Imperialism in Egypt

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How did imperialism manage to bring both disaster and success to Egypt? The morals of imperialism are mixed; it all depends on perspective. It brought along famines, heavy taxes, and many others to Egypt. On the other hand, it opened up trade routes from Britain to Asia and India, formed a steady supply of cotton for Britain, etc. (period6-5imperialism10.wikispaces.com, Egypt) In the beginning, Egypt actually tried to modernize itself, as an attempt to ward off European dominance (Modern World History, 354), but debts and other financial problems drove it into Britain’s arms. So how was Egypt affected by this? As a result of imperialism, Egypt received aid on some of the current problems, but were faced with many more new ones. First of all, imperialism was not something the Egyptians wanted. They witnessed the decline of the Ottoman Empire, and that acted as a wakeup call. They can either keep up with the modernization of the world around them, or be overwhelmed and lost among it (Modern World History, 354). They decided to make new reforms as an attempt towards modernization. One of these attempts was the Suez Canal. It was a waterway that connected the Nile River, Mediterranean Sea, and the Red Sea. The labor costed over 100 million dollars, and it opened in 1869 (Rosenberg). The Suez Canal, along with other reforms, put Egypt in a rough economic state. The British wanted control over the canal because it was the main route to India and its other colonies. Because of the huge debt, Egypt was forced to hand the canal over to Britain. Later, in 1882, Britain gained control to Egypt itself (Modern World History, 355). Thus, Egypt was under new rule and became one of Britain’s many colonies. To sum up, Egypt created many reforms ... ... middle of paper ... ... outweigh the problems solved by imperialism, it wasn’t all bad for the Egyptians; the financial aid and the Nile were only some of the problems Britain touched upon. So in conclusion, imperialism did Egypt more bad than good. It seems that they were right to try and prevent European dominance. Imperialism did improve on the general economic state of Egypt, and some other benefits that are similar to other colonies, like longer life expectancies. But with that came even more disadvantages; the major ones were the famines and the taxes, and the more general problems like new diseases being introduced, culture breaks, etc. Based on simple statistics, it can be established that imperialism did more harm than good for the colonies. Without imperialism, we wouldn’t live the same way we do now, but was it worth the countries and lives that were ruined during the process?

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