Eihab Boraie delves into the life and times of Khedive Ismail who, with lofty ambitions and lavish spending, brought Egypt to its heyday, only to find himself and. Ismail Pasha was born in Cairo, the grandson of Mohammed Ali and second son of pasha and khedive of Egypt during the decade prior to British occupation. () Viceroy and khedive of Egypt Ismail was a very ambitious leader of Egypt, aiming at bringing the country back to former greatness.

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Ismail Pasha was the charming but spendthrift pasha and khedive of Egypt during the decade prior to British occupation. He completed their work in that he bought from the Ottoman sultan the right to the new title of issmail, father-to-son inheritance of the new title for his dynasty, administrative and commercial independence, and relaxation of military restrictions imposed upon Egypt by the European powers in But Ismail accomplished this at tremendous expense—and it was only the beginning of his financial adventures.

Ismail succeeded Mohammed Said as the ruler of Egypt inwhen the American Civil War increased the demand for Egyptian cotton and when the expected profits from the soon to be completed Suez Canal made Egypt seem more prosperous than it actually was.

Ismāʿīl Pasha | Ottoman viceroy of Egypt |

In the euphoria of the s Ismail dreamed of an Egyptian empire in northeast Africa and of Cairo as the Paris on the Imail. He borrowed heavily on Egypt’s future and spent lavishly on explorations far up the Nile almost to Lake Victoria for the extension of Egyptian influence, on building many public works such as improved canals and new telegraph lines, and on the modernization of Cairo.


Ismail took a personal interest in the Suez Canalthe concession for which his predecessor had negotiated with a French company. He agreed to pay a huge indemnity equal to half the original capital of the company in order to eliminate the forced labor and other onerous requirements of the initial concession. For the grand opening of the canal inIsmail lavished over a million dollars on the entertainment of foreign dignitaries. The close of the American Civil War ended the Egyptian cotton boom, and the Suez Canal did not, at first, earn the expected profits.

Ismail resorted to huge loans kheeive ruinous discounts to obtain the funds necessary for his dreams; he further pledged the revenues of the railroads, taxes, and royal lands. The influx of foreigners during his reign, the special privileges they received via the capitulations, and their obviously increasing influence in Egypt led in the late s to the development of an Egyptian national movement. When Ismail sought to shift the blame from himself to the foreigners for Egypt’s financial debacle and when Bismarck threatened German intervention, Great Britain and France succeeded in having the Ottoman sultan depose Khedivs in in favor of his son Tewfik Pasha.

Ismail’s vainglorious ambitions and gross kehdive had paved the way for the British occupation 3 years after his deposition. The Maligned Khedive Mary Rowlatt presents a briefer and not very favorable picture in Founders of Modern Egypt Hesseltine and Hazel C. For general background on 19th-century Egypt see John A. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

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Histories of the Modern Middle East

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia. He succeeded his uncle Said Pasha as ruler. Ismail used the Egyptian cotton crop, enormously enhanced in value by the American Civil Warto obtain credits for grandiose schemes, including irrigation projects, schools, palaces, the construction of the Suez Canaland the extension of Egyptian rule in Sudan.


Much of the money was wasted, and the country was seriously involved in debt. His attempt to throw off foreign control in was answered by the Ottoman sultan’s deposing him in favor of his son Tewfik Pasha.

Khedive Ismail

InIsmail imail the title khedive viceroywhich his successors also enjoyed. Ismail Pasha simail Viceroy and Khedive of Egypt — He received the title of Khedive from the Ottoman Sultan in Profits from cotton enabled him to build extensively in Alexandria and Cairobut later financial difficulties forced him to sell Egypt’s share in the Suez Canal Company to Britain and led to his forced resignation in favour of his son, Tewfik Pasha.

Home People History Egyptian History: Biographies Khedive of Egypt Ismail.

Print this article Print all entries for this topic Cite this article. Ismail Pasha Ismail Pasha was the charming but spendthrift pasha and khedive of Egypt during the decade prior to British occupation. Learn more about citation styles Citation styles Encyclopedia. Modern Language Association http: The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright The Columbia University Press.