Modern Egypt History

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Egyptian Historical Overview

According to Lord Cromer, there is a vast variation between the ways of life of the Egyptian people in comparison to the Europeans who had moved into the country for variant reasons, majorly trade. One of the unique traits of Egypt as a society is its religious mix, comprising majorly of Christians and Muslims. This gives the country a religious divide, which has been immensely discussed by Cromer in the article, detailing the religious variations between the two factions. Moslems have a direct correlation between cleanliness and godliness, viewing the latter as inexistent in the absence of the first. In this regard, a Moslem has to be clean for him or her to be godly. For Christians, cleanliness is also associated with godliness, but the two aspects are directly intertwined or related. In this faith, being unclean does not necessarily mean being ungodly (The Earl of Cromer 147). Additionally, in the Islam religion, music is not an integral part of their belief, and it is never played in mosques. However, in Christianity, music is a critical part of religion, which is commonplace in any gathering of worship. This variation makes Egypt a very diverse nation, with its cultural and religious mix defining its way of life.

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British in Egypt

Cromer further explores European occupation in the country, with a precise focus on Britain. Britain was an on and off colonizer and occupier of Egypt, with wrangles between the natives and the neighboring Libyan Italians, resulting in endless conflict. The major interest for Britain in the country was the Suez Canal, and the colonizers aimed at solidifying their grasp of the nation, with the intent of controlling the waterway. However, the Ottoman Empire emphasized its legitimacy as the ruler of Egypt, which worsened the conflict. The First World War was a defining moment for Egypt, as the Ottoman Empire joined the central forces (Sayyid-Marsot 121). This led to a decline in their prominence, strengthening the British colonialists in the country. With this shift in power, Britain brought in its troops in the country, a move aimed at strengthening their position in the country. The troops were to protect the Suez Canal, the waterway for the trade to the Eastern region (The Earl of Cromer 149). These influences were critical to Egypt, influencing their way of life and social status. The colonizers brought in goods and farm products from Europe, which have become staple foods in the country. Egypt became an agricultural country owing to the British presence, unlike its previous reliance on trade. Contemporary art was also vastly influenced by the Britons, reshaping the future of the country. In addition, racial, language and the religious mix was significantly impacted.

British Opposition

As elucidated, there were variant factions and social groups that greatly influenced the British opposition in the country. Firstly, the native Egyptians were against the colonialists, failing to recognize them as their rulers. The Ottoman Empire greatly rejected the settlement of the British in the country, terming itself as the supreme and legitimate ruler of the nation. This resulted in the continuous conflict between the British and the Egyptians, which failed to attract any international support. Italian Libya also rejected the colonialism in Egypt, which led to a nasty conflict between them and the colonialists in Egypt (Khater 65). The colonialists failed to garner any international support, prompting their departure from the nation. Despite the varied differences between these forces, the groups had a similar goal, which was the ejection of the British rule over Egypt as well as the monopoly of the Suez Canal.

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  1. The Earl of Cromer. Modern Egypt. New York: The MacMillan Company, 1908.
  2. Khater, Akram Fouad. Sources in the History of the Modern Middle East. Cengage Learning, 2010.
  3. Sayyid-Marsot, Afaf Lutfi. Egypt and Cromer: A Study in Anglo-Egyptian Relations. New York: Praeger, 1969.
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