July 23 - 1952 - The Egyptian Revolution
The 1952 Egyptian Revolution was really a coup d'etat. A group of leading military officers known as the Free Officers took control of the state and overthrew the King of Egypt and Sudan, Farouk, in favor of a military government led by General Mohammed Naguib. Yet it also was more than a simple coup d'etat. The new government established a constitutional monarchy represented by Farouk's 6 month old son Fuad. This limited the power of the monarchy, but eventually the monarchy would be abolished and long ranging reforms were put in place. This was all the legacy of the real leader of the Free Officer Movement, Gamal Abdel Nasser. Nasser was a young war hero who had read on great national heroes like Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Otto von Bismarck, and Naopoleon, and who wanted to be Egypt's version of those figures. Remarkably, he did it. After taking power personally in 1954, Nasser would create socialist style reforms, promote pan-Arab nationalism, and establish a new government in his own image. He also banned opposition political parties and strengthened military rule. But he could only do it because he helped lead the Revolution of 1952.