July Revolution in Egypt 1952

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

July Revolution in Egypt (1952)


a common name for the revolutionary coup in Egypt in July 1952 that inaugurated the national liberation revolution.

The July Revolution took place against the background of the rise of the national liberation movement of the Arab peoples after World War II and the weakening of British imperialism in the Middle East. Its causes were feudal and colonial oppression and the unwillingness of Egypt’s ruling circles to push on with the immediate tasks of national liberation and regeneration and to relieve the hopeless misery of the toiling masses. Another driving force of the revolution was the hatred of the people toward the corrupt palace camarilla and the venal “traditional” bourgeois political parties, who expressed the interests of the ruling elite and of British imperialism. The July Revolution was hastened by Egypt’s defeat in the Arab-Israeli War of 1948–49 and the intensification of the mass movement against the tyranny of the feudal pashas and the British colonialists, a movement that developed into guerrilla warfare against the British troops in the Suez Canal Zone.

On the night of July 23 a group of patriotic military members of the secret Society of Free Officers, headed by Gamal Abdel Nasser, staged a revolutionary coup and overthrew the feudal-monarchist regime of King Farouk. On July 26 the deposed monarch abdicated and left the country and the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) assumed power.

The young officers who assumed power after the military coup relied mainly on the army. Their aims were the complete national liberation of Egypt and the creation of the conditions for its independent development. The nature and the program of the July Revolution were expressed in the “six principles” set forth by Nasser: liberation of the country from colonialism and its network of agents; liquidation of feudalism; elimination of the rule of capital over state power; establishment of social justice; creation of a national army; and democratization of Egypt’s internal life.

The first important steps of the revolutionary government included an agrarian reform, announced in September 1952, which limited big feudal landholding, and the opening of negotiations with Great Britain on the evacuation of British troops from Egypt. The program and measures of the RCC were supported by the overwhelming majority of the Egyptian people and by the Soviet Union and other socialist countries.

The July Revolution swept away the monarchy, led to the political liberation of Egypt from imperialism, and opened the path for the profound antifeudal and anticapitalist social and economic transformations that followed. It stimulated the development of revolutionary movements in other Arab countries.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.