Portugal History Part 3
8. The Republic
During the reign of Carlos I, the republican and radical movements gained ground with the appointment of the absolutist João Franco as prime minister in 1906. In 1908, Dom Carlos and his eldest son were murdered in Lisbon. Dom Carlos’ second son ascended the throne as Dom Manuel II and, although he restored the constitutional government, his corrupt government equaled that of his father. In October 1910, the Army and Armada led a revolution that deposed Dom Manuel and proclaimed the Republic. In 1911 a liberal constitution came into force that in one of its articles proclaimed the separation between the Church and the State. Manuel José de Arriaga was elected Prime Minister of the Republic of Portugal. During the next 15 years, Portugal was shaken by political chaos. The average length of stay in the position of prime ministers was four months. At the beginning of 1916, during World War I, Portugal, respecting its alliance with Great Britain, seized German boats in the port of Lisbon. On March 9, Germany declared war on Portugal. Portuguese troops fought in France and Africa.
Meanwhile, internal turmoil and political turmoil continued, and in 1919 a realistic uprising would aggravate the already very confused situation. In May 1926, a coup d’état deposed the number fourteen minister since the proclamation of the Republic. A few days later, military leaders chose General Antônio de Fragoso Carmona to head the new government. In 1928 Carmona was named president in an electoral process where he was the only candidate. In the same year he appointed António de Oliveira Salazar, a professor of economics at the University of Coimbra, as finance minister. Salazar was given extraordinary powers to give a solid foundation to the Portuguese economy.
9. Salazar’s regime
According to prozipcodes, Salazar was successful in his economic stabilization plan and quickly became the most important political figure in Portugal. Deeply religious, he restored much of the Church’s power. In 1930 he founded the National Union, a political organization based on authoritarian principles. He became prime minister and dictator in 1932, and promulgated a new constitution in 1933, creating with it the Estado Novo. Portugal became a corporate state with a planned economy, where there was no room for any outline of political opposition. In 1936, with the start of the Civil War in Spain, Salazar supported the insurgents led by General Francisco Franco. In 1939 Portugal signed a treaty of friendship and non-aggression with Spain, to which it was added, on July 29, 1940, a protocol to ensure the neutrality of the two countries during World War II. Despite this, in October 1943, when the Axis forces were weakened, Portugal allowed the allies to use the Azores as an air and naval base.
The war years changed the planned economy considerably. The fishing industry has declined, exports have declined and refugees have flocked to the country in a massive way. In addition, the Japanese advance in the East Indies threatened its overseas territories in Asia, and Timor was seized in 1942. At the end of the war, unemployment and poverty increased at an alarming rate. Any political opposition to Salazar was banned, and National Union candidates monopolized the November 1945 elections. In May 1947, after crushing an attempted revolt, the government deported countless unionist leaders and several army officers to the islands of Cape Verde. Marshal Carmona was elected president without opposition in February 1949. He died in April 1951 and was succeeded in July by General Francisco Lopes, a supporter of Salazar. During the 1950s, Portugal strengthened its relations with the United States and in 1958 Salazar allowed an opposition candidate, Humberto Delgado, to run for president, but this would be won by the government’s candidate, Rear Admiral Américo Deus Thomaz, who he was re-elected in 1965 and 1971.
In the 1960s, Portugal had to face several revolts in its overseas territories; India annexed Goa in 1961 and in Africa several rebellions broke out: in Angola in the beginning of 1961, in Guinea in the end of 1962 and in Mozambique in the fall of 1964. The government’s response was to organize repressive military campaigns against these African uprisings, at the same time. time that it took steps to improve political and economic conditions in those territories. As a result of this policy, in 1961 Portugal extended Portuguese citizenship to the inhabitants of its African colonies, but the fierce clashes continued throughout the decade and the following. During this period, the United Nations condemned Portugal for maintaining colonial wars (see Colonialism). The importance of the colonies for the maintenance of the dictatorial regime was fundamental in the economic aspect, since they constituted the main source of foreign exchange. In the mid-1970s, several foreign loans helped to develop several irrigation projects and construction of public works. Although there were several student demonstrations during this period, political opposition to the Salazar regime was not organized.