1830 – 1895
Who was Isma'il Pasha?
Isma'il Pasha, known as Ismail the Magnificent, was the Khedive of Egypt and Sudan from 1863 to 1879, when he was removed at the behest of the United Kingdom. Sharing the ambitious outlook of his grandfather, Muhammad Ali Pasha, he greatly modernized Egypt and Sudan during his reign, investing heavily in industrial and economic development, urbanisation, and the expansion of the country's boundaries in Africa.
His philosophy can be glimpsed at in a statement that he made in 1879: "My country is no longer in Africa; we are now part of Europe. It is therefore natural for us to abandon our former ways and to adopt a new system adapted to our social conditions".
He also secured Ottoman, and international recognition as Khedive in preference to Wāli. However, Isma'il's policies placed Egypt and Sudan in severe debt, leading to the sale of the country's shares in the Suez Canal Company to the United Kingdom, and his ultimate toppling from power at British hands.
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