Extracting the best deal for Britain: The Assassination of Sir Lee Stack in November 1924 and the revision of Britain's Nile Valley Policy

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Egypt has always attracted serious scholarly attention from diplomatic and imperial historians and an important aspect of the Anglo-Egyptian relationship was the Sudan. Egypt perceived the Sudan to be part of the Fertile Crescent — a view largely justified following the Anglo-Egyptian conquest of the Sudan from Mahdist forces and the establishment of the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium over the area in 1899. From the British perspective, large-scale investment in irrigation schemes accorded the Sudan a growing prominence within the Empire. More importantly, British concerns centred around the dissemination of Egyptian propaganda into the Sudan that encouraged a politically unified Nile valley. The Sudanese disturbances that occurred between June and August 1924, while a popularly elected nationalist Wafd Government, under the Premiership of Saad Zaghlul, was in power in Cairo — coupled with the November 1924 assassination of Sir Lee Stack, Sirdar and Governor-General of the Sudan — seemed to confirm British fears of Egyptian subversion. This article examines the schism that opened up between the men-on-the-spot and the newly installed Conservative Foreign Secretary, Austen Chamberlain, over how to address the threat posed by Egyptian nationalism and secure Britain’s interests in the region following Stack’s assassination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-114
Number of pages28
JournalCanadian Journal of History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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