English in the Courts

Article from page 3 of the Monday issue on 1907-02-25

This short article published on February 25th 1907 is about the first time that English was used as the judicial language in a court case. This is one of many language related events that occurred after the British took control of Egypt as an imperial power.

In Egypt, and Alexandria in particular, there are many different people speaking many different languages, this causes many conflicts throughout the years. This article shows that attempts were being made by the British to push their agenda ahead through the bureaucracy of Egypt and acquire power from both of the other powers competing for control of the territory.

While the courts in Egypt are different than the ones we know today, European powers had already had a fair amount of influence on how the courts were set up and run. Based on this the British clearly already had a basic framework from which to build off of, and during their occupation only took further.

However, despite this it still took the British many years to reach the point of where they were able to get English. This allowance and then use of English in the judicial language of the court provides us with an interesting point of reference of just how long it took for Cromer to gain a modicum of control of this part of Egyptian society.

This should be compared to other points of British influence to determine if the British were took a long time to get this far with only this issue or if this was a common time frame for how long it could take for an effort such as this one to come to fruition.


Kevin Ooten
Kevin Ooten

The author, a student at Florida State University, was enrolled in the digital microhistory lab in spring 2018.