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

By Michael J. Reimer | Go to book overview

Appendix
Census Documents

The documentation of this study depends to a certain extent on records of the Alexandriamuhafaza, in particular the census registers for the years 1263/ 1847, 1264/ 1848 and 1285/ 1868, held in Egypt's National Archives ( Dar al-Watha'iq al-Qawmiya, in Cairo).1 Data from the censuses yield important information for the analysis of local administration, since the census required a sophisticated hierarchy of officials for its execution. Data from the censuses also provide a statistical basis for the analysis of socio-demographic dynamics during the nineteenth century. Because the use of these particular census records is, to my knowledge, without scholarly precedent,2 a word concerning their preservation and utilization may be added.

There are in fact two sets of census records for Alexandria around the end of the Muhammad Ali period. The records are of a census done in 1263/ 1847, and another distinct census done in 1264/ 1848.3 The first census is highly problematic. I have gleaned some information from selected parts of the census, but it cannot be used for an overall evaluation of the city. It appears to have been aborted at some point, perhaps due to a lack of planning. There is no single register, or daftar, that summarizes the data collected, and the totals given, if added together, produce improbable figures, perhaps a sign of confusion and overlap in the administrative organization of the census. The 1264/ 1848 census records are, by contrast, in excellent condition and are wellorganized. The documents of the entire census are done in Arabic.

The census, which was national in scope, was "to promote the material progress of the millets of Egypt," as a government edict announced. There can be no doubt that the reason was the more efficient collection of taxes and military designs that would require conscription. Evidence of this is found in the fact that the daftars are stamped with the seal of the offices of the financial administration of Alexandria (masalih maliyat Iskandariya) and the fact that the original order was issued through the central Ministry of Finance. Moreover, the pasha was acting in compliance with the conditions laid down in the Ottoman firman granting his family hereditary viceregal authority, which stipulated the fiscal reorganization of the country. As a result of this

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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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