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Muhammad was most interested in creating a
strong and fearless army for Egypt. He first went ahead and tried to have a
better spirit in the army, realized that the soldiers had no sense of
nationalism since they were a mixture between Mamluks, Turks and other nations,
as a result, Muhammad Ali tried to appoint Egyptian Muslim farmers. According
to Mouriez in his book modern Egypt from 1840 to 1857, he states that the
farmers quickly got used to their new lives as part of the army and were proud
to be the army men of Muhammad Ali since they found that the title was
prestigious. (“Egypt’s Age of Reform”)  In about ten years the army grows
massively to a total number of 130,000 soldiers. This helped them to be more
united and together as a nation. As Muhammad looked for the weak points of
Egypt in order to try and make them better, he realized that any army needs
translators, doctors, engineers, and teachers which Egypt did not have, since
education was not too good at the time and because farmers and lower class
people could not get it. Then he decided to use the “modern military method” as
he called it he decides to make special military school and in general to
further the education system. This way lower class people have the same
important as everyone, and it would only benefit Egypt army. In addition of
training the soldiers harder Muhammad decided to send military missions to
Europe, he did so for many reasons, the main one was getting inspired by new
ideas and training teaching of the west, and getting enlightened about new
weapons. Muhammad wanted to inspire the soldiers about the European model army
and forward their knowledge.


was super important to Muhammad Ali as it increases the wealth making it easier
for Muhammad Ali to maintain his power. As I addressed before and in addition
to the military schools, the Department of Military was in control of all the
schools, this lets each school have its own unique system, meaning that each
school creates it is own rules. This further Egypt education because this way
different schools can adjust itself to the student’s needs and wants, for
example, each school can have different subject and number of classes. Before
Muhammad Ali education was limited to religious studies and Islamic law. But
one of the first things Muhammad did was to create equal education and he
establishes a big variety of schools. Now every person in Egypt could easily
get a good education which will result better jobs opportunity, better future.

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As Muhammad once told a story of a man named Hussein Jalebi Ajwa, an Egyptian
who “invented a device for grinding rice.” When his invention was
shown to Muhammad Ali, he was very impressed and concluded that Egyptians were,
in fact, smart and therefore, deserved to have schools for education
(“Egypt’s Age of Reform”).” Moreover, in 1813 Muhammad Ali sent more
and more missions to Europe to study abroad. As well as bring teachers to
Egypt. He realized that it will keep the students in a modern-day thinking so
when they come back they can share and spread that all across the country. And
so they did just a couple years later more schools of “modern day” countries
were starting to get open. (“Egypt’s Age of Reform”) For example a
school for military officers in 1816, for accountants in 1826, civilian
administrators in 1829 and 1834, doctors and the study of medicine in 1827, for
the study of languages in 1835. All of this help to further the education and
knowledge of Egyptian.


In order to make Egypt’s government work
better, faster and being more organized, Muhammed Ali carried out an
administrative reform. He first abolished the old system of the Mamelukes.

While he created a centralized system of the state. This new system as well
worked after European rules. He created the the War Ministry which was in
charge of the army and fleet. The Ministry of Finance collected taxes. The
Trade Ministry was in charge of monopolies and goods leaving the country.

 The Ministry of Education established a number of schools and sent
students abroad to study in European countries. Finally, the Ministries of
Foreign and Home Affairs were formed. (Reimer) This made everything work more
smoothly. Before this reform everyone was trying to get everything done, for
example the people who collect taxes had to also be in charge of the army. Now
every section has it is own workers that have had some kind of previous
experience in the subject. Muhammed Ali divided Egypt into seven new provinces
or mudiriyas, at the head of which stood a governor. Who was a part of  the central government, he would carried out
administrative duties and collected taxes. He was also responsible for managing
government workshops and manufactories, and for seeing that the canals,
bridges, and roads were in a good condition. He made sure the timely sowing and
gathering of the crops. (Lutsky) This action or reform was a really smart move
from Muhammad Ali’s point of view since this was the government had complete
control over all the different areas in Egypt.


Muhammad Ali also focused on increasing
Egypt’s agriculture which helped boost the economy. Egypt has always relied
upon the flood of the Nile. Muhammad Ali improved it by constructing new, deep
canals. This has increased the cultivable land by 18 percent between 1813 and
1830 (Nwaubani). Muhammad Ali improved Egypt’s irrigation system making it
work all year around, more efficient and for a cheaper price. New crops were
introduced such as cotton, which promised high cash returns. (Rivlin) Cotton
seeds were given away as the government encourage them to use it.  As a
result there was a large increases in Egypt revenue. Almost 33% of revenue came
to Egypt from cotton.  (“Egypt’s Age of Reform”) In about six
years their output became tremendously big and other nations were started to
get interested in buying cotton and other crop which improved the economy of
Egypt even more.


though he did everything he saw to be right in order to modernize Egypt, many
of Muhammad Ali’s reforms failed, most of the time was because he wanted
everything to happen in a second. Most of his reforms overtaxed the country and
caused a lot of troubles, the population increased fast without any
preparation, not enough houses or food.  More over by the time of his
death most of the schools he set up had been closed. And most of his industries
had collapsed. (Habeeb) He became addict to wars. He invaded Syria and got
hostile by Britain, treating the existence of the Ottoman Empire, which made an
unbalance of power in the Middle East. Later on, Britain had forced Muhammad
Ali to limited his army to 18,000 soldiers which harmed Egypt badly. (Reimer)  

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