Saturday, 31 December 2016
EXAMINE THE CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF THE EGYPTIAN LOSS OF INDEPENDENCE
• Brief account of the history of Egypt.
• Clearly explain the causes of the loss of Egyptian independence and its effects to Egypt and A Africa,
Back ground to the question
Egypt lost its independence to Britain in 1882 after the success suppression of the Urabi Pasha revolt.
Causes of the loss of independence
1. Completion of the Suez Canal which reduced distance from the Far East by about 4000 miles.
2. Economic potential of Egypt especially the Nile valley which would provide good opportunities for cash crop growing.
3. Weakness in the army both in organization and weaponry levels.
4. Failure of the Urabi revolts
5. The large number of European nationalities in Egypt especially French and British.
6. The decline of the Ottoman Empire which gave way to European interests in Egypt
7. The coming of Tawfiq to power that was a puppet.
8. The period of scramble and partition was unfolding and Egypt was not exceptional.
9. Bismarck’s support for Britain takeover of Egypt.
10. Weak leadership i.e. Mohammed Seyyid 1854 -1863, Khedive Ismail 1863-79 and Tawfiq 1879-82
11. The strategic location of Egypt which attracted Europeans especially the British.
12. Financial weaknesses of Khedive Ismail of over borrowing which led to formation of European commission to avert the situation
13. Absence of the French in 1882 which gave the Britain a free hand.
Consequences to Egypt and Africa in general.
1. France lost claims over Egypt and went to other areas causing crises e.g. the F ashoda incident of 1898.
every homestead was to grow cotton, Aswan high dam was completed, and irrigation canals were expanded. However Cotton products were sold to the Egyptians at high prices and no industry was constructed.
3. Developed public works in Egypt i.e. Harbours were modernized to support increasing imports and exports. All this was done to ease the work of European exploitation of Egyptian resources.
4. Drainage facilities were habilitated i.e. there's general improvement in Hydro electric power supply leading to improvement in commerce. However all meant for easy exploitation of Egyptian resources.
5. Improved the management of the Suez Canal which offered a shortest route to India, thus the customs department of Egypt was busy and got a lot of revenue. However much of the was repatriated to Britain
6. Put ill place monetary policies by constructing banks. However Egyptians were given loans at high interest rates so many failed to pay back and their businesses ended up in the hands of Europeans (confiscated)
7. Improved transport network roads making towns like Cairo and Alexandria were constructed. However he only did this in towns and neglected villages thus regional imbalances.
8. He established a strong police force which ensured law and order. However this police always favoured the British while it harashed Egyptians.
9. He urbanized Egypt, Cairo became an international city. However towns were only for the British and many nationals were sent to villages
10. He tried to pay off the Egyptian debts which had been accumulated by Khedive Ismail. However he failed to fully pay the debts yet he had a lot of money.
11. He encouraged primary education. However he neglected secondary and university education and English became the official language.
12. He established a strong judicial system which helped to promote justice. However the sector always favoured the British.
13. The legislative assembly was introduced to enable Egyptians to participate in their countries affairs. However it was designed to suit the British interest.
14. He turned Egypt in to a cash crop economy with cotton fanning the biggest source of foreign exchanged. But the whole of it almost went to Britain.
In conclusion, Lord Cromer's polices in Egypt were not any peculiar to colonial policies elsewhere in Africa; they were designed to benefit the metropolitan Britain; any developments in Egypt were mere spillovers.