The Rise of Nationalism
Among the ideas the Middle East has imported from the West, none has been more popular and durable than nationalism. Khedive Isma'il's successes and failures made him the father of Egypt's first nationalist movement. Mahmud Sami al-Barudi took over the premiership and Ahmad 'Urabi became war minister, threatening the Turkish and Circassian officers in Egypt's army. The British government that sent troops to Egypt in 1882 expected a brief military occupation. Opposition to the continuing British occupation of Egypt came from a few British anti-imperialists; the French, who had failed to intervene in 1882; and the Ottoman Turks, who resented losing another province of their empire. With a small staff of British advisers to Egypt's various ministries, Lord Cromer managed to expand the Nile irrigation system to raise agricultural output, increase state revenues, lower taxes, and reduce the public debt burden.