State and Society in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Egypt

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 30, 1990 - History - 320 pages
Previous studies of nineteenth-century Egypt have often been premature in identifying the existence of an independent nation state. In a way which will permanently affect our view of Egyptian history, this book argues that in the mid-nineteenth-century period Egypt was still an Ottoman province, with a provincial Ottoman elite which was only gradually becoming Egyptian. Part one discusses the creation of a dynastic order in Egypt, especially under Abbas Pasa (1848-1854), and the formation of an Ottoman-Egyptian ruling class. Part two deals with the non-elite groups, the vast majority of Egypt's population. A final chapter offers a convincing picture of the social and cultural life of the period in a way which has never before been attempted in a Middle East context. The author's valuable knowledge of Ottoman and Arabic as well as European documents and his use of a wide variety of sources, including police and court records, chronicles and travel literature, have enabled him to make an important contribution to a neglected period of Egyptian history and indeed to our understanding of other provinces and dependencies in the region.

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