Some historians have asserted that the British military occupation of Egypt in August 1882, resulting from a complex series of events, was in some way a trigger or signal for the chain reaction that we have called the scramble for Africa. Indeed Robinson and Gallagher assert, ‘From start to finish the partition of tropical Africa was driven by the persistent crisis in Egypt. When the British entered Egypt on their own the Scramble began; and as long as they stayed in Cairo, it continued until there was no more of Africa left to divide’. After the occupation, Britain speedily brought to an end the Dual-Control that she and France had exercised. The ending of Anglo-French understanding in Egypt began a long period of friction and open animosity between the two which was only resolved by the Anglo-French agreements of 1904. It is for this reason that we shall be taking the events in Egypt as our starting point.
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