UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Lord Cromer as Orientalist and social engineering in Egypt, 1882-1907 Kernaghan, Jennifer


This thesis examines Lord Cromer's aspirations for developing the 'native mind’ in occupied Egypt, 1882 - 1907. From March 1877 to May 1879, and again from September 1879 until April 1880, Evelyn Baring 1 served as a financial adviser to the Khedival regime. After spending the spring of 1883 in India on the Viceroy's council as Finance Minister, Lord Cromer returned to Egypt in September 1883. He was appointed Consul General and remained until May, 1907, as the virtual ruler of Egypt. As an Orientalist, Cromer manipulates the Egyptian's 'mind' by representing it in his works. As Consul General, he attempts to manipulate that 'mind' through reforms. Lord Cromer perceives the 'Egyptian mind' as deficient, which he considers to be a formidable obstacle to the 'imperial mission'. It will be seen throughout this thesis that the 'flawed Egyptian mind' is a contributing factor to the extended British Occupation: Britain needs to stay until it is reformed. Cromer writes about the need to reform the ’native mind' in accordance with the British-European 'type'. The 'native mind' has to be 'developed', 'trained' and 'civilized', and the entire 'subject population' has to learn how to 'think'. Cromer sought to construct a new and better 'collective mind' for `the Egyptian'. While this paper is not about developing Egypt, it will be proven that Cromer considered developing 'the Egyptian' tantamount to developing Egypt. 1 William Welch Jr., No Country for a Gentleman: British Rule in Egypt, 1883 - 190ZNew York: Greenwood Press, 1988, p. 19. Baring was created Baron Cromer in 1891and the Earl of Cromer in 1907.

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