There are two rulers who were Abbas II, one in Persia and one in Egypt.

Shah Abbas II of Persia was born around 1629/1633, came to the throne in 1642 and died in 1667. During his reign he revived some of the glory of the Persian empire as seen under his grandfather Abbas the Great, and made better diplomatic relations with the Ottoman Empire and Europeans. He also built a lot in his capital city of Isfahan. (However, forced conversion to Islam of Jews and Zoroastrians also took place during his reign.) On his death, the decline of the empire continued.


The last Khedive (Ottoman Turkish viceroy) of Egypt. Abbas Hilmi Pasha was born in 1874, the oldest son of the Khedive Mohammed Tawfik Pasha. Growing up, he spent time in Europe and in addition to Turkish, spoke Arabic, English, French, and German. Given that Egypt was definitely a part of the British sphere of influence at the time, and also to a degree influenced by France, this helped him retain some independence for part of his rule.

He married the Princess Ikbal Hanem (Everybody's Cyclopedia amusingly puts it, "He has given an example to other rulers by having only one wife.") and had several children. He became Khedive on his father's death in 1892, and fought at first but gradually began to cooperate with the British; the country was essentially an economic colony of England, exporting cotton for English mills and importing English manufactured goods. Abbas was more interested in horse-breeding and agriculture than statesmanship, but under his rule with English money and effort, Egypt gained a better justice system, a decrease in taxes, the reconquest of the Sudan area to its south, the beginning of the irrigation system at Aswan, and a better education system.

However, officially Egypt was still part of the Ottoman Empire. When World War I broke out, the Ottoman Empire supported Germany and its other allies. The British would not allow any loss of control over Egypt and formally took over, making the country its protectorate. They deposed Abbas in 1914 because of his resistance to the occupation. His uncle Fouad was named Khedive but never had any power from either the British or the Turks, so Abbas can properly be called the last khedive.

Sources: Everybody's Cyclopedia,

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