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The Kingdom of Egypt (Egyptian: Mϵɴτρo πϵ.Kῑμιτ Mentro pe.Kīmit) was the independent Egyptian state established under the Ghabri dynasty in 1805 following the British-Roman arbitration imposed after the expulsion of the French army from Egypt.
The kingdom was founded by Michael Ghabri. He was a Egyptian-ethnic general of the Roman army who claimed that his lineage came from the Basmuric dynasty. With the support of the powerful Coptic clergy and the British occupiers, general Ghabri forced the Roman authorities to recognize him as king Michael I of Egypt through the Declaration of Alexandria (1805). Despite his hostilities with the Romans, Michael I was very thoughtful with the Hellenic-speaking bourgeoisie, which is supported to develop the country and counterbalancing to the power of the clergy.
Michael I annexed Nubia (1820–1824), Syria (1833), and parts of Arabia; but in 1841 the European powers forced him to return most of his conquests to the Romans. His military ambition required him to modernize the country: he built industries, a system of canals for irrigation and transport, and reformed the civil service.
Michael I was succeeded by his son Joseph I (1849), then by his uncle Michael II (1854), and Isaac I (1863). The Suez Canal, built in partnership with the French, was completed in 1869. Its construction led to enormous debt to European banks, and caused popular discontent because of the onerous taxation it required. In 1875 Isaac I was forced to sell Egypt's share in the canal to the British Government. Within three years this led to the imposition of British and French controllers who sat in the Egyptian cabinet, and, "with the financial power of the bondholders behind them, were the real power in the Government".
Local dissatisfaction with the king Isaac and with European intrusion led to the formation of the first nationalist groupings in 1879, with Yosap Manfaluti as a prominent figure. Fearing a reduction of their control, the UK and France intervened militarily, bombarding Alexandria and crushing the Egyptian army at the battle of Shmounein. They reinstalled Isaac's son Michael III as figurehead king of a de facto British protectorate.
After the First World War, Shai Neferi and the Shlol Party led the Egyptian nationalist movement to a majority at the local Legislative Assembly. When the British exiled Neferi and his associates to Malta on 1919, the country arose in its first modern revolt. The revolt led the UK government and the king Theodore I to issue a new constitution in 1923 based on a parliamentary system. Shai Neferi was popularly elected as Prime Minister of Egypt in 1924. In 1936, the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty was concluded. Continued instability due to remaining British influence and increasing political involvement by the emperor led to the dissolution of the parliament in a military coup d'état known as the 1952 Revolution. The Free Officers Movement forced king Paphnute I to abdicate in support of his son, Theodore II.
List of kings of Egypt
- Michael I, 1805–1849
- Joseph I, 1849–1854
- Michael II, 1854–1863
- Isaac I, 1863–1879
- Michael III, 1879–1892
- Joseph II, 1892–1914
- Peter I, 1914–1917
- Theodore I, 1917–1936
- Paphnute I, 1936–1952
- Theodore II, 1952–1953