Did you know England obsessed on the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire throughout the nineteenth century? They called it “The Eastern Question.”
- The empire begin to decline after they lost the Battle of Vienna in 1683. By 1800, the empire was greatly weakened.
- Imperial Russia stood to benefit from that decline. England deemed the survival of a weak Ottoman Empire to be in their best interests–at least in part as a hedge against Russian expansionism in the Mediterranean and in the lands buffering England’s control in India.
- After the Russo-Turkish War in 1829 the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire seemed imminent.
- Among the many pieces of the chess game between Russia and the Western Powers were the Greek Revolution (famously supported by Lord Byron), and the Egypt of Muhammad Ali Pasha.
- Muhammad, an Albanian serving as an Ottoman general, wrested Egypt from Napoleon’s forces on behalf of the Sultan. His homage was nominal. His sons would take all of Palestine within thirty years, and threaten Constantinople itself.
Muhammad Ali Pasha’s Egypt is the world of The Price of Glory.