The Political History of Twentieth-Century Portugal1

Manuel Baiôa

CIDEHUS-University of Évora Autónoma University of Lisbon National University of Ireland

Paulo Jorge Fernandes

Filipe Ribeiro de Meneses

The political history of twentieth-century Portugal has recently become the focus of intense research by historians of that country. This article attempts both to summarise the political developments of the period and to provide an English-language readership with an introduction to the on-going debate. This debate is driven to a great extent by the attempt to explain the reasons for the longevity of Salazar´s New State and by the attempt to place it within a broader European context. As a result, the regime immediately preceding the New State, the First Republic, has been somewhat neglected by Portuguese historians.

Twentieth-Century Portugal, Historiography, Political History, First Republic (1910-1926), New State (1933-1974)

Contemporary history sells in Portugal, and is a regular presence on the country’s television screens and in its museums. A handful of historians has become well known through their regular media presence. While it must be acknowledged that historical research covering contemporary topics might seem, to the uninitiated, more accessible than medieval or early modern studies, which require a number of technical skills, notably palaeography, the reasons for this sudden awakening of interest in twentieth-century events both among producers and consumers of history lies elsewhere, and is intimately related to the political events which shaped Portugal’s recent past. Towering over other issues lies Salazar’s New State: its origins, its nature, its ability to survive for so long, its place in a wider European context, its demise and its consequences. All of these are topics that the Portuguese, whether or not part of the academic community, want to understand, having been unable to discuss them fully while events were underway, either because of direct censorship or as a result of a more subtle tactic: the encouragement of historical activity dedicated to earlier, and less politically troubling, periods, such as the mediaeval monarchy or the ‘Discoveries’. As was mentioned in an earlier article,2 Salazar’s New State rested on the belief that Portugal’s decadence, which it had halted and reversed, had been inextricably linked to the untimely
A version of this article was published in Historia y Política: Ideas, procesos y movimientos sociales, no. 7, Madrid, Universidad Complutense de Madrid e Editorial Biblioteca Nueva, 2002, pp. 11-54. 2 See “The Political History of Nineteenth-Century Portugal”, e-Journal of Portuguese History, Volume 1, number 1, Summer 2003, by the same authors, for a wider discussion of political history´s place in Portuguese historiography.

e-JPH, Vol. 1, number 2, Winter 2003

and which often (especially in the case of Volume XII) becomes too detailed and list-like to accomplish its narrative goal. What has emerged since the revolutionary period of the mid-1970s. Volume XI. and subsequent degeneration. almost exclusively written by Fernando Rosas. 1. In virtue of the names associated with these works. were discouraged. More significant are Volumes XI and XII of the Nova História de Portugal. João Medina’s História This is especially true of the final volume. although there was an inescapable political agenda permeating the work. political history is making a comeback. Salazar’s successor. General Works The large number of competing multi-volume histories of Portugal is one of the defining characteristics of the Portuguese historiographical scene. however. directed by Joel Serrão and A. need a quick guide to existing secondary material.4 whose volumes XI-XIV cover the First Republic and the New State. of liberal politics. was overthrown.Baiôa. and Ribeiro de Meneses The Political History of Twentieth-Century Portugal adoption. which is examined in considerable detail. which so alienated a considerable part of the politicised population. de Oliveira Marques. they pay special attention to social and economic factors. in April 1974. As was mentioned in the already alluded-to article. the balance was excessively tipped in the other direction. This new history. H. We begin. A similar criticism can be made of Joaquim Veríssimo Serrão’s História de Portugal. entrusted to José Medeiros Ferreira. As a result. in the preface to the first edition of the work. while not discarding the conclusions reached by successive generations of social and economic historians.3 It remains essential reading. therefore. Franco Nogueira. identifying those in positions of influence and seeking to understand the motivation for their actions. marks an important step in the historiography of the New State. The final volume. they are an obligatory point of departure for aspiring researchers on Portuguese topics. de Oliveira Marques himself. The twentieth century takes up three of the fifteen published volumes of João Medina’s História de Portugal dos tempos pre-históricos aos nossos dias. The seventh volume of José Mattoso’s H istória de Portugal. Heavily influenced by the Annales school. The final three volumes of Damião Peres’ História de Portugal are an obvious starting point. covers the New State until 1960. A second reason for the recent rise in popularity of contemporary history in Portugal is that the very questions historians are asking of the past have changed. is a fresher and more objective approach to twnetieth-century events. ‘May the História de Portugal accomplish its goal: helping the Portuguese to feel a renewed pride in the past of a nation which rendered the greatest of services to the progress of Humanity (…)’ 3 e-JPH. however. from the local to the global sphere. relegating a narrative of the period to a final chapter. Some other general works should be included in this survey. Its necessity and appeal after decades of intense political strife is obvious. is completely dedicated to the post-1974 period. The objective of this article is to cast an eye over these recent historiographical developments in Portugal. by examining the most important of these histories in relation to the twentieth century. written not by Damião Peres himself but rather by one of Salazar´s ex-ministers. Fernandes. about to embark on a research project dedicated to contemporary Portugal. especially in relation to the First Republic (1910-1926). mention is also made of recent historical work published in English by Portuguese and non-Portuguese historians. And when. Detailed and critical evaluations of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. as the political passions of the period have died down. Vol. co-ordinated by A. Winter 2003 2 . concerns itself above all with the political realm. and this is the type of history that most appeals to a public eager for answers about Portugal’s recent past. making their conclusions available to both English speakers and those who. which might challenge this belief. Marcello Caetano. H. an approach guided not by remembered or inherited beliefs about events and protagonists but by a return to the fundamental activity of the historian: the attempt to reconstitute the past on the basis of the available evidence. 4 Veríssimo Serrão writes. entrusted to Fernando Rosas. with a refusal to acknowledge the inherent difficulties faced by Salazar’s republican predecessors and the mistakes they committed while in power. and published in 1981. number 2. is dedicated to the First Republic and Volume XII.

directed by António Reis and made up. preserved its dominance. 1972). In the wake of the 1974 revolution a number of English-language histories of contemporary Portugal appeared (Robinson. with three volumes dedicated exclusively to the New State. Vol. Fernandes. in its first edition. 1994). Other useful sources of information are historical dictionaries. Some of the entries in these later volumes are remarkable for their essay-like style. Important in the identification of a national political elite is the Dicionário biográfico parlamentar. For the English-language reader an obvious starting point is Douglas Wheeler’s Historical dictionary of Portugal (1993). These domestic objectives were not met. it will be difficult to attempt a global synthesis of the republican period in view of the important gaps that still persist in our knowledge of its political history. coordinated by Fernando Rosas and José Maria Brandão de Brito. known as the ‘old’ Republic. over the course of a recent past. is remarkable for its (not always successful) mix of primary and secondary sources of the most varied background. 1. The publication of Joel Serrão’s Dicionário de história de Portugal was recently restarted (1999-2000). As far as the October 1910 Revolution is concerned. The Dicionário de história do Estado Novo (1996). A republican Constitution was approved in 1911. and in the Church. creating a national consensus around the regime and even around the party (Teixeira. 1991). Gallagher. As a result. edited by António Costa Pinto (1998). number 2. H de Oliveira Marques (2000) has edited a volume covering the First Republic and António Costa Pinto is currently doing the same for the period 1926-1974.Baiôa. in two volumes. first among which ranks Vasco Pulido Valente’s polemical thesis. Villaverde Cabral (1988). 1996a). In spite of these splits the PRP. 1982). who formed conservative republican parties like the Evolutionist party and the Republican Union. an essay by Vasco Pulido Valente should be consulted (1997a). as should the attempt to establish the political. 2001). in seven volumes. and Ribeiro de Meneses The Political History of Twentieth-Century Portugal contemporânea de Portugal (1990). a number of opposition forces were forced to resort to violence in order to enjoy the fruits of power. inaugurating a parliamentary regime with reduced presidential powers and two chambers of parliament (Miranda. The Republic provoked important fractures within Portuguese society. In view of these tactics. social. 1983). notably among the essentially monarchist rural population. Narratives of the Twentieth Century: from 5 October 1910 to 25 April 1974 The First Republic (1910-1926) The First Republic has. although their usefulness is growing increasingly limited as a result of new research taking place in Portugal. is another useful starting point for research covering the twentieth century despite being clearly aimed at a general public. while an important collection of introductory essays is to be found in Modern Portugal. This historian posited the Jacobin and urban nature of the revolution carried out by the Portuguese Republican Party (PRP) and claimed that the PRP had turned the republican regime into a de facto dictatorship (Pulido Valente. Winter 2003 3 . There are few recent studies of this period of the Republic’s existence. a number of valuable studies have been made (Wheeler. 1979. The PRP viewed the outbreak of the First World War as a unique opportunity to achieve a number of goals: putting an end to the twin threats of a Spanish invasion of Portugal and of foreign occupation of the colonies and. led by Afonso Costa. Nevertheless. since participation in the conflict was not the subject of a national consensus and since it did not therefore e-JPH. at the internal level. coordinated by António Barreto and Maria Filomena Mónica. This vision clashes with an older interpretation of the First Republic as a progressive and increasingly democratic regime which presented a clear contrast to Salazar’s ensuing dictatorship (Oliveira Marques. of six volumes. and economic context made by M. is another work whose pioneering nature should be emphasized. Even the PRP had to endure the secession of its more moderate elements. lost many historians to the New State. largely due to a brand of clientelist politics inherited from the monarchy (Lopes. A. in the trade unions. Portugal contemporâneo (19891990).

The opposition of presidents to single-part governments. Ramalho. A republican coalition government. at the same time. Sidónio Pais undertook the rescue of traditional values. 2000). A new round of elections on 29 January 1922 inaugurated a fresh period of stability. including Prime Minister António Granjo. the party’s almost non-existent internal discipline. naming a Liberal government (the Liberal party being the result of the postwar fusion of Evolutionists and Unionists) to prepare the forthcoming elections. and the manifest failure to resolve pressing social concerns wore down the more visible PRP leaders while making the opposition’s attacks more deadly.Baiôa. Relations with the Holy See. were preserved. largely as a result of the elements of modernity that it contains (José Brandão. Discontent with this situation had not. some of the rifts of the recent past. This military victory allowed the PRP to return to government and to emerge triumphant from the elections held later that year. João Silva. to the party in power. four days later. 1994. restored by Sidónio Pais. After a series of clashes the monarchists were definitively chased from Oporto on 13 February 1919. Quite the opposite occurred: existing lines of political and ideological fracture were deepened by Portugal’s intervention in the First World War (Ribeiro de Meneses. This is clearly shown by the fact that regular PRP victories at the ballot box did not lead to stable government. the founding of a single party (the Partido Nacional Republicano). as was usually the case. 1991) left a deep wound among political elites and public opinion. These were held on 10 July 1921 with victory going. 1. 1994) on 14 December 1918 led the country to a brief civil war. were assassinated. notably the Pátria. 11-24). However. 2003 and Santos. making the Republic more acceptable to monarchists and Catholics. On 19 October a military pronunciamento was carried out during which – and apparently against the wishes of the coup’s leaders – a number of prominent conservative figures. led by José Relvas. The vacuum of power created by Sidónio Pais’ murder (Medina. António José Telo has made clear the way in which this regime predated some of the political solutions invented by the totalitarian and fascist dictatorships of the 1920s and 1930s (Teixeira. Between 1910 and 1926 there were forty-five governments. it was claimed. 2000. The State carved out an economically interventionist role for itself while. There could be no greater demonstration of the essential fragility of the Republic’s institutions and proof that the regime was democratic in name only. Armando Silva. having won the usual absolute majority. coordinated the struggle against the monarchists by loyal army units and armed civilians. Numerous accusations of corruption. 1997). Winter 2003 4 . The party system was fractured and discredited (Lopes. Vol. pp. Sacred Union) – and his office was given the power to dissolve Parliament. since it did not even admit the possibility of the rotation in power characteristic of the elitist regimes of the nineteenth century. exacerbated divisions within the Pátria) through the creation of a corporative Senate. and its constant and irrational desire to group together and lead all republican forces made any government’s task practically e-JPH. has aroused a strong interest among historians. 1999. also known as Dezembrismo. Ribeiro de Meneses. Sidonismo. Liberal government did not last long. however. internal dissent within the PRP. The lack of consensus around Portugal’s intervention in turn made possible the appearance of two dictatorships. 1990. It was during this restoration of the ‘old’ Republic that an attempted reform was carried out in order to provide the regime with greater stability. all political parties suffered from growing internal faction-fighting. Samara. finally. a monarchist insurrection broke out in Lisbon. The President used his new power to resolve a crisis of government in May 1921. 1998. In August 1919 a conservative President was elected – António José de Almeida (whose Evolutionist party had come together in wartime with the PRP to form a flawed. moreover. 2003). and attempted to rule in a charismatic fashion. The monarchy’s restoration was proclaimed in the north of Portugal on 19 January 1919 and. disappeared. This event. A move was made to abolish traditional political parties and to alter the existing mode of national representation in parliament (which. because incomplete. Sidónio Pais also attempted to restore public order and to overcome. repressing working-class movements and leftist republicans. known as the ‘night of blood’ (Brandão. At the same time. especially the PRP itself. and the attribution of a mobilising function to the Leader. 1998. and Ribeiro de Meneses The Political History of Twentieth-Century Portugal serve to mobilise the population. led by General Pimenta de Castro (January-May 1915) and Sidónio Pais (December 1917-December 1918). number 2. since the PRP once again emerged from the contest with an absolute majority. Fernandes.

1992a). António José Telo. Once this was achieved. has received so much historiographical attention. to conservative forces. one can distinguish three main interpretations. 1986. along with the first years of the New State. Portugal’s participation in the First World War. By the mid-1920s the domestic and international scenes began to favour another authoritarian solution. together. 2000. shrouded in mystery (see. number 2. 1973. Telo. Ribeiro de Meneses 1998a and 2000a). 1987. the population of Lisbon did not rise to defend the Republic. Winter 2003 5 . 2001). Pinto. fascists.8 The successful pronunciamento of 1926 was carried out by an extremely varied group which included monarchists. Cabral. who added their own political and corporative demands to the already complex equation. and dictatorial nature. Many different formulas were attempted. would build the New State (1933-1974). Martins. 1. whose political awareness had grown during the war. Fernandes. coalitions. 1997. Jacobin. The armed forces.A. Robinson (1977 & 1994). much has been written about the crisis and fall of the regime and the 28 May movement (Cruz. Among these the names of António Costa Pinto. The Military Dictatorship (1926-1933) and the New State (1933-1974) The military dictatorship of 1926 to 1933 was a period of intense struggle for political power. Afonso. including single-party governments. the last bastion of ‘order’ against the ‘chaos’ that was taking over the country. and many of whose leaders had not forgiven the PRP for sending it to a war it did not want to fight. and Ribeiro de Meneses The Political History of Twentieth-Century Portugal impossible. An interesting analysis of the religious question during the period has been made by R. Pinto.H. wherein a strengthened executive might restore political and social order. As had been the case in December 1917. de Oliveira Marques. 1998. but none succeeded. and Portugal’s role in the Great War remains. Nevertheless. It is for this reason that the period. and João B. There are few global and up-to-date studies of this turbulent third phase of the Republic’s existence (Marques. A recent historiographical balance sheet elaborated by Armando Malheiro da Silva (2000) is a good introduction into this debate. conservatives. however. Few of these. Since the opposition’s constitutional route to power was blocked by the various means deployed by the PRP to protect itself. 1989a & 1989b. It is also a period marked by the ascent of Salazar and his inner circle: of the men who. liberals. Serra stand out. Links were established between conservative figures and military officers. The pronunciamento of 28 May 1926 enjoyed the support of most army units and even of most political parties. the works of Vasco Pulido Valente and Rui Ramos. for example. became books. nevertheless. whose pioneering political history of the period remains even today a useful summary (1978). 7 See. 1989. Its first objective was precisely to remove the PRP from power. See also the following conference proceedings and detailed studies: Various Authors (VA). whether it be among those within the army or between the army and its opponents. leaving it at the mercy of the army (Ferreira. 8 For the period of military dictatorship.5 For others. 6 5 e-JPH. see Wheeler’s general account (1988) and Baiôa’s bibliographical survey (1994). and presidential executives. it turned to the army for support.Baiôa. 1993. Rosas. The best narrative accounts of the period of the New State are to be found in the above-cited general works. H. Of special notice are the works of John Vincent-Smith covering Portuguese-British diplomatic relations from 1910 to 1916 (Vincent-Smith. 2000). For some historians. the First Republic was a progressive and increasingly democratic regime. Fernando Farelo Lopes. and even those to the left of the PRP. and its alliance with Britain. finally. 1980 & 1984). The First Republic continues to be the subject of an intense debate which is impossible to summarise in these pages.7 English-language interest in the First Republic was for a long time restricted to American historian Douglas Wheeler. 1974 & 1975). generated some interest. chooses to highlight the regime’s revolutionary. to a large extent. Force was clearly the sole means open to the opposition if it wanted to enjoy the fruits of power (Schwartzman. a struggle for power At the head of these historians stands A. and a steady number of theses and articles.6 A third group. Nevertheless. seemed to represent. Vol. it was essentially a prolongation of the liberal and elitist regimes of the nineteenth century.

now turned against them. taking care not to destroy the basic features of a democratic regime. however. Winter 2003 6 . He was asked to form a government in 1932. It refused to join the UN and in 1932 a National-Syndicalist movement was formed under the leadership of Rolão Preto. 1986) and the subsequent Civil War (Oliveira. the prestige acquired by Salazar through his financial policies allowed him to gather up the support of the more conservative elements within the army. right-wing radicals. 1999). Óscar Carmona. Fernandes. After this. From 1926 to 1934 there were a number of military and civilian revolts against the new authoritarian institutions (Farinha. The financial instability of the first years of the dictatorship forced Carmona to appoint António Oliveira Salazar as his Minister of Finance on 18 April 1928. 1987. 1979. The institutionalisation of the New State depended on the elaboration of a new Constitution. to take up the position of Prime Minister. the Socialist and Communist parties. The workers’ movement. The radical and fascist Right considered the new Constitution to be too centrist and the UN to be too static to mobilise public opinion. who had used this group to defeat the conservative republicans in 1929-30. 1998) forced the regime to move further towards the authoritarian Right and the fascist model through the creation of organisations such as the National Foundation for Joy e-JPH. Salazar was able to create consensus among the country’s elite. 1995 & 2000) were either in exile or behind bars. in order to deprive the reforming republicans of power and so create an authoritarian regime in Portugal. delivering a balanced budget. Ribeiro 1995) and with the perfecting of censorship. the needs of employers and of the country’s middle class. General Gomes da Costa and Commander Mendes Cabeçadas. which allowed for the regime to legitimise itself through the 1934 elections to the new National Assembly (Rosas. 1994). 1977. With the financial crisis thus resolved. On 9 July the most visible figures of the coup. were driven from power in order for another general. Already in 1930 a civilian structure capable of harnessing the support of all conservative forces that approved of the nascent regime was created. 1. By 1934 all political and syndicalist leaders opposed to the New State and to corporativism (Lucena. 1985). in practice. 1998). it also had to face threats from outside the original 1926 coalition. and of the State’s authority. The State’s repressive system was improved through the creation of a new political police (Gallagher. to the Finance portfolio.Baiôa. 1983. notably President Carmona. Despite this. to come together within and outside Portugal in order to take the fight to the dictatorship in a concerted fashion. although it carried out the typical functions of a political party. the Catholic Centre (Rosas. Still limited. This União Nacional (UN) was conceived initially as a civic association. and the promise of an economic relaunch of the country thanks to direct State intervention. Vol. to regenerate the Republic through a simultaneous strengthening of the executive branch. financial and monetary stabilisation. The resulting Constitution reinforced the power of the government and combined democratic principles and measures (limited. it was destined never to control either the government or the State (Cruz. Generals Vicente de Freitas and Ivens Ferraz attempted. resisting both the liberaldemocratic and the fascist threats. On January 1930 General Domingos Oliveira was entrusted with the formation of a government which marked a new departure. many national-syndicalists would adhere to the UN. Wheeler. Salazar. number 2. and the old republicans were never able. and Salazar’s own faction. This Coimbra academic entered the cabinet thanks to his reputation as a specialist in financial matters and was able to satisfy. 1988). the question of the political course of the dictatorship became more acute: what would be the army’s alternative to the First Republic? Three groups can be identified in the struggle to provide the generals with a working alternative: Conservative republicans. In 1933 a balance was finally found among all the forces which supported Salazar’s project. Salazar had become the de facto ideological and political leader of the dictatorship. in his first year. 1976. launching a systematic campaign which would culminate in Rolão Preto’s exile in 1934. officially. However. and Ribeiro de Meneses The Political History of Twentieth-Century Portugal and for the ideological direction of the dictatorship broke out almost immediately. Wiarda. The threat of the Spanish Second Republic (Oliveira. Patriarca. Rosas. through their action while in government (until 1930). 1992). wherein they would continue to push for fascist solutions to the regime’s problems (Pinto. of public order. by the government’s power to legislate) with authoritarian elements (Rosas. But as the New State rooted itself more firmly. After direct and uncontested presidential elections Carmona rose to the presidency on 25 March 1928.

Salazar was able to split the opposition. the New State was an authoritarian regime. as well as to restrain the growth of opposition parties. as Salazar had originally promised. Peter. Delgado’s bid for the presidency led to the emergence of serious fractures within the New State. neutralising its more radical elements and including moderates in the regime. In the wake of war. mounted a bid for the presidency in opposition to the UN’s candidate. attempted to take part in the 1945 elections. Marcelo Caetano. Internally. after 1943. Of late there has been a certain amount of polemical discussion over the economic links with Nazi Germany. and greater syndical freedom. this was a fascist regime. Two broad currents have emerged. Different theoretical presuppositions and analytical models are behind this debate.10 Salazar’s was ‘a fascism devoid of a fascist movement’ (Lucena. These steps are behind an intense debate over the question of whether or not Salazar can be classified as Fascist (Pinto. during the Second World War. to quiet the opposition of students (Proença. This overall timid push for change met with strong resistance from a conservative wing led by President Américo Tomás. Louçã. the Second World War led to an increase in social agitation and to the reorganisation of the opposition – now clearly under the control of the clandestine Portuguese Communist Party (PCP). a strong supporter of the existing order and of the colonial war. in 1968. 1999. 1987. The greatest threat of all occurred in 1958 when general Humberto Delgado. which also prevented any attempt to modernise the regime as Salazar sought the backing of a more conservative and loyal cabinet. Both tactics for the removal of Salazar from power – legal or armed – were to fail. Caetano sponsored the entry of a reformist current – a ‘liberal wing’ made up of relatively young modernisers who pushed both for economic growth in a European setting and political modernisation – into the National Assembly (Castilho. however. became a ‘neutral collaboration’ with the Allies (Telo. the threat posed by the direct election of the President to the New State was realised by Salazar. 1. 1998. 1976. Wylie. who altered the Constitution in order to prevent future destabilising bids (Raby. 2000). producing. 1999). who had reached a position of prominence within the New State. 1992. The new government generated great hopes of significant liberal reforms through a softening of censorship laws. Its leadership was subsequently arrested. especially around the questions of wolfram exports (Wheeler. 9 10 See studies by Manuel Braga da Cruz and António Costa Pinto. among other social players. Vol. They divided the regime’s supporters. 1998). That this was not manifested more clearly was the result of the outbreak of the colonial wars (Pinto. 1998) and the armed forces (Ferreira. The colonial wars played a vital role in the resolution of the problem. pp. who would again bear the full weight of the regime’s repressive nature (Brito. 1999). endowed. 21-29). 2000). Torgal. 2001). p. and Ribeiro de Meneses The Political History of Twentieth-Century Portugal in the Workplace (Valente. distinct results. Delgado. admiral Américo Tomás. however. however. See works published on the subject by Fernando Rosas and Manuel Lucena.Baiôa. Only after Salazar’s health was permanently impaired. thanks to the selection of a new premier. as well as by stepping up the personality cult of Salazar. e-JPH. classified by Fernando Rosas as the ‘taxidermists’ and the ‘historicists’ (VA. number 2. and a party militia. with a set of distinct national features. these would be free and fair. 1999). 1988. including the Catholic Church (Cruz. Marcelo Caetano was forced to give in to this group. 1995. Nunes. As was widely predicted. 2001). 1990 & 1991b. close to fascism but alien to it both because of its origins and because of its evolution. 1986) and the so-called ‘Nazi gold’ (Telo. 1989a. 1993a). of course. Delgado was able to mobilise all opposition forces behind his bid and famously threatened to remove Salazar from the government once he had won the election. I. Fernandes. Tomás emerged victorious from the poll thanks to widespread electoral rigging. 1996. the Portuguese Legion (Rodrigues. the permitted return of political exiles. a ‘policy of neutrality’ which. the Portuguese Youth. but withdrew from them once it realised that there were no guarantees that. Winter 2003 7 . could an attempted modernisation take place. Portugal adopted. For the former. giving rise to a long period of unrest. It was too late. 2000. VA. the Movimento para a Unidade Democrática (MUD). A common opposition front. 1989c. In 1969. Nevertheless. Vol. 27). obviously.9 For the latter. It was only in the run-up to legislative and presidential elections that the political and social order was threatened through the appearance of opposition candidacies. calling a halt to the reformist programme. 1996). It also fed the hopes for a democratisation of the regime.

Wiarda & Mott. have become the subject of great interest (VA.d. 1993. Much of this interest arose the moment the regime fell.A. expressed in a series of tables and maps. to collect the biographies of all Portuguese parliamentarians (Marques. had survived well into the 1970s. Delgado. Rosas. 2003). Little advance was subsequently made in the study and analysis of Portuguese voting patterns. Maxwell’s already mentioned The making of Portuguese democracy is one (1995). a subject recently summarised by David Birmingham (1999). and Ribeiro de Meneses The Political History of Twentieth-Century Portugal 1992a). notably in Africa. before that of Hitler. the standard reference work continues to be the História da Primeira República Portuguesa. as was earlier pointed out. and how a dictatorship begun in the 1930s. 1994). Malyn Newitt has long been charting the history of the Portuguese colonial empire (1981). Fernandes.L. as can be imagined. Schmitter. Wiarda. the inability to generate a political solution to the colonial conflict. H. the few studies so far carried out show how both regime and opposition attributed considerable importance to these elections (Schmitter. and in fact acts of political violence became common and widespread. A number of extremely useful works has also been published in English relating to the fall of the New State and its international consequences. 1985. for which they were forced to resign from their posts. The New State. Elections and electoral systems have not been the subject of any great attention by Portuguese historiography. proved to be a richer pasture for English-language historians than previous periods. notably at a parliamentary and government level. 1996). de Oliveira Marques in the 1970s (Marques. Carvalho. 1978. while D. Political elites. 1983. Robinson (1979) and Tom Gallagher (1983). 1994). 2000). However. 2000). towards universal suffrage. Douglas Porch concentrated his attention on the Portuguese army in a hurried and very partial work (Porch. The situation is changing as a result of the arrival of a new generation of historians. as was done above in relation to the nineteenth century. Raby attempted to chronicle the experiences and internal rivalries of the opposition to Salazar (1988). Patronage networks and the caciquismo typical of the constitutional monarchy remained in place. as have been aspects of Portugal’s involvement in the Second World War (Wheeler. There have been some attempts to examine the internal and external propaganda effort of the New State. n. The nature and working arrangements of Portuguese corporativism have been explored in some detail (Schmitter. There was a sudden rush to explain what had just happened in Portugal. another is Norrie MacQueen’s The decolonization of Portuguese Africa (1997). 1986 & 1988. 1975. as well as comparing the e-JPH. Medina. have been traditionally ignored (Lewis. 1977. who viewed the expansion of the army as a threat to their livelihood: all contributed to a rising of the increasingly politicised mid-ranking officers. 1994. 1. Pinto. Cruz. meanwhile. Attempts have been made. we must now address in greater detail some specific issues of this evolution. Political elites. 1979. 1977).H. 2001a. A coup was carried out on 25 April 1974 with the support of a majority within both the armed forces and the population of Lisbon (Graham. 2001). designed to end the war and carry out a change of regime. As regards the First Republic. number 2. The political immobility to which Marcelismo was condemned. Vol. There is no overall study of local elections. 1978 & 1980. Peter. 1998). Ramos do Ó. 2002. whose outcome was of course known well in advance. Sánchez Cervelhó. 1978. Winter 2003 8 . including generals Spínola and Costa Gomes.Baiôa. The new regime looked like a democracy: but no movement was made. 1994. 1992). directed by the Secretariado de Propaganda Nacional (Paulo. There is a basic and fundamental lack of individual studies about individual elections (Menezes. despite repeated promises. Stone. More thoughtful and comprehensive attempts were made by R.) In it can be found an analysis of electoral legislation as well as results. Some of the highest-ranking officers in the army. and the defence of corporative rights by career officers. edited by A. 1999. Ferreira. criticised publicly the government’s colonial policy. carried out by the PRP’s supporters against all opposition forces (Lopes. Little interest has also been manifested in the elections held during the New State. 1980). Thematic Studies on Twentieth-Century Politics After this brief sketch of the political evolution of twentieth-century Portuguese politics.

Solid research has been carried out into the UN. of course. 1993. New State minister and diplomat Armindo Monteiro (Oliveira. 1977-1985). number 2. Little progress has been made in the study of the largest parties of the period (João Silva. 1999. 1986. Afonso Costa (Oliveira Marques. Portuguese historiography has been attracted by smaller and more marginal movements and parties. 1990. the Lusitanian Integralists (Cruz. 2001. More conservative ideologies have been studied primarily in regards of their contribution to the New State. 1986 & 1988. 1999). 1980. the political supremacy of the PRP. Leal. 1992. since there are still no systematic examinations of either the parties themselves or of the party system. Pedro Tavares de Almeida and António Costa Pinto. 1999. Leal. There is. 1985. rather than a single-party State (Braga da Cruz. There have been works on Norton de Matos (Norton. Opposition forces have been paid less attention. Raby. close to fascism. Vieira. 1994. 2000). Catroga. 2002. Sidónio Pais (Ramalho. Franco Nogueira (Nogueira. Seabra. Raul Proença. ‘The Portuguese Ministers. 1982). there is still a good way to go in order to reach the level of coverage to be found in other countries. 1975) and Salazar. 1990. 1999. historians have focused on republican movements attempting to overthrow the military dictatorship and the nascent New State (Cruz. 1851-1999’. p. 11 e-JPH. Ramos. Fascism. 1980. Freire. Regime change and ministerial recruitment in Southern Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (to be published). 1999). 1994). there is still a need for studies about more specific subject matter and periods which might allow for a more critical reading of the pioneering studies which have become standard readings in Portuguese historiography. local elites are being fleshed out by individual researchers (Almeida. Alves. Farinha. appeared in Portugal in the 1920s and 1930s (Pinto. however. Nunes. Studies were thus made of the Socialist and Communist parties (Maria Filomena Mónica. the violence. 1997. 1996). 1998. the lack of materials. Nevertheless. in view of these limitations. There are. the electoral mechanisms which made difficult the access of opposition parties to political institutions and. described the New State as a ‘State with a single party’. 1992. Baiôa. and numerous masters’ and doctoral thesis have been dedicated to selected Portuguese personalities. 2001a). (2001-2003). Medina. 1. Pinto. Armando Silva. but some progress has been made in recent years (Ventura. 1992) and of those which inspired the builders of the New State. The nineteenth-century origins of Republican. and the earlier liberal traditions (Cruz. Cunha. The First Republic has been described as a dominant-party parliamentary regime (Sousa. and Álvaro Cunhal. a leading intellectual figure of the first half of the century (Reis. The ideological basis of this regime can be found at a crossroads between Catholic politics. 2000). Valente. 1997). 1999) and other fascist groupings than we know about the main party of the period. the parliamentary drive of the 1911 Constitution. 1996). for example. no modern biographies dedicated to the two politicians who left the greatest mark on the First Republic and the New State. 1993b. Despite these general works. Vol. 2000). 12 The most extensive biography of the dictator was written by one of his former ministers. VA. socialist and anarchist ideologies have received more historiographical attention than their later twentieth-century developments. the PRP. Similar research has also been conducted in the field of the radical right-wing movements which. Cunha. leader of the PCP during the second half of the century (José Pacheco Pereira. 1993.Baiôa. 2000). 2001. Leal. For Portuguese historiography in general. especially those which enjoyed some continuity with the parties on the political scene after 1974. We thus know more about the Portuguese Catholic Centre (Cruz. Madeira. as well as all who have so far served as President (Pinto. above all. (Homem. 1998) and on the extremely durable PCP (José Pacheco Pereira. 62). Pinto 2002a). Integralism.11 Beyond these collective efforts. 1986. 1988. 2000). One historian. largely as a result of their dispersed nature. the practices inherited from the constitutional monarchy all help to explain the instability. in Pedro Tavares de Almeida and António Costa Pinto (eds). Winter 2003 9 . 1999 & 2001). Pinto. 1994. and the lack of legitimacy of the republican regime (Lopes. whose limitations as a movement have already been noted. However. and Ribeiro de Meneses The Political History of Twentieth-Century Portugal biographies of Portuguese ministers with those of their southern European counterparts.12 Most biographical details are to be found in encyclopaedias and historical dictionaries. Fernandes. 2002). Biography is also increasingly important. a great deal of speculation taking place. their lack of internal cohesion and.

Loff. 1992b). Janeiro. as might have been expected. or to analyse an election. Military interference in politics has been a constant feature of contemporary Portugal. France (Derou. 1996. 2001). 2000. VA (1994). and Ribeiro de Meneses The Political History of Twentieth-Century Portugal Portuguese international relations in the twentieth century have been marked by a hesitation over whether to embrace Europe or to find comfort in the colonies (Ferreira. 2000. Some experienced researchers and a new generation of historians. academic recognition of the political history of twentieth-century Portugal as a valid field of research. Oliveira. Martelo. Telo. from either within or outside university circles. 1980. 1997). Membership of the EEC became possible only through the process of democratisation begun in 1974 (Pinto. 1996) have also aroused much interest among the academic community. The lack of biographical studies of even the most important figures of the period (beginning with Salazar himself) remains acute. governed for a long time by the all-important British alliance (Rosas.Baiôa. Afonso. as even this short and imperfect overview was able to demonstrate. 1986. despite some inroads made in relation to the United States of America (Antunes. Medina Guevara. 2001). Although great strides have been made into the Portuguese-Spanish relationship. Martins. Cann. 1993. structuralism and the Annales school all combined to stifle this discipline through the 1970s and 1980s. Martínez. Anderson. Ferreira. História de Portugal em datas. e-JPH. Rodrigues. Classic works on national and local administration (VA. They were. have been able to restore the discipline of political history to its rightful place in academic life. An effort was nevertheless made to diversify Portugal’s diplomatic options and to participate in the great decision-making centres such as the Peace Conference of 1919 (Ferreira. the workings of most political formations are still largely ignored. Marxism. 1997. and Ireland (Ribeiro de Meneses. 1996). the League of Nations. 1994) and the Spanish threat (Torre Gómez. of course. 1998. 2001. and it has been the subject of much historical writing (Carrilho. Lisbon. Silveira. Lisbon. overshadowed as it is in terms of both popular and academic interest by the New State. to write a biography. Nevertheless. 1996b. 2001. Salvadorini. 1992 &1993. thus providing a new boost – in terms of quality and quantity – to Portugal’s historiographical output. 2002). Greenwood. Publicações Alfa. VA. there remain important gaps in the political history of the twentieth century. 1992a. Ferreira. 2000. (2000). Bibliography General Works Various authors (VA) (1985). 1998. 1999. although the first studies of the colonial campaigns are now emerging (Guerra. Westport. Louçã. the United Nations. Pinto. 1985. 1. Less attention has been paid to the army’s performance on the battlefield. Oliveira. 1996. Telo. Few dared. 2 vols. Fernandes. Dicionário enciclopédico da história de Portugal. John M. 1989. 1987 & 1995. Círculo de Leitores. 2000. 2001 & 2002). Caeiro. 1994) and NATO (Telo. 2002). trained in the 1990s. Telo. Teixeira. 1996. with political history acquiring both a set of dedicated practitioners and a considerable mediatic presence. 1993. the European Organisation for Economic Cooperation (Rollo. 1988. Germany (VA. Stone. The 1990s witnessed the inversion of this trend. 1988). and the whole of the First Republic remains insufficiently studied. 1999. (Pélissier. number 2. 1997. 2000). Faria. 2000a). Italy (Schirò. Vol. 2002). 1998. although much remains to be done. Winter 2003 10 . Teixeira. Teixeira. 1997b) and modern studies on public opinion (Vaz. 1985. 1998). 1986. 1997) and the media (Cádima. 1997. there remains a great dearth of material covering Portugal’s relationship with individual countries. The history of Portugal. Alexandre. 1994. 1986. 2000. Conclusion The overthrow of the New State in 1974 did not bring in its wake.

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