Ditadura Nacional

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Portuguese Republic
República Portuguesa
Anthem: A Portuguesa  (Portuguese)
The Portuguese
The Portuguese Empire during the 20th century.
The Portuguese Empire during the 20th century.
Capital Lisbon
Common languages Portuguese
Government Military dictatorship
• 1926
José Mendes Cabeçadas
• 1926–1933
Óscar Carmona
Prime Minister  
• 1926
José Mendes Cabeçadas
• 1930–1932
Domingos Oliveira
Historical era Interwar period
29 May 1926
19 March 1933
1930 92,391 km2 (35,672 sq mi)
• 1930
Currency Escudo
ISO 3166 code PT
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 (pt) (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[edit]

The military coup of May 28 easily seized power. Soon afterward, the dictatorship dissolved parliament, banned all political parties and instituted censorship. This process was plagued by instability as hardline military officers purged liberals and democrats from the institutions of the Republic. During this time no one clear leader emerged, as the dictatorship was led by a coalition of lower-rank military officers, some of whom were Integralists.[1]

After the republican Prime minister and President of the Republic resigned on May 30, naval officer José Mendes Cabeçadas Júnior assumed both posts, but after conflicts with other coup leaders, he was forced to resign on June 17. He was replaced by General Gomes da Costa, who assumed the posts of both, Prime Minister and President of the Republic. Gomes da Costa was not devoted to the cause of establishing a permanent military dictatorship and, because of these feelings, was forced out on July 9 by General António Óscar de Fragoso Carmona who assumed both of the highest offices of the state. Carmona continued as Prime Minister until April 18, 1928 but retained the post of President of the Republic until his death on April 18, 1951. In 1927 there were several failed coup attempts from both, left and right wing movements. On August 12, 1927 junior officers barged into a cabinet meeting and started shooting. The Carmona government regained control of the government and imposed stronger military discipline, however, the attackers were not severely punished and were sent to posts in Portuguese Angola.[2]

Ditadura Nacional, 1928-1933[edit]

Carmona organized a Presidential election March 25, 1928 and was elected for a five-year term. On April 18 he appointed José Vicente de Freitas as the new Prime Minister. Antonio de Oliveira Salazar was appointed Minister of Finances. The conflicts between the military officers and the National Catholic wing represented by Salazar increased to a point where the entire Freitas government resigned on July 8, 1929 and only Salazar kept his ministerial post in the new cabinet of Artur Ivens Ferraz. Salazar's influence began to grow at the expense of military officers who gradually lost their political power. After a conflict with Salazar in 1930 Ferraz was replaced by General Domingos Oliveira who allowed Salazar to play an ever increasing role in the nation's finances and politics.

By 1930 the military dictatorship had stabilized Portugal and the national leadership and state functionaries began to think about the future. The overarching question was "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[edit]