ruled (1917 - 1936)
Fuad ascended the throne after the death of his brother, Hussein
Kamel, in 1917.
Near the end of World War I, the national movement mounted in aspiration
to restore political rights and end the British
protectorate on Egypt.
The war ended in 11 November 1918. US President Wilson's postwar Fourteen
Points declaration gave hope to nationalists in ridding the occupation.
The declaration recognized the self-determination rights for any nation
in the world.
In 1918, a group of nationalists formed a delegation (Wafd) under
the leadership of Saad Zaghloul, a former education minister, to present
the case of Egypt's independence to London and eventually to the Versailles
peace conference. The delegation met with Sir Reginald Wingate, the
then British High Commissioner.
Despite Wingate's recommendations to his government to meet the demands
of the nationalists, the British authority refused to meet Zaghloul
and his comrades. The pretext for this stance was that the delegation
is not representing the Egyptian people. Consequently, Zaghloul and
his comrades launched a campaign to collect signatures required to
petition the British government.
However, people felt Britain was having no intention to end its protectorate
and in early 1919 the masses agitated against the British occupiers.
As a result, the British deported Zaghloul and his comrades to Malta,
hoping this would be enough to calm the people. But on the contrary,
the people regarded that as a provocation and the March 1919 revolution
broke out. It left several British soldiers killed and caused more
violence. The rebellion was vigorously put down and Britain dispatched
the Milner mission to investigate the causes of the unrest.
British High Commissioner
Wingate's sympathy to the Egyptians led to his dismissal and General
Allenby replaced him as a Special High Commissioner.
The Delegation Party ('Al-Wafd Party' in Arabic)
was finally established and Zaghloul himself was released from exile
in April and was granted a permission to proceed to Paris.
Zaghloul urged his supporters in Egypt to boycott Milner's mission
but he finally agreed to meet it personally in 1920 when he was traveling
to London to present his case.
The next year, Milner report was published. It recommended the termination
of the protectorate with the condition of preserving Britain's special
position in Egypt.
Zaghloul returned to Egypt in April 1921 and launched a campaign against
the Egyptian government. The following talks between the Egyptian
premier and the British government, the Adli-Curzon talks, failed.
The street violence erupted again and Zaghloul was deported for the
second time at the end of 1921.
British official who negotiated with Egypt over the British
In 1922, and under pressures of Allenby, Britain issued the 1922 Declaration,
terminating the protectorate and granting Egypt a limited independence.
The title of Fuad was changed from Sultan to king in April and in
1923 the new constitution was promulgated. Saad Zaghloul was released
from exile and was allowed to return to Egypt.
The first free elections based on the 1923 constitution took place
and Zaghloul achieved an overwhelming victory. Zaghloul's government
resigned later over the murder of British sirdar
in Sudan, Sir Lee Stack, on 19 November 1924.
In 1925, Lord George Lloyd replaced Allenby as High Commissioner and
the following year Zaghloul won the elections again but was prevented
from forming the government. He died in 1927 and was succeeded by
Mustafa El-Nahhas Pasha.
The following years saw a power struggle between each of the king,
Al-Wafd party and the British.
Egyptian Prime Minister
Every time an election is held, Al-Wafd party wins, but the king was
dissolving the government to appoint one of his own. In 1929 El-Nahhas
became a prime minister for the second time after a crushing victory.
He was dismissed by the king the next year, and a new constitution
was promulgated to give the king broader authorities. A new electoral
law was also introduced. The new changes came to the dismay of the
Egyptian people and therefore the 1931 elections were boycotted.
Under pressure from the government, the old constitution was reinstated
in 1935. The then ailing king couldn't oppose the move while the British
were looking anxiously for a treaty with the Egyptians, especially
with the change of the situations in the world. In April 1936, King
Fuad died and was succeeded by his son Farouk.