Sudan, 1821-1882

In 1821, an Egyptian army of c. 4,000 men, in the name of Khedive MUHAMMAD ALI, conquered DONGOLA, where many of the MAMLUKS who had escaped the massacre of 1811, had established their control, and the SULTANATE OF FUNJ and both were annexed into Egypt. An 1821-1822 rebellion, immediately following the departure of Ismail Pasha, was suppressed.
As Egypt formally was a part of the OTTOMAN EMPIRE, the period is referred to as the TURKIYAH. Garrisons were established at Khartoum, El Obeid and elsewhere. The conquest had caused many to flee into exile; the new administration raised taxation in order to cover the costs of the expedition.
Measures such as the reduction of taxes and amnesty granted to those who had fought the Egyptian army in the later 1820es resulted in reducing the tension (Governor General ALI KHURSHID AGA, 1826-1838). In 1835 KHARTOUM was chosen as the seat of the governor-general; the city grew considerably. Mohammad Ali demanded Sudanese to be conscripted, as he needed troops for Syria. Sudanese officials warded off the conscription of free men by ordering the contribution of a certain percentage of slaves for military service. They proved of little value to Egypt; many died of disease, many others proved unfit for the task. Khurshid Pasha undertook three raids to acquire slaves into the south (1827, 1830, 1831-1832) and fought a border war with Abyssinia (1836-1838).
The new Governor General, AHMAD PASHA ABU WIDAN (1838-1843) increased taxation and in an 1840 campaign subdued the TAKA and established a garrison at KASSALA. A reform aiming at decentralization (1843) was undone the same year. In the 1840es and 1850es, christian missionaries took up residence in the Sudan, with little success, an irritation to traditional Muslims. In 1857 again the Sudan administratively was decentralized, Dongola-Berber, Khartoum-Gezira, Kordofan and Taka. A railway connecting Khartoum with Wadi Halfa was planned. In 1862, the Sudanese provinces again were unified under the rule of a single governor general residing in Khartoum. In the 1850s a legal reform limited the influence of the traditional SHARIAH to local courts, a step widely resented, as was the gradual suppression of the SLAVE TRADE in the 1860s (beginning in 1854).
The AMERICAN CIVIL WAR (1861-1865) increased the demand for EGYPTIAN COTTON, much of it grown in Sudan's Gezira.
While the Sudan received little intention under Muhammad Ali's successors ABBAS I (1849-1854) and SAID (1854-1863), KHEDIVE ISMAIL (1863-1879) resumed the policy of expansion; BAHR EL GHAZAL and EQUATORIA were conquered in 1871 (commander of the Egyptian troops SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER), DARFUR submitted in 1874 to AL ZUBAIR RAHMA MANSUR PASHA. The modernization of the army according to European models and the European officers in command also were resented by many Sudanese. Sudan, traditionally rather isolated, lacked the urban elite Mediterranean Islamic nations had, with far reaching trade contacts and an interest in development outside the Ottoman Empire / Egypt, with religious minorities which entertained networkls of contact of their own. Sudanese society was more traditionalist, literacy less spread. Sudan was frontier country, where profession of adherence to the Arab culture gave men a feeling of superiority.

Timeline, from BBC News; from; Chronology of Sudanese History, from African-American Studies 112A, at UCB; another timeline by Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
Library of Congress, Country Studies : Sudan
Encyclopedia of the Orient : Sudan
History of the Sudan, from Sudan Home, 11 chapters; from Country and People of Sudan, concise; from Sudan Net
Article Sudan, from EB 1911; from Catholic Encyclopedia, 1912 edition
Nubia : Egyptian-Ottoman Rule
Biography of Sir Samuel White Baker, from Great Age of Exploration; from EB 1911
Biography of Charles Gordon (Chinese Gordon, Gordon of Khartoum), from Public Bookshelf; from Victorian Web
The Governors of Equatoria, from The History of Uganda, scroll down (posted by Govt. of Uganda)
DOCUMENTS World Statesmen : Sudan, by Ben Cahoon
REFERENCE P.M. Holt, A Modern History of the Sudan, NY : Grove Press 1961
J. Wardle, General Gordon, Saint and Soldier (1904), posted by Gutenberg Library Online

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on March 3rd 2003, last revised on October 17th 2007

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