Egyptian Insurrection (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: Egyptian responses to British influence. Result: Establishment of new regime in Egypt.
The Egyptian Insurrection represents a climax of Egyptian popular frustration with Britain’s continuing presence and with Egypt’s established but ineffective political system. Many Egyptians believed Britain was determined to control Egypt for its own imperial purposes, as it had done since first occupying the country in 1882. The physical embodiment of Britain’s role was its immense military base in the Suez Canal Zone. Sprawling more than nearly 5,000 square miles (one of the largest military installations in the world at the time), it was not just the center of Britain’s defense of the Suez Canal but a key to Britain’s strategic interests throughout the Middle East. Although the 1936 Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of Preferential Friendship, which officially defined relations, stipulated that in peacetime Britain could station a maximum of 10,400 troops in the base, the British uniformed presence was ten times that size as late as 1947. Under public pressure, Egyptian leaders sought to renegotiate the treaty relationship but did not succeed.
In the same period, the other dimension of Egyptian nationalism—the extent to which it had turned inward against the country’s political system and elite—also reached a peak. Dissatisfaction had been taking shape since the late 1920’s....
(The entire section is 679 words.)
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