Drake Saarinen – Blog 3: The French Occupation of Egypt

For this weeks blog I will be relating it to today’s (thursday 9/18/2014) lecture. The topic being the French occupation of Egypt. We all know that the French went into Egypt and stole artifacts and looted the place up until the British forced them out, but what many people don’t know is what happened to Egypt and its population when such a massive force moved into their land. Did people have to move? what happened to the culture? Well from the article  Egypt: History – French Occupation Period, from Egypt’s tourism site which has a lot of really great facts and historical documents all for free access. I gathered that there were some serous changes that happened to the cities, the cultures, and day to day lives of the local Egyptians.  When the french initially got to Egypt they went into the cities and bought all the goods they wanted at a very high price. They opened up restaurants and businesses in the major cites that were all French themed. Many of the Egyptians were intrigued. The military aspect was a little different. Napoleon sent his troops to occupy all the strategically placed buildings and dug into defensive positions. This forced many people to leave their areas and homes to make way for the french troops. After a while the locals started to resent everything he did in the city.  He started to tax the people and destroy historical sites to make way for more military installments. This unrest came to a head in 1798 when violent protestors to the French occupation killed several French soldiers. This was certainly not the last time this would happen . He eventually started exciting anyone who apposed the french rule.  Eventually having to deal with the revolts and the outside pressures from the British in Syria and the Turks, he lost control of the city and had to retreat leaving a vastly different city in his wake.