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Title: Britain in Egypt : nationalism and strategic choices, 1919-1930
Author: Gifford, Jayne Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2736 9713
Awarding Body: University of the West of England, Bristol
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2011
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Britain in Egypt: Nationalism and Strategic Choices, 1919-1930 Abstract Egypt has always attracted serious scholarly attention from diplomatic and imperial historians. It was the invasion of Egypt in 1882 that established British hegemony in the region for the next seventy-five years; ended only by the humiliating withdrawal from the region in 1956. At the heart of British policy throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was the importance of maintaining control of the Suez Canal to safeguard imperial communications, defence and trade. The 1920s witnessed a crucial phase in British policy in Egypt. Under severe pressure to find economies and retrench large numbers of military personnel in the region, British policy makers faced increasing demands from Egyptian nationalists for greater control of their own affairs. The Anglo- Egyptian relationship was further complicated by the Sudan, which, with the defeat of Mahdist forces in 1899 was administered through the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium. The British faced a conundrum: how would they implement economies in the face of growing Egyptian demands for independence, while at the same time protect their vital strategic interests in an increasingly volatile region which stood on the Middle East-African nexus of British policy making? This thesis examines the difficult strategic choices politicians in London had to grapple with throughout the 1920s at a time when extreme financial pressures forced successive British governments to make economies, especially on defence. Using the failed Anglo-Egyptian treaty negotiations as a backcloth, it explores the deep divisions between officials at the Foreign and Colonial Offices who vied for control of policy making. Equally important, it also analyses the role played by the British High Commissioners in Cairo in both influencing and implementing British policy. Indeed, the domineering personalities of such figures as Field Marshal Sir Edmund Allenby (1919-25) and George Lloyd (1925-29) - two of the most colourful and forceful high commissioners - demonstrate wonderfully the jurisdictional battles which unfolded between London and the 'men on the spot' in Cairo. In this, the use of Sudan by the British to check Egyptian irredentism is vital in unravelling and understanding the complexities of Anglo- Egyptian relations. Crucial to this thesis, is the argument that it was Egyptian nationalism, not Russian Bolshevism, which threatened to undermine British power in the Fertile Crescent. In the final analysis, this thesis charts and analyses a hitherto under-researched aspect of British imperial policy in one of its most critical and strategically important territories. J ayne Louise Gifford
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available