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

By Michael J. Reimer | Go to book overview

7
Property and Privilege

The Extension of Urban Settlement

The growth of Alexandria led, in the first instance, to an intensified use of space on the peninsula, where the population of the Turkish town had been concentrated since the seventeenth century. However, as we have seen, the development of the Frank quarter and the penumbra of settlements that had sprung up late in the Muhammad Ali period had extended the bounds of settlement. This extension was a reflection of the new means of transportation that had been introduced to Alexandria in the nineteenth century. Locally, carriages came into widespread use. Ali Mubarak notes that by the 1870s there were 1,431 registered carriages and carts in use amongst the local population, to say nothing of the carriages and carts belonging to the khedive's family or to the foreign population.1 Alexandria also acquired new means of supralocal transportation: first the Mahmudiya Canal, then the railroad. The city thus illustrates a common phenomenon of nineteenth-century urban growth: the loosening of spatial bonds with the advent of new, or newly imported, transportation technologies.2

It thus became possible for increases in population to be translated into an expansion in the physical dimensions of the city. However, the directions of growth were limited by local geography, as well as by preexisting housing patterns.

Because the peninsula that terminates in Raás al-Tin was mostly occupied by 1855, the building of new houses and business establishments took place to the south and east of the old city. Most of the recorded development occurred in areas adjoining the western port, in the Frank quarter, and to the south, in the enceinte and along the Mahmudiya Canal. Maps of the period show a distinct tendency for streets and housing to develop along axes connecting the central

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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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