Mohammed ‛Alī in 1820 after having taken the oasis of Sīwah, undertakes the conquest of Nubia and Sudan, following the constant tradition of the great monarchs of the Nile valley, and for the economic needs (persuaded as he was to find in those countries mineral wealth) and military. The expedition sent in 1820 under the orders of the sons of Mohammed ‛Alī, Ismā‛īl and Ibrāhīm Pasha, not without resistance subdued Nubia and Sennar, where King Fungi submitted, while the son-in-law of Moḥammed‛ Alī, the defterdār Mohammed bey, took the Kordofān. Ismā‛īl was then, on the way back, treacherously killed in Shendi by mek Nimr, and the aforementioned defterdār rushed to Kordofan to severely avenge the death of his brother-in-law.
A general governorship of the new Egyptian possessions was established in the city that arose at the confluence of the two Niles, al-Khartoum; at that time Moḥammed ‛Alī had the personal administration of Massawa and Suakin from Turkey. In 1838-39 he visited Sudan, going almost as far as Abyssinia, and he designed a program of renewal, including social, which unfortunately did not have full implementation. Viceroy Sa‛īd went there in 1857 and found the country in disastrous conditions, due to the bad governance of the administrators, who, due to the remoteness of the central government, acted at their own will, and tried to repair it with some measures, including the renewal proclamation of the abolition of the slave trade, a scourge of Egyptian Sudan, boldly and cruelly exercised especially by the Arab tribes. With Ismā‛īl Pascià, Viceroy since 1863, a new period in the history of Sudan begins. Having gained greater autonomy from the Porta, with the firmans of 1866 and 1867, and the annexation of Massawa and Suakin to Egypt, he undertook the systematic conquest and organization of Sudan (he aimed to conquer the whole country between the Nile and the Indian Ocean), extending the power of Egypt over the entire course of the Nile to the equatorial lakes, also intensifying the fight against trafficking. Ismā‛īl also occupied Abyssinian territories, such as Harar (1874), where he established good administration: a war ensued, which had an unfavorable outcome for Egypt, so much so that in 1884 every Egyptian authority had disappeared from the coast and from the Abyssinian countries. In his exploits Ismā‛īl Pascià made use of the work, as well as of Egyptians, of the most eminent European travelers and scientists, among which the English Gordon and the Italian Romolo Gessi (v.) deserve above all to be remembered. The Gordon, after his daring operations and the dangerous fight against the slave traders, had in 1877 the general government of all the conquered regions, with ample autonomy: the Gessi, who was the right arm of the Gordon, distinguished himself above all in the epic fight against Sulaimān Pascià, son of Zobeir Pascià, the most daring and powerful of the slave traders and he won and killed him in July 1879. The remnants of Sulaimān’s army flee with Rābaḥ, his lieutenant, brother of milk of Zobeir Pascià, who with lightning conquest managed, by preying and ruining, to become master for twenty-two years of a large part of Sudan, up to Bornu.
Ismā‛īl’s expeditions had remarkable results for the scientific exploration of Africa.
In the meantime, the great upheaval caused in Sudan by the appearance of the Mahdī was maturing for various reasons, the main one being discontent over the fight against trafficking, and the Egyptian maladministration. For the history of Egyptian and Anglo-Egyptian Sudan from this period, see. egypt, XIII, pp. 588-90.
The Anglo-Egyptian treaty concluded in London on 26 August 1936 confirms (art. 11) the condominium situation resulting from the Anglo-Egyptian agreements of 19 January and 10 July 1899, not excluding, however, that these agreements may be modified in the future; in that same article and in one of the annexes he brings back to normal the relations between Great Britain and Egypt in Sudan, which had been altered in favor of the first after the assassination of the governor general of Sudan sir Lee Stack, carried out by Egyptian nationalists in Cairo on November 19, 1924.