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Egypt's Colonial Period

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French Occupation


Napoleon Bonaparte sailed to Egypt in the 1790's while on his way to India. The French and the British had been fighting and having wars, trying to expand their borders for foreign trade. When Napoleon landed in Egypt, the farmers and peasants fought him. He finally made it to Cairo and demanded to set up a ruling government of 10 people to oversee the country. The Egyptians were shocked by their new rulers, not knowing that the previous Mameluke rulers had failed to defend their country. Napoleon brought the city of Cairo into civil war, the people fighting against him and against themselves. Muslims and Jews, as well as some women were sentenced to death and visibly killed as Napoleon tried to hold onto his rule in Egypt. The Syrians and Turks were giving some trouble to the French, and more wars erupted. French Occupation of Egypt ended with Mohammed Ali of Albania being elected pasha, because of a revolt against the Turks.

British Occupation

The British did not get control of Egypt until 1882, when they took on Alexandria. There were no outward changes, because by then, Britain had been ruling Egypt indirectly for many years. The British did not do anything to try to promote the Egyptian people. No pure water wells were drilled, no medical services were created, and no education was in place, all while the Europeans in Cairo lived very well. It was during World War II that the Egyptians finally began to receive some training and education, because the British were unable to get all of their supplies shipped from Britain. As the War ended, Egypt lost a lot of the glamour of being supported by the British. They now had to work on liberating and ruling themselves.

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