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Homepage > Inside Egypt > History
 

Ancient History:

Ancient History
 
Ancient History
 

250 thousands years BC, in the pre-historic ages, Egypt had been a homeland for the primitive Man who used to hunt animals, since the region in the far south, in Nubia, had been rich with grass.

On 4000 BC, methods of irrigation appeared and Egypt became divided into small tribal provinces. On the Nile Valley, one of the first human civilizations was established, which developed into a central government state. There emerged two Kingdoms, the Northern, with the red crown, and the Southern, in the south of the modern Egypt borders with a white crown. Each province had a king, a slogan and a crown.

The beginning of the written history was the emergence of a kingdom which included the Nile Valley from the Mediterranean to the waterfalls on 3100 BC with the capital Memphis. It was established by a legendary King who was traditionally known by the name "Menes" who founded and unified the North and the South Kingdoms. This state witnessed comprehensive growth in all life aspects, as Egyptians knew the hieroglyphic writing. A series of dynasties ruled Egypt for the next three millennia making the longest unified states in history.

In 2560 BC, King Khufu built the Great Pyramid of Giza, which remained the highest building the world until the 13th century.

In 1560 BC, Pharaoh Ahmose drove the Hyksos invaders and other Asian tribes out of Egypt, forming the New Kingdom. Egypt became an empire and controlled the majority of the ancient world. It controlled, in different epochs, the provinces of Sham, Nubia, parts of the Libyan Desert and North Sudan, thus being the first superpower in the history of humanity until the Persians conquered the 30th and last Egyptian dynasty in 343 BC.

Egypt fell to the Greco–Macedonians since 332 BC as the Greek entered Egypt led by Alexander the Great. He founded the City of Alexandria in 331 BC, which became one of the largest cities in the Ancient World. Egypt then fell to the Ptolemaic Empire then to the Romans in 30 BC, led by Emperor Augustus to become a part of the Roman Empire which was conquered by the Persians again for a brief period on 618 AD, before the Byzantines restored it in 629 AD.

Middle History:

In 639 AD, during the reign of Caliph Omar ibn Al-Khattab, Amr ibn El-A’as led an Islamic army to conquest Egypt, after which the eastern Romans departed from Egypt and subsequently from the rest of North Africa.

In the Centuries following the Romans’ departure, kingdoms and countries succeeded to Egypt’s throne. After the Caliphs and the Umayyad dynasty, Egypt was ruled by the Abbasids then the Tulunid during the period from 878 to 905 AD, and then returned to the Abbasid rule from 905 to 935 AD, after which the Ikhshidid took over the throne from 935 to 968 AD. The reign was then transferred to the Fatimids from 968 to 1171 AD, and established Cairo as their capital, till the Ayyubid regained to the Abbasid caliphate in 1171 until 1250, to which they transferred later their capital after the fall of Baghdad.
The Ayyubid brought category of warrior slaves, named the Mamluks, who got stronger until they ruled and controlled the country in 1250 until 1517 through a military feudal régime, and continued to rule the country effectively under the Abbasid Caliphate, and even after being taken-over by the Ottomans in 1517. Egypt became an Ottoman province in 1517, and the Islamic caliphate was transferred to the Ottoman, whose rule continued till the year 1914 year of the declaration of British protectorate on Egypt.

The French Campaign:

The French Campaign 
The French Campaign




The French campaign to Egypt started in 1798, led by the French Commander (Napoleon Bonaparte) met with strong opposition from the leaders of Al-Azhar and the Popular Resistance. This period witnessed several battles between the French troops and the popular resistance movement backed by the Mamluks and the Ottoman Empire. The French occupation period also was confronted with two revolutions (Cairo’s First Revolution in 1798 and the Second in 1800).


During the French occupation, the campaign leadership was taken over by Kleber, succeeding Napoleon, and then by commander Mino. The campaign ended in failure and withdrawal of French troops in 1801.


The campaign contributed in raising the Egyptian people’s awareness of their rights, and the impression that the Mamluks and Ottomans are not able to protect the country; and only the Egyptian people were better suited for its protection, which was apparent in the activity of the people’s movement, led by Mr. Omar Makram. The people then chose a new governor to the country, Muhammad Ali in 1805, who founded the modern Egypt.


One of the  positive effects of French campaign was the scientific discoveries conducted by the scientific expedition accompanying the campaign, which contributed to deciphering the Rosetta Stone and the Hieroglyphic scripts, which made it possible to get acquainted with the Pharaonic history, in addition to writing several books, most important of which was the Description of Egypt which contributed to establishing a link between Egypt and the rest of the world.

Modern History:

Modern History 



The era of the Governor of Egypt, Mohamed Ali Bey, who ruled starting in 1805, is an important era in the modernization of Egypt. Muhammad Ali is the founder of modern Egypt, for his reforms covered all aspects of life in conformity with the spirit of the modern age then. He began by building a strong army and established a military school, shipbuilding Bulaq and shipyard in Alexandria. Moreover, he reformed agriculture, irrigation and established dams, barrages and canals, and established factories and laboratories to meet the needs of the army and sell the surplus to the residents. As for trade Muhammad Ali Pasha worked on the deployment of security for internal trade routes and established a fleet of foreign trade, where trade flourished in Egypt.

The digging of the Suez Canal:

The digging of the Suez Canal
 

After the completion of the digging of the Suez Canal, on March 18th, 1869, the Geo-Strategic position of Egypt increased as an international waterway that connect the East with the West.

The most important event of that period was the revolution of General Ahmed Orabi, against which the colonial powers, led by the British, plotted. The British launched a military campaign in 1882, that ended by the occupation of Egypt , which nominally remained under the Ottoman Empire until World War I in 1914.
In 1922 the title of the ruler of Egypt changed from Khedevi to king of the Egyptian Kingdom, since that year Egypt became nominally independent, with British military bases on its territory, according to the Declaration of the 28th of February 1922.
Since 1923 the country’s political life witnessed liberal pluralism, but the British intervention in the affairs of the country and the spread of corruption led to unstable conditions that reached its apex in 1952, when the Revolution of July 23rd, 1952, led by General Mohammed Naguib and Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser started. Egypt declared the Republic, on June 18th, 1953.


 

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