History - Ismail Pasha

Viceroy and khedive of Egypt 1863-1879.
Ismail was a very ambitious leader of Egypt, aiming at bringing the country back to former greatness. He extended the Sudanese dominions, he extended railways and built telegraph lines. But his policy was funded by foreign loans, and he also had enormous personal expenses. The result was factually bankruptcy for Egypt, directly leading his fall as khedive and the British occupation in 1882.
Among Ismail's most successful projects were to create a modern Cairo, as well as parts of Alexandria, with wide avenues and buildings based upon European models. All this was inspired by Paris.
From 1863 to 1876 he had increased the foreign debts of Egypt from £7 million to £100 million.




1830 December 31: Born in Cairo as second son of Ibrahim Pasha.
— Receives an European style education from Paris, France.
1863: Succeeds his uncle Said Pasha as viceroy of Egypt under Ottoman suzerainty.
1866 November: Establishes the Chamber of Notable, an assembly of delegates, which had an advisory function towards him. The assembly was dominated by village chiefs.
1867: Receives the hereditary title of khedive from the Ottoman sultan.
1869 November: With the opening of the Suez Canal, Ismail turns the event into an international celebration of his own splendour.
1873: Obtains a decree from the Ottoman sultan, securing Egypt almost full independence.
1874: Annexes the Darfur province (western Sudan).
— His army is defeated when trying to invade Ethiopia.
1875: Ismail sells Egypt's shares in Suez Canal to the British Government for £4 million, thereby postponing a financial crisis.
1876: Ismail's advisory assembly forces Ismail to reinstate a law giving tax advantages to landowners, thereby proving the assembly's force and iterate Ismail's weak position.
1878: Being unable to pay his expenses and service his loans, Ismail has to transfer all his property to the state, becomes a constitutional sovereign and allows the establishment of a government with a British citizen as finance minister.
1879 June: Ismail is dismissed by the Ottoman sultan. He is succeeded by his son Tawfiq, and moves to Naples. He was later permitted to move to Constantinople (now Istanbul), Ottoman Empire
1895 March 2: Dies in Constantinople.


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