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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

14
THE EGYPTIAN  PROBLEM
the officiating Imam still ascends the pulpit at th prayer carrying a sword, even if it be only a sword, as the symbol of conquest.   But in pract little  effect was  given to  that  opinion.    The Omar   treated   the   Egyptians   altogether   wi^ leniency and respected their ancient land systei was it radically changed under the Mameluke before or after the Turkish conquest.   But at a. especially when the country passed under  so] domination or in periods of internal strife and £ great inroads were made upon the system, and the sive masters for the time being of Egypt carved themselves   individually,   and   for   their   famili followers, huge estates which were treated as their ] property, and were held under many varying cor They always remained, however, tenancies at wi the same arbitrary power that had granted thei at any time and constantly  did  resume  then there was one feature more or less common to t] Keeping for themselves the whole revenue yiel the labour of the fellaheen, who became their ow these holders ceased to contribute anything to the expenditure of the State, and the latter had to be increased levies on the rest of the fellaheen comi In the latter part of the Mameluke period this con be done by farming out large districts to revenue col who bled the fellaheen white,  and gradually  a proprietary rights of their own.   Thus there had little by little a confused tangle of predatory ri the land which left none whatever to the   wi peasantry who actually tilled the soil.
Mehemet Ali cut through the tangle in his own m* fashion. He confiscated all the Mamelukes5 < and then asserted with regard to the rest the Ph; right of pre-eminent ownership which had ne principle lapsed. Thereupon he ordered a rough ca survey of the whole cultivated area of Egypt, and duced the system of internal administration ofn—a vital question determining as a rule the rights to be granted to the population in respect of the tenure of land under Mahomedan rule. That the former opinion prevailed seems to be shown by the fact that in the mosques of Egyptned the resources ofne to death in the streets of the capital. Egypt wasit in Egypt.    Within the first year of the Occupation