Colonial Bridgehead: Government and Society in Alexandria, 1807-1882

By Michael J. Reimer | Go to book overview

Preface

This book seeks to describe and explain the development of Alexandria during a seventy-five year period, from the time of Muhammad Ali Pasha until the beginning of the British occupation of Egypt. In writing it, I have attempted to fashion a coherent, though not a comprehensive, narrative of Alexandria's history before 1882. I realized very early in my research that a comprehensive study of a cosmopolitan city such as Alexandria would take one much farther afield than I was able to go--to Istanbul and Athens, Vienna and Livorno, Marseille and Tunis, and beyond. As it was, I spent about a year and a half in research, mostly in Cairo, where the bulk of the government documents relevant to nineteenth-century Alexandria are located. This was a limitation, but perhaps a helpful one inasmuch as I wished to emphasize--in contradistinction to the image of the city in, for example, the works of Durrell--the Egyptian contribution to the dynamics of change in modern Alexandria and the place of the city in the urban ensemble of modern Egypt. To a large extent, then, the Egyptian contribution is pictured as the contribution of the Egyptian government. This is a failing; I have been keenly aware from the outset that I have not been able to give an interior history of indigenous society in Alexandria. This work may nonetheless supply a framework within which such an interior history can be written. I wish to acknowledge here the recent publication of Professor Robert Ilbert's large and intriguing work on nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Alexandria, which examines important aspects of the city's social development, but which appeared too late for me to use in preparing the present work.

I have incurred many debts in the preparation of this book, and it is a pleasure both to acknowledge them and to thank the persons and institutions who have given generously of their time and resources to

-xiii-

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Colonial Bridgehead: Government and Society in Alexandria, 1807-1882
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • State, Culture, and Society In Arab North Africa iii
  • Title Page v
  • For My Mother and Father, and My Wife, Marty vii
  • Contents ix
  • Tables, Maps, and Illustrations xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • Part One The Geographical And Historical Inheritance 15
  • 1- Between Egypt and the Sea 17
  • 2- The Ottoman Town 25
  • Part Two Muhammad Ali's City, 1807-1848 51
  • 4- Restructuring Urban Administration 65
  • 5- A Demographic Profile At Mid-Century 89
  • Part Three Bridgehead of Colonialism, 1848-1882 105
  • 6- The Boom Years 107
  • 7- Property and Privilege 123
  • 8- Administration and Society After 1850 137
  • 9- Mediterranean Magnet 159
  • 10- The Crisis of 1882 171
  • 11- Conclusion 183
  • Appendix Census Documents 197
  • Notes 201
  • Bibliography 235
  • Index 245
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