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Interpretive Research Paper-Egyptian Ruling Elite
The country I studied during this project was Egypt, and the character I
was assigned to was Ismail Pasha, who was part of the Ruling Elite. Ismail was
the son of Ibrahim Pasha, who took the throne after Said Pasha's death. He ruled
Egypt from 1863 to 1879. He began his rule halfway through the American Civil
War, when Egypt experienced an immense growth in cotton trade, due to the
unavailability of American cotton. Ismail did not control his money well. He was
concerned with making Egypt seem attractive to surrounding countries and
nations. Which would help migration to Egypt. His attempts included throwing
magnificent parties on just about any occasion he could come up with. Although
he was the darling of Europe, (social class profiles, 1) he did not handle his
money responsibly. Ismail spent lavishly, and was very unwise about handling his
financial affairs, thus leaving himself open for criticism. He was committed to the
Suez Canal project, which he changed in two major ways: First of all, he
constructed a freshwater canal, and second of all, he refused to provide an infinite
amount of peasant labor. In 1866, he changed the manner in which the leaders
successors were chosen in Egypt. This caused controversy between himself and
the Sultan Abdulaziz around the time when the Suez Canal opened, in 1869. The
two later reconciled, but it cost Ismail heavy expenditure, which did not help his
already growing debt. The debt was eventually too much for Ismail to overcome,
or even come close to paying back. He spent extravagantly, and borrowed the
money he needed, but he could never pay it back. He desperately tried to relieve
himself of the burden he carried, by several methods. He stopped paying interest
on Egypt’s loans, stopped paying his officials, and doubled the taxes on his
people. But the debt was just too overwhelming. In…