^ b. Area and density include inhabited areas only. The total area of
Egypt, including deserts, is 994,000 km2.
Part of a series on the
History of Egypt
Early Dynastic Period
1st Intermediate Period
2nd Intermediate Period
3rd Intermediate Period
Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt
Twenty-eighth Dynasty of Egypt
Twenty-ninth Dynasty of Egypt
Thirtieth Dynasty of Egypt
Macedonian and Ptolemaic Egypt
Roman and Byzantine Egypt
30 BC–641 AD
Egypt under Muhammad Ali
Khedivate of Egypt
Sultanate of Egypt
Kingdom of Egypt
The Khedivate of
Egypt (Arabic: خديوية مصر, Egyptian
Arabic pronunciation: [xedeˈwejjet ˈmɑsˤɾ]; Ottoman Turkish:
خدیویت مصر Hıdiviyet-i Mısır) was an autonomous
tributary state of the Ottoman Empire, established and ruled by the
Muhammad Ali Dynasty
Muhammad Ali Dynasty following the defeat and expulsion of Napoleon
Bonaparte's forces which brought an end to the short-lived French
occupation of Lower Egypt. The
United Kingdom occupied the territory
in 1882, and British rule lasted until 1914 when the United Kingdom
established a protectorate called the Sultanate of Egypt.
1 History (1798–1867)
1.1 Rise of Muhammad Ali
1.3 Invasion of
Libya and Sudan
1.4 Greek campaign
1.5 Wars against the Turks
1.6 Muhammad Ali's successors
1.7 British occupation
2 Sanctioned khedival rule (1867–1914)
2.1 European influence
2.2 Tewfik and the loss of Sudan
2.3 Reconquest of the Sudan
2.4 End of the Khedivate
3.2 Adoption of European-style industries
4 Notable events and people during khedival rule
5 See also
Rise of Muhammad Ali
Main article: Muhammad Ali's seizure of power
Upon the conquest of the
Sultanate of Egypt
Sultanate of Egypt by the
Ottoman Empire in
1517, the country was governed as an Ottoman eyalet (province). The
Porte was content to permit local rule to remain in the hands of the
Mamluks, the Egyptian military caste of Circassian, and Turkic origin
who had held power in
Egypt since the 13th century. Save for military
expeditions to crush
Mamluk Egyptian uprisings seeking to re-establish
the independent Egyptian sultanate, the Ottomans largely ignored
Egyptian affairs until the French invasion of
Egypt in 1798.
Between 1799 and 1801, the
Ottoman Porte (government), working at
times with France's main enemy, the United Kingdom, undertook various
campaigns to restore Ottoman rule in Egypt. By August, 1801, the
remaining French forces of General
Jacques-François Menou withdrew
The period between 1801 and 1805 was, effectively, a three way civil
Egypt between the Egyptian Mamluks, the Ottoman Turks, and
Ottoman Porte dispatched from
Rumelia (the Empire's
European province), under the command of Muhammad Ali Pasha, to
restore the Empire's authority.
Following the defeat of the French, the Porte assigned
Husrev Pasha as
Wāli (governor) of Egypt, tasking him to kill or imprison the
Mamluk beys. Many of these were freed by or fled
with the British, while others held Minya between Upper and Lower
Amid these disturbances,
Husrev Pasha attempted to disband his
Albanian bashi-bazouks (soldiers) without pay. This led to rioting
Husrev Pasha from Cairo. During the ensuing turmoil, the
Muhammad Ali Pasha
Muhammad Ali Pasha to Egypt.
However, Muhammad Ali seized control of Egypt, declaring himself ruler
Egypt and quickly consolidating an independent local powerbase.
After repeated failed attempts to remove and kill him, in 1805, the
Porte officially recognised Muhammad Ali as
Wāli of Egypt.
Demonstrating his grander ambitions,
Muhammad Ali Pasha
Muhammad Ali Pasha claimed for
himself the higher title of
Khedive (Viceroy), ruling the
self-proclaimed (but not recognised) Khedivate of Egypt. He murdered
Mamluk beys in 1811, solidifying his own control of
Egypt. He is regarded as the founder of modern
Egypt because of the
dramatic reforms he instituted in the military, agricultural, economic
and cultural spheres.
During Muhammad Ali's absence in Arabia his representative at Cairo
had completed the confiscation, begun in 1808, of almost all the lands
belonging to private individuals, who were forced to accept instead
inadequate pensions. By this revolutionary method of land
nationalization Muhammad Ali became proprietor of nearly all the soil
of Egypt, an iniquitous measure against which the
Egyptians had no
The pasha also attempted to reorganize his troops on European lines,
but this led to a formidable mutiny in Cairo. Muhammad Ali's life was
endangered, and he sought refuge by night in the citadel, while the
soldiery committed many acts of plunder. The revolt was reduced by
presents to the chiefs of the insurgents, and Muhammad Ali ordered
that the sufferers by the disturbances should receive compensation
from the treasury. The project of the Nizam Gedid (New System) was, in
consequence of this mutiny, abandoned for a time.
While Ibrahim was engaged in the second Arabian campaign the pasha
turned his attention to strengthening the Egyptian economy. He created
state monopolies over the chief products of the country. He set up a
number of factories and began digging in 1819 a new canal to
Alexandria, called the Mahmudiya (after the reigning sultan of
Turkey). The old canal had long fallen into decay, and the necessity
of a safe channel between
Alexandria and the
Nile was much felt. The
conclusion in 1838 of a commercial treaty with Turkey, negotiated by
Henry Bulwer (Lord Darling), struck a deathblow to the system of
monopolies, though the application of the treaty to
Egypt was delayed
for some years.
Another notable fact in the economic progress of the country was the
development of the cultivation of cotton in the Delta 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
Muhammad Ali was enabled to extract considerable revenues.
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, Muhammad Ali showed much favor, and under his influence the
Alexandria again rose into importance. It was also under
Muhammad Ali's encouragement that the overland transit of goods from
Egypt was resumed.
Libya and Sudan
Main article: Egyptian invasion of
In 1820 Muhammad Ali gave orders to commence the conquest of eastern
Libya. He first sent an expedition westward (Feb. 1820) which
conquered and annexed the Siwa oasis. Ali's intentions for
to extend his rule southward, to capture the valuable caravan trade
bound for the Red Sea, and to secure the rich gold mines which he
believed to exist in Sennar. He also saw in the campaign a means of
getting rid of his 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, the youngest
son of Muhammad Ali. They consisted of between 4000 and 5000 men,
being Turks and Egyptians. They left
Cairo in July 1820.
Nubia at once
Shaigiya tribe immediately beyond the province of
Dongola were defeated, the remnant of the Mamluks dispersed, and
Sennar was reduced without a battle.
Mahommed Bey, the defterdar, with another force of about the same
strength, was then sent by Muhammad Ali against
Kordofan with like
result, but not without a hard-fought engagement. In October 1822,
Ismail, with his retinue, was burnt to death by Nimr, the mek (king)
of Shendi; and the defterdar, a man infamous for his cruelty, assumed
the command of those provinces, and exacted terrible retribution from
Khartoum was founded at this time, and in the
following years the rule of the
Egyptians was greatly extended and
control of the
Red Sea ports of
Main article: Greek War of Independence
Muhammad 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 vassals, and who
was under the influence of the personal enemies of the pasha of Egypt,
notably of Husrev Pasha, the grand vizier, who had never forgiven his
Egypt in 1803.
Mahmud also was already planning reforms borrowed from the West, and
Muhammad 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
European 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
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 Sudanese and fellahin. The
effectiveness of the new force was demonstrated in the suppression of
an 1823 revolt of the Albanians in
Cairo by six disciplined Sudanese
regiments; after which Mehemet Ali was no more troubled with military
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. Muhammad Ali had already, in
1821, been appointed by him governor of Crete, which he had occupied
with a small Egyptian force. In the autumn of 1824 a fleet of 60
Egyptian warships carrying a large force of 17,000 disciplined troops
concentrated in Suda Bay, and, in the following March, with Ibrahin as
commander-in-chief landed in the Morea.
His naval superiority wrested from the Greeks the command of a great
deal of the sea, on which the fate of the insurrection ultimately
depended, while on land the Greek irregular bands, having largely
soundly beaten the Porte's troops, had finally met a worthy foe in
Ibrahim's 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
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. But for the
action of European powers, it is suspected by many that the Ottoman
Empire might have defeated the Greeks.
Wars against the Turks
Egyptian–Ottoman War (1831–33)
Egyptian–Ottoman War (1831–33) and
Egyptian–Ottoman War (1839–41)
Although Muhammad Ali had only been granted the title of wali, he
proclaimed himself khedive, or hereditary viceroy, early on during his
rule. The Ottoman government, although irritated, did nothing until
Muhammad Ali invaded Ottoman-ruled Syria in 1831. The governorship of
Syria had been promised him by the sultan, Mahmud II, for his
assistance during the Greek War of Independence, but the title was not
granted to him after the war. This caused the Ottomans, allied with
the British, to counter-attack in 1839.
In 1840, the British bombarded Beirut and an Anglo-Ottoman force
landed and seized Acre. The Egyptian army was forced to retreat
back home, and Syria again became an Ottoman province. As a result of
the Convention of London (1840), Muhammad Ali gave up all conquered
lands with the exception of the
Sudan and was in turn granted the
hereditary governorship of the Sudan.
Muhammad Ali's successors
Main article: Muhammad Ali Dynasty
By 1848, Muhammad Ali was old and senile enough for his
tuberculosis-ridden son, Ibrahim, to demand his accession to the
governorship. The Ottoman sultan acceded to the demands, and Muhammad
Ali was removed from power. However, Ibrahim died of his disease
months later, outlived by his father, who died in 1849.
Ibrahim was succeeded by his nephew Abbas I, who undid many of
Muhammad Ali's accomplishments. Abbas was assassinated by two of his
slaves in 1854, and Muhammad Ali's fourth son, Sa'id, succeeded him.
Sa'id brought back many of his father's policies but otherwise had
an unremarkable reign.
Sa'id ruled for only nine years, and his nephew Isma'il, another
grandson of Muhammad Ali, became wali. In 1867, the Ottoman sultan
acknowledged Isma'il's use of the title khedive.
Main article: British occupation of Egypt
In 1882 opposition to European control led to growing tension amongst
native notables, the most dangerous opposition coming from the army. A
large military demonstration in September 1881 forced the Khedive
Tewfiq to dismiss his Prime Minister. In April 1882 France and Great
Britain sent warships to
Alexandria to bolster the
Khedive amidst a
turbulent climate, spreading fear of invasion throughout the country.
Egypt was in the hands of nationalists opposed to European
domination of the country. A British naval bombardment of Alexandria
had little effect on the opposition which led to the landing of a
British expeditionary force at both ends of the
Suez Canal in August
1882. The British succeeded in defeating the Egyptian Army at Tel El
Kebir in September and took control of the country putting Tewfiq back
in control. The purpose of the invasion had been to restore political
Egypt under a government of the
Khedive and international
controls which were in place to streamline Egyptian financing since
British occupation ended nominally with the deposition of the last
khedive Abbas II on 5 November 1914 and the establishment of a
British protectorate, with the installation of sultan Hussein Kamel on
19 December 1914.
Sanctioned khedival rule (1867–1914)
By Isma'il's reign, the Egyptian government, headed by the minister
Nubar Pasha, had become dependent on Britain and France for a healthy
economy. Isma'il attempted to end this European dominance, while at
the same time pursuing an aggressive domestic policy. Under Isma'il,
112 canals and 400 bridges were built in Egypt.
Because of his efforts to gain economic independence from the European
powers, Isma'il became unpopular with many British and French
diplomats, including Evelyn Baring and Alfred Milner, who claimed that
he was "ruining Egypt."
In 1869, the completion of the
Suez Canal gave Britain a faster route
to India. This made
Egypt increasingly reliant on Britain for both
military and economic aid. Isma'il made no effort to reconcile with
the European powers, who pressured the Ottoman sultan into
removing him from power.
Tewfik and the loss of Sudan
Isma'il was succeeded by his eldest son Tewfik, who, unlike his
younger brothers, had not been educated in Europe. He pursued a policy
of closer relations with Britain and France but his authority was
undermined in a rebellion led by his war minister, Arabi Pasha, in
1882. Arabi took advantage of violent riots in
Alexandria to seize
control of the government and temporarily depose Tewfik.
British naval forces shelled and captured Alexandria, and an
expeditionary force under General Sir
Garnet Wolseley was formed in
England. The British army landed in
Egypt soon afterwards, and
defeated Arabi's army in the Battle of Tel el-Kebir. Arabi was tried
for treason and sentenced to death, but the sentence was commuted to
exile. After the revolt, the Egyptian army was reorganized on a
British model and commanded by British officers.
Meanwhile, a religious rebellion had broken out in the Sudan, led by
Muhammad Ahmed, who proclaimed himself the Mahdi. The Mahdist rebels
had seized the regional capital of
Kordofan and annihilated two
British-led expeditions sent to quell it. The British
soldier-adventurer Charles George Gordon, an ex-governor of the Sudan,
was sent to the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, with orders to evacuate
its minority of European and Egyptian inhabitants. Instead of
evacuating the city, Gordon prepared for a siege and held out from
1884 to 1885. However,
Khartoum eventually fell, and he was
Gordon Relief Expedition
Gordon Relief Expedition was delayed by several battles,
and was thus unable to reach
Khartoum and save Gordon. The fall of
Khartoum resulted in the proclamation of an Islamic state, ruled over
first by the
Mahdi and then by his successor Khalifa Abdullahi.
Reconquest of the Sudan
See also: History of
Mahdist Sudan § Reconquest of Sudan
See also: Anglo-Egyptian invasion of Sudan
In 1896, during the reign of Tewfik's son, Abbas II, a massive
Anglo-Egyptian force, under the command of General Herbert Kitchener,
began the reconquest of the Sudan. The Mahdists were defeated in
the battles of Abu Hamid and Atbara. The campaign was concluded with
the Anglo-Egyptian victory of Omdurman, the Mahdist capital.
The Khalifa was hunted down and killed in 1899, in the Battle of Umm
Diwaykarat, and Anglo-Egyptian rule was restored to the Sudan.
End of the Khedivate
Abbas II became very hostile to the British as his reign drew on, and,
by 1911, was considered by Lord Kitchener to be a "wicked little
Khedive" worthy of deposition.
In 1914, when
World War I
World War I broke out, the
Ottoman Empire joined the
Central Powers, which were at war with the Allied nations, including
Egypt was still a nominal vassal state of the Ottoman
Empire, the British proclaimed a
Sultanate of Egypt
Sultanate of Egypt and abolished the
Khedivate on 5 November 1914. Abbas II, who supported the Central
Powers and was in
Vienna for a state visit, was deposed from the
Khedivate throne in his absence by the enforcement of the British
military authorities in
Cairo and was banned from returning to Egypt.
He was succeeded by his uncle Hussein Kamel, who took the title of
Sultan on 19 December 1914. Abbas II finally accepted the new order of
things and formally abdicated on 12 May 1931, spending the rest of his
life in Geneva, Switzerland, until his death on 19 December 1944 (on
the 30th anniversary of Hussein Kamel's reign.)
During the khedivate, the standard form of Egyptian currency was the
Egyptian pound. Because of the gradual European domination of the
Egyptian economy, the khedivate adopted the gold standard in 1885.
Adoption of European-style industries
Although the adoption of modern industrial techniques was begun under
Muhammad Ali in the early 19th century, the policy was continued under
Machines were imported into Egypt, and, by the abolition of the
khedivate in 1914, the textile industry had become the most prominent
one in the nation.
Notable events and people during khedival rule
Greek War of Independence
Greek War of Independence (1821–1830)
Egyptian invasion of Syria (1830)
Completion of the
Suez Canal (1869)
Arabi revolt (1881)
Mahdist War (1881–1885)
Mahdist War (1896–1899)
Abolishment of the khedivate; establishment of the Sultanate of Egypt
Muhammad Ali: First hereditary Ottoman governor of Egypt
Ibrahim: Muhammad Ali's son and successor (in 1848)
Abbas I: Ibrahim's successor
Sa'id: Abbas' successor
Isma'il: First khedive of Egypt; Sa'id's successor
Tewfik: Second khedive; Isma'il's successor
Abbas II of Egypt: Third and last khedive; Tewfik's successor
Hussein Kamel: Isma'il's son; first
Sultan of Egypt
Nubar Pasha: Egyptian politician; often prime minister of Egypt
Ahmed Arabi: Egyptian soldier, war minister; leader of the Arabi
Muhammad Ahmed: Self-proclaimed Mahdi; leader of the Sudanese Mahdist
Vassal and tributary states of the Ottoman Empire
Abbas I of Egypt
Sa'id of Egypt
Principality of Bengal
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^ a b "
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Administrative divisions of the Ottoman Empire
c. 1365 – 1867 (eyalets)
Muhammad Ali dynasty (1805-67
1867–1922 (vilayets and mutasarrıfates)
Vassals and autonomies
Khanate of Kazan
Principality of Moldavia
Sharifate of Mecca
Republic of Ragusa
Duchy of Syrmia
Principality of Transylvania
Principality of Wallachia
Principality of Romania
Principality of Serbia
Principality of Bulgaria
Kingdom of Imereti
Khedivate of Egypt
Principality of Samos
See also the list of short-lived Ottoman provinces
Coordinates: 30°03′N 31°13′E / 30.050°N 31.217°E /