In the 16th -18th century. the Turkish authority on Egypt it was tempered by that, in fact, persisting, of the Mamluks. The Napoleonic expedition (1798) and the French occupation which lasted until 1801 put this antiquated political-social regime into crisis. Here emerged the great personality of Mohammed ‛Ali, an Albanian officer who arrived in Egypt with the Turkish army at the end of the French occupation; he had himself nominated governor in 1805, annihilated the Mamluks in 1811 and began a great work of technical modernization of the country, of which he became the effective master. Among his successors stands out his nephew Isma‛il (1863-79), the first to bear the title of khedive, the one who promoted the construction of the Suez Canal (1869), starting an ever increasing European interference, which culminated in 1882 in the English occupation (which lasted until 1914) in which Egypt became a British protectorate. The nationalist unrest led in 1922 to the proclamation of the independent kingdom of Egypt, under Fu’ad. THE. he was inspired for politics by the European parliamentary model, divided between the crown and political parties (in the first place the WAFD, founded by Zaghlul Pascià and remained for a long time in the foreground in the direction of Egyptian politics). Relations with the crown experienced alternating vicissitudes, with acts of force by the sovereign, suspension of the Constitution, dissolution of the Chamber and parliamentary resistance. Those with Great Britain made an important step with the 1936 treaty, which reduced the military occupation in the Canal area, but tied the Egypt in a military alliance that involved him in the Second World War.
With the end of the war he proposed again for the Egypt the problem of acquiring full independence, which was superimposed on the question of Palestine which made the climate hot, aggravated by numerous acts of terrorism and guerrilla actions in the Canal area. In Palestine the Arab League, of which Egypt had been one of the main promoters (1945), he proved unable to mobilize Arab solidarity to prevent the establishment of the State of Israel (1948). The military element reacted in 1952 to the failure of foreign policy and the general decay of the internal situation with a bloodless revolt; King Faruq, despotic and corrupt, he was deposed and exiled and power was assumed by a military junta headed by General M. Negib. An agrarian reform was enacted (the land was partly assigned to peasants and partly organized into cooperatives), the current Constitution was repealed, the parties were suppressed and the monarchy was abolished. In 1954 the deputy of Negib, G. ‛Abd al-Nasir (Nasser), assumed the powers of the president and with him the development of the Egypt it underwent a definite acceleration. Nasser’s populism promoted the emerging middle classes by hitting the intertwining of feudal and neocolonial interests that had delayed the development and emancipation of the country. An agreement was reached with Great Britain (1954) for the definitive withdrawal of the troops from the Canal area. In foreign policy, Nasser joined the ranks of non-aligned countries and the Third World. In 1956, a crisis began in relations with the US and Great Britain, when these powers and the World Bank refused to finance the Aswan Dam. The nationalization of the Suez Canal Company, decided at the time by Nasser, aroused a particularly harsh reaction from France and Great Britain, which, in conjunction with the invasion of the Sinai by Israel, began a military operation in the area. of Suez (operation interrupted by the UN intervention).
After the failure of the merger of Egypt and Syria into the United Arab Republic (1958; a coup d’état provoked the secession of Syria in 1961) and the agreement with Yemen for the establishment of the United Arab States, also the attempt at inter-Arab union of the Ba‛th party in power in both Iraq and Syria had no luck (1963) and Egypt came into conflict with Saudi Arabia on the occasion of the war in Yemen. In 1967, tensions with Israel resulted in the lightning Israeli occupation of the Sinai and the Gaza Strip (Six Day War), reducing Nasser’s ambitions. Upon Nasser’s death (1970) his place was taken by Anwar as-Sadat. In 1971 a new Constitution was approved which restored the name of Egypt in place of RAU; in the same year Sadat dismissed the Nasserian “left”, while signing a treaty of friendship and cooperation with the USSR (later denounced). In order to recapture Sinai, Sadat approached the US to exploit their influence over Israel. After the surprise attack by Egypt and Syria (1973) against Israel and the subsequent counterattack (➔ Upon Nasser’s death (1970) his place was taken by Anwar as-Sadat. In 1971 a new Constitution was approved which restored the name of Egypt in place of RAU; in the same year Sadat dismissed the Nasserian “left”, while signing a treaty of friendship and cooperation with the USSR (later denounced). In order to recapture Sinai, Sadat approached the US to exploit their influence over Israel. After the surprise attack by Egypt and Syria (1973) against Israel and the subsequent counterattack (➔ Sadat approached the US to exploit their influence over Israel. After the surprise attack by Egypt and Syria (1973) against Israel and the subsequent counterattack (➔ Arab-Israeli wars), agreements were reached (1974-75) which returned to Egypt a portion of the Sinai with oil wells. Finally, Sadat launched some liberalizing reforms: opening up to foreign capital and greater political pluralism (the National Democratic Party was founded in 1978, replacing the Arab Socialist Union). The Camp David agreements (1978) between Egypt and Israel, reached through the mediation of the USA, resulted in a peace treaty (1979; Israel left the Sinai in 1982). After the assassination of Sadat (1981) MH Mubarak became president, who confirmed the general lines of Sadat’s policy, however starting a process of gradual rapprochement with the Arab countries (in 1998 he was readmitted to the Arab League) and of detente with the USSR (re-establishment in 1984 of diplomatic relations interrupted in 1981). In 1998 the Egypt gave birth, together with Jordan, Iraq and the Arab Republic of Yemen (since 1990 the Republic of Yemen), to the Arab Cooperation Council. Relations with the PLO also improved (recognition of the State of Palestine, 1988) and Egypt assumed the role of mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
According to Barblejewelry, with the crisis resulting from the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait (1990), Cairo took over leadership of the anti-Iraqi front. The economic difficulties of the country, heavily indebted, and the increase in social imbalances, however, favored the growth of Islamic fundamentalist groups. The Mubarak regime (reconfirmed in 1993 and 1999) accentuated the repression against the intensified terrorist action by Islamic fundamentalist groups which, directed in particular against tourists and foreign investment banks, threatened to aggravate the already difficult economic situation of the country. The growing discontent, in addition to the serious economic situation, for the illiberal measures implemented by the government, finally convinced Mubarak to make an attempt to open up to the opposition forces (with the exclusion of the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Ikhwan al-muslimun, Officially unrecognized Islamic fundamentalist party), which however ran aground, while social tension and terrorist attacks continued. After a serious 1997 attack in Luxor, some leaders of the fundamentalist movements Jihad (“Holy War”) and Jama‛a al-Islamiyya (“Islamic Group”) announced the launch of a non-violent strategy, which was accompanied by a more conciliatory government policy. The tension between Egypt and Sudan, which arose in armed clashes in Hala’ib, a disputed border area between the two countries (1995-96), eased, while relations with Israel worsened, following the intransigent line taken by this in the towards the Palestinians. THE. resumed his role as mediator in the region, but his efforts to find a solution to the Palestinian problem were compromised by the resumption of the intifada during 2000, which was followed by the Cairo condemnation of Israel. The legislative elections held in 2000, meanwhile, confirmed the victory of the candidates of the National Democratic Party, close to the president. After the attacks in New York of 11 Sept. 2001, Mubarak offered the United States his support in the fight against terrorism, but had to face the flare-up of the fundamentalist opposition, especially after the bombing of Afghanistan and the resurgence of the clashes in Palestine. Re-elected in 2005, Mubarak pledged to implement liberal political reforms, which, however, were not realized due to the resurgence of fundamentalist terrorism (Sharm al-Shaikh attack, 2005).