable type; finally, it was directed against all Christians, foreign and native. The government, being too weak to suppress the agitation and disorder, had to make concessions, and each concession produced fresh demands. Urabi was first promoted, then made under-secretary for war, and ultimately a member of the cabinet.

The danger of a serious rising brought the British and French fleets in May 1882 to Alexandria. Because of concerns over the safety of the Suez Canal and massive British investmetns in Egypt the Europeans looked to intervene. The French hesitated, however, and the British alone tried to supress the revolt. On July 11, 1882, after wide spread revotls in Alexandria, the British fleet bombarded that city. The leaders of the national movement prepared to resist further aggression by force. A conference of ambassadors was held in Constantinople, and the sultan was invited to quell the revolt; but he hesitated to employ his troops against what was far more a threat to European interests.

Egypt occupied by the British

The British government decided to employ armed force, and invited France to co-operate. The French government declined, and a similar invitation to Italy met with a similar refusal. England therefore, acting alone, landed troops at Ismailia under Sir Garnet Wolseley, and suppressed the revolt by the battle of Tell-el-Kebir on the 13th of September 1882. While this was meant to be only a temporary intervention, British troops would remian in Egypt until 1953.

The khedive, who had taken refuge in Alexandria, returned to Cairo, and a ministry was formed under Sherif Pasha, with Riaz Pasha as one of its leading members. On assuming office, the first thing it had to do was to bring to trial the chiefs of the rebellion. Urabi pleaded guilty, was sentenced to death, the sentence being commuted by the khedive to banishment; and Riaz resigned in disgust. This solution of the difficulty was brought about by Lord Dufferin, then British ambassador at Constantinople, who had been sent to Egypt as high commissioner to adjust affairs and report on the situation. One of his first acts, after preventing the application of capital punishment to the ringleaders of the revolt, was to veto the project of protecting the khedive and his government by means of a Praetorian guard recruited from Asia Minor, Epirus, Austria and Switzerland, and to insist on the principle that Egypt must be governed in a truly liberal spirit. Passing in review all the departments of the administration, he laid down the general lines on which the country was to be restored to order and prosperity, and endowed, if possible, with the elements of self-government for future use.