(economics/law) The forcible acquisition, with or without compensation, of private property such as real estate, a business enterprise or an entire industry by a sovereign nation. In nationalization, social or economic equality is often stated as the motive. Nationalization is most common in socialistic and communistic countries, but also in less-developed nations where there is resentment of foreign control of major industries. Famous examples of nationalizations include: Mexico’s nationalization of oil producing properties owned by U.S. firms in 1938, Great Britain’s nationalization of the coal, steel and transportation industries between 1945 and 1951, Iran’s nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in 1951, Egypt’s nationalization of the Suez Canal in 1956 and Chile’s nationalization of foreign-owned copper mines in 1971. See privatization.

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