Challenging Colonialism

Challenging Colonialism: Bank Misr and Egyptian Industrialization, 1920-1941

Eric Davis
Copyright Date: 1983
Pages: 254
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  • Book Info
    Challenging Colonialism
    Book Description:

    Eric Davis challenges classic theories of dependency and imperialism and explains the history of the Bank Misr by interrelating world market forces, Egyptian class structure, and the Egyptian nationalist movement and state apparatus.

    Originally published in 1983.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5374-8
    Subjects: Business, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 3-11)

    Although there are notable exceptions, most attempts at industrialization in non-Western countries have not had a significant impact on problems of underdevelopment. The debate over the causes underlying the failure of industrialization to bring about modernization has been characterized by writings which are either highly theoretical or utilize aggregate data analysis. Case studies, which would provide the opportunity to focus more sharply on the problems surrounding the industrialization process in the non-Western world, are still limited in number. Taking account of this deficiency, the present study examines an ambitious attempt at industrialization that began in Egypt during the 1920s under...

  6. CHAPTER TWO Egypt’s Integration into the World Market, 1760–1882
    (pp. 12-41)

    The funding of the Bank Miṣr in 1920 was the culmination of social and political forces that crystallized during the nineteenth century. An understanding of these forces requires an understanding of the nature of Egypt’s integration into the world market as the result of the spread of long-staple cotton cultivation. This integration process had several important effects. First, it resulted in large-scale capital accumulation on the part of a traditional stratum of rural notables (al-a‘yān) comprised of village headmen and elders (al-‘umad wa-l-ma-shāyikh). Secondly, it created a class consciousness among members of this stratum as a result of their shift...

  7. CHAPTER THREE The Contradictions of Dependent Development, 1882–1920
    (pp. 42-79)

    The period between 1882 and 1920 was one of profound social change in Egypt. Egypt’s integration into the world market was accelerated by the British occupation of the country. Most importantly, this period saw the development of certain contradictions within Egyptian society and the maturation of the idea of a national bank financed and administered by native Egyptians which would provide credit and sponsor industrial enterprise. The critical question is what were the factors that brought the idea of a national bank to fruition and specifically led to the founding of the Bank Miṣr?

    It seems clear that Great Britain...

  8. CHAPTER FOUR Muḥammad Ṭal‘at Ḥarb and the Nationalist Movement
    (pp. 80-107)

    No assessment of the establishment and growth of the Bank Miṣr can avoid the impact of its founder Muḥammad Ṭal‘at Ḥarb. Egyptian popular mythology places great emphasis on the role Ṭal‘at Ḥarb played in the founding and growth of the bank and its companies. Indeed, to believe the folklore surrounding the Bank Miṣr would lead to the conclusion that a study of the activities of Ṭal‘at Ḥarb is sufficient for a complete understanding of it. Clearly, such a view is highly exaggerated. Nevertheless, there is little doubt that, were it not for Ḥarb’s activities, the founding of an Egyptian national...

  9. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  10. CHAPTER FIVE Colonialism Renegotiated, 1920–1930
    (pp. 108-133)

    The establishment of the Bank Miṣr in April 1920, with a share capital of £E 80,000 and its subsequent growth during the next two decades into an extensive holding company with a share capital of over four million Egyptian pounds represented a remarkable achievement. The collapse of the Miṣr Group at the outbreak of the second world war, which brought its dynamic expansion to a halt, demonstrated that the industrialization fostered by the bank was fraught with many contradictions. What were the factors that facilitated the initial expansion of the Bank Miṣr and its companies and what were the constraints...

  11. CHAPTER SIX Bank Miṣr and Neocolonialism, 1930–1941
    (pp. 134-168)

    The period between 1930 and 1936 marks the third and most dynamic period of expansion of the Miṣr Group. During this period, the Bank Miṣr’s largest company, the Miṣr Spinning and Weaving Co., began production and grew to become the largest spinning and weaving firm in Egypt and the Middle East. In addition, the bank founded a number of important companies, many of which became extremely profitable. Unfortunately, it also founded a number of companies that, while greatly enhancing its image in government circles and among the populace at large, proved to be commercially unfeasible and drained a considerable amount...

  12. CHAPTER SEVEN Bank Miṣr and Arab Economic Development
    (pp. 169-191)

    Although little has been written about the Bank Miṣr’s impact on Egyptian politics and socio-economic development, even less is known about its impact on the Arab world. Within a few years after its founding, the Bank Miṣr began to explore the possibility of opening branches in neighboring Arab countries and engaging in cooperative economic projects with private investors and Arab governments. By the early 1930s, a number of these projects had become a reality. The manner in which the bank was able to expand its influence in the Arab world and the constraints that were placed on its activities outside...

  13. CHAPTER EIGHT The Political Economy of Dependent Industrialization
    (pp. 192-212)

    Previous chapters have sought to explain the factors that led to the founding of the Bank Miṣr, its development after 1920 and the financial crisis it encountered in 1939. As should be clear, the rise and decline of the Bank Miṣr as a central force in Egypt’s industrial development was a complex phenomenon which requires an understanding of political, social and cultural as well as narrowly defined economic variables. This final chapter attempts to place the experience of the Miṣr Group in a larger theoretical perspective. In particular, it asks how can the experience of the Bank Miṣr help us...

  14. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 213-222)
  15. Glossary of Arabic Words
    (pp. 223-224)
  16. Index
    (pp. 225-232)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 233-233)