Estado Novo (Portugal)

Portuguese Republic
República Portuguesa
Anthem: A Portuguesa  (Portuguese)
The Portuguese
Portuguese Empire 20th century.png
Common languagesPortuguese
Religion Roman Catholicism
GovernmentAuthoritarian corporatist one-party dictatorship
• 1926–1951
Óscar Carmona
• 1951–1958
Francisco Craveiro Lopes
• 1958–1974
Américo Tomás
Prime Minister 
• 1932–1968
António de Oliveira Salazar
• 1968–1974
Marcello Caetano
LegislatureTwo-chamber legislature
• Consultative chamber
Corporative Chamber
• Legislative chamber
National Assembly
• Proclamation
19 March 1933
14 December 1955
25 April 1974
19402,168,071 km2 (837,097 sq mi)
19702,168,071 km2 (837,097 sq mi)
• 1940
• 1970
ISO 3166 codePT
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Ditadura Nacional
National Salvation Junta
Today part of Portugal
 Cape Verde
 São Tomé and Príncipe
 India (Portuguese India)
 Benin (São João Baptista de Ajudá)

The Estado Novo (Portuguese pronunciation: [(ɨ)ʃˈtadu, -ðu ˈnovu], "New State"), or the Second Republic, was the corporatist authoritarian regime installed in Portugal in 1933, which was considered fascist.[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, President of the Council of Ministers of Portugal from 1932 to 1968, when he fell ill and was replaced by Marcelo Caetano.

Opposed to communism, socialism, anarchism, liberalism, national socialism and anti-colonialism,[a] 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), while other former colonial powers had largely already acceded to global calls for self-determination and independence.[3]

Portugal joined the United Nations (UN) in 1955, and was a founding member of NATO (1949), OECD (1961), and EFTA (1960). In 1968 Marcello Caetano was appointed the new head of government. On 25 April 1974, the Carnation Revolution in Lisbon, a military coup organised by left-wing Portuguese military officers – the Armed Forces Movement (MFA) – overthrew the Estado Novo regime. Fiercely criticised by most of the international community after World War II and decolonisation, it was one of the longest-surviving authoritarian regimes in Europe. By the fall of the Estado Novo in 1974, Portugal had the lowest per capita income in Western Europe, as well as the highest rate of preventable deaths and infant mortality rate in Europe.[4][5][6]


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 declared bankrupt twice—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 assassinated in Lisbon. The Portuguese monarchy lasted until 1910 when, through the 5 October 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 fascist organizations being popular and widely supported across many countries (like Italian Fascism and National Socialism) 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.

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