Egyptian Revolution of 1919

The Egyptian Revolution of 1919 (Arabic: ثورة 1919Thawra 1919) was a countrywide revolution against the British occupation of Egypt and Sudan. It was carried out by Egyptians[2] from different walks of life in the wake of the British-ordered exile of the revolutionary Egyptian Nationalist leader Saad Zaghlul, and other members of the Wafd Party in 1919.

The revolution led to Great Britain's later recognition of Egyptian independence in 1922 as the Kingdom of Egypt, and the implementation of a new constitution in 1923. Britain, however, refused to recognise full Egyptian sovereignty over Sudan, or to withdraw its forces from the Suez Canal Zone, factors that would continue to sour Anglo-Egyptian relations in the decades leading up to the Egyptian revolution of 1952.

Egyptian revolution of 1919
Part of the Revolutions of 1917–23
Revolution flag of Egypt 1919
DateNovember 1918 – July 1919

 British Empire


Commanders and leaders
British Empire Reginald Wingate Saad Zaghloul
Casualties and losses
29 British military personnel dead, 31 European civilians dead 800 Egyptians dead
1,600 wounded


Turkey retained nominal sovereignty over Egypt, but the political connection between the two countries was largely severed by the earlier seizure of power by Muhammad Ali in 1805, and re-enforced by the later increasing British influence and occupation of Egypt in 1882. From 1883 to 1914, the Khedive of Egypt and Sudan under the Ottoman Sultan remained the official ruler of the country, but ultimate power was exercised by the British Consul-General.[3]

When the Caucasus Campaign of World War I broke out between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire, Britain declared martial law in Egypt, and announced that it would shoulder the entire burden of the war. On 14 December 1914, the Khedivate of Egypt was elevated to a separate level of Sultanate of Egypt, and declared as a British protectorate, thus terminating definitively the legal fiction of Ottoman sovereignty over its province of Egypt. The terms of the protectorate led Egyptian nationalists to believe that it was a temporary arrangement that would be changed after the world war through bilateral agreement with Britain.[3]


Before World War One, nationalist agitation was limited to the educated elite. During the war, however, dissatisfaction with the British occupation spread among all classes of the population. This was the result of Egypt's increasing involvement in the war, despite Britain's promise to shoulder the entire burden of the war. During the war, the British poured masses of foreign troops into Egypt, conscripted over one and a half million Egyptians into the Labour Camps, and requisitioned buildings, crops, and animals for the use of the army.[4] In addition, because of Allied promises during the war (such as American President Woodrow Wilson's "Fourteen Points"), Egyptian political classes prepared for self-government. By war's end the Egyptian people demanded their independence.[5]


Protesters during the Egyptian Revolution of 1919

Shortly after the First World War armistice on 11 November was concluded on the Western Front in Europe, a delegation of Egyptian nationalist activists led by Saad Zaghlul made a request to High Commissioner Reginald Wingate to end the British Protectorate in Egypt and Sudan, and gain Egyptian representation at the planned peace conference in Paris. The delegation also included 'Ali Sha'rawi Pasha, Abd al-Aziz Fahmi Bay, Muhammad 'Ali Bay, 'Abd al-Latif al-Makabati Bay, Muhammad Mahmud Pasha, Sinut Hanna Bay, Hamd Pasha al-Basil, Gurg Khayyat Bay, Mahmud Abu al-Nasr Bay, Mustafa al-Nahhas Bay and Dr. Hafiz 'Afifi Bay.[6]

Egyptian and British soldiers during the 1919 riots
Egyptian and British soldiers on standby during the riots
Egyptian women demonstrating during the revolution

Meanwhile, a mass movement for the full independence of Egypt and Sudan was being organised at a grassroots level, using the tactics of civil disobedience. By then, Zaghlul and the Wafd Party enjoyed massive support among the Egyptian people.[7] Wafdist emissaries went into towns and villages to collect signatures authorizing the movement's leaders to petition for the complete independence of the country.

Seeing the popular support that the Wafd leaders enjoyed, and fearing social unrest, the British proceeded to arrest Zaghlul on 8 March 1919 and exiled him with two other movement leaders to Malta.[8] In the course of widespread disturbances between 15 and 31 March, at least 800 Egyptians were killed, numerous villages were burnt down, large landed properties plundered and railways destroyed.[9] "The result was revolution," according to noted professor of Egyptian history James Jankowski.[10]

For several weeks until April, demonstrations and strikes across Egypt by students, elite, civil servants, merchants, peasants, workers, and religious leaders became such a daily occurrence that normal life was brought to a halt. This mass movement was characterised by the participation of both men and women, and by spanning the religious divide between Muslim and Christian Egyptians[10] The uprising in the Egyptian countryside was more violent, involving attacks on British military installations, civilian facilities and personnel. By 25 July 1919, 800 Egyptians were dead, and 1,600 others were wounded.[11]

The British government under Prime Minister David Lloyd George, sent a commission of inquiry, known as the "Milner Mission", to Egypt in December 1919, to determine the causes of the disorder, and to make a recommendation about the political future of the country. Alfred Milner /first Viscount Milner / Lord Milner's report to Lloyd George, the Cabinet and King George V, published in February 1921, recommended that the protectorate status of Egypt was not satisfactory and should be abandoned.[12] The revolts forced London to later issue a unilateral declaration of Egyptian independence on 22 February 1922.


The British government offered to recognize Egypt as an independent sovereign state, but with the British government holding on these powers: the security of the communications of the British Empire in Egypt; defending Egypt against foreign aggression; and protecting foreign interests in Egypt and the Sudan.[13]

The Wafd Party drafted a new constitution in 1923 based on a parliamentary representative system. Egyptian independence at this stage was nominal, as British forces continued to be physically present on Egyptian soil. Moreover, Britain's recognition of Egyptian independence directly excluded Sudan, which continued to be administered as an Anglo-Egyptian condominium. Saad Zaghlul became the first popularly elected Prime Minister of Egypt in 1924.

See also


  1. ^ Australian War Memorial – Egyptian Uprising 1919
  2. ^ 1919 The People of Egypt Revolution
  3. ^ a b Vatikitotis 1992, pp. 240–243
  4. ^ Vatikitotis 1992, p. 246
  5. ^ Daly 1998, p. 2407
  6. ^ Quraishi 1967, p. 213
  7. ^ Vatikitotis 1992, p. 267
  8. ^ Gerges, Fawaz A. (30 December 2013). The New Middle East: Protest and Revolution in the Arab World. Cambridge University Press. p. 67. ISBN 9781107470576. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  9. ^ Schulze, Reinhard (2002). A Modern History of the Islamic World. I.B.Tauris. p. 54. ISBN 9781860648229. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  10. ^ a b Jankowski 2000, p. 112
  11. ^ The New York Times. 1919
  12. ^ Daly 1998, pp. 249–250
  13. ^ Vatikitotis 1992, p. 264

Further reading

  • Daly, M.W. (1988). The British Occupation, 1882–1922. Cambridge Histories Online: Cambridge University Press.
  • Fahmy, Ziad (2011). Ordinary Egyptians: Creating the Modern Nation through Popular Culture. Stanford University Press.
  • Goldberg, Ellis (1992). Peasants in Revolt – Egypt 1919. International Journal of Middle East Studies 24, no. 2.
  • Jankowski, James (2000). Egypt: A Short History. Oxford: Oneworld Publications.
  • Valentine, Chirol (1922). The Egyptian Question. Journal of the British Institute of INternational Affairs 1, no. 2.
  • Vatikiotis, P.J. (1992). The History of Modern Egypt (4th ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University.
  • "800 natives dead in Egypt's rising; 1,600 wounded". New York Times. 25 July 1919.
  • Quraishi, Zaheer Masood (1967). Liberal Nationalism in Egypt: Rise and Fall of the Wafd Party. Kitab Mahal Private LTD.
  • Zunes, Stephen (1999). Nonviolent Social Movements: A Geographical Perspective. Blackwell Publishing.
1919 revolution

1919 Revolution can refer to:

The Egyptian Revolution of 1919

The German Revolution of 1918–1919 that began in November 1918

The Bavarian Soviet Republic

The Hungarian Soviet Republic

The Greater Poland Uprising (1918–1919)

The establishment of civilian government following the Finnish Civil War

1935 Yazidi revolt

The 1935 Yazidi revolt took place in Iraq in October 1935. The Iraqi government, under Yasin al-Hashimi, crushed a revolt by the Yazidi people of Jabal Sinjar against the imposition of conscription. The Iraqi army, led by Bakr Sidqi, reportedly killed over 200 Yazidi and imposed martial law throughout the region. Parallel revolts opposing conscription also broke out that year in the northern (Kurdish populated) and mid-Euphrates (majorly Shia populated) regions of Iraq.

The Yazidis of Jabal Sinjar constituted the majority of Iraqi Yazidi population - the third largest non-Muslim minority within the kingdom, and the largest ethno-religious group in the province of Mosul. In 1939, the region of Jabal Sinjar was once again put under military control, together with the Shekhan District.

African Revolution

African Revolution may refer to:

Algerian Revolution or Algerian War (1954–62)

Angolan War of Independence or Angolan Revolution (1961–74)

Egyptian Revolution of 1919

Egyptian Revolution of 1952

Egyptian Revolution of 2011

1969 Libyan coup d'état or Libyan Revolution

Libyan Civil War or Libyan Revolution (2011)

Rwandan Revolution (1959–61)

Somali Revolution or Somali Rebellion (1986–92)

Tunisian Revolution (2010–11)

Zanzibar Revolution (1964)

Al Masry SC

Al Masry Sporting Club (Classical Arabic:النادي المصري للألعاب الرياضية; Egyptian Arabic: النادي المصري‎, El Nady El Masry, English translation:The Egyptian Club) is an Egyptian sports club based in Port Said, Egypt. It is best known for its professional football team, which plays in the Egyptian Premier League, the top tier of the Egyptian football league system. Founded on 18 March 1920 by a group of Egyptians in Port Said to be the first club for Egyptians in this coastal city which was full of many other clubs for the foreign communities which inhabited there.

Al-Masry has won 5 official titles and 17 local ones throughout its history. It is one of the five clubs that have the largest number of fans in Egypt, beside Al Ahly, Zamalek, Ismaily and El Ittihad El Sakandary.The club plays their home matches in the Port Said Stadium, with a capacity of 17,988.

Douglas Dunlop

Douglas Dunlop was a Scottish teacher and missionary who, during the British occupation of Egypt (1888–1922), controversially created what became known as the 'Dunlop-system' in Egyptian education. He was widely seen as an opponent of Egyptian nationalist aspirations in education.

From 1882-1922, Egypt was under British military occupation, and her government heavily under the influence (control) of the British Empire. The first Consul-General, Sir Evelyn Baring (later 1st Earl of Cromer), appointed Dunlop as British 'consultant' to the Egyptian ministry of education. Dunlop was suggested for this task by Cromer's former tennis partner.

Dunlop and the British had two concerns. Firstly, they were concerned with the debt-ridden Egyptian economy, and secondly with creating a suitable (and compliant) educated governing class and civil service, modelled on their experiences in British India. The education policy of the Egyptian government prior to the occupation had been to create a meritocratic system. Dunlop, on the other hand, oversaw the creation of an elitist two-tier system, with fees introduced for the elite schools. Modernisation also occurred, with elemental schooling being both centralised and expanded.

Prior to the British occupation, the administrative languages of Egypt had been French and Turkish. With British influence, English became the preferred language. This brought increasing controversy, as Egyptian nationalists sought to reassert Arabic. Dunlop, even after thirty years in Egypt, like Cromer, did not speak Arabic. He primarily promoted teaching in English, preferring to employ British teachers and attempting to marginalise teaching in Arabic and French.

In 1907, Saad Zaghlul (later revolutionary leader and post-independence prime minister) became minister of education. Zaghul strongly promoted Arabic in education, and necessarily locking horns with his British advisor. Dunlop became a figure associated with British resistance to Egyptian anti-colonialism. Dunlop quit his post during the Egyptian revolution of 1919.

Egyptian Constitution of 1923

The Constitution of 1923 was a constitution of Egypt from 1923–1952. It was replaced by the Constitution of 1930 for a 5-year period (1930–1935) before being restored in 1935. It adopted the parliamentary representative system based on separation of and cooperation among authorities. The Parliament of Egypt was a bicameral system made up of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.

Egyptian Revolution

Egyptian Revolution may refer to:

‘Urabi Revolt, a nationalist uprising in Egypt from 1879 to 1882

Egyptian revolution of 1919, led by Saad Zaghlul and the Wafd Party

Egyptian revolution of 1952, led by Muhammad Naguib, Gamal Abdel Nasser, and the Free Officers Movement

Corrective Revolution (Egypt), a purge by Sadat against Nasserist elements of the government

Egyptian Crisis (2011–14), a period of unrest and government change in Egypt

Egyptian revolution of 2011, a series of mass popular protests leading to the resignation of Hosni Mubarak

2013 Egyptian coup d'état, the overthrow of President Morsi by General el-Sisi

Egyptian nationalism

Egyptian nationalism is the nationalism of Egyptians and Egyptian culture. Egyptian nationalism has typically been a civic nationalism that has emphasized the unity of Egyptians regardless of ethnicity or religion. Egyptian nationalism first manifested itself in Pharaonism beginning in the 19th century that identified Egypt as being a unique and independent political unit in the world since the era of the Pharaohs in ancient Egypt.

History of Egypt

The history of Egypt has been long and wealthy, due to the flow of the Nile River with its fertile banks and delta, as well as the accomplishments of Egypt's native inhabitants and outside influence. Much of Egypt's ancient history was a mystery until the secrets of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs were deciphered with the discovery and help of the Rosetta Stone. Among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is the Great Pyramid of Giza. The Library of Alexandria was the only one of its kind for centuries.

Human settlement in Egypt dates back to at least 40,000 BC with Aterian tool manufacturing. Ancient Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh of the First Dynasty, Narmer. Predominately native Egyptian rule lasted until the conquest by the Achaemenid Empire in the sixth century BC.

In 332 BC, Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great conquered Egypt as he toppled the Achaemenids and established the Hellenistic Ptolemaic Kingdom, whose first ruler was one of Alexander's former generals, Ptolemy I Soter. The Ptolemies had to fight native rebellions and were involved in foreign and civil wars that led to the decline of the kingdom and its final annexation by Rome. The death of Cleopatra ended the nominal independence of Egypt resulting in Egypt becoming one of the provinces of the Roman Empire.Roman rule in Egypt (including Byzantine) lasted from 30 BC to 641 AD, with a brief interlude of control by the Sasanian Empire between 619–629, known as Sasanian Egypt. After the Muslim conquest of Egypt, parts of Egypt became provinces of successive Caliphates and other Muslim dynasties: Rashidun Caliphate (632-661), Umayyad Caliphate (661–750), Abbasid Caliphate (750–909), Fatimid Caliphate (909–1171), Ayyubid Sultanate (1171–1260), and the Mamluk Sultanate (1250–1517). In 1517, Ottoman sultan Selim I captured Cairo, absorbing Egypt into the Ottoman Empire.Egypt remained entirely Ottoman until 1867, except during French occupation from 1798 to 1801. Starting in 1867, Egypt became a nominally autonomous tributary state called the Khedivate of Egypt. However, Khedivate Egypt fell under British control in 1882 following the Anglo-Egyptian War. After the end of World War I and following the Egyptian revolution of 1919, the Kingdom of Egypt was established. While a de jure independent state, the United Kingdom retained control over foreign affairs, defense, and other matters. British occupation lasted until 1954, with the Anglo-Egyptian agreement of 1954.

The modern Republic of Egypt was founded in 1953, and with the complete withdrawal of British forces from the Suez Canal in 1956, it marked the first time in 2300 years that Egypt was both fully independent and ruled by native Egyptians. President Gamal Abdel Nasser (president from 1956 to 1970) introduced many reforms and created the short-lived United Arab Republic (with Syria). His terms also saw the Six-Day War and the creation of the international Non-Aligned Movement. His successor, Anwar Sadat (president from 1970 to 1981) changed Egypt's trajectory, departing from many of the political, and economic tenets of Nasserism, re-instituting a multi-party system, and launching the Infitah economic policy. He led Egypt in the Yom Kippur War of 1973 to regain Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, which Israel had occupied since the Six-Day War of 1967. This later led to the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty.

Recent Egyptian history has been dominated by events following nearly thirty years of rule by former president Hosni Mubarak. The Egyptian revolution of 2011 deposed Mubarak and resulted in the first democratically elected president in Egyptian history, Mohamed Morsi. Unrest after the 2011 revolution and related disputes led to the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état.

Laila Soliman

Laila Soliman (ليلى سليمان, born 1981) is an Egyptian writer and theater director living and working in Cairo.She was born in Cairo and received a degree in theater and Arabic literature from the American University in Cairo in 2004. She received an MA in theater from the Academy of Theatre and Dance at the Amsterdam University of the Arts.In 2011, with Ruud Gielens, she directed Lessons in Revolting, which was created with ten other Egyptian artists following the Egyptian revolution of 2011. In 2014, her play Hawa Elhorreya ("Whims of Freedom") about the Egyptian revolution of 1919 was presented at the Egyptian Centre for Culture and Arts and at the London International Festival of Theatre.Soliman does not have a theatre company but instead people join in her projects as collaborators. She takes on various functions herself in support of her projects as required, including publicity, fundraising and set and costume design.Her works have been presented in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and various countries in Europe.

List of wars involving Egypt

This list is about wars involving Egypt.

New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade

The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade was a brigade of the New Zealand Army during the First World War. Raised in 1914 as part of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, it was one of the first New Zealand units to sail for service overseas.

The brigade was formed from three regiments – the Auckland Mounted Rifles, the Canterbury Mounted Rifles, the Wellington Mounted Rifles – and smaller support units. Altogether the brigade had an establishment of 1,940 men and 2,032 horses and by the end of the war over 17,700 men had served in the brigade. However the entire brigade's dismounted rifle strength was the equivalent of only a battalion of infantry.

By the end of 1914, the brigade had arrived in Egypt and was assigned to the New Zealand and Australian Division. Its first active service was, in a dismounted role, during the Gallipoli Campaign, where they fought against the forces of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. Seven months later, after the evacuation from Gallipoli, the brigade returned to Egypt, and in 1916, became part of the ANZAC Mounted Division. The brigade was then used in defence of the Suez Canal. Then following an abortive Turkish attack in the Sinai Desert, it took part in clearing the invaders from Egypt. Then in the next two years, it forced the Turkish forces out of Palestine, collectively known as the Sinai and Palestine Campaign. Following its successful conclusion in 1918, the brigade played a small part in the Egyptian Revolution of 1919, before being disbanded in June 1919.

Revolts during the Turkish War of Independence

A number of revolts against the Turkish Revolutionaries broke out during the Turkish War of Independence.

Kemal Atatürk, who was the leader of the nationalist government of Turkey during the war of independence was primarily concerned about subduing the internal revolts and establishing domestic security. To achieve this, the parliament passed the Law of Treachery to the Homeland and established Mobile Gendarmerie Troops. These revolts had the effect of delaying the nationalist movement's struggle against the occupying foreign forces on several fronts. These revolts, such as those by Ahmed Anzavur, were put down with some difficulty by nationalist forces.

Sultanate of Egypt

The Sultanate of Egypt (Arabic: السلطنة المصرية‎) was the short-lived protectorate that the United Kingdom imposed over Egypt between 1914 and 1922.

Sultanic Highness

His Sultanic Highness (HSH) (French: Son Altesse Sultanica (SAS)) was a honorific of the Sultan of Egypt.

Unilateral Declaration of Egyptian Independence

The Unilateral Declaration of Egyptian Independence was issued by the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 28 February 1922. Through this declaration, the British government unilaterally ended its protectorate over Egypt and granted it nominal independence with the exception of four "reserved" areas: foreign relations, communications, the military and the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.

Wafd Party

The Wafd Party ("Delegation Party"; Arabic: حزب الوفد‎, Hizb al-Wafd) was a nationalist liberal political party in Egypt. It was said to be Egypt's most popular and influential political party for a period from the end of World War I through the 1930s. During this time, it was instrumental in the development of the 1923 constitution, and supported moving Egypt from dynastic rule to a constitutional monarchy, where power would be wielded by a nationally-elected parliament. The party was dissolved in 1952, after the 1952 Egyptian Revolution.

Yemeni–Adenese clan violence

Yemeni–Adenese clan violence refers to sectarian violence in Yemen and Aden during 1956-60, resulting in some 1,000 deaths.


Zefta: (Arabic: زفتى‎ pronounced [ˈzeftæ], Coptic: ⲍⲉⲃⲉⲑⲉ Zevethe) is an Egyptian town in the Nile delta, belongs to Gharbia governorate. It is across the Nile from Mit Ghamr city of Ad Daqahliyah governorate.

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