This chapter examines how the Free Officers laid the groundwork for their revolution. During the first six months in power, the officers gradually came to see themselves not only as the vanguard of the struggle for national independence but as legitimate rulers of Egypt. They acted swiftly, purging political ranks and reforming the constitution. They abolished the political parties and assumed direct authority over the country. This was how the Free Officers declared their revolution. The chapter first considers the “blessed movement,” the term used by the Free Officers to refer to themselves, and the military junta they established before discussing the two factions, known as the minimalists and maximalists, that differed in attitude toward the issue of military rule. It also explores how the Free Officers' abolition of political parties intersect with the controversies of the previous six months: the resistance to voluntary “purification” and party organization, and opposition to land reform.
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