In so far as the cry raised of “Egypt for the Egyptians” was a protest against forcing the Egyptians to pay for an assumed indebtedness which was at least four times greater than anything they had actually received, no movement was ever more just and righteous than the protest of the fellaheen against foreign control, a movement which has been chiefly associated with the name of Arabi Pasha. The issue of Ismail’s financial troubles was most ignominious and disastrous to Egypt, after nearly a hundred years of heroic struggles to keep pace with the progress of modern Europe. Had Ismail modelled his career upon that of his illustrious grandfather, rather than that of Napoleon III., with which it shows many striking parallels, it is probable that the advantage secured to Egypt through the British occupation might have resulted in political and financial independence. When the crash came, and the order for his deposition was sent by the sultan, Ismail resigned the khedivate in complete submission; and, taking away with him a large private fortune and a portion of the royal harem, he spent the remainder of his life in retirement at Naples and Constantinople, and was buried with solemn pomp in the royal cemetery at Cairo.
[Illustration: 190.jpg PART OF CAIRO, SHOWING THE MULQUFS ON THE HOUSES OF MODERN EGYPT]
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Ismail deposed: Tewfik Pasha: Revolt of Arabi Pasha: Lord Wolseley and the Battle of Tel-el-Kebir: The Mahdist Rising: General Gordon in the Sudan: Death of Gordon: The Sudan abandoned and re-conquered: Battle of Onidurman: Khartum College: Financial Stability: Abbas II.: Education, Law, and the improved condition of the Fellaheen: The Caisse de la Dette
The official deposition of Ismail Pasha by the sultan of Turkey, Abdul Hamid, occurred on June 26, in the year 1879, and his son Tewfik assumed the khedivate, becoming practically the protege of England and Egypt. To understand how this came to pass, it is necessary to review the account of the financial embarrassments of Ismail. In twelve years he had extracted more than $400,000,000 from the fellaheen in taxes. He had borrowed another $400,000,000 from Europe at the same time, of which nominal sum he probably received $250,000,000 in cash. The loans were ostensibly contracted for public works. Possibly ten per cent, of the borrowed money was profitably laid out. The railways were extended; Upper Egypt was studded with sugar factories,—most of them doomed to failure,—and certain roads and gardens were made about the city of Cairo.