Tawfik succeeded his father Ismail,
who was deposed by the Ottoman
sultan, in 1879. The same year saw the presentation of a new constitutional
draft by the then premier Sherif Pasha
intended to give more rights to citizens. The draft was rejected,
and so Sherif Pasha resigned and was substituted by Riyadh Pasha.
In 1879, the Anglo-French Dual Control was renewed and the Law of
liquidation was rendered in the next year. The law divided Egypt's
revenues in two parts: part to pay for the debts of the bondholders
and the other part for financing the Egyptian administration.
A blend of public and army resentment rose over the barefaced European
presence in the government and over new army promotion policies that
angered Egyptian army officers in particular.
The War Minister at that time proposed changes in the army to limit
the promotion of army officers to senior posts.
Ahmed Orabi, an unsatisfied Egyptian colonel, conducted the army opposition.
After gaining popularity and support from army officers, Orabi presented
a petition of complaint to Refki Pasha, the War Minister.
Instead of listening to Orabi, Refki Pasha had Orabi arrested but
later his regiment freed him.
Tawfik had to dismiss Refki over the crisis and appointed Barudi,
a friend to Orabi, in the position.
Since the move didn't bring any change in the state policy, Orabi
took his regiment in a near-coup to Khedive
Tawfik's palace. In front of the palace, Orabi requested the increase
in the army force, constitution amendments and a governmental reshuffle.
marches to Abdeen Palace to present his bids to the Khedive
Khedive Tawfik had to yield to the demands so he replaced Riyadh Pasha
by the popular Sherif Pasha as prime minister.
The European powers were watching anxiously the developments in Egypt.
In January 1882, Britain and France sent a Joint Note in which they
expressed their support for the Khedive and opposed any move that
might cripple his powers in a way that could eventually harm the foreign
The note caused nothing but a vehement reaction of the people.
The government fell again and Sherif Pasha was replaced by Barudi
as prime minister and Orabi was made a War Minister. By that, Tawfik
seemed to have lost control over the national movement that actually
began to eclipse him.
A conflict between Orabi and Tawfik forced the latter to finally bid
for help from the European powers which were already alarmed by the
mounting national movement.
Britain and France decided to interfere by sending their fleets to
parade off the coast of Alexandria,
where Tawfik was present at that time.
Under the pressure of the foreign fleets anchoring off the coast,
sectarian riots broke out between Egyptians and the Greek minority
in Alexandria. The riots left a number of deaths.
On 11 July 1882, the British fleet bombarded
Alexandria while French troops rejected the move and withdrew back.
imaginary scene of El-Tal El-Kebir battle which resulted into
the British invasion of Egypt
Instantly, Khedive Tawfik, who appeared to be satisfied with the developments,
declared Orabi is a rebel. From his side, Orabi declared the Khedive
is a traitor and rallied his army for the anticipated invasion of
the British troops.
The British army left a unit in Alexandria and sent other units through
which defeated Orabi at the battle of El-Tal El-Kebir on 13 September
The British Occupation (1882 - 1954 AD):
The next day Cairo
fell to the British occupiers, exactly on 14 September 1882. They
never left the country except after more than 70 years.
Orabi was charged with sedition provocation and was exiled after
he gave himself up.
The British government dispatched Lord Dufferin to examine the situation
in Egypt and make some recommendations.
Dufferin was dispatched to assess the situation in Egypt
His report recommended legislative and administrative reforms in addition
to continuing the British presence in Egypt. The
Dual Control system was annulled and Sir Evelyn Baring, who later
became Lord Cromer in 1891, was appointed as a British agent and a
consul general in Egypt.
Baring, who placed himself as the de facto ruler of Egypt, focused
his interests on financial reforms at least to pay Egypt's foreign
debt to other states to keep off other rivals.
Baring succeeded to a great extent in improving the performance of
the Egyptian economy, especially with seeing no opposition whether
from the helpless Khedive or from the incompetent premiers.
The increase in the cotton exports, and the financial and administrative
adjustment caused a relative boom at the end of the century.
Tawfik died in 1892 and was succeeded by his son Abbas