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13.5 The Rise and Fall of Dictatorship in Portugal

The ’Cortes’ (the National Assembly) in Portugal was full of factions that had no public force behind them. This paved the way for the October Revolution in 1910, after which Portugal became a Republic. Between 1910 and 1926, there were eight Presidents and forty-three different Ministers. Owing to taxation and unjust exemptions the country became completely bankrupt and impoverished. The national debt increased tremendously, the cost of living shot up, while the value of the currency fell to one-third of its old value. Under the Republic, Portugal was ruled by irresponsible, anti-national and self-seeking political cliques.

The army was eager to carry out a revolution against the Government. In May 1926, the Republican government was overthrown and a military dictatorship was established.

General Antonio Oscar Carmona became the head of the provisional government on July 9, 1926. Carmona was elected the President of the new Republic in March 1928. He was re-elected in 1935, 1942, and 1949. He remained President, until he died in April 1951. The military regime strove to restore law and order in the country. In order to create economic stability, Dr. Oliviera Salajar, a professor of economics was invited to take charge of the Ministry of Finance on June 4, 1926.

On becoming the Finance Minister, Dr Oliviera Salajar introduced radical reforms to revitalize the national economy. He completely rehabilitated the national finances. From 1928 to 1940, he produced an uninterrupted series of budgetary surpluses, which restored Portugal’s financial credit. On July 5, 1932, Dr. Salajar became President of the Council of ministers and gave a new shape to the Constitution of 1933. As minister of foreign affairs, he piloted the ship of the State through the difficulties caused by the Spanish Civil War.

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Index

13.0 - Introduction
13.1 Causes of the Growth of Dictatorships in Europe
13.2 The Rise and Fall of Dictatorship in Italy
13.3 The Rise and Fall of Dictatorship in Germany
13.4 The Rise and Fall of Dictatorship in Spain
13.5 The Rise and Fall of Dictatorship in Portugal
13.6 Significance and Impact of Dictatorships in Europe
13.7 Dates & Events
13.8 Points to Remember

Chapter 14

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