British Give Egypt Limited Independence


The British government unilaterally terminated its protectorate of Egypt. Egypt was declared independent, but defense considerations were left to the British. This took place on February 28, 1922.

The British government's protectorate over Egypt, established in 1914, came to an end in 1922 when Britain unilaterally declared Egypt's independence. The change was not absolute, as Britain retained control over defense considerations, marking a delicate balance between independence and continued British influence.

Britain's involvement in Egypt began in 1882 when instability and economic crises led to British occupation. Over time, this evolved into a protectorate, largely because of the strategic importance of the Suez Canal during World War I. However, the continued British presence led to dissatisfaction among Egyptians, culminating in the rise of nationalist movements, notably the Wafd Party under Saad Zaghlul.

In response to the changing political landscape, Britain declared Egypt's independence in 1922. This declaration included four key reservations, which maintained British influence over several crucial areas, namely, the security of communications in Egypt, defense against foreign aggression, protection of foreign interests and minorities, and the status of Sudan.

Subsequent years saw continued negotiations between Egypt and Britain, as both parties sought to redefine their relationship. This led to the 1936 Anglo-Egyptian Treaty, which outlined a 20-year alliance and allowed for continued British military presence in the Suez Canal zone.

The struggle for complete independence continued until the 1952 Egyptian Revolution, which resulted in the establishment of a republic in 1953. President Gamal Abdel Nasser's decision to nationalize the Suez Canal in 1956 resulted in the Suez Crisis and led to the final departure of British troops from Egypt, thereby ending the British presence that had lasted for nearly 74 years.