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“Up to the Euphrates and Tigris” – An Egypt AAR


Welcome everybody into this AAR about Egypt and its ambitions during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. It is my first AAR and I hope I will be able to finish it. Moreover I’m not a native speaker (I think you’ll see that quite fastly :p) so please don’t mind too much the expressions or the text in general although I will try not to make obvious mistakes.

So I will be using the modmod Concert of Europe by Shinwalks who does an amazing work at keeping the Victoria II modding scene alive (more than me with Divergences sadly ). I will avoid cheating as much as possible but if things go really implausible then I will adjust them. The only great change I’ve made is to Kuthaya Treaty (giving Misratah as well) and the CB that ensues for the European GPs. (which I deleted for it didn't make sense IMO )

Aims of this AAR :
- Fulfil Muhammad Ali’s ambitions:
Lead Egypt into the Modern Age [Done in Chapter 13]
Take the Levant [Done in chapter 7]
Take the other Arabic territories of the Empire : Cyrenaica and Iraq [Done in chapter 7]
Destroy the Ottoman Empire as much as possible [it is still alive :p ]

- Become the leader of the Arabic peoples:
Form the Arab Union [Done in Chapter 18]
Unite all Arabic peoples into one state (aka take all cores) [all people united except in the colonial enclaves of Morocco and the desert of Mauritania]

- Try to avoid African Colonialism except in the Sahara, the Nile Valley and the Zanzibari Coast

- Try to maintain good relations with:
• The Islamic world (except Ottomans and Saudis)
The non-colonized countries of Africa [Toucouleur and Sokoto are sphered]
France [Cairo-Axis stronk]

- Dismantle the British Empire


Table of contents :
Prologue : “A brief history of Egypt” (post below)


Chapter 1: From Mecca to Khartoum
Chapter 2 :The Mediterranean Operations
Chapter 3 : Modernization
Chapter 4 : The Greek War
Chapter 5 : Lessons in Imperialism from the UK
Chapter 6 : Fight for the Levant
Chapter 7 : The results of the Treaty of Küthaya and the world in 1837


Chapter 8 : The Sultanate
Chapter 9 : The Nejd Civil War
Chapter 10 : The Revolts of 1843
Chapter 11 : It's always darkest before dawn
Chapter 12 : The Death of the Sultan
Chapter 13 : "Long Live the Sultan"
Interlude : Egypt in 1850
Chapter 14 : A new power
Chapter 15 : The Ethiopian War
Chapter 16 : Mummy Diplomacy
Chapter 17 : The Birth of Arab Nationalism

Chapter 18 : The creation of the Arab Union
Interlude : Results of the Vote
Chapter 19 : The Cairo Constitution of 1862
Chapter 20 : Taming the Kurds
Chapter 21 : The Umar Operation
Chapter 22 : The amendments to the Constitution
Chapter 23 : The Rif War Part 1
Chapter 24 : The Rif War Part 2
Chapter 25 : The Magnificent
Chapter 26 : Thawrah!


History of the World : Canada
History of the World : France
History of the World : Japan
History of the World : China
History of the World : The House divided
History of the World : Germany
History of the World : Britain

Arab Politics in 1879

Chapter 27 : Same as the old boss...
Chapter 28 : The Scramble for Africa
Chapter 29 : The Moroccan War

"Mild Interactivity approved by Mr. Capiastlist"

NB : You could wonder why I put extra spaces before some punctuation symbols while I should not. It's just because I'm French and it's hard to lose habits like these. :p
 
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Prologue : “A brief history of Egypt”

“And on the pedestal, these words appear :
My name is Ozymandias, king of kings :
Look at my works, Ye Mighty and despair ! ”


The land of Egypt has been one of the first to host a civilization on Earth. Along the Nile, a glorious state led by the pharaohs cultivated this rich land, and used its wonderful position to develop great architectural monuments such as the Pyramids, the Sphinx or a Canal between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. The lords of both Higher and Lower Egypt expanded their realm to places as far as Nubia in the South and Syria in the North, growing to be the dominant power in the Cradle of Civilization, before even the Greeks or the Romans learnt to live in cities. Although their end came, the legacy of the pharaohs still endure nowadays.

The Sphinx and the Pyramid of Giza, the most known monuments of Ancient Egypt

Since the 5th century BC, Egypt was never ruled by a local dynasty. The Achemenid Persians were the first to conquer the country, which became a satrapy in their empire. Then Alexander came, founded the eponymous city, from where the descendants of Ptolemy ruled until Octavian vanquished Marc Anthony and Cleopatra. During this period was founded the Great Library of Alexandria, a place where knowledge was collected to be protected from forgetfulness and which hosted a great academia. Alas, it suffered from attacks and ultimately, was closed by the Pope of Alexandria.

Paiting representing the burning of the library

Under Roman domination, Aegyptus was one of the richest and most coveted provinces of the empire. The Egyptian wheat in particular was its main asset, and provisions were shipped every year to Rome and Constantinople to satisfy the plebe. It is also in this time that Christianity emerged in Egypt with Alexandria becoming the seat of a patriarchate, successor of St-Mark. The Egyptian Christians would however face opposition from the Mainstream Church leading to the establishment of a distinct Coptic Church after the council of Chalcedon. The Eastern Roman Empire received the province during the division of the empire and ruled it until the Arab Conquest.

The Hanging Church, one of the oldest Coptic churches of Egypt


Plagued by internal divisions and exhausted by a long war, the Romans could not defend Egypt against the righteous caliphs and their attempt of reconquest of Alexandria in 654 marked the end of the efforts to reconquer the country. This period was a marking point in Egyptian history. The colonization by Arab tribes and the conversions integrated Egypt in the Islamic civilization and truly made Egypt an Arab state, although the process would take centuries to arrive to the situation of 1821.

In the Xth century, Egypt passed to the hands of the Fatimids, the Shiite caliphs, who built the city of Cairo (Al-Qahira : the Victorious ). Egypt soon became the heart of the Fatimid caliphate which originated in North Africa and Sicilia, with the caliphs establishing their capital in Cairo. It is to these times that trace back the origins of the Al-Azhar University whose scholars hold a prominent place in the Islamic world.


The Al-Azhar Mosque

The caliphate would arise to be the the main power of the Middle-East but the first Crusade ended this ambition with the Fatimids losing Al-Quds and their other Palestinians possessions. The Fatimid became slowly but surely decadent, ruling through their viziers and unable to conquer back Jerusalem, to the point that Amalric I of Jerusalem nearly conquered Egypt profiting from the internal divisions. But this invasion failed and helped a Kurdish dynasty to conquer the power.


Lithography of Gustave Doré representing Saladin triumphant
His uncle having repelled the Franks, Saladin became vizier and then went on uniting Egypt with Syria under his dominion, reconquering Jerusalem after the famous battle of the horns of Hattin. His dynasty the Ayyubids would then rule Egypt until the takeover of the Mamluks during the Seventh Crusade.
The North Caucasian slaves (Mamluks) had become over the years an apparatus in the state which made and deposed sultans. Feeling that they did not need sultans anymore, they took power for themselves. The first years of their reign were marked by the victory of Jalut which marked the end of the ambitions of the Ilkhanate in the Middle-East and by the conquest of Acre in 1291, the last Crusader bastion in the Holy Land. Based in Cairo they enhanced greatly the city and made it the first city of the Islamic World after the sack of Bagdad. But soon, Egypt would enter a dark and grim period …


The fall of Acre marked the end of the era of the Crusades


“Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

The Black Plague destroyed Egypt. 40 percent of the population was killed by the plague, which never truly left the country in the XVth century, coming back nearly every five years to decimate the population, depopulating the urban centres. The rulers of the Burji dynasty lasted a few years at most before being disposed or killed and this caused great instability in a realm already facing great difficulties. All of these explain how easily Selim I conquered Egypt. After a fierce campaign across the Levant, Selim entered Cairo on the 20th January 1517. Egypt was thus integrated in the Ottoman Empire, but the Mamluk elite still retain an important place and ruled it as viceroys for the sultans.


Selim I in battle

The country of the Nile was difficult to administer for the house of Osman. The Mamluks had easily regained their positions and controlled most of the country. The political plots to ensure divisions of this caste came at the cost of political instability in Egypt, which made any effort to change the system vain. After the revolt of 1609 a balance was found between the pasha appointed by the Porte and the Mamluks beys.

However Egypt did not recover. In fact the situation got worse. Pestilence still strike regularly the population and the instable social and demographic situation joint with climatic drawbacks led to famines. Ambitious men always tried to use Egypt as a powerbase with many rebellions throughout the XVIIIth century. But a new chapter opened in 1798.


“Soldiers, remember that from the top of these pyramids, 40 centuries of history contemplate you !»

The French invasion was a turning point. Willing to benefit from the instability in the area, and trying to reach the sultan of Mysore in India to threaten the British interests in the subcontinent, the Directoire sent an expedition led by the general Bonaparte to Egypt. The French easily took Alexandria but faced harsh resistance from the Mamluks and the Ottomans. Bonaparte won at the battle of the Pyramids but the French fleet was lost in Abukir against the British, and after his defeat at Acre against the army of the Sublime Porte, the Corsican general quickly fled to Paris where he used his prestige to establish the Consulate.

La bataille des Pyramides

Napoléon et le Sphinx

Although a defeat for the French, it was a critical event in the Islamic World. The campaign led by a small contingent against vastly superior numbers showed the military advantage of the Western Powers in par with its technological superiority. The introduction of the printing press and ideas like liberalism and nationalism in the Arab World would mark the birth of the Modern Middle-East. The scientific expedition which accompanied the French Army would also lead to fascination toward Egyptian civilization and the establishment of a new science : Egyptology. But it also led to a period of Anarchy which will end with the takeover of Muhammad Ali.

L'expédition d'Egypte sous les ordres de Bonaparte


“I am well aware that the Empire is heading by the day toward destruction … On its ruins I will build a vast kingdom … up to the Euphrates and the Tigris.”

Muhammad Ali was born in Kavala from Albanian parents. He took part in the Albanian contingent sent to reoccupy Egypt after the French withdrawal in 1801. Their fleeing left a power vacuum with Ottoman forces fighting Mamluks in Egypt and he was swift to arrange the situation to meet his own ends. Changing sides, he used his Albanian force to acquire prestige among the population who grew weary of the instability. The ulema, seduced by Ali, asked the Sultan to recognize him as Pasha in 1805, and the Porte yielded to avoid any new problem in the area. To end once and for all the Mamluk threat, he invited them to a celebration in 1811 and killed their leaders, securing the country with its troops afterwards.

Méhémet Ali et le massacre des Mamelouks

Muhammad Ali had secured the country for himself and he began to transform Egypt to fulfil his ambitions.


Portrait de Méhémet Ali (1840)

And there begins this AAR, in 1821, at the beginning of the Greek Revolt.
 
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Can't wait!
 

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Chapter 1: From Mecca to Khartoum


After having secured the country from the Mamluks and the Ottoman forces, Muhammad Ali did not stay idle. A large number of modernizations occurred during this time with primarily, the establishment of a European style army whose men were conscripts. There is much to say about Muhammad Ali’s reforms but we will get to there. This chapter will principally deal with the political and diplomatic situation prior to 1821.

The Egyptian Wahhabi War (1811-1818)
The wahhabists are a movement which interpret Islam in a fundamental way. This movement found support in the house of Saud, emirs from Nejd. During the XVIIIth century, the Saud, from their stronghold of Diriyah began to consolidate their rule throughout the peninsula. By 1808, they controlled Nejd, parts of the Trucial States and even Hejaz and with it, the Holy Cities.

However, their rule was not seen positively by all. They received the enmity of many Muslims after desecrating tumbs from the time of the Prophet in Mecca, which they saw as a form of polytheism. And most, they began to condemn the Ottoman caliphate, attacking their caravans, disrupting trade in the region and challenged their claims of defender of the Holy Cities, cities they controlled. That was more than enough for the Ottomans, who were forced to react. And to end the problem, they decided to rely on Muhammad Ali. He was indeed nominally a vassal of the empire, and thus he had to comply to the Ottoman demands. Moreover, it would be a test for him : should he lose the campaign, his rule in Egypt would be shaken ; should he win, the Ottomans won also.

In 1811, Muhammad Ali dispatched his new army, using artillery and European drilling. The campaign would be harsh and fierce, but soon the advantage was upon the Egyptians. The Holy Cities were retaken and the Saudis were pushed back into the desert. Infightings throughout the Hejaz continued until late 1817 when Ibrahim Pasha, the eldest son of Muhammad Ali became the leader of the army to destroy the Saudi state. The march through the desert was exhausting but the Egyptians finally entered Diriyah in 1818 and ended the Saudi state. Diriyah was razed to the ground never to be rebuilt and the head of the house of Saud, was sent to the Porte where he was executed, his head thrown into the Bosphorus. The wahhabists faced harsh repression too, chich accentuated their extremism. The Egyptian were now in control of Hejaz and the Holy Cities in name of the Sultan.

Controlling Mecca brought prestige to Muhammad Ali among the Islamic World

The Sudanese Campaign (1820-1824)
After having won in Arabia, the wali[1] (governor in the Ottoman Empire, title of Muhammad Ali) set his eyes south, into Sudan. Sudan was at this time a divided land, with no real political entities. The wali[1] hoped to exploit the resources of the area, using the arable lands for cotton, outposts in the South to capture slaves along with gold and ivory. And the local potentates offered him a pretext for his ambitions : Mamluks leaders had escaped the massacre of 1811 and had fled to the petty sultanates of the region. The pasha[1] asked they these were handed to him and upon their refusal he sent an army to occupy the region.


The political situation of Egypt in september 1821


Ibrahim Pasha chasing the last opposants

Led by Ibrahim Pasha, the artisan of victory against the Saudis, the Egyptian army moved throughout Sudan without encountering any real resistance. In 1821, they took the area of the actual city of Khartoum, city Ibrahim founded for his troops. However it took two more years to subdue many local tribes, and it’s only in June 1823 that Sudan really was conquered. The wali decided to integrate it into his growing state much to the displeasure of the Sudanese.

Muhammad Ali immediately took mesures to make Sudan, an integral part of his realm

Ibrahim, having liberty of action in the region also decided to profit from the Ethiopian Civil War. Divided since centuries between factions, Ethiopia entered the period of the Neguse Negast, “Age of Princes”, with various potentates claiming the throne of Gondor. One of these, the ras of Tigray had been reduced to the port of Assab on the Erithrean Coast. Ibrahim moved quickly and annexed the city, integrating it along in his conquest of Sudan.

The situation in Erythrea after the conquest of Assab

But while Ibrahim Pasha campaigned in the South, his father had to deal with unexpected developments in the empire. [2]

Next time : Chapter 2 :The Mediterranean Operations !

[1] : wali and pasha will be used to describe Muhammad Ali, whose name is hard to reduce and quite long to write :p

[2] : "empire" unless it is mentionned refers to the Ottoman Empire

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well I just learnt more about Egypt than anywhere else has ever taught me. I will be following with interest to see how this develops!
Well I took most of the information from the wikipedia page :p
Glad to see you there, your AAR is one of my inspirations for launching this one, although I don't expect to be at the same level :)

Any AAR that includes Shelley is good in my book!

This looks set to be a beer interesting ride. I'll happily follow along.
I was sure that some Shelley verses would do perfectly to attract people here :D
It's a beautiful poem and I found these two parts reflected well history of Egypt, with his various golden ages but also the decaying of the late Middle Ages up to the "Campagne d'Égypte".
I hope you won't be disappointed

Can't wait!
I am torn between the fact that I got a new reader, and the fact that he is a Senate opponent ....
Just joking, glad you decided to post :p
 
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Having just soundly beaten Egypt in a war as the United Kingdom in my own game, I will be especially interested to see how long you can hold out against any great powers who may soon be giving you unwanted attention. A resounding victory over Sudan is definitely a good start in this regard!

My appetite is firmly whetted for more. :)
 

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Chapter 2: The Mediterranean Operations


The situation in late 1821

All began in 1821, with the beginning of the Greek Rebellion. Greeks had been subdued centuries ago with the house of Osman ending the decaying Roman Empire. Soon, the Turks dominated all Greek regions. The occupation was not as harsh as some Greek historians described it but it was certainly not the best situation either. And then came the Western ideas.

The ideas of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity along with notions of nation-state or constitutionalism entered Greece even if the Ottoman Empire never faced any occupation from the armies of the Revolution. Europeans had indeed acquired a place in Constantinople, especially military engineers, to reform the decaying Imperial Army. The artillery had been for example reformed along the Bonneval ideas by the count of Toth who had created a school which formed some of the leaders of the Ottoman armies. Although these attempts were unsuccessful because of the Janissaries who refused to change the system from which they profited, the European elite of Constantinople discussed the Enlightening ideas and these spread among the Greek upper class, who held prominent places in the administration. Moreover, some Greek islands, which formed the British protectorate of the Ionian Islands, had been French departments [1]. These ideas along the growing unrest led to formations of secret societies who prepared the insurgency. The sparkle came from Epirus.

The bishop of Germanos blessing the Greek banner, leading to the open revolt of the Peloponnese

The pasha of Epirus, Ali Pasha had been over the years creating slowly, his own semi-autonomous state, changing sides to enlarge his territory in the Empire. Besieged by Ottoman Armies in his fortress of Janina, he called for help the Greeks which rose along with their patriarch on the 25 March 1821. The rebellion grew in numbers and controlled important territories although their only real hold was in the Peloponnese. The sultan had now to face two rebellions in the heart of its empire.


The requests from Constantinople were swifly accepted in Cairo

Although he was slowly winning because of his large forces, the war cost the Empire much. The small Greek fleet inflicted great damages across the Aegean, and the islands of Candia and Cyprus had both rose against the Turks. Thus, the Sultan decided to call the Wali of Egypt to help him against the insurgents. Promised both the islands of Crete and Cyprus, Muhammad Ali sent his fleet against the Greeks forcing them to retire to their ports in the Peloponnese. After establishing his control over the islands, he sent an army led by Mehmet Pacha, one of his cousins, incompetent but loyal, in the peninsula taking, the Greek capital of Nafplion. The Greeks were divided and received no official support from the Concert of Europe, which respected the legitimity principle even if it concerned the “Sick Man of Europe”.

Mehmet Pacha leading the siege of Nafplion

After his successes, the Sultan gave his viceroy of Egypt what he had promised. The Rebellion was far from being over but it was now a war of attrition, in which the Sultan did not need the wali, or so he thought. This one could now concentrate on his holdings, and the strengthening of his ambitions.

The war granted Egypt two new bases in the Mediterranean, which would soon come to use

Next time, Chapter III : Modernization !



[1] Yes, it existed … http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Départements_français_de_Grèce
Anyway about the Greek War of Independence, I won't tell the war how it really happened but how the mod deal with the situation. (you can't have the war lasting 8 years with the Peloponnese fighting the Empire :D ) So it's normal if it's not the same, things can go differently in many ways :p
I'm posting fast updates for the moment but next week, I've got my exams so I think it will slow down quite rapidly.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Having just soundly beaten Egypt in a war as the United Kingdom in my own game, I will be especially interested to see how long you can hold out against any great powers who may soon be giving you unwanted attention. A resounding victory over Sudan is definitely a good start in this regard!

My appetite is firmly whetted for more. :)
Well the war was already won, the Sudanese just did not know it :D

Well we'll see about that! It looks good so far. :)
Hoping it will last :p

Welcome aboard ! :)
 

mrlifeless

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Just yesterday played as egypt... formed Arab Union in the 1920s :( hopefuly you will do better
 

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Just yesterday played as egypt... formed Arab Union in the 1920s hopefuly you will do better
This looks quite interesting. I will follow along to see if Egypt can become a great power in the world.
We'll see ;)
Last time I did the playthrough I westernized in the 1860's 1870's I think and with all the prestige you get as Egypt through the events and if you manage carefully, it's easy to become 8th or 7th in score. Then just annex all these tribes around you and all is good :p

------------------------------------------

I thought the third chapter would be a short one but finally it is not. There is so much to say about the efforts of Muhammad Ali in Egypt. Anyway, I think I'll release it before the weekend, if not it will be later since I got exams on the next week.

Just modded through Concert of Europe :
- deleted holy_land CB. Basically it meant that if you succeeded in beating the Turks then all European GP got a CB to reclaim the Levant for themselves. If it was to restore the Ottoman, okay but getting it for themselves without any mali seemed uncoherent to me.
- added a Treaty of Konya decision ala Treaty of Kuthaya. It has the same requirements but can only be fired during the Oriental Crisis. It's the same as Kuthaya but more powerful since Egypt controls the Levant at this time : you gain Iraq and the Tripolitan coast and all Ottoman cores are deleted on yours. Seems OP ? Maybe but for that you have to win the Oriental Crisis and that is difficult :p
 

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Chapter III : Modernization



Since his accession to the post of wali, Muhammad Ali had begun to transform Egypt to fit his ambitions and it went by three great measures : developing the economy, institute a centralized bureaucracy and form new armies on the model of the West.

Egyptian economy was surely in one of the worst states of its history. The recurrent plagues had decimated a great part of its population, decreasing the wheat production and leading to famines which accentuated the phenomena. Trade was controlled by European companies, who instituted throughout the Levant, a “semi-colonial” system in which the Ottoman Empire had no control over its trade apart from a few symbolic measures. In Egypt, the rule of the Mamluks had resulted in high taxations to finance the Circassian elite. The system had to be changed.

He first began with a great nationalization of the arable lands throughout the country. The peasantry had lost its land and had to give all its productions to the state, which would then sell it on the international markets. The Egyptian peasants felt spoiled at first, but many grew accustomed to the system which guaranteed them a fix salary for their work and increased the living standard of many. This great land reform was profitable to Egypt because of the introduction of cotton in Egypt. The plant had become a substantial plantation because of the Industrial Revolution and Egypt became soon with British India and the Southern United States, one of the major areas of production in the world. But instead of just relying on the sale of non-manufactured goods, the Wali created a fabric factory in Cairo to transform the home production and sell these new fabrics in foreign countries. This factory employed around 20000 people in 1825 but due to the increasing rural exodus to Cairo, Muhammad Ali commissioned an enlargement of the factory to employ 10000 people more. It is often said that this fabric industry was the example that would led to the development of other industries over the years. But to be able to develop such a politic, Egypt needed an efficient bureaucracy.


The success of the cotton industry led to the expansion of the industrial facilities in 1826, although the machine pieces took years to arrive

Bureaucracy in Egypt before 1810, was minimalist, if non-existent. There was the wali appointed by Constantinople, who had to rule over the Mamluk elite but beyond that, there was no real system used for census, taxation and so on. Egypt was predominantly a feudal state where taxation was realized by tax-farmers who then gave back some money to the state [1]. He raised taxes on the tax-farmers, to the point they had to sell back their lands to escape the system. But with the removal of the Mamluk elite, Muhammad Ali was free to create a central bureaucracy with many positions to fill. He first revised the internal divisions of the country which did not correspond to the reality of the situation. The plagues had devastated the cities, which still had however a greater influence than the countryside. He reorganized Egypt in ten provinces responsible for taxation and maintain of order. In fact, this reorganization benefited mostly his family, the wali controlling most of the powers with the key positions controlled by his sons. But the state recruited many Egyptian recruits and formed them to become agents of the state, one of their first tasks being to collect the plantations which would then be sold. Owning all the land and giving a salary to all workers, the state could efficiently collect the taxes. This new bureaucracy was still in its infancy in 1821 but it offered a new mean of social mobility in the previously closed Egyptian society.


The enlargement of the bureaucracy was concentrated along Cairo and Alexandria from 1821 to 1825

It was then the national focus of the state to develop it throughout the region of Cairo and Alexandria, the two urban centres of Egypt. The first was the political, learning and industrial centre of the country, concentrating most of the high administration, the Al-Azhar University and also the cotton fabric industries. Alexandria on the other hand, was less populous but was the Egyptian door on the Western World. It was there that was installed the French embassy, there than English, Portuguese and French companies would come to buy Egyptian goods and also the only modern arsenal of Egypt, from where was assembled a new modern fleet, the Taba. The fleet along the Military was the primarily goal of all these reforms.


The Legation Quarter or "French Quarter was officialised in 1825

The French invasion of Egypt had showed the Middle-East that Europeans were way beyond them in military demesnes. But not paralysed by reactionaries elements like the Janissaries who had deposed Selim III, Muhammad Ali began an extensive but needed program of reformation of the army. Firstly, since centuries, the army of Egypt would be constituted of Egyptian soldiers. Having escaped integration of the caliphal army during the Arab Conquest, the peasantry was replaced by Nubian and Sudanese slaves which formed the backbone of the Fatimid army. Then it was the Mamluks and their cavalry. To acquire an army fit for his objectives, Muhammad Ali relied on a conscription system that touched most of the peasantry. This was a move that induced many peasants to flee as far as Syria to escape the system, others maiming themselves to escape the conscription. But in the end, it provided Muhammad Ali with thousands of recruits.

He had the numbers for his army but he also required a modern staff, initiated to the last military doctrines from the West : quantity serves nothing without quality. He could count on military experts, mostly French ones who while not very numerous had obtained their own quarter in Alexandria and Cairo, a move that angered many Egyptian who accused these Western devils to profane the land of Egypt and committing many crimes inside this special quarter. One of the most prominent of these “local” advisers was Josèphe Anthelme Sève, a French sailor who had taken part in the Napoleonic battles taking part in Trafalgar and Waterloo. Recruited by the Wali to modernize the Navy and the Artillery, he settled in Egypt where he converted to Islam and then was called Soliman Pasha al-Faransawi (Soliman Pasha the French). His help was substantial in many military domains and he was one of the closest advisors of the Wali.


Muhammad, Ibrahim and the colonel Sève

While there were Western advisors in Egypt, Muhammad Ali wanted not to depend on them too much. For that he began sending promising recruits to France where they were expected to learn the basics of Western military and French. Learning French was a prerequisite to a great work of translation that emerged during this period and who was often compared with the great translation from Greek to Arab during the first years of the Islamic World. Helped by the establishment of the first Arabic printing press in the Bulaq quarter of Cairo, used also for publishing the official news of the government, new ideas penetrated Egypt. Mostly military at first, the texts were soon ranging from sociology to history. This movement was just at its beginning during the period we describe, most students would come back to Egypt during the 1830’s. However modernization was not seen positively by everyone in Egypt.

The Reaction and the Sudanese Rebellion of 1825





While Reforms had positive aspects overall for the Egyptian Society, there was contestation, mainly from religious authorities. The ulemas who had helped Muhammad Ali getting the post of Wali, were soon removed from any secular power, the new wali confining them to a purely religious and moral role. But it was easier said than done, and on Fridays during the Great Prayer, the most reactionaries elements of the religion often criticized the course of the country. In March 1823, an ulema who had been advocating to return to the things of the Past was arrested with some of his collaborators, for siding with the Wahhabists. It provoked a movement of contestation in Nubia, the region of Aswan, which was however controlled by the authorities. Later in 1826, a cheikh of the Al-Azhar University issued a fatwa against some of the new printed French books, accusing them of spreading lies into the minds of the faithful. Despite his position he received the same fate than the imam of Aswan and was prosecuted for Wahabism. Muhammad had slowly turned against him a part of the religious establishment, and despite all his measures, the threat of fanatism represented by Salafists and Wahhabits spread among some of the clergy. The population was uncertain about the situation but opposed some of the new measures, mainly conscription and the work in the industry. But it was in Sudan that the situation was the tensest.


Occupation and “Integration” of the Sudan was indeed akin to a form of Egyptian colonialism. There the population faced a dire repression, high taxation, forced work to plunder the riches of the countryside, mainly Ivory and Tropical Wood. Agents of Egypt even captured slaves up to the Nuba mountains to serve the regime. Some tribes still refused to acknowledge the suzerainty of Egypt. To face these threats, the wali instituted a garrison in Khartoum of local soldiers, the Gihadija “who would face any perturbation of Order”. It would soon come to use with the Sudanese Rebellion of 1825. Localized and small in range, the rebellion was soon took care of by the Garrison who grew in numbers, from 6000 soldiers at the beginning to 18000 at the end, including an Egyptian Artillery Corps to help the local infantry. The situation was however not calm and the Garrison was ordered to attack any adversary to Egyptian rule.


At the beginning of 1827, Egypt had changed. The military trained in the Western way used new smaller cannons instead of the great fixed cannons used by the Ottomans before the Toth Reforms. The infantry also faced the basics of basic training instead of being thrown into battle without any war preparations.


The Egyptian Army was organised in five great divisions :
- the Army of Egypt of Ibrahim Pasha, the most brilliant general of the all Army
- the Army of Alexandria of Mehmet Pasha, a quite inefficient general but better than none in charge
- the Army of the Levant of Iskender Bey, a megalomaniac but popular general
- the Khartoum Garrison
- the Taba, the fleet built upon French model based in the arsenal of Alexandria
And an occasion of testing these new armies soon appeared ….



[1] A system that quite looks like the system that the Ancien Régime used in France before the Révolution, "les fermiers généraux" being financiers who gave money to the state and then collected the taxes. Estimations say that over half of taxes did not go to the state but to these financiers who were also the bankers of the regime. An awful and inefficient system if you ask me but with the complex nature of society at this time, it's a bit understanbable :p

Next time, chapter 4 : The Greek War

Happy new year to all ! (even if it's still 2014 for me right now :p )
 
Last edited:

blklizard

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Happy New Year! Egypt is going through a slow and painful process of modernization. Some actual experience might be good for your troops.
 

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Happy New Year! Egypt is going through a slow and painful process of modernization. Some actual experience might be good for your troops.
There will be don't worry :D Of all kinds : British, French, Papal, Russian, Portuguese ! There is no party like an Oriental Party :p

And I just discovered that I could move my troops to Hejaz through Sinai :blush: I would have already annexed various Sheiks before 1827 if I had known :p
 

Morkazar

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Subbed! I love Egypt in Vic 2. Especially in the Concert of Europe mod!
 

Scrapknight

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Subbed. Love where you're going with this so far. Let's see if the Ottomans will make good on their word if you help them...
 

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Subbed. Love where you're going with this so far. Let's see if the Ottomans will make good on their word if you help them...
Thanks. Just discovered your Qingqui AAR, which reminded me that I should release the v0.5 for Divergences when I finish the Dual-Integration stuff :p
 

Tommy4ever

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Great start to this AAR, I'm looking forward to seeing an Egyptian powerhouse develop.