Egyptian Revolution - a military coup d'etat by the 'Free Officers' forces the Egyptian King Farouk to abdicate, removes remnants of British influence in the government, and creates a republic in Egypt
Prior to 1952 Egypt has been ruled by King Farouk I, and it still suffered from the traces of British influence on the government (in 1952, Britain’s occupation of Egypt was entering its 70th year).
Led by a young Gamal Abdel-Nasser and veteran General Mohamed Naguib, a group of ambitious Egyptian army officers known as the ”Free Officers” carried out a coup d’etat where they forced King Farouk I to abdicate to his young infant son, Crown Prince Ahmed II. The deposed king and his family sailed comfortably into exile in the royal yacht on 26 July. A 21-gun salute was fired in his honour.
The excesses of Farouk’s lifestyle, his distance from those he ruled (he was unable even to sign in correct Arabic on his abdication paperwork) and the corruption of his regime were not the issues which caused his fall. Egypt’s humiliation by Israel in 1948 was largely due to Israel’s military superiority, Farouk’s ineptitude and the disunity of the Arab camp, but the Egyptian king’s rule remained intact.
The driving force for systemic change was a profound sense on the part of Nasser and his co-conspirators that the time had arrived for a new political order that provided Egyptians with a sense of dignity. In practical terms, that meant focused on redistribution of land and wealth from the overwhelmingly expatriate elements of the population (Greek, Italian, Jewish and British), as well as removing the British presence from its remaining military base on the Suez Canal
However, the revolution’s leadership started to crack from within as the council was divided over the reforms to be implemented. General Mohamed Naguib became Egypt’s first president in 1953 although he ruled briefly. Succeeding him was Gamal Abdel Nasser, a charismatic figure who would become known worldwide as vocal opponent to anti-colonialism, an endorser of self-determination, a pan-Arabism pioneer and the face of Egyptian nationalism.