Ismails exactions from the Egyptian peasantry reacted on the army, causing discontent; and when he was tottering on the throne he instigated military demonstrations against his own government, and, by thus sapping the foundations of discipline, assisted Arabis revolution; the result was the battle of Tell el-Kebir, the British occupation, and the disbandment of the army, which at that time in Egypt proper consisted of 18,000 men.
The earlier merciless practice had been in theory abolished by a decree based on the German system, published in 1880; but owing to defective organization, and internal disturbances induced by Khedive Ismails follies, the law had not been applied, and the 6000 recruits collected at Cairo in January 1883 represented the biggest and strongest peasants who could not purchase exemption by bribing the officials concerned.
Thousands of lives were lost and large sums expended in extending Ismails dominions in the Sudan (g.v.), ~
The fact is that, two centuries after Shah Ismails accession to the throne, the Safawid race of kings was effete; and it became necessary to make room for a more vigorous if not a more lasting rule.