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Essay on French Invasion and Occupation

3 pages
710 words
Harvey Mudd College
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The initial French plan was targeting ways of seizing Egypt as part of its colony. The French had expectations that the Egyptians who were suffering under the Mamluks would have welcomed them as liberators. As well, French expected that Ottomans would have tolerated the French for having expelled the excessively sovereign subjects. Egypt has to take advantage of the developments that were achieved due to revolution with the modernized government, and creation of new institutions (Mikhail, 2013). The role played by Ottomans was tricky. Traditionally, France was associated with the Ottoman Kingdom and at that time there were no intentions of changing the situation. In fact, French plans were dependent upon Ottomans neutral grounds. France wished to control Egypt with two main reasons of agricultural and commercial potentiality and the strategic significance to the Anglo-French enmity (Aksan, 2011).

In the 18th Century, the core share for the European trade with Egypt was given to the French traders. French were interested in Egypt since it was a source of grains and other raw materials. In other terms, French control of Egypt was utilized in threatening the Britain commercial importance in the region and blocking the Britain route to India (Kelly, 2010).

The role of the Islam was accounted for. In Napoleons initial declaration to the Egyptians, there was a claim of worshipping God more than Mamluks with further claims that French were not true Muslims (Zeevi, 2011). Notably, the claim was not justifiable despite the fact that religion was not used in proving most severe challenges that were faced by French. The increase of the novel middle classes played a crucial role of recasting Islam ideas, in the reconstruction of the Islamic communities and in stimulating the participation of the society in the political activity (Dunn, 2006).

Foreign occupations were able to destroy most of the conventional Muslim states hence depriving the former leaders their institution political leverage over the society (Jeffreys, 2003). The society was left with no protection of the state. It was free to defend and assert its Islamic interests and identity to search for cultural and religious deliverance by depending upon the spiritual and human resources. The community remained as the source of power for mobilizing to increase the followers and enlarge the influence in the urban areas (Valbjorn, 2011).

Many of the traditional religious leaders who were highly-ranked in the community sought for accommodation with the foreign political masters. They acted as the mediators between the authorities and the faithful despite the fact that the bond of community and the novel European state held no Islamic concept (Fromkin, 2001). Other members part of the former religion had to cast with the community with the provision of political leadership and reinterpretation of Islamic writings in connection with populist and rational direction. There were emerging resist between new classes and traditional establishments to control the community that was revolving around land and Islam (Strathern, 2008). Muslim was enjoying support from the sultan with the wider expansion of land privatization, increased agricultural production, and cities growth moving slowly to manufacturing and trade industry (Cole, 2007). Within the novel social-cultural situation, the role of modern education program and role played by the intelligentsia in Ottoman had new significance.


Aksan, V. H. (2011). The Muslim World: Recent Scholarship on the Ottoman Middle East. Journal for EighteenthCentury Studies, 34(4), 535-542.

Cole, J. (2007). Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East. St. Martin's Press.

Dunn, J. P. (2006). Americans in the nineteenth century Egyptian army: a selected bibliography. The Journal of Military History, 70(1), 123-136.

Fromkin, D. (2001). A peace to end all peace: the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the creation of the modern Middle East. Macmillan.

Jeffreys, D. G. (Ed.). (2003). Views of Ancient Egypt since Napoleon Bonaparte: imperialism, colonialism and modern appropriations. Cavendish Publishing.

Kelly, C. (2010). Medicine and the Egyptian Campaign: The Development of the Military Medical Officer during the Napoleonic Wars c. 17981801. Canadian Bulletin of Medical History, 27(2), 321-342.

Mikhail, A. (2013). Unleashing the beast: animals, energy, and the economy of labor in Ottoman Egypt. The American Historical Review, 118(2), 317-348.

Strathern, P. (2008). Napoleon in Egypt. Random House.

Valbjorn, M. (2011). Culture in the Middle East: the western Question and the Sovereignty of Post-Imperial States in the Middle East, Sovereignty after Empire, 222-241.

Zeevi, D. (2011). Napoleon in Egypt: Invading the Middle East. Bustan: The Middle East Book Review, 2(1), 42-44.

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