Did Muhammad Ali foster industrialization in early nineteenth-century Egypt?
Laura Panza, Jeffrey G Williamson
The Economic History Review | WILEY-BLACKWELL | Published : 2015
Muhammad Ali, who ruled Egypt between 1805 and 1849, intervened in Egyptian markets in an attempt to foster industrialization, especially between 1812 and 1840. Like a modern marketing board, the state purchased agricultural commodities (cotton and wheat) at low prices and sold them on world markets at much higher prices, a policy equivalent to an export tax. Ali also replaced tax farming with his own land taxes. The revenues so derived were used in part to finance manufacturing investment and to build irrigation canals. In addition, Ali supplied flax and cotton at those cheap purchase prices to domestic textile manufacturing, thus subsidizing the industry. He also used non-tariff barriers t..View full abstract