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Kazziha, Walid (1970) The Evolution of the Egyptian Political Elite, 1907-1921: A Case Study of the Role of the Large Landowners in Politics. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Following the British occupation of Egypt, the political influence and the economic position of the Egyptian large landowners was greatly enhanced. In 1907, a group of provincial notables and intellectuals encouraged by Lord Cromer, published the daily al- Jaridah and formed the 'Ummah Party. The policies and ideas of the new movement were largely governed by the financial and political interests of the wealthy families in the countryside, and by their efforts to check the growing influence of the Egyptian sovereign and the increasing popularity of the radical demand of the Patriotic Party for complete independence. In the years which elapsed before the outbreak of the First World War, the 'Ummah Party not only consolidated its relative control over the provincial representative institutions, but also acquired a greater measure of political influence throughout the country as the numerical strength and the functions of these institutions were increased, However, at the beginning of the War, the British authorities declared Egypt a Protectorate, placed the country under martial law, and eventually dissolved the newly-formed Assembly. Consequently, these measures greatly undermined the political position of the 'Ummah Party and impelled its leading members to co-operate first with Sultan Husain and later Fu'ad in an effort to induce the British government to restore the earlier system of self-government. A similar attempt was made at the end of the War, when a group of Egyptian notables and former members of the 'Ummah Party, under the leadership of Sacd Zagnlul formed the Wafd to advocate Egyptian autonomy. As the movement, however, rapidly gained the support of the middle and lower classes, its demand for self-government was superseded by that of complete independence. Consequently, the majority of its founding members, who were keenly interested in preserving their relationship with Britain, left the Wafd and formed the Liberal Constitutionalists Party.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:21

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