Egypt - Country history and economic development



1798. The Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte invades and occupies Egypt, bringing Western influences to the country for the first time in its very long history, during which it has been variously under the rule of Greeks (Alexander the Great, 332 B.C.), Macedonians, Persians, Romans, Mamelukes, and Turks.

1801. An alliance of British and Turkish Ottoman Empire forces invades Egypt and expels the French. Ottoman army officer Muhammed Ali takes over control of the country, organizing the economy, the military, and the educational system according to Western standards.

1854. French engineer Count Ferdinand de Lesseps is granted the right by the Egyptian government of Mohammed Said to dig the Suez Canal, which will become one of the world's most strategically significant waterways.

1869. The Suez Canal is opened under the reign of the Khedive Ismail. Khedive enters into agreements with Britain which pave the way for British control of Egypt.

1882. Egypt enters a long period of British rule, and becomes dependent on imports of British manufactured goods and exports of Egyptian cotton.

1914. Egypt is formally incorporated into the British Empire as a protectorate during World War I.

1922. Egypt gains independence from Britain under monarch King Fuad.

1935. Fuad's son, King Farouk, assumes the Egyptian throne and signs the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty allowing the British to retain rights to the Suez Canal Zone.

1947. Egypt joins a joint Arab invasion of the newly created State of Israel, but Israel wins the war.

1952. Clashes break out between Egyptians and British in the Suez zone. Revolutionaries led by army officers Gamal Abdel Nasser and Muhammad Naguib lead an insurrection that forces the abdication and exile of King Farouk.

1953. Egypt is declared a republic in June, with Maguib as president. Nasser takes over as president in 1954 and ushers in an era of Socialism, during which Egypt allies itself with the Soviet sphere of influence.

1956. Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal in July. In October, the Suez War breaks out as Britain, France, and Israel attempt unsuccessfully to seize control of the Canal.

1967. Egypt loses the Six-Day war against Israel.

1970. President Nasser dies and is succeeded by Anwar Sadat.

1973. Syria launches an attack on Israel, leading to the October War between Israel and an alliance of Arab States, including Egypt. Israel triumphs.

1974. President Sadat introduces his "infitah," or open-door economic policy, but the lifting of subsidies on basic foodstuffs leads to countrywide rioting.

1978. Sadat pays a historic visit to Jerusalem, and Israel's prime minister Menachem Begin pays a reciprocal visit to Cairo. In the United States in September, the 2 leaders meet for peace discussions brokered by President Jimmy Carter and sign the Camp David Accord, under which the Sinai, captured by Israel in the war, is returned to Egypt.

1981. Sadat is assassinated by Islamic extremists. He is succeeded by President Hosni Mubarak, who introduces new economic policies emphasizing the free market. The first parliamentary elections take place, and the government launches a program of economic reform.

1990-91. Egypt allies itself with the United States and Great Britain in the Gulf War against Saddam Hussein of Iraq. The United States rewards Egypt's support by canceling its massive debt.

1997. Mubarak's government begins a program of privatization, but the economy is badly affected when 58 foreign tourists are massacred by Islamic terrorists at the Luxor tourist site.

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Sep 29, 2011 @ 11:11 am
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