The British invasion of Egypt and the political press, 1882
The multi causal background of the Egyptian Question of the 1870s and 1880s has frustrated historians for over a century. Despite the creation of a voluminous bibliography on the topic, accounts differ markedly and reflect the confusion that obscured the events surrounding the 1882 British occupation, the climax to the accumulating pressures. Economic demands conditioned political responses. Political considerations impacted military policy. Military policy was dictated in part by diplomatic realities. All were rooted in the background of recent Egyptian history and the increasing involvement of Europe in areas outside its previous spheres of influence. Thus, it is not surprising that the Egyptian Question was often interpreted in various ways by the educated English who lived through this period as well as by the historians of today, who must still rely on many of these earlier insights.
The objective of this paper is to return the study of the British invasion of of Egypt in 1882 to an important element of the original source material—the periodic press, which helped to condition the attitudes of the educated British public as well as reflect those attitudes. Specifically, this thesis will focus on such periodical publications as The Contemporary Review, The Fortnightly Review, and The Nineteenth Century and the views of the authors and editors reflected in their pages. Because of the voluminous coverage of this episode, the focus of this thesis must be restricted to certain key events and major issues.