The Egyptian Revolution of 1919 was arguably
the most important event in Egyptian history because it was Egypt's first
revolution, as well as the point in history where Egypt gained independence.
The revolution was a revolt against Great Britain from Egypt and Sudan. In 1919, British forces poured into Egypt.
They forced over one and a half million Egyptians into their Labour Corps. The Labour Corps was a group of Egyptian labourers that were from Egypt,
but worked for the British. In addition to this, British forces took buildings,
land, crops, and animals from Egypt.
Britain declared martial law over Egypt. Egypt did not have an organized
government, so they were unable to directly react to all of this happening
right in front of them. An Egyptian
nationalist group led by Saad Zaghlul sent a request to Britain, asking to end
the British occupation of Egypt, as well as to gain representation at a future
peace conference. Egypt had been left out of the past peace meetings and the
conferences had been more focused on countries that were involved in World War
I. Great Britain was in a state of debt after World War I, so much that the
unemployment rate in Britain had its highest percentage ever, and still is
today. Strikes were beginning to arise
and the British government knew they had to find another place to get resources
and fix their economy. The only solution at the time was to occupy a very weak-governed
Egypt. For several weeks, the people of
Egypt, from peasants to elite; organized various strikes and demonstrations
protesting against the British occupation of their country. This movement was
characterized by it's involvement of both men and women. In the countryside, it
was much worse than in more populated areas, when British military took action
with personnel and installations. By July of 1919, over 800 Egyptians were
dead, and over 1600 were wounded.
In December of 1919, Britain's Lord Milner made a move to claim Egyptian land legally, and for good. The British government sent a document titled Commission of Inquiry, but today is known as Milner's Mission, to Egypt to ask for the causes of their disorder, and recommended to them to abandon their country because of their struggling status. This document forced London to issue an independence of Egypt on February 22nd, 1922 to prevent Britain from taking over Egypt. Egypt was now an independent country.