War Paint (Part 4): Revolt of Cairo

Part 4 in a 10 part series.

The revolt of Cairo took place in 1798, shortly after Napoleon Bonaparte and his French forces took the city during their occupation of Egypt. The campaign was fought to destabilize British power in the Near East and India and, ostensibly, to spread the ideals of Republicanism. After taking Cairo without a shot fired in July of that year, tension began to mount. On October 21, in a surprise attack, citizens of Cairo rose up in revolt against the French stationed there, killing French general Dominique Martin Dupuy, among hundreds of others, in the process. Napoleon returned to the city and his response was both swift and brutal. After herding the belligerents into the Great Mosque, which had been fortified and armed by the locals for the days events, he opened fire with his cannon. French forces then massacred the Egyptians who’d taken refuge there, killing or wounding some 5,000.

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Rise of Apartheid: A Nightmare in Living Memory

Frederik de Klerk and Nelson Mandela shake hands at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum held in Davos in January 1992. Copyright World Economic Forum

Frederik de Klerk and Nelson Mandela shake hands at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum held in Davos in January 1992. Copyright World Economic Forum

Nelson Mandela has passed away.

I had planned on having a weekly segment on the blog called History in the News. The idea is to demonstrate history’s relevance and impact on our daily lives while simultaneously forcing myself to write about topics I wouldn’t normally tackle. The vast majority of what I’ll cover on the blog will be from the distant past. With the idea in place, all I needed was a current event to fall into my lap. Shortly before the publication of my first post, Mandela passed away after 95 years, and the choice became obvious. The world does not lack for tributes to the great South African statesman in the wake of his death. There’s really no need for me to add another to the mounting multitudes. I’ve decided to give a quick look at the system whose dismantling he would grow to symbolize: apartheid.

I’ll link to some biographies and tributes below, for those of you that are interested.

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