Mehmet Ali
(1769–1848)
   Also known as Muhammad Ali, Mehmet Ali was Ottoman pasha, or governor, of Egypt. Originally from Albania, Mehmet Ali, a driven and ambitious man, made himself into the most powerful subject of the Ottoman Sultans in the early nineteenth century and on several occasions threatened to replace his nominal overlords with his own imperial pretensions. In the wake of Napoleon Bonaparte ’s Egyptian campaigns, the province was restored to nominal Ottoman control. The chaotic situation in Egypt and the many difficulties faced by Ottoman authorities in Constantinople, however, provided an ideal opportunity for Mehmet Ali’s own designs. By 1811, he had displaced the Ottoman governor and brutally suppressed the Mamlukes, former slave soldiers and the traditional power brokers of Egypt for hundreds of years. His modernization programs, although creating considerable tension in Egypt itself, focused on strengthening the Egyptian economy and building a modern army on European lines, often trained by French officers looking for work in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. His success was considerable enough to cause concern in Constantinople. Sultan Mahmud II, Mehmet Ali’s nominal suzerain, ordered the Egyptian army to Arabia to suppress the Wahhabi movement, which threatened Ottoman control of the Hijaz. Success against the Wahhabis emboldened Mehmet Ali, who soon dispatched one son at the head of an army of conquest into the Sudan, another to aid his suzerain in the suppression of the Greek revolt, all the while toying with plans for the conquest of North Africa. When he reaped what he deemed insufficient reward for his assistance against the Greeks, Mehmet Ali turned against Mahmud and sent his son Ibrahim at the head of an Egyptian army to invade the neighboring Ottoman province of Syria. This led to a major crisis in the Near East in 1832–1833 in which it seemed that the Ottoman Empire was on the verge of collapse, perhaps to be replaced by an Egyptian Empire in its stead.
   Only the unlikely intervention of Russia on the side of the Ottomans checked Mehmet Ali’s ambitions. Six years later Mahmud II again tried to deal with his overly ambitious vassal by reconquering Syria, only to suffer major reverses yet again. This time the Ottomans had to rely on British assistance to drive Ibrahim out of Syria. In the end, Mehmet Ali never succeeded in establishing a fully independent Egyptian state, but from 1841 on, he secured hereditary title as Ottoman governor of Egypt. His family was to rule Egypt, although as Ottoman subjects until World War I, until the end of the monarchy in 1952.
   See also <>; <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Dodwell,Henry. The Founder of Modern Egypt: A Study of Muhammed Ali. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1931;
    Fahmi, Khaled. All the Pasha ’ s Men: Mehmed Ali, His Army, and the Making of Modern Egypt. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997;
    Karsh, Efraim, and Inari Karsh. Empires of the Sand: The Struggle for Mastery in the Middle East 1789–1923. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999;
    al-Sayyid Marsot, Afaf Lutfi. Egypt in the Reign of Muhammad Ali. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984.
   ROBERT DAVIS

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mehmet Ali — or Mehemet Ali is a Turkish given name for males. People with the name include: Memet Ali Alabora, Turkish actor Mehmet Ali Ağca, Turkish assassin Mehmet Ali Aybar, Turkish sprinter Mehmet Ali Birand, Turkish journalist Mehmet Ali Erbil, Turkish… …   Wikipedia

  • Mehmet Ali — bezeichnet folgende Personen: Mehmed Ali Pascha (1827–1878), türkischer Feldmarschall Mehmed Emin Ali Pascha (1815–1871), türkischer Staatsmann Muhammad Ali Pascha (1769–1848), ägyptischer Staatsmann Diese Seite ist ein …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mehmet Alí — (1769 1849). Mehmet Alí o Mehemet Alí …   Wikipedia Español

  • Mehmet Alí — o Mohammed Alí (1769, Cavalla, Macedonia, Imperio otomano–2 ago. 1849, Alejandría, Egipto). Virrey de Egipto (1805–48) en representación del Imperio otomano y fundador de la dinastía que gobernó Egipto hasta 1953. Reorganizó a la sociedad egipcia …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Mehmet Ali Sahin — Mehmet Ali Şahin (* 16. September 1950 im Dorf Ekincik, Landkreis Ovacık, Provinz Karabük) ist ein türkischer Jurist, Politiker und Justizminister.[1] Er absolvierte die Fakultät für Rechtswissenschaften an der Universität İstanbul. Danach… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mehmet Ali Ağca — Born January 9, 1958 (1958 01 09) (age 53) Hekimhan, Turkey Conviction(s) Attempted murder (of Pope John Paul II) murder (of Abdi İpekçi) robbery, th …   Wikipedia

  • Mehmet Ali Şahin — Speaker of the Parliament of Turkey In office 9 August 2009 – 4 July 2011 Preceded by Köksal Toptan …   Wikipedia

  • Mehmet Ali Aybar — (pronounced [mehmet aɫi ajbaɾ]; October 5, 1908 – July 10, 1995) was an International lawyer, Member of Turkish Parliament, First president of the Workers Party of Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye İşçi Partisi or briefly TİP), Founder and President… …   Wikipedia

  • Mehmet Ali Talat — 2nd President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus In office 24 April 2005 – 23 April 2010 Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer …   Wikipedia

  • Mehmet Ali Ağca — (Hekimhan, 9 de enero de 1958), conocido como Alí Agca, es un ciudadano turco que atentó contra el papa Juan Pablo II el 13 de mayo de 1981 en la Plaza de San Pedro del Vaticano. Contenido 1 Biografía 1.1 Entrada en el grupo de los Lobos Grises …   Wikipedia Español

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”