Prestige, Prudence and Public Opinion in the 1882 British Occupation of Egypt

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Halvorson, Dan
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2010
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This article challenges both the "gentlemanly capitalist" thesis and "official mind" interpretation of the 1882 British occupation of Egypt. The former fails to adequately consider the political character of the Anglo-French financial Control overturned by the Urabist revolt in February 1882. The latter overstates the significance of the Suez Canal as both trigger and justification for military intervention. The article argues that the primary motivation behind the Egyptian occupation was the vindication of British prestige, vis-୶is the Continental Powers, but especially in India and in the "East" by suppressing the threat to "civilised" order posed by the Urabist revolt. The protection of the Suez Canal and British financial and trade interests were secondary and derivative.

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Australian Journal of Politics and History

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56

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3

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© 2010 School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics, School of Political Science and International Studies, University of Queensland and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. The definitive version is available at www.interscience.wiley.com

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Policy and administration

Political science

Historical studies

Historical studies not elsewhere classified

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