الناصرية
Volume 6, Numéro 1, Pages 5-27

The Impact Of Mohammed Ali’s Territorial Expansionism On British Diplomacy (1805-1840)

Authors : Mama Wahiba Houre .

Abstract

The political history of modern Egypt goes back to the French campaign of 1798. In that year, Napoleon Bonaparte, an ambitious General, undertook a military expedition to Egypt with the target of striking at Britain’s vital trade in India. Though the Napoleonic expedition was a military failure, it revealed the strategic importance of Egypt to Britain. The French occupation of Egypt (1798-1801) undermined the socio-economic conditions of the country and left a political vacuum. In the struggle for power that followed Egypt witnessed a period of anarchy and disorder (1801-1805). The winner in that struggle for power was an energetic and determined leader, Mohammed Ali. Of an Albanian origin, Mohammed Ali created an Egyptian nation-state and founded a ruling dynasty that remained in power until 1952. During his reign (1805-1848), drastic reforms were introduced and military operations in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea were undertaken that threatened the stability of the region and provoked the antagonism of the west mainly Britain the most concerned of safeguarding its commerce in India. Hence, this paper tends to find answers to a couple of questions: How did Britain react towards the territorial expansionism of Mohammed Ali in the Middle East region? Would it tolerate such an exercise of power in a strategic region where British commercial interests were in jeopardy? If not, what policy did Britain adopt to curb the military appetite of Mohammed Ali?

Keywords

Mohammed Ali; British; Egypt; Middle, Turkey