Why is anarchy important in British Egypt?

This is a screenshot of the article that reports on the anarchist assassination attempt on King Alfonso.

According to the telegraphs, a man by the name of Matteo Moral, a known Anarchist, attempted to assassinate King Alfonso of Spain with a bomb. After being confronted by a police officer, Moral killed the officer. Shortly after, to evade capture, he committed suicide by shooting himself through the heart. Alongside Moral, an English tourist named Hamilton was also arrested under the charges of being an anarchist. The article does not state any more details about Hamilton’s arrest other than the Spanish authority refused to release him to the British.

Russian Anarchy

It is interesting that the assassination attempt happened in Spain but it is being reported on by the Egyptian Gazette in British Egypt. Why is anarchist activity important to the British? Before communism was the boogeyman of Europe, anarchism seemed to be the ideology that was branded the enemy of the state. A year prior to this assassination attempt, the Russian state was under threat of “anarchy” during the Russo-Japanese War. That was also reported by the Egyptian Gazette in an article called “IS IT PEACE” which can be located in the June 1, 1906 edition on page two. Anarchism was an ideology that threatened the state was a whole. In an age where the state extended its power through colonial empires, anarchism threatened to dismantle the colonial system by weakening the state. To Great Britain, tracking anarchist activities of competing empires is important because it is a way to evaluate how strong the enemy central state is.

For more general information and history on anarchism as an ideology, feel free to read Noam Chomsky’s article, “A Brief History of Anarchism”.

Anarchist Arrested

Will Hanley
Will Hanley
Associate Professor of History

I study the legal history of the Middle East and teach at Florida State University.