Ditadura Nacional

Portuguese Republic
República Portuguesa
Flag Coat of arms
A Portuguesa  (Portuguese)
The Portuguese
The Portuguese Empire during the 20th century.
Capital Lisbon
Languages Portuguese
Government Military dictatorship
   1926 José Mendes Cabeçadas
  19261933 Óscar Carmona
Prime Minister
  1926 José Mendes Cabeçadas
  19301932 Domingos Oliveira
Historical era Interwar period
   Established 29 May 1926
   Disestablished 19 March 1933
   1930 92,391 km² (35,672 sq mi)
   1930 est. 6,825,883 
     Density 73.9 /km²  (191.3 /sq mi)
Currency Escudo
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Portuguese First Republic
Estado Novo (Portugal)

The Ditadura Nacional (Portuguese pronunciation: [ditɐˈðuɾɐ nɐsiuˈnaɫ], National Dictatorship) was the name of the Portuguese regime that started in 1928 after re-election of General Óscar Carmona to the post of President.

The preceding military dictatorship period that started after the 28th May 1926 coup d'état, is known as Ditadura Militar (Military Dictatorship). After adopting a new constitution in 1933, the regime changed its name to Estado Novo (New State).

It is considered that the Ditadura Nacional, together with the Estado Novo, forms the historical period of the Portuguese Second Republic (1926-1974).

Ditadura Militar, 1926-1928

The military coup of May 28 easily seized power. Very soon dictatorship closes Parliament, bans all political parties and institutes censorship but is rocked by instability as hardline officers force out liberals. During this time no one clear leader emerges, as dictatorship is controlled by a coalition of lower-rank military officers, some of whom are Integralists.[1]

After republican Prime minister and President resign on May 30, naval officer José Mendes Cabeçadas Júnior assumes both posts, but after conflicts with other coup leaders is forced to resign on June 17. He is followed by General Gomes da Costa, who assumed post of Prime minister and President. The figurehead general does not want to establish a military dictatorship and is forced out on July 9 by General António Óscar de Fragoso Carmona who assumes both highest offices of the state. Carmona continues as Prime minister until April 18, 1928 and retains the post of President until his death on April 18, 1951. During 1927 there are failed coup attempts from the left and right wing movements. On August 12, 1927 junior officers break into cabinet meeting and start shooting. Carmona government regains control and imposes stronger military discipline, however, the attackers are not punished, they are sent to army posts in Portuguese Angola.[2]

Ditadura Nacional, 1928-1933

On March 25, 1928 Carmona organizes Presidential election and is elected to a five-year term. On April 18 he appoints José Vicente de Freitas as the new Prime minister. Antonio de Oliveira Salazar becomes Minister of Finances. The conflicts between the military officers and Catholic wing represented by Salazar increase to a point where the whole Freitas government resigns on July 8, 1929 and only Salazar keeps his ministerial post in the new cabinet of Artur Ivens Ferraz. Salazar's influence begins to grow at the expense of military officers who begin to lose their political power. After a conflict with Salazar in 1930 Ferraz was replaced by General Domingos Oliveira who allowed Salazar to play ever increasing role in finances and politics.

By 1930 military dictatorship had stabilized Portugal and had to think about the future. In what form was the dictatorship to continue? The answer was provided by Salazar, who became Prime minister on July 5, 1932 and in 1933 instituted the Estado Novo regime.

Timeline, 1928-1933


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