Prior to Colonization
The foundation that was established within Egypt amid precolonial times was essential to the nation that followed. As early as 3032 BC, prior to the colonization of the kingdom, Egypt was ruled by kings and pharaohs. Referred to as the ‘Lord of the Two Lands, the pharaohs were responsible for both the Upper and Lower regions of Egypt. One who held this position was greatly valued as they were both the political and religious leader of Egypt. The individual in this position owned all of the land; Thus, it was his duty to properly tax the people, make laws, and protect the nation from foreign threats. As for their role religiously, the pharaohs, or ??High Priest of Every Temple??, embodied the Gods on Earth. Taking part in rituals and the construction of temples in honor of the Gods. This style of reign was brought to an end in 30 BC when Augustus Caesar declared Egypt a province of Rome. Even prior to imperialism, foreign disputes were common throughout Egypt as many nations envied their accessibility to natural resources. Egypt struggled to maintain ancient practices and government structures amidst attack from nonnative rulers.
With an influx of immigrants came the pressure of alternate beliefs and practices. Astonishingly, the Egypt of yesteryear does not differ greatly in a religious sense from that of their current society. Similar to today, Egypt was predominantly Muslim. Throughout the course of the Kdeviate period, beginning in 1867 and lasting until 1914, the nation was defined as an Islamic state. Thus, women were required to veil their face before going out and children were commonly seen studying Qurans, the sacred Islamic book. Religion centered many of the Egyptians interaction, pertaining to each other and the deities they believed resembled, and were in control of the natural elements. Religious beliefs studied in the pre-colonial period largely shaped the Egyptian nation we are familiar with today
Colonization in Egypt began as the British gained control over the nation during the year of 1882 in correspondence with the Anglo-Egyptian War. The first period of British rule (1882“1914) was referred to as the “”veiled protectorate”” during which the British had no legal control but rather established a de facto protectorate within the country. This state concluded in November of 1914 as the Ottoman Empire sided with the Central Powers, entering the First World War. This prompted the implementation of a protectorate by the British over Egypt. British occupation continued even through Sultan Fuad I’s declaration as King of Egypt, establishing control over the Egyptian Army’s and their society as a whole. The Second World War brought an attack upon Egypt due to the British presence, although Egypt did not become involved until late in the war.
European involvement deepened with the construction of the Suez Canal. Hefty finances landed Egypt in a state of debt, leaving a door open for European influence. Anglo-french leaders viewed this as an opportunity to act as financial advisors and oversee the payments of the Egyptians. Consequently, the Europeans became heavily involved in the Egyptian monarch. In accordance with Egypts past, the Europeans also viewed Egypt as a prosperous nation, this standpoint primarily rooted from their access to natural resources and water channels. Egypt’s weakened state coupled with their desirable resources made them vulnerable to British dominance.
Nineteen-twenty two marks the formal independence of Egypt, although many Egyptians perceive their freedom in a different manner. In the midst of 1951, as the British intended to modify the treaty, it was completely abolished by an anti-British government. Not long after, the Suez Canal prompted a war between Britain and Egypt, but the British forces backed down as they received little support internationally. The withdrawal of troops followed and was completed by June of 1956. Thus, many Egyptians view the year of 1956 as their official state of liberty. Although not viewed as admirable by natives, the colonization of Egypt brought on by the Europeans was deemed progressive.
The current state of Egypt is a breeding ground for revolution. Twenty-fourteen introduced the usage of a semi-presidential system in accordance with their newly adopted constitution. An organization in which the president acts as head of state and the prime minister as head of government. Twenty-sixteen brough the restoration of Egypt’s legislature after nearly three-years without a formal parliamentary frame. The government within the nation continues to feel the strong effect from the military as they removed the President Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Additionally, the constitution established abolished parties based upon religion. This suppression put an end to the Muslim brotherhood and resulted in the arrest of many members. Consequently, the Salafist Noor Party and the liberal New Wafd Party have now obtained positions of power. Based upon their lack of unity, Egyptian political parties are described as weak and divided.
The people of Egypt are very unhappy with the current state of government as they feel it does not address major concerns across their society. One of the largest complaints being the minimal amount of focus placed on the unemployed youth, who account for an astounding 33% of the population. The unstable agricultural roots of Egypts economy leave a large percentage of its inhabitants impoverished. The lack of assembly and association between the people and leadership only furthers their fury. Arguments have risen over the protection of rights, especially in keeping with the Coptic Christians; women believe they are being oppressed by Egypts legal code. Since their educational system is a reflection of the failing government, the future does not look hopeful. Unrest is rampant among both the people and government.
Egypt has a multitude of hurdles to overcome. Economic hardships seem to be more the rule in this era versus the exception. Social unrest seems to be the bigger hurdle, gender inequities in particular. This is a systemic problem and religiously based. The history of Egypt prior to imperialism and amid colonization presented themselves.