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Article

Bill Nasson

farmer, general, and first prime minister of the Union of South Africa, was born on 27 September 1862 near Greytown in the British colony of Natal. His paternal grandfather, Philip Rudolph Boot (or Both), was of German settler descent and had participated in the 1830s Boer Great Trek into the interior. The son of migrant trekkers Louis Botha and Salomina van Rooyen, Louis was the ninth of thirteen children. In 1869, the Botha family left Natal and settled on a farm near Vrede in the Orange Free State, where Louis lived until the age of twenty-two. Earlier, he had been schooled at a local German mission where he received only a very basic education.

Botha’s minimal formal learning proved to be no handicap to the development of his exceptional aptitude for fieldcraft and understanding of the working of the highveld terrain. In 1886 he settled on his ...

Article

James Jankowski

Egyptian lawyer, cabinet minister, and prime minister, was born in Cairo in 1863. He belonged to the Topuzzadeh family and was thus a member of the Turko-Circassian (Ottoman-Egyptian) elite that dominated Egypt through the nineteenth century. Educated in Egypt, Geneva, and Paris, he held a French law degree. Rushdi began his public career as a lawyer in the Finance Ministry and later served as an inspector of education and as a judge in both the Mixed Courts and the National Court of Appeal. His first wife was the French feminist writer Eugenie Le Brun; after her death in 1908 he married a sister-in-law of Sharif Husayn of the Hijaz.

Rushdi was a fixture in Egyptian ministries before and during World War I. He served as minister of justice from 1908 to 1910, as foreign minister from 1910 to 1912, and again as minister of justice from 1912 ...

Article

James Jankowski

Egyptian administrator, politician, and prime minister, was a scion of Egypt’s Ottoman-Egyptian aristocracy. His father, Khalil ibn Ibrahim Yakan, was a grandson of the sister of Muhammad ʿAli. From a large landowning family from which he inherited great personal wealth, ʿAdli was raised in affluence; his cosmopolitan education was acquired in German and Jesuit schools in Egypt as well as in Ottoman and French institutions. More Franco-Ottoman than Egyptian in personal manners and comportment, some sources maintain his knowledge of and fluency in Arabic were weak.

ʿAdli had an extensive and distinguished administrative career in the three decades before World War I. Appointed to a post in the Ministry of the Interior in 1880, he became private secretary to Nubar Pasha in 1885 Thereafter he served as deputy governor of Minufiyya and al Minya provinces and as governor of al Minya Fayyum Sharqiyya Daqahliyya and Gharbiyya provinces as ...

Article

James Jankowski

Egyptian lawyer, nationalist leader, and prime minister, was born in the village of Ibyana, Gharbiyya Province, where his father was village ʿumda or leader. Zaghlul’s initial education was traditional: study at the village kuttab followed by four years at al-Azhar. Both his family and educational backgrounds were important components of his political persona; from a moderately well-off peasant family, raised in a village in the Delta, and educated in the indigenous educational system, Zaghlul was a leader with the popular touch, a man with whom the indigenous Egyptian majority, long dominated by foreigners, could and did identify.

Zaghlul had a long public career before he became the dominant figure in Egyptian politics after World War I. Associated with the failed ʿUrabi movement of the later 1870s and early 1880s, when he edited the official gazette al-Waqiʿi al-Misriyya he was arrested but cleared on the charge of ...

Article

James Jankowski

Egyptian lawyer, politician, and prime minister, was born in Alexandria into a family of Circassian background on 14 November 1864. As was the case with many members of the Turko-Circassian elite who dominated Egyptian politics in the nineteenth century, his education was cosmopolitan; the Lazariyya College in Alexandria, the Jesuit Collège St. Joseph in Beirut, the School of Languages in Cairo, finally Aix- en-Provence University in France, where he received his law degree in 1887. First employed in the public prosecutor’s office, Ziwar was appointed to the courts in 1899 and served as advocate-general of the National Tribunals and later as a judge in the National Court of Appeal. He also served as governor of Alexandria.

Ziwar’s political career began in 1917, when he was appointed minister of Waqfs. He served in several Egyptian cabinets over the next decade: minister of education in 1919 minister of ...