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Omar, Omar Abdel-Aziz (1966) Anglo-Egyptian relations and the construction of the Alexandria-Cairo-Suez railway, (1833-1858). PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00029244

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Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to study the construction of the first Egyptian railway and its impact on Anglo-Egyptian relations; it appempts to throw new light on a neglected subject and period of 19th century Egypt. The railway was a matter of interest to the British government and produced a vast correspondence, which highlights Anglo-French rivalries in Egypt. It covers the reign of 'Abbas I, of which it illuminates several aspects, and modifies the accepted view. It is therefore intended as a contribution to a more objective appraisal of 'Abbas's rule. The principal sources used include unpublished British and French documents and published Arabic and Western materials as listed in the bibliography. After an introductory survey of British policy concerning Middle East communications, the thesis falls into five chapters. Chapter One traces how the railway project was originated and developed, and discusses Britain's views in the setting of her general policy concerning communications with India. It explains Muhammad 'Ali's interest in the project, and assesses his motives for abandoning it. Chapter Two examines the railway issue in view of 'Abbas's internal and external policies, and Britain's relations with both Egypt and the Ottoman Empire, and attempts to revise the verdict as to who initiated the construction of the railway. It analyses French opposition, and appraises the motives of 'Abbas's Anglophile policy. Chapter Three deals with efforts made by Britain to secure the completion of the railway during Sa'id's reign, when French influence predominated, and to annul any attempt to cede the railway to foreign speculators. Chapter Pour enquires into the programme of construction of the railway, the organisation of the railway administration, the system of management, and the employment of English drivers and technicians. It also investigates the policy of substituting Egyptians for Europeans, the qualifications of the former and Britain's reaction to this policy. The final chapter examines the social and economic significance for Egypt of the railway, dealing especially with the corvee and with effects on the growth of towns, internal trade and communications and transit traffic.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00029244
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:09
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/29244

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