Viceroy and pasha
of Egypt (1805-49), founder of the dynasty that ruled Egypt from the beginning
of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th. He encouraged the emergence
of the modern Egyptian state.
Rise to power.
Muhammad 'Ali's ethnic background is unknown, though he may have been an Albanian and was certainly a Muslim and an Ottoman subject. His father, Ibrahim Agha, the commander of a small provincial military force that was maintained by the governor of Kavala, died when Muhammad 'Ali was a boy, and he was brought up by the governor. At 18 he was married to one of the governor's relatives, who became the mother of five of Muhammad 'Ali's 95 children. He became involved in the tobacco trade, an experience that may account for his later commercial interests.
In 1798 Egypt, at that time a semi-autonomous province of the Ottoman Empire, was occupied by a French force under Napoleon Bonaparte. Muhammad 'Ali went there as part of an Ottoman expeditionary force to oppose the French. With great political skill, he managed by 1805 to be named the wali, the Ottoman sultan's viceroy in Egypt, with the rank of pasha.
Nowhere in the Ottoman Empire was there greater opportunity for a total restructuring of society than in Egypt. The three-year French occupation (1798-1801) had disrupted the country's traditional political and economic structure. Continuing the task begun by the French, Muhammad 'Ali put an end to Egypt's traditional society. He eliminated the Mamluks, the former ruling oligarchy, expropriated the old landholding classes, turned the religious class into pensioners of the government, restricted the activities of the native merchant and artisan groups, neutralized the Bedouins, and crushed all movements of rebellion among the peasants. The task of rebuilding Egypt along modern lines now lay before him.
But, though Muhammad 'Ali had considerable native intelligence and great personal charm, he was a man of limited knowledge and of narrow horizons. He proved insensitive to the possibilities open to him and governed generally according to Ottoman principles. No group within Egyptian society was capable of forcing fundamental changes upon him; elements that might have served as the instruments of change had been crushed at the outset of his regime. Neither was there an ideology capable of bringing together the ruler and the ruled in a great national effort. Finally, Muhammad 'Ali had to devote much of his effort to resisting attempts by his Ottoman overlord to remove him from office. His policies were designed more to entrench himself and his family in Egypt as its hereditary rulers than to create a new society.
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* Pic.:Mohamed Ali Pasha receiving Envoys and Ambassadors of Europe at Alexanderia
(1769-1849), also Mehemet Ali, Ottoman pasha (or viceroy) of Egypt (1805-1849),
who reformed the country and founded a dynasty that ruled it until the
Muhammad Ali was probably born in Kavála (now in eastern Macedonia, Greece) of Albanian parentage. From 1799 to 1801 he fought in several battles in Egypt, then part of the Ottoman Empire, against the French forces led by Napoleon I. In 1805 Muhammad Ali was appointed viceroy of Egypt, with the title of pasha. He defeated an invading British army in 1807; four years later he ensured his supremacy in Egypt by massacring the Mamelukes, a military group that had conspired to usurp his power. He modernized Egypt's governmental administration and military forces and in 1811 launched a war against the Wahhabis of Arabia; the war was won in 1818 by his son, Ibrahim Pasha. From 1820 to 1822 Muhammad Ali was engaged in the conquest of the Sudan, and shortly thereafter, in 1823, he founded the city of Khartoum. In 1824 the Ottoman sultan, Mahmud II, called on him for aid in the war against the Greek rebels. His successes in the ensuing campaigns prompted the sultan to award him the island of Crete.
In 1827, Great Britain, France, and Russia found it necessary to protect their interests in the Mediterranean by shattering Ibrahim Pasha's fleet at Navarino (now Pilos), on the west Peloponnesian coast of Greece, thereby preventing Muhammad Ali from pressing his victories over the Greeks. In 1831 Muhammad Ali invaded Syria after Mahmud refused to make him governor there. His victory in this war resulted in the extension of his dominions to the Persian Gulf. In 1839 war again broke out with the sultan; Muhammad Ali was again victorious, but as before was deprived of the fruits of victory by the European powers of Great Britain, Russia Austria, and Prussia. He was, however, granted the right to pass his power to his descendants, who ruled Egypt until the overthrow of King Faruk I in 1952. Muhammad Ali died in Alexandria, Egypt, on August 2, 1849.
"Muhammad Ali (1769-1849)," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2000. © 1993-1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2000. © 1993-1999 Microsoft
Corporation. All rights reserved.
Ibrahim Pasha (1789-1848), Egyptian general and viceroy, born in Kavála, eastern Macedonia, Greece, the son or adopted son of Muhammad Ali, who became the Turkish-appointed viceroy of Egypt. Ibrahim commanded the Egyptian troops in Arabia in their successful campaign against the Wahhabi tribesmen (1816-1818). In 1824, during the war for Greek independence from Turkey, he was sent to the Peloponnese (Greece) with a squadron and an army of 17,000 men to quell the rebellion. With superior forces and artillery, he was victorious in the field but was harassed by Greek guerrilla forces after the siege of Missolonghi (1824). In revenge, he devastated the country and deported and enslaved thousands of Greeks. Great Britain, Russia, and France intervened and compelled the Egyptian force to withdraw in 1828.
In 1831, when his father revoked his allegiance to the sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Ibrahim invaded Syria, then under Ottoman rule. He defeated the Turks in several battles and became governor of Syria. The conflict was resumed from 1838 to 1839 and culminated in Egyptian victory. Great Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia, however, forced Ibrahim Pasha to abandon Syria in 1841. He replaced his father as viceroy of Egypt in 1848, but died shortly afterwards.
"Ibrahim Pasha," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2000. ©
1993-1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Abbas I (of Egypt) (1813-1854), pasha of Egypt (1849-1854), grandson of the pasha Muhammad Ali. His full name was Abbas Hilmi. In 1848, on the death of his uncle Ibrahim Pasha, Abbas became regent of Egypt for the Ottoman Empire. He was created pasha in the following year. Most of the domestic reforms accomplished by Muhammad Ali were undone during the reign of Abbas, who opposed the Suez Canal project, though he allowed the British to build the Alexandria-Cairo Railway. In general he distrusted Europeans and European-inspired reforms. Finally he was murdered by his slaves.
"Abbas I (of Egypt)," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2000.
© 1993-1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Abbas II (1874-1944), last khedive (Turkish viceroy) of Egypt. His full name was Abbas Hilmi Pasha. He succeeded his father Muhammad Tawfik Pasha to the throne of Egypt in 1892. During the early years of his reign he opposed British interference in Egyptian affairs. After 1900, however, he was compelled to cooperate with progressive measures instituted by the British resident at Cairo. During his reign Egypt reconquered the Sudan (1898) and the railway to Khartoum, Sudan, was completed (1899), as was the first Aswân Dam (1902). Abbas II supported the Ottoman Turks in World War I and was deposed in 1914, when Great Britain established a protectorate over Egypt. He spent the rest of his life in exile.
"Abbas II," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2000. © 1993-1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Ismail Pasha (1830-1895), khedive of Egypt, second son of Ibrahim Pasha, born in Cairo, and educated in Paris. He succeeded his uncle, Said Pasha, as viceroy of Egypt in 1863. Four years later the sultan of the Ottoman Empire granted him the title of khedive, with the right to pass the title to his son. Ismail thereupon embarked on an extensive programme of public works and administrative and social reforms. He also promoted the construction of the Suez Canal (1859-1869), which connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Gulf of Suez. As a result of his administrative policies, however, the government debt had risen over thirtyfold between 1863 and 1874. Eventually, as the government's financial situation worsened, and France and Great Britain realized the strategic importance of Egypt, they assumed control of Egyptian finances. Ismail was compelled to abdicate in favour of his son Muhammad Tawfik Pasha in 1879 and subsequently lived in exile abroad. He died at his palace near Constantinople (now Ýstanbul, Turkey)."Ismail Pasha," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2000. © 1993-1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.