Napoleon Invasion of Egypt was a military conquest of Egypt by the French army under the command of the French military leader called Napoleon Bonarparte in 1798. The Invasion of Egypt was part of the French or Napoleon’s expansion campaign known as the ‘Mediterranean Campaign of 1798.
The Napoleon’s Invasion of Egypt was caused by some reasons that included economic, political, as well as intellectual reasons. Also, the Invasion have been effective that left consequences on the Egyptian people in General.
Since before the Napoleon invasion of Egypt in 1798, Egypt has been in the eyes of the major European powers then. The position or location as well the historical importance of the country has been a major factor that attracted Invaders from different angles. Because, Egypt was in a position of being a passage to the East especially India. Prior to the invasion, Britain has much influence the area of Egypt more than any European powers, even though the country was under the Mamluks Dynasty as a semi-autonomous of the Ottaman Empire.
Towards the late 1700s, France was in a strong opposition and rivalry against the Britain in their quest of imperialism or commercial monopoly in the world. On the other hand, in 1789, there was a socio-political revolution in Egypt. The revolution known historically as the ‘French Revolution’ led to the rise of a man called Napoleon Bonarparte as a French Emperor. This man was a strategic, intellectual, and ambitious leader who wanted to expand or extend the influence of France all over the world. To made his ambition into reality, Napoleon considered the Anglo-French rivalry as a major issue to tackle. Therefore, it was part of expanding his political power and opposing the British influence that the issue of invading Egypt came into being.
Causes for the Napoleon Invasion of Egypt
Many factors have played a role in the Napoleon invasion of Egypt in the year 1798. However, there were three major factors that this research paper will look at as a main factors responsible for the invasion. Because, Napoleon Bonarparte himself in a letter wrote the French directorate he made emphasized on the following three reasons for invading Egypt
First, it was to opposed the growing British trade interest in the Middle East region, as well to cutt off access to the East especially India. Because, much the Britain’s wealth strength came from India. On the other hand, the British extracted wealth from India have to passed through Mediterranean in which Egypt was main passage. Therefore, if France could be able to posses or get control of Egypt, then she could weakened the strength economic strength of the Britain.
Secondly, it was to protect the French commercial or trade interest. Since, before the 1798, traders from France had been doing their trading activities in Egypt. However, as the times goes, the French monopoly in Egypt was gradually going low.
Thirdly, the invasion of Egypt was an intellectual and cultural issue. Because, throughout the 1700s, France have witnessed intellectual age known as the “Age of Enlightment” in which reason or knowledge became an important aspect of the French people. Therefore, the French people as well as their leaders felt obliged to spread such civilization to the whole world. Also, Napoleon was an adventurer and expansitionist who want to know the world especially the oldest land. These two reasons became one of the factors for the Napoleon Invasion of Egypt.