By M. E. McMillan

Starting from the occasions surrounding the 1st global battle, the writer strains the historical past of the fashionable center East and places the Arab Spring into context. McMillan breaks down the nuances of Western involvement within the center East, alliances and divisions among center jap peoples and international locations, and the function of faith in those conflicts.

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Sample text

Elsewhere in the Arab world where the population was not Christian, the French were not welcomed quite so warmly. 5 Tunisia was one such place. In the 1860s, Tunisia suffered much the same fate as its North African neighbor Egypt. Like Egypt, Tunisia was nominally part of the Ottoman Empire. Like Egypt, Tunisia was ruled by a local dynasty. And like Egypt, that dynasty—the Husayni family—borrowed from European banks and spent money it did not have. Years of bad harvests and plagues did the rest and forced the country into bankruptcy in 1867.

With an equally small number of British bureaucrats, he managed to perform feats of financial wizardry and balance the Egyptian books. Surplus cash was available for investment in public works, especially agriculture and irrigation, and cotton production soared at a time when its price was booming in the international market. It was during Cromer’s era that the first Aswan Dam was built (1906). 10 It was measures like these that justified British rule in their own eyes. 11 Corruption was so endemic in the country that wealthy absentee landowners could confiscate the cotton crop of their tenants, plough a road through their holdings, or cut off their water supply, and the farmers could do nothing to stop them.

Now all London had to do was find someone to rule the land of the Sphinx. They found their man in Evelyn Baring, otherwise known as Lord Cromer. Baring was a bastion of the British establishment. A military man, Baring was the grandson of an admiral, the son of a member of parliament, and he himself had served as a soldier on three continents before going to work in the Indian service. His paternal family, the Barings, owned the bank of that name. Aside from securing the Suez Canal, Britain intervened in Egypt to make sure the country repaid its loans to European banks.

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