World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Estado Novo (Portugal)

Portuguese Republic
República Portuguesa

Flag Coat of arms
A Portuguesa  (Portuguese)
The Portuguese
Capital Lisbon
Languages Portuguese
Religion Roman Catholicism
Government Authoritarian single-party republic
 •  1926–1951 Óscar Carmona
 •  1951–1958 Francisco Craveiro Lopes
 •  1958–1974 Américo Tomás
Prime Minister
 •  1932–1968 António de Oliveira Salazar
 •  1968–1974 Marcelo Caetano
Legislature Two-chamber legislature
 •  Upper house Corporative Chamber
 •  Lower house National Assembly
 •  Established 19 March 1933
 •  Carnation Revolution 25 April 1974
 •  1940 2,168,071 km² (837,097 sq mi)
 •  1940 est. 17,103,404 
     Density 7.9 /km²  (20.4 /sq mi)
 •  1970 est. 22,521,010 
     Density 10.4 /km²  (26.9 /sq mi)
Currency Escudo
Today part of  Portugal
 Cape Verde
 São Tomé and Príncipe
 India (Portuguese India)
 Benin (São João Baptista de Ajudá)

The Estado Novo (Portuguese pronunciation: , "New State"), or the Second Republic, was the corporatist authoritarian regime installed in Portugal in 1933, often considered to be a fascist regime.[1] It evolved from the Ditadura Nacional formed after the coup d'état of 28 May 1926 against the democratic and unstable First Republic. Together, the Ditadura Nacional and Estado Novo are recognised as the Second Portuguese Republic. The Estado Novo, greatly inspired by conservative and authoritarian ideologies, was developed by António de Oliveira Salazar, ruler of Portugal from 1932 to 1968, when he fell ill and was replaced by Marcelo Caetano.

Opposed to communism, socialism, anarchism, liberalism and anti-colonialism,[1] the regime was corporatist, conservative, and nationalist in nature, defending Portugal as Catholic. Its policy envisaged the perpetuation of Portugal as a pluricontinental nation under the doctrine of lusotropicalism, with Angola, Mozambique, and other Portuguese territories as extensions of Portugal itself, and it being a supposed source of civilization and stability to the overseas societies in the African and Asian possessions. Under Estado Novo Portugal tried to perpetuate a vast, centuries-old empire with a total area of 2,168,071 square kilometres (837,097 sq mi) as other former colonial powers had largely already acceded to global calls for self-determination and independence.[3]

Portugal joined the Armed Forces Movement (MFA) – overthrew the Estado Novo regime. Fiercely criticized by most of the international community after World War II and decolonization, it was one of the longest-surviving right-wing regimes in Europe.

Although the Estado Novo is often criticised for its authoritarianism, the republic saw several notable social and economic improvements, especially in the era between 1960 and the 1974 revolution, as was happening across much of western Europe around that time.[4] This included increases in public health and education levels. In a parallel to Francoist Spain, from the 1960s the government was largely technocratic in nature, with a fast-growing economy leading to increases in standards of living and quality of life. Salazar was voted "The Greatest Portuguese" in a 2007 public poll. However, a simultaneous opinion poll conducted by Marktest showed that, given the choice of the finalists, Salazar was the favourite of only 11%.[5] RTP itself commissioned a simultaneous poll, conducted by Eurosondagem, which ranked Salazar 7th, with 6.6% of the vote, and Afonso I 1st with 21%.[6] The difference of these statistically representative polls to the final result suggest that the voting, consisting of voluntary telephone calls, may have been skewed by groups with vested interests.


  • Prelude 1
  • Regime 2
    • World War II 2.1
    • Postwar 2.2
  • Economy 3
  • Education 4
  • The end of the regime 5
  • Aftermath 6
  • See also 7
  • Notes 8
  • References 9
  • Further reading 10


King Carlos I of Portugal confirmed colonial treaties of the 19th century that stabilized the situation in Portuguese Africa. These agreements were, however, unpopular in Portugal, where they were seen as being to the disadvantage of the country. In addition, Portugal was twice declared bankrupt—first on 14 June 1892 and again on 10 May 1902—causing industrial disturbances, socialist, and republican antagonism and press criticism of the monarchy. Carlos responded by appointing João Franco as Prime Minister and subsequently accepting Parliament's dissolution. In 1908, Carlos I was killed in a regicide at Lisbon. The Portuguese monarchy lasted until 1910 when, through the October 5 revolution, it was overthrown and Portugal was proclaimed a republic. The overthrow of the Portuguese monarchy in 1910 led to a 16-year struggle to sustain parliamentary democracy under republicanism – the Portuguese First Republic (1910–1926).

The 28 May 1926 coup d'état or, during the period of Estado Novo, the National Revolution (Portuguese: Revolução Nacional), was a military action that put an end to the chaotic Portuguese First Republic and initiated the Ditadura Nacional (National Dictatorship) (years later, renamed Estado Novo).

With Italian Fascism and Nazism) as an antagonist of communist ideologies, António de Oliveira Salazar developed the Estado Novo which can be described as a right leaning corporatist regime of para-fascist inspiration. The basis of his regime was a platform of stability, in direct contrast to the unstable environment of the First Republic. According to some Portuguese scholars like Jaime Nogueira Pinto[7] and Rui Ramos,[8] his early reforms and policies changed the whole nation since they allowed political and financial stability and therefore social order and economic growth, after the politically unstable and financially chaotic years of the Portuguese First Republic (1910–1926). After the First Republic, when not even public order was achieved, this looked like an impressive breakthrough to most of the population; Salazar achieved his height in popularity at this point. This transfiguration of Portugal was then known as A Lição de Salazar – "Salazar's Lesson". Salazar's program was opposed to communism, socialism, and liberalism. It was pro-Catholic, conservative, and nationalistic. Its policy envisaged the perpetuation of Portugal as a pluricontinental empire, financially autonomous and politically independent from the dominating superpowers, and a source of civilization and stability to the overseas societies in the African and Asian possessions.


The Estado Novo was an authoritarian regime with an integralist orientation, which differed greatly from other fascist regimes by its lack of expansionism, lack of a fanatical leader, lack of dogmatic party structure, and more moderate use of state force.[9] It incorporated, however, the principles for its military from Benito Mussolini's system in Italy. Salazar was a Catholic traditionalist who believed in the necessity of control over the forces of economic modernisation in order to defend the religious and rural values of the country, which he perceived as being threatened. One of the pillars of the regime was the PIDE, the secret police. Many political dissidents were imprisoned at the Tarrafal prison in the African archipelago of Cape Verde, on the capital island of Santiago, or in local jails. Strict state censorship was in place.

Executive authority was nominally vested in a president, elected by popular vote for a five-year term. On paper, the president was vested with sweeping executive and legislative powers, making him a virtual dictator. In practice, however, the real power was held by the prime minister, Salazar. The legislature was a unicameral National Union, that they had no realistic chance of winning.

The Estado Novo enforced nationalist and conservative Roman Catholic values on the Portuguese population. The whole education system was focused toward the exaltation of the Portuguese nation and its five-century old overseas territories (the Ultramar). The motto of the regime was "Deus, Pátria e Familia" (meaning "God, Fatherland, and Family," and obviously intended as a counterpart to the French Revolution's "Liberté, égalité, fraternité"). After 1945, the main raison d'être of the regime became resistance to the wave of decolonization which swept Europe after the end of World War II.

The Estado Novo accepted the idea of corporatism as an economic model. Although Salazar refused to sign the Anti-Comintern Pact in 1938, the Portuguese Communist Party was intensely persecuted. So were Anarchists, Liberals, Republicans, and anyone opposed to the regime. The National Union embraced a wide array of right-wing politics, passing through monarchism, corporatism, para-fascism, nationalism, and capitalism.

The Hitler Youth. These two organizations were heavily supported by the State and imposed a martial style of life.

World War II

Nazi Germany and Estado Novo had little time for each other. Racism and antisemitism were not part of the Portuguese system. Portugal was officially neutral in the Spanish Civil War (1936–39), but quietly furnished help to the nationalists of Francisco Franco. Both Salazar and the Portuguese public felt they could not trust Hitler. During the Second World War (1939-45), Portugal remained officially neutral. Portugal provided assistance not by declaring war but by helping Spain stay neutral and by assuming a co-belligerent status against Germany by leasing air bases in the Azores to the Allies in 1943. It cut off vital shipments of tungsten to Germany in 1944, after heavy Allied pressure. Lisbon was the base for International Red Cross operations aiding Allied POWs, and a main air transit point between Britain and the U.S.[10]

In practice Salazar collaborated with the British and sold them rubber and tungsten ("wolfram", used in making stronger steel).[11] He helped Franco avoid German control of Spain. In late 1943 he allowed the Allies to establish air bases in the Azores to fight German U-boats. He sold tungsten to Germany until June 1944, when the threat of a German attack on Portugal was minimal.[12]

In 1942, Australian troops briefly occupied Portuguese Timor, but were soon overwhelmed by invading Japanese. Salazar worked to regain control of East Timor.[13] He admitted several thousand Jewish refugees. Lisbon maintained air connections with Britain and the U.S. Lisbon was a hotbed of spies and served as the base for the International Red Cross in its distribution of relief supplies to POWs.


Salazar's policy after the war was to provide a certain level of liberalization in politics, in terms of organized opposition with more freedom of the press. Opposition parties were tolerated to an extent, but they were also controlled, limited, and manipulated, with the result that they split into factions and never formed a united opposition.[14] He permitted the formation of Movement of Democratic Unity (Movimento de Unidade Democrática) in 1945. It boycotted the election and Salazar won handily, on 18 November 1945.[15]

Carmona died in 1951 and was succeeded by Craveiro Lopes. However, Lopes was not willing to give Salazar the free hand that Carmona had given him, and was forced to resign just before the end of his term. Naval Minister Américo Tomás, a staunch conservative, ran in the 1958 elections as the official candidate. General Humberto Delgado was the opposition candidate. Delgado was credited with only around 25% of the votes with 52.6% in favor of Tomás,[16] despite the consensual opinion that Delgado had really won. Evidence later surfaced that the PIDE had stuffed the ballot boxes with votes for Tomás. After the elections, Delgado was expelled from the Portuguese Military, and took refuge in the Brazilian embassy before going into exile, spending much of it in Brazil and later in Algeria. To keep opposition candidates from coming to power in 1959, the Government abolished direct election of presidents in favor of election by an electoral college.[17]

On 23 January 1961, military officer and politician Henrique Galvão led the hijacking of Portuguese passenger ship Santa Maria. The terrorist operation was successful as anti-regime propaganda but killed one man in the process. Galvão claimed that his intentions were to sail to the Overseas Province of Angola to set up in Luanda a renegade Portuguese Government in opposition to Salazar. Galvão released the passengers in negotiation with Brazilian officials in exchange for political asylum in Brazil.[18]

In 1962, the Portuguese Communist Party, responded with demonstrations which culminated on 24 March with a huge student demonstration in Lisbon, that was vigorously suppressed by the riot police. Marcelo Caetano, distinguished member of the regime and the incumbent rector of the University of Lisbon, resigned.

The reluctance of many young men to embrace the hardships of the Portuguese Colonial War resulted in hundreds of thousands of Portuguese citizens each year leaving to seek economic opportunities abroad in order to escape conscription. In over 15 years, nearly one million emigrated to France, another million to the United States, many hundreds of thousands to Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Venezuela, or Brazil. Political parties, such as the Socialist Party, persecuted at home, were established in exile. The only party which managed to continue (illegally) operating in Portugal during all the dictatorship was the Portuguese Communist Party.

In 1964, Delgado founded the Portuguese National Liberation Front in Rome, stating in public that the only way to end the Estado Novo would be by a military coup, while many others advocated a national uprising approach.[19]

Delgado and his Brazilian secretary, Arajaryr Moreira de Campos, were murdered on 13 February 1965 in Spain after being lured into an ambush by PIDE.

According to some Portuguese conservative scholars like Jaime Nogueira Pinto and Rui Ramos,[8] Salazar's early reforms and policies allowed political and financial stability and therefore social order and economic growth, after the politically unstable and financially chaotic years of the Portuguese First Republic (1910–1926). Other historians like far-left politician Fernando Rosas,[20] point out that Salazar's policies from the 1930s to the 1950s, led to economic and social stagnation and rampant emigration, turning Portugal into one of the poorest countries in Europe, that was also thwarted by scoring lower on literacy than its peers of the Northern Hemisphere.

Salazar suffered a stroke in 1968. As it was thought that he did not have long to live, Thomaz replaced him with Marcelo Caetano, a reputed scholar of the University of Lisbon Law School, statesman and a distinguished member of the regime. Salazar was never informed of this decision, and reportedly died in 1970 still believing he was prime minister. Most of the people hoped Caetano would soften the edges of Salazar's authoritarian regime and modernize the already growing economy. Caetano moved on to foster economic growth and made important social improvements, such as the awarding of a monthly pension to rural workers who had never had the chance to pay social security. Some large scale investments were made at national level, such as the building of a major oil processing centre in Sines. The economy reacted very well at first, but into the 1970s some serious problems began to show, due in part to two-digit inflation (from 1970 and on) and to the effects of the 1973 oil crisis. However, the oil crisis of 1973 had a potentially beneficial effect to Portugal because the largely unexploited oil reserves that Portugal had in its overseas territories of Angola, and São Tomé and Príncipe were being developed at a fast pace.

Although Caetano was fundamentally an authoritarian, he did make some efforts to open up the regime. Soon after taking power, he rebranded the regime as the "Social State," and slightly increased freedom of speech and the press. These measures did not go nearly far enough for a significant element of the population who had no memory of the instability which preceded Salazar. The people were also disappointed that Caetano was unwilling to open up the electoral system; the 1969 and 1973 elections saw the National Union—renamed People's National Action—sweep every seat, as before. However, even these meager reforms had to be wrung out of the hardliners in the regime—most notably Thomaz, who was not nearly as content to give Caetano the free rein that he gave Salazar. By 1973, the hardliners pressured Caetano to end his reform experiment.


Salazar observing Edgar Cardoso's Santa Clara Bridge maquette in Coimbra.
During the 1940s and 1950s, Portugal experienced economic growth due to increased raw material exports to the war-ravaged and recovering nations of Europe. Until the 1960s, however, the country remained very poor and largely underdeveloped due to its disadvantaged starting position and lack of effective policies to counter that situation. Salazar managed to discipline the Portuguese public finances, after the chaotic First Portuguese Republic of 1910–1926, but consistent economic growth and development remained scarce until well into the 1960s, when due to the influence of a new generation of technocrats with background in economics and technical-industrial know-how, the Portuguese economy started to take off with visible accomplishments in the people's quality of life and standard of living, as well as in terms of secondary and post-secondary education attainment. During the early period of Salazar's rule, a brand new road system was built, new bridges spanned the rivers, and an educational program was able to build a primary school in each Portuguese town (an idea developed and begun during the democratic First Republic). Some liberal economic reforms advocated by elements of the ruling party, which were successfully implemented under similar circumstances in neighboring Spain, were rejected out of fear that industrialization would destabilize the regime and its ideological base and would strengthen the Communists and other left-wing movements.
Portuguese overseas territories in Africa during the Estado Novo regime: Angola and Mozambique were by far the two largest of those territories.

In 1958, when the Portuguese government announced the 1959–64 Six-Year Plan for National Development, a decision had been reached to accelerate the country's rate of economic growth, a decision whose urgency grew with the outbreak of guerrilla warfare in Angola in 1961 and in Portugal's other African territories thereafter. Salazar and his policy advisers recognized that additional military expenditure needs, as well as increased transfers of official investment to the "overseas provinces," could only be met by a sharp rise in the country's productive capacity. Salazar's commitment to preserving Portugal's "multiracial, pluricontinental" state led him reluctantly to seek external credits beginning in 1962, an action from which the Portuguese treasury had abstained for several decades.

Portuguese Military Expenses during the Colonial War:OFMEU – National Budget for Overseas Military Expenses; * conto – popular expression for "1000 $ (PTE)"

Beyond military measures, the official Portuguese response to the "winds of change" in the African colonies was to integrate them administratively and economically more closely with the mainland. This was accomplished through population and capital transfers, trade liberalization, and the creation of a common currency, the so-called Escudo Area. The integration program established in 1961 provided for the removal of Portugal's duties on imports from its overseas territories by January 1964. The latter, on the other hand, were permitted to continue to levy duties on goods imported from Portugal but at a preferential rate, in most cases 50 percent of the normal duties levied by the territories on goods originating outside the Escudo Area. The effect of this two-tier tariff system was to give Portugal's exports preferential access to its colonial markets. The economies of the overseas provinces, especially those of both the Overseas Province of Angola and Mozambique, boomed.

  EFTA member states since 1995.
  Former member states, now EU member states. Portugal joined the then EEC in 1986 (now the EU), leaving the EFTA where it was a founding member in 1960.

The liberalization of the Portuguese economy gained a new impetus under Salazar's successor, Prime Minister

  • Baklanoff, Eric N. "The Political Economy of Portugal's Later 'Estado Novo': A Critique of the Stagnation Thesis." Luso-Brazilian Review (1992): 1-17. in JSTOR
  • Graham, Lawrence S., and Harry M. Makler. Contemporary Portugal: the revolution and its antecedents (U of Texas Press, 1979)
  • Hamann, Kerstin, and Paul Christopher Manuel. "Regime changes and civil society in twentieth-century Portugal." South European Society and Politics 4.1 (1999): 71-96.
  • Kay, Hugh. Salazar and modern Portugal (1970)
  • de Meneses, Filipe. Salazar: A Political Biography (2009)
  • Payne, Stanley G. A History of Spain and Portugal (2 vol 1973) full text online vol 2 after 1700; standard scholarly history; chapter 27 pp 663–83
  • Pimentel, Irene. "Women's Organizations and Imperial Ideology under the Estado Novo." Portuguese Studies (2002): 121-131. in JSTOR
  • Pitcher, M. Anne. Politics in the Portuguese Empire: the State, industry, and cotton, 1926-1974 ( Oxford University Press, 1993)
  • Sardica, José Miguel. "The Memory of the Portuguese First Republic throughout the Twentieth Century," E-Journal of Portuguese History (Summer 2011) 9#1 pp 1–27. online
  • Stoer, Stephen R., and Roger Dale. "Education, state, and society in Portugal, 1926-1981." Comparative Education Review (1987): 400-418. in JSTOR
  • West, S. George. "The Present Situation in Portugal," International Affairs (1938) 17#2 pp. 211–232 in JSTOR

Further reading

  1. ^ Jorge Pais de Sousa, O Fascismo Catedrático de Salazar, Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra, 2012
  2. ^ Kay 1970, p. 68.
  3. ^ Portugal Não É Um País Pequeno
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ O Maior Português de Sempre – Oliveira Salazar (1ª Parte), Jaime Nogueira Pinto presents Salazar in O maior português de sempre (RTP)
  8. ^ a b História de Portugal. A luta de facções entre os salazaristas "Até os americanos já o tinham abandonado, temendo "recriar o caos que existia em Portugal antes de Salazar tomar o poder".", from História de Portugal (2009), Rui Ramos, Bernardo de Vasconcelos e Sousa, and Nuno Gonçalo Monteiro, Esfera dos Livros, cited in
  9. ^ Kallis, Aristotle A. Fascism Reader p. 313-317 2003 Routledge
  10. ^ Ian Dear, and M.R.D. Foot, eds. The Oxford Companion to World War II (1995) pp 910-911.
  11. ^ William Gervase Clarence-Smith, "The Portuguese Empire and the 'Battle for Rubber' in the Second World War," Portuguese Studies Review (2011) 19#1 pp 177-196
  12. ^ Douglas L. Wheeler, "The Price of Neutrality: Portugal, the Wolfram Question, and World War II," Luso-Brazilian Review (1986) 23#1 pp 107-127 and 23#2 pp 97-111
  13. ^ Sonny B. Davis, "Salazar, Timor, and Portuguese Neutrality in World War II," Portuguese Studies Review (2005) 13#1 pp 449-476.
  14. ^ Dawn L. Raby, "Controlled, Limited and Manipulated Opposition Under a Dictatorial Regime: Portugal, 1945-9," European History Quarterly (1989) 19#1 pp 63-84. doi: 10.1177/026569148901900103
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ History of Portugal
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ Rosas, Fernando, Fernando Martins, Luciano do Amaral, Maria Fernanda Rollo, and José Mattoso. O Estado Novo (1926-1974). Estampa, 1998.
  21. ^ Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation, Juan José Linz
  22. ^ (Portuguese) Fundação da SEDES – As primeiras motivações, "Nos anos 60 e até 1973 teve lugar, provavelmente, o mais rápido período de crescimento económico da nossa História, traduzido na industrialização, na expansão do turismo, no comércio com a EFTA, no desenvolvimento dos sectores financeiros, investimento estrangeiro e grandes projectos de infra-estruturas. Em consequência, os indicadores de rendimentos e consumo acompanham essa evolução, reforçados ainda pelas remessas de emigrantes.", SEDES
  23. ^ [1], Joaquim da Costa Leite (Aveiro University) – Instituições, Gestão e Crescimento Económico: Portugal, 1950-1973
  24. ^ (Portuguese) A verdade sobre o Fundo do Ultramar, Diário de Notícias (29 November 2012)
  25. ^ a b (Portuguese) Movimento das Forças Armadas (MFA). In Infopédia [Em linha]. Porto: Porto Editora, 2003–2009. [Consult. 2009-01-07]. Disponível na www: .
  26. ^ Movimento das Forças Armadas (1974–1975), Projecto CRiPE- Centro de Estudos em Relações Internacionais, Ciência Política e Estratégia. © José Adelino Maltez. Cópias autorizadas, desde que indicada a origem. Última revisão em: 2 October 2008
  27. ^ (Portuguese) A Guerra Colonial na Guine/Bissau (07 de 07), Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho on the Decree Law, RTP 2 television,
  28. ^ João Bravo da Matta, A Guerra do Ultramar, O Diabo, 14 October 2008, pp.22
  29. ^
  30. ^ P S Lele, Dadra and Nagar Haveli: past and present, Published by Usha P. Lele, 1987,
  31. ^ Gomes, Carlos de Matos, Afonso, Aniceto. OS anos da Guerra Colonial - Wiriyamu, De Moçambique para o mundo. Lisboa, 2010
  32. ^ Adrian Hastings, The Telegraph (26 June 2001)
  33. ^ A direita radical na Universidade de Coimbra (1945–1974), MARCHI, Riccardo. A direita radical na Universidade de Coimbra (1945-1974). Anál. Social, Jul. 2008, nº 188, pp. 551–76. ISSN 0003-2573.
  34. ^ (Portuguese) Testemunhos, Observatório da Emigração
  35. ^ (Portuguese) Cronologia: Movimento dos capitães, Centro de Documentação 25 de Abril, University of Coimbra
  36. ^ (Portuguese) Arquivo Electrónico: Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho, Centro de Documentação 25 de Abril, University of Coimbra
  37. ^ Time Magazine
  38. ^ Maxwell, Kenneth (1986) 'Regime Overthrow and the Prospects for Democratic Transition in Portugal' in Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Prospects for Democracy, ed. Guillermo O’Donnell, Philippe C. Schmitter, and Laurence Whitehead (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins), p. 113
  39. ^
  40. ^ Flight from Angola, The Economist (16 August 1975).
  41. ^ Dismantling the Portuguese Empire, Time Magazine (Monday, 7 July 1975).


  1. ^ Before WWII, Salazar declared: "We are opposed to all forms of Internationalism, Communism, Socialism, Syndicalism and everything that may divide or minimize, or break up the family. We are against class warfare, irreligion and disloyalty to one’s country; against serfdom, a materialistic conception of life, and might over right". Salazar criticized Fascist dictatorship that according to his opinion was leaning towards pagan Caesarism and towards a new state which recognized no limitations of legal moral order.[2]


See also

By refusing to grant independence to its overseas territories in Africa, the Portuguese ruling regime of Estado Novo was criticized by most of the international community, and its leaders Salazar and Caetano were accused of being blind to the "Winds of change". After the Carnation revolution in 1974 and the fall of the incumbent Portuguese authoritarian regime, almost all the Portugal-ruled territories outside Europe became independent. For the regime, the retention of those overseas possessions had been a matter of national interest.

For the Portuguese and their former colonies, this was a very difficult period, but many felt that the short-term effects of the Carnation Revolution were well worth the trouble when civil rights and political freedoms were achieved. The Portuguese celebrate Freedom Day on 25 April every year, and the day is a national holiday in Portugal.

The retreat from the colonies and the acceptance of its independence terms which would create newly independent communist states in 1975 (most notably the People's Republic of Angola and the People's Republic of Mozambique) prompted a mass exodus of Portuguese citizens from Portugal's African territories (mostly from Portuguese Angola and Mozambique),[40][41] creating over a million destitute Portuguese refugees — the retornados. By 1975, all the Portuguese African territories were independent and Portugal held its first democratic elections in 50 years. However, the country continued to be governed by a military-civilian provisional administration until the Portuguese legislative election of 1976.

After a period of social unrest, factionalism, and uncertainty in Portuguese politics, between 1974 and 1976, neither far left nor far right radicalism prevailed. However, pro-communist and socialist elements retained control of the country for several months before elections. Some factions, including Álvaro Cunhal's PCP, unsuccessfully tried to turn the country into a communist state.

After the Estado Novo the country would then experience a turbulent period of provisional governments and a nearly disintegrated state reminiscent of the First Republic, a condition that the Estado Novo had so assiduously attempted to avoid. These provisional governments also briefly censored newspapers and detained oppositionists. Historian Kenneth Maxwell considers that, for many reasons, Portugal, in its transition from authoritarian rule to a more democratic government, resembled Nicaragua more than any other among the South American nations.[38] During the final months of Franco's dictatorship, which had survived to this point, Spain considered invading Portugal to check the perceived threat of communism caused by the Carnation Revolution.[39]


had all but collapsed. Portuguese Empire By 1975 the [37].Brazil where he stayed for a few days. He then flew to exile in Madeira Islands, a military junta, took power. Caetano resigned, and was flown under custody to the National Salvation Junta-led MFA. After the coup, the government budget had begun the program (which included several other reforms) in order to increase the number of officials employed against the African insurgencies, and at the same time cut down military costs to alleviate an already overburdened Portuguese Government whereby militia officers who completed a brief training program and had served in the overseas territories' defensive campaigns, could be commissioned at the same rank as military academy graduates. Caetano's Marcello Caetano Younger military academy graduates resented a program introduced by [36] of 1973.Dec. Lei nº 353/73 against a decree law: the captains Portuguese Armed Forces protest of [35] Suddenly, after some failed attempts of military rebellion, in April 1974 the

The war in the colonies was increasingly unpopular in Portugal itself as the people became weary of war and balked at its ever-rising expense. Many ethnic Portuguese of the African overseas territories were also increasingly willing to accept independence if their economic status could be preserved. However, despite the guerrilla unpredictable and sporadic attacks against targets all over the countryside of the Portuguese African territories, the economies of both Portuguese Angola and Mozambique were booming, cities and towns were expanding and prospering steadily over time, new transportation networks were being opened to link the well-developed and highly urbanized coastal strip with the most remote inland regions, and the number of ethnic European Portuguese migrants from mainland Portugal (the metrópole) increased fastly since the 1950s (although always as a small minority of each territory's total population).[34]

By the early 1970s, the Portuguese Colonial War continued to rage on, requiring a steadily increasing budget. The Portuguese military was overstretched and there was no political solution or end in sight. While the human losses were relatively small, the war as a whole had already entered its second decade. The Portuguese ruling regime of Estado Novo faced criticism from the international community and was becoming increasingly isolated. It had a profound impact on Portugal – thousands of young men avoided conscription by emigrating illegally, mainly to France and the US.

The various conflicts forced the Salazar and subsequent Caetano governments to spend more of the country's budget on colonial administration and military expenditures, and Portugal soon found itself increasingly isolated from the rest of the world. After Caetano succeeded to the presidency, the colonial war became a major cause of dissent and a focus for anti-government forces in Portuguese society. Many young dissidents, such as left-wing students and anti-war activists, were forced to leave the country so they could escape imprisonment or conscription. However, between 1945 and 1974, there were also three generations of militants of the radical right at the Portuguese universities and schools, guided by a revolutionary nationalism partly influenced by the political sub-culture of European neofascism. The core of the struggle of these radical students lay in an uncompromising defence of the Portuguese Empire in the days of the authoritarian regime.[33]

After spending the early years of his priesthood in Africa, the British priest Adrian Hastings created a storm in 1973 with an article in The Times about the "Wiriyamu massacre"[31] in Mozambique, revealing that the Portuguese Army had massacred some 400 villagers at the village of Wiriyamu, near Tete, in December 1972. His report was printed a week before the Portuguese prime minister, Marcelo Caetano, was due to visit Britain to celebrate the 600th anniversary of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance. Portugal's growing isolation following Hastings's claims has often been cited as a factor that helped to bring about the "carnation revolution" coup which deposed the Caetano regime in 1974.[32]

For the Portuguese ruling regime, the centuries-old overseas empire was a matter of national interest. The criticism against some kinds of racial discrimination in the Portuguese African territories were refuted on the grounds that all Portuguese Africans would be Westernized and assimilated in due time, through a process called civilising mission. The wars had the same effects in Portugal as the Vietnam War in the United States, or the Afghanistan War in the Soviet Union; they were unpopular and expensive lengthy wars which were isolating Portugal's diplomacy, leading many to question the continuation of the war and, by extension, the government. Although Portugal was able to maintain some superiority in the colonies by its use of elite paratroopers and special operations troops, the foreign support to the guerrillas, including arms embargoes and other sanctions against the Portuguese, made them more maneuverable, allowing them to inflict losses on the Portuguese army. The international community isolated Portugal due to the long-lasting Colonial War. The situation was aggravated by the illness of Salazar, the strong man of the regime, in 1968. His replacement was one of his closest advisors, Marcelo Caetano, who tried to slowly democratize the country, but could not hide the obvious dictatorship that oppressed Portugal. Salazar died in 1970.

, which both wanted to end all colonial empires and expand their own spheres of influence. Soviet Union and the United States were supported by both the Portuguese Guinea and Portuguese Mozambique, Portuguese Angola" concerning historical colonization in Europe-ruled overseas territories, started to have influence over the centuries-old empire. The end of the Estado Novo effectively began with the uprisings in the overseas territories in Africa during the 1960s. The independence movements active in Winds of Change. The so-called "Portugal's National Assembly. The Portuguese regime refused to recognize Indian sovereignty over the annexed territories, which continued to be represented in Indian subcontinent resulted in the defeat of the limited Portuguese defensive garrison, which was forced to surrender to a much larger military force. The outcome was the loss of the remaining Portuguese territories in the operations. The Indian Armed Forces against the Portuguese India. As a result, the Portuguese army and navy were involved in armed conflict in its colony of Daman and Diu, Goa. According to the census of 1921 São João Baptista de Ajudá had 5 inhabitants and, at the moment of the ultimatum by the Dahomey Government, it had only 2 inhabitants representing Portuguese Sovereignty. Another forcible retreat from overseas territories occurred in December 1961 when Portugal refused to relinquish the territories of Portuguese Empire was the start of a process that led to the final dissolution of the centuries-old Republic of Dahomey's annexation by the São João Baptista de Ajudá In 1961, the fort of [30] After

Detail of Portuguese Timor's coat of arms.[29]
Detail of the Portuguese Overseas Province of Mozambique's coat of arms.
Detail of the Portuguese Overseas Province of Guinea's coat of arms.
Memorial at the churchyard Cemitério dos Prazeres in Lisbon for one of the many actions against the regime of Salazar; Operation Vagô where leaflets were spread over several Portuguese cities from a TAP plane in 1961. The text says: "When the dictatorship is a reality, the revolution is a right."
Detail of the Portuguese Overseas Province of Angola's coat of arms.
Portuguese India coat of arms.

The end of the regime

Egas Moniz, a Portuguese physician who developed the cerebral angiography and leucotomy, received in 1949 the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine – even now, the only Portuguese recipient of a Nobel in the sciences.

Until the 1960s, post-primary education was limited to a tiny elite. In general, teenagers used to leave school and start to work early. In contrast with other European nations, the country had a poor record in educational policies since the 19th century. By the end of the 19th century the illiteracy rate was at over 80 percent and higher education was reserved for a small percentage of the population. 68.1 percent of Portugal's population was still classified as illiterate by the 1930 census. Portugal's literacy rate by the 1940s and early 1950s remained low for North American and Western European standards at the time. However, in the 1960s the country made public education available for all children between the ages of six and twelve, founded universities in the overseas provinces of Angola and Mozambique (the University of Luanda and the University of Lourenço Marques during the period of Adriano Moreira as Minister of the Overseas Provinces), recognized the Portuguese Catholic University in 1971, and by 1973 a wave of new state-run universities were founded across mainland Portugal (the Minho University, the New University of Lisbon, the University of Évora, and the University of Aveiro – Veiga Simão was the Minister in charge for education by then). In addition, the long established Lisbon and Coimbra universities were highly expanded and modernized in the 1960s. New buildings and campuses were constructed, like the Cidade Universitária (Lisbon) and the Alta Universitária (Coimbra). The last two decades of the Estado Novo, from the 1960s to the 1974 Carnation Revolution, were marked by strong investment in secondary and university education, which experienced in this period one of the fastest growth rates of Portuguese education history to date. Though this corresponded to significant growth of post-primary enrollment in larger urban areas, yet there was a gap to be filled in the following years, given the little time to overcome their disadvantaged starting position. The massification of secondary education was only achieved in the late 1970s and 1980s, so by the time of the Carnation Revolution in 1974 illiteracy was receding, but low-literacy and illiteracy was still high, compared with the highest standards already achieved by the most developed countries in the world.

The University of Coimbra General Library main building – Edifício Novo (New Building, 1962) in the Alta Universitária, Coimbra.


Labour unions were not allowed and a minimum wage policy was not enforced. However, in a context of an expanding economy, bringing better living conditions for the Portuguese population in the 1960s, the outbreak of the colonial wars in Africa set off significant social changes, among them the rapid incorporation of more and more women into the labour market. Marcelo Caetano moved on to foster economic growth and some social improvements, such as the awarding of a monthly pension to rural workers who had never had the chance to pay social security. The objectives of Caetano's pension reform were threefold: enhancing equity, reducing fiscal and actuarial imbalance, and achieving more efficiency for the economy as a whole, for example, by establishing contributions less distortive to labour markets or by allowing the savings generated by pension funds to increase the investments in the economy. In 1969, with the replacement of António de Oliveira Salazar by Marcelo Caetano, the Estado Novo-controlled nation got indeed a very slight taste of democracy and Caetano allowed the formation of the first democratic labour union movement since the 1920s.

Besides that, the overseas territories were also displaying impressive economic growth and development rates from the 1920s onwards. Even during the Portuguese Colonial War (1961–1974), a counterinsurgency war against independentist guerrilla and terrorism, the overseas territories of Angola and Mozambique (Portuguese Overseas Provinces at the time) had continuous economic growth rates and several sectors of its local economies were booming. They were internationally notable centres of production of oil, coffee, cotton, cashew, coconut, timber, minerals (like diamonds), metals (like iron and aluminium), banana, citrus, tea, sisal, beer (Cuca and Laurentina were successful beer brands produced locally), cement, fish and other sea products, beef and textiles. Tourism was also a fast developing activity in Portuguese Africa both by the growing development of and demand for beach resorts and wildlife reserves. While the counterinsurgency war was won in Angola, it was less than satisfactorily contained in Mozambique and dangerously stalemated in Portuguese Guinea from the Portuguese point of view, so the Portuguese Government decided to create sustainability policies in order to allow continuous sources of financing for the war effort in the long run. On 13 November 1972, a sovereign wealth fund (Fundo do Ultramar - The Overseas Fund) was enacted through the Decree Law Decreto-Lei n.º 448/ /72 and the Ministry of Defense ordinance Portaria 696/72, in order to finance the counterinsurgency effort in the Portuguese overseas territories.[24] In addition, new Decree Laws (Decree Law: Decretos-Leis n.os 353, de 13 de Julho de 1973, e 409, de 20 de Agosto) were enforced in order to cut down military expenses and increase the number of officers by incorporating irregular militia as if they were regular military academy officers.[25][25][26][27][28]

The Estado Novo regime economic policy encouraged and created conditions for the formation of large and successful business conglomerates. Economically, the Estado Novo regime maintained a policy of corporatism that resulted in the placement of a big part of the Portuguese economy in the hands of a number of strong conglomerates, including those founded by the families of António Champalimaud (Banco Pinto & Sotto Mayor, Cimpor), José Manuel de Mello (CUF – Companhia União Fabril, Banco Totta & Açores), Américo Amorim (Corticeira Amorim) and the dos Santos family (Jerónimo Martins). Those Portuguese conglomerates had a business model with similarities to South Korean chaebols and Japanese keiretsus and zaibatsus. The Companhia União Fabril (CUF) was one of the largest and most diversified Portuguese conglomerates with its core businesses (cement, chemicals, petrochemicals, agrochemicals, textiles, beer, beverages, metallurgy, naval engineering, electrical engineering, insurance, banking, paper, tourism, mining, etc.) and corporate headquarters located in mainland Portugal, but also with branches, plants and several developing business projects all around the Portuguese Empire, especially in the Portuguese territories of Angola and Mozambique. Other medium-sized family companies specialized in textiles (for instance those located in the city of Covilhã and the northwest), ceramics, porcelain, glass and crystal (like those of Alcobaça, Caldas da Rainha and Marinha Grande), engineered wood (like SONAE near Porto), canned fish (like those of Algarve and the northwest), fishing, food and beverages (alcoholic beverages, from liqueurs like Licor Beirão and Ginjinha, to beer like Sagres, were produced across the entire country, but Port Wine was one of its most reputed and exported alcoholic beverages), tourism (well established in Estoril/Cascais/Sintra and growing as an international attraction in the Algarve since the 1960s) and in agriculture (like the ones scattered around the Alentejo – known as the breadbasket of Portugal) completed the panorama of the national economy by the early 1970s. In addition, the rural population was committed to agrarianism—greatly important for a majority of the total population, with many families living exclusively from agriculture or complementing their salaries with farming, husbandry and forestry yields.

The economy of Portugal and its overseas territories on the eve of the Carnation Revolution (a military coup on 25 April 1974) was growing well above the European average. Average family purchasing power was rising together with new consumption patterns and trends and this was promoting both investment in new capital equipment and consumption expenditure for durable and nondurable consumer goods.

was founded in 1972 and the State granted the company a 30-year concession to design, build, manage, and maintain a modern network of express motorways. Brisa – Autoestradas de Portugal. transportation and purchase of new automobiles set the priority for improvements in consumption By the early 1970s Portugal's fast economic growth with increasing [23]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.