THE MODERN HISTORY of Egypt dates from September 13, 1882, when the British army under General Sir Garnet Wolseley defeated an Egyptian force under Colonel Arabi Pasha at Tel-el-Kebir. Great Britain had been keenly interested in the fate of Egypt since it had purchased the controlling interest in the Suez Canal under Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli in November 1875. The canal provided the shortest maritime route to India, which had formally become part of the British Empire after the defeat of the Indian Mutiny of 1858. When Arabi roused extreme nationalists against foreigners and undermined the role of the modernizing Khedive Tewfik, the British forces were sent in to restore order. As M.J. Williams wrote in Victorian Military Campaigns, after Tel-el-Kebir, the Egyptian forces ...

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