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The Cambridge History of Egypt
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    Manduchi, Patrizia 2015. Students and Dissent in Egypt. Oriente Moderno, Vol. 95, Issue. 1-2, p. 125.

    Ulrichsen, Kristian Coates 2011. The Logistics and Politics of the British Campaigns in the Middle East, 1914–22.

    Singh, Ranjit 2010. The Arab Opposition Molehill. Digest of Middle East Studies, Vol. 19, Issue. 1, p. 49.

    Goddard, Hugh 2003. Challenges and developments: Christian‐Muslim relations in the Middle East. International journal for the Study of the Christian Church, Vol. 3, Issue. 2, p. 15.

    Martin, William H. and Mason, Sandra 2003. Leisure in three Middle Eastern countries. World Leisure Journal, Vol. 45, Issue. 1, p. 35.

  • Volume 2: Modern Egypt, from 1517 to the End of the Twentieth Century
  • Edited by M. W. Daly, Kettering University, Michigan

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    The Cambridge History of Egypt
    • Volume 2: Modern Egypt, from 1517 to the End of the Twentieth Century
    • Edited by M. W. Daly
    • Online ISBN: 9781139053341
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The Cambridge History of Egypt offers the first comprehensive English-language treatment of Egyptian history through thirteen centuries, from the Arab conquest to the present day. The two-volume survey considers the political, socio-economic, and cultural history of the world's oldest state, summarizing the debates and providing insight into current controversies. As today's Egypt reclaims a leading role in the Islamic, Arab, and Afro-Asian worlds, the project stands as testimony to its complex and vibrant past. Volume 2 traces Egypt's modern history from the Ottoman conquest to the end of the twentieth century. A wide range of scholars from the humanities and social sciences have been brought together to explore the history of the period. Their conclusions reflect the work of traditional scholarship and also indicate present trends and future directions in historical writing in Egypt.


Review of the hardback:‘… the first Cambridge History devoted to modern Egypt …’

Source: Journal of the American Oriental Society

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  • 1 - Ottoman Egypt, 1525–1609
    pp 1-33
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    The period 1525-1609 covers approximately the first third of the history of Ottoman Egypt, and has distinct characteristics. In Egypt, as in most Ottoman provinces, the governor or viceroy was the sultan's representative and was personally responsible for protecting the state's interests. The survival of the Mamluks and their eventual resumption of prominence and power is the most obscure but intriguing question in Egyptian political and social history during the Ottoman period. Riots and revolts among the soldiers in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries had primarily economic origins, although there were also ethnic and racial motives. It is important to examine the situation of the religious minorities in early Ottoman Egypt not only for their own sake, but also because the condition of minorities is an indicator of the majority. The Jews and Christians in Ottoman Egypt enjoyed autonomy in religious and community matters, according to established Islamic tradition.
  • 2 - Egypt in the seventeenth century
    pp 34-58
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    The seventeenth century was an era of momentous change for all provinces of the Ottoman empire, as the empire came to the end of the phase of continuous territorial expansion that had stretched from the mid-fifteenth century through the late sixteenth century. The transformations afoot in the Ottoman capital and the Ottoman empire's heartland had a profound effect on Egypt's military society, whose demographic composition and political rivalries were already highly distinctive. The origin myths of the Fiqaris and Qasimis that the Arabic chronicles report assign a highly archetypal character to the two factions. Egypt's educational and religious institutions, while retaining a separate status from those of the central Ottoman lands, were yet shaped by empire-wide trends even as a greater degree of integration within Egypt itself allowed them, arguably, to assume a distinctly Egyptian character.
  • 3 - Egypt in the eighteenth century
    pp 59-86
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    Egypt continued its drift toward autonomy during the course of the eighteenth century, moving at the same time from dominance by households to rule by individuals. The Ottoman central government had lost its ability to direct the affairs of Egypt in the seventeenth century as most of the leading positions within the administration and the garrison corps had been taken by amirs. Egyptian society maintained its equilibrium as different social groups rose to prominence during the course of the eighteenth century. From the late seventeenth century a new wave of Anatolian Turks came to Egypt. These immigrants, particularly those from the Kazdag in western Anatolia, formed the backbone of the Qazdagli military household or spread throughout Upper and Lower Egypt in search of trade. The resurgence of Egypt under 'Ali Bey Bulut Kapan and Muhammad Bey Abu al-Dhahab and Egyptian economy based on its its export sector are discussed in this chapter.
  • 4 - Culture in Ottoman Egypt
    pp 87-112
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    The culture of the Ottoman period has often been analyzed by using the same criteria applied to the periods before and after it, Mamluk Egypt and the nineteenth century. In both Mamluk Egypt and Egypt under the rule of Muhammad 'Ali and his descendants, the state was very centralized and played an active role in financing and shaping culture and in education. The role of the state and elites underwent an important change after the Ottoman conquest of 1517, resulting in a dislocation of some of its structures. The study of architecture of the Ottoman period has fared somewhat better than that of the arts. A number of historians and architectural historians have formulated other approaches to the subject than the uncomplimentary comparison with Mamluk architecture and have looked at the architecture of the period on its own terms and for its own worth. The role of Sufism in shaping culture and education in Ottoman Egypt was a vital force.
  • 5 - The French occupation of Egypt, 1798–1801
    pp 113-138
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    Of the span of Egypt's history since the arrival of Islam, no comparably brief period has received more scholarly and popular attention than the years 1798-1801, when the country was conquered and occupied by a French military expedition commanded by Napoleon Bonaparte. Generations of western writers agreed with the expedition's commander in asserting that the French occupation was the great and necessary discontinuity in Egypt's history, the act of creative disruption that jolted Egypt out of centuries of somnolence. Bonaparte in August 1797 urged the Directory to capitalize on the seizure of the Ionian Islands by extending French activities against the Ottoman empire, including the eventual capture of Egypt. The Mamluk regime was already beginning to face a population discontented by economic crisis and factional violence in the ten or fifteen years preceding 1798. The French invasion and its sequels surely hastened the demise of the Mamluk elite.
  • 6 - The era of Muhammad ’Ali Pasha, 1805–1848
    pp 139-179
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    The period of Muhammad 'Ali's reign, which started in 1805 when he was appointed by the Ottoman sultan as wali of Egypt, offers one of the most interesting epochs of modern Egyptian history. The period that followed the French evacuation of Egypt in 1801 witnessed a breakdown of law and order. French occupation, had seriously weakened the power of the Mamluks in a manner that led to a power vacuum after the departure of the French army. Pasha's next step was to control the agricultural system with the intention of maximizing profits from it. The fact that the land-tenure system, the system of collecting taxes from the countryside, and the manner of running the entire agricultural economy were inefficient and corrupt was realized by the French as soon as they landed in Egypt. The last period of the Pasha's reign saw him adjusting to the new political situation as defined in the 1841 firman and maximizing his profits from it.
  • 7 - Egypt under the successors of Muhammad ’Ali
    pp 180-197
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    The political history of Egypt between 1848 and 1879 is dominated by the buildup of the dynastic state and by European economic and political penetration leading to the establishment of foreign control. The growth of the state was marked by consolidation of the Muhammad 'Ali family as an Egyptian dynasty, expansion of the administrative apparatus, and the appearance of a bureaucratic elite with a new indigenous component. This chapters explores the developments were associated with three viceroys namely 'Abbas, Sa'id and Isma'il. Envisioning an independent Egypt bound to the west culturally and economically, Isma'il embarked upon military campaigns in Africa and initiated reforms in education and other areas. While 'Abbas cut back in many important areas, including the army, he did not neglect the military establishment. A new military training school was established, which also provided education in technical subjects. Sa'id and Isma'il continued the development begun under 'Abbas of an ostentatious courtly style, imitating the ruling houses of Europe.
  • 8 - The Egyptian empire, 1805–1885
    pp 198-216
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    This chapter concentrates on the Muhammad 'Ali Pasha's adventures in the Arabian peninsula and his successors' drive into the interior of Africa. In 1811 the Pasha broke the power of the Mamluks by treacherously massacring their leaders in the Citadel in Cairo on the occasion of the investiture of his son Tusun as commander of the expeditionary force to the Hijaz. European affairs having been settled by the final defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, in 1816 Pasha resumed the war in Arabia, where Tusun's withdrawal had encouraged Amir 'Abdallah to break the truce and start fighting again. The rebels firmly established themselves in Yemen, with Mocha as their head quarters, and seriously interrupted the Red Sea trade. This claim of Egyptian sovereignty over the Sudan was a major theme in Sudanese and Egyptian politics until at least the 1950s. Suppression of slavery and the slave trade was the reason given by the khedive for aggressive expansion.
  • 9 - The ‘Urabi revolution and the British conquest, 1879–1882
    pp 217-238
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    Between September 1881 and September 1882 the 'Urabi revolution in Egypt tried to roll back Anglo-French financial and political predominance, the Turco-Circassian monopoly on high military posts, and the authority of Khedive Tawfiq. Britain and France rejected the last, so in September 1879 Tawfiq turned to the frankly autocratic Mustafa Riyad to form a government. Now, with Anglo-French backing through the reestablished Dual Control, Tawfiq's support and the chamber out of the way, Riyad kept control for two full years. Muhammad Sharif's cabinet was again entirely Turco-Circassian. Sultan was furious at being excluded, but becoming the first indigenous Egyptian to preside over the chamber mollified him. The revolution entered its second stage with Mahmud Sami's ensuing cabinet, which included 'Urabi as minister of war. The Alexandria riot, British bombardment, and the ensuing invasion propelled the revolution into its third stage, the final break with Tawfiq and war with Britain.
  • 10 - The British occupation, 1882–1922
    pp 239-251
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    The events of 1882 mark a watershed in the modern history of Egypt. By defeating the Egyptian army and occupying the country, Britain brought a forceful conclusion to almost a century of Great Power rivalry and of increasing Egyptian independence. A British intention to end the occupation as soon as possible was itself instrumental in providing the foundations for a long stay. Only strong measures could begin the restoration of Egypt's political and financial stability, without which the British would not consider evacuation. In August-October 1914, the Ottomans entered the war, the British took steps to buttress their position. A proclamation forbade intercourse with the enemy, censorship was imposed, the legislative assembly was prorogued, sale of Egypt's cotton crop was ensured. The war seemed to clarify the British empire's military and economic dependence on the land and sea routes passing through Egypt, while the expected dissolution of the Ottoman empire would make Egypt the lodestar in new Afro-Asian imperial constellation.
  • 11 - Social and economic change in the “long nineteenth century”
    pp 252-284
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    This chapter looks at a number of social and economic processes as they developed during the nineteenth century with special attention to the three decades from the 1850s to the 1880s. The mainstay of Egypt's dynastic order was a dependent and loyal ruling elite, made up of the senior office-holders in the province. The emergence of a strong, centralized state in nineteenth-century Egypt was greatly facilitated by the availability of European technologies and models of authority. The main processes that took place in Egypt from the seventeenth century onward were similar to those that occurred in the other Ottoman provinces of the Middle East and North Africa. In any event, what is needed to complete the rather complex socio-political picture is a reminder that the second Ottoman period is characterized by hegemonic rule, only temporarily interrupted during the last phase of Qazdagli ascendancy late in the eighteenth century and during the first decade of the nineteenth century.
  • 12 - The liberal age, 1923–1952
    pp 285-308
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    During Egypt's liberal age, between 1923 and 1952, European-style constitutionalism and political pluralism were incorporated into the country's political landscape. Eager for independence from British control and for social and economic reform, the population considered competing ideologies for Egypt's political and economic development including western-style liberalism, monarchy, Islamic fundamentalism, Marxism, feminism and secular nationalism. The liberal era, which spanned the years between 1923 and 1952, featured a political system characterized by western-style constitutionalism and parliamentary government. In this era of feminist politics new organizations and dynamic younger leaders demanded that women gain the right to vote and that the socio-economic system underlying the oppression of women be changed. Egyptian liberal democracy developed in a fragmented and uneven manner, with most political leaders jealous of their positions and uneasy about potential popular activity. Finally, on July 23, 1952, a small, secretive, politically diverse military group carried out a coup d'etat that put an end to liberal democracy in Egypt.
  • 13 - Egypt: society and economy, 1923–1952
    pp 309-333
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    After the First World War, the moral, economic, and political crisis of Anglo-French colonialism created an environment conducive to a new political order in Egypt. A central element of the political economy of the 1892-1924 era was a multifaceted rural ecological crisis. After expanding rapidly in the 1890s, crop yields and cultivated areas reached a plateau, as agriculture attained the economic limits of the environment, deployed technology, and the social relations of production. Two social groups participated in the early efforts to promote Egyptian industrialization: Muslim land owners seeking to diversify their investments and mutamassirun. There has been a broad consensus throughout the twentieth century that Egypt was overpopulated in relation to its arable land. Population pressure on agricultural land induced steady migration from the countryside to the cities. Colonial capitalism was not a static social formation. Technological developments in agriculture and urban migration altered crop patterns, market relations, and the social character of village communities.
  • 14 - Republican Egypt interpreted: revolution and beyond
    pp 334-393
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    From the vantage point of Egypt's most contemporary history, which may be said to have begun on July 23, 1952, the question posed by this dialectic concerns the inaugural status of the Free Officers' movement. The 1948 defeat obviously played an important role in the genesis of the Free Officers' movement, but it is not equally clear that the Egyptian army's perception of the Zionist fait accompli was the same as that imposed after 1956. If, in Philosophy of the Revolution, Nasir was particularly forthcoming about the humiliation felt by the Egyptian military forces, he emphasized mainly the Egyptian, internal factors of this defeat-corruption, the elites' betrayal. The 'Arab socialism' implemented in Egypt in the 1960s was destined to fail from the outset, because of inherent contradictions that condemned its champions to a sort of 'forward flight'. An open-door policy and iberalization vs. democratization measures are discussed in this chapter.
  • 15 - Modern Egyptian culture in the Arab world
    pp 394-426
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    The beginning of modern Egyptian cultural development has traditionally been set at 1798, the date of Napoleon's invasion. The principal cultural innovations of Muhammad 'Ali's reign lay in the sphere of education. The evolution of the theater in modern Egypt again owes something to Sanu', who staged a number of Arabic productions in colloquial Arabic in the early 1870s. The varying fortunes of the theater during this period illustrate the precarious relations between literature and politics that have continued to this day. Traditionally the most prestigious of Arabic literary forms, poetry in Arabic had behind it a continuous tradition of some fourteen centuries, representing what many regarded as one of the pinnacles of Arab civilization. In poetry, the change of mood had already been accompanied by major changes in form, as the first generation of post-Second World War poets began to experiment with various forms of 'free verse', under the influence of western poets such as Eliot and others.

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