National Union (Portugal)

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National Union
União Nacional
Founder António de Oliveira Salazar
Founded 30 July 1930 (1930-07-30)
Dissolved 25 April 1974; 44 years ago (1974-04-25)
Headquarters Lisbon, Portugal
Youth wing Mocidade Portuguesa
Paramilitary wing Legião Portuguesa
Ideology Portuguese nationalism
National conservatism
Social conservatism
Lusitanian Integralism
Political Catholicism
Anti-communism
Corporatism
Authoritarianism
Political position

Right-wing to Far-right[1][2]

Faction (1969-1974): Center[3]
Religion Catholicism
International affiliation None
Colours          Blue and white

The National Union (Portuguese: União Nacional; Portuguese pronunciation: [uniˈɐ̃w̃ nɐsiuˈnaɫ]) was the only legal political party in Portugal for most of the period of the Estado Novo. Ideologically, the National Union was an authoritarian, clerical fascist organisation. It was dominated by António de Oliveira Salazar during most of its existence. Unlike in most single-party regimes, the National Union was more of a political arm of the government, rather than holding actual power over it.

History[edit]

The organisation was founded in 1930 during the National Dictatorship period of 1928–33. Officially it was not a political party, but an "organisation of unity of all the Portuguese". For the next 43 years, it effectively held a monopoly of power in the Estado Novo. The opposition Movement of Democratic Unity was legal in 1945–48, but even then the political system was so heavily rigged that it had no realistic chance of winning.

The party won all seats in elections to the Portuguese National Assembly from 1934 to 1973. Opposition candidates were nominally allowed after 1945, but prematurely withdrew in the 1945 and 1973 elections. In 1970 – two years after Salazar had been replaced as leader and prime minister by Marcello Caetano – the name of the party was altered to Acção Nacional Popular (People's National Action), and subsequent to Salazar's retirement faced formal competition in the 1969 election, nevertheless winning all constituencies in a landslide.[4]

The party had no real philosophy apart from support for the regime. As a result, it melted away after the Portuguese Revolution of 1974. It has never been revived, and no party claiming to be its heir has won any seats in the Assembly of the Republic in modern democratic Portugal.

List of Presidents[edit]

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office
1 Antonio Salazar-1.jpg António de Oliveira Salazar
(1889–1970)
30 July 1930 27 September 1968
2 Marcello caetano.jpg Marcelo Caetano
(1906–1980)
27 September 1968 25 April 1974

Electoral results[edit]

Corporative Chamber
Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Leader
1934 476,706 (#1) 100
100 / 100
New
António de Oliveira Salazar
1938 694,290 (#1) 100
100 / 100
Steady
António de Oliveira Salazar
1942 758,215 (#1) 100
100 / 100
Steady
António de Oliveira Salazar
1945 unknown (#1) 100
120 / 120
Increase 20
António de Oliveira Salazar
1953 unknown (#1) 100
120 / 120
Steady
António de Oliveira Salazar
1957 unknown (#1) 100
120 / 120
Steady
António de Oliveira Salazar
1961 973,997 (#1) 100
130 / 130
Increase 10
António de Oliveira Salazar
1965 unknown (#1) 100
130 / 130
Steady
António de Oliveira Salazar
1969 981,263 (#1) 87.99
130 / 130
Steady
Marcelo Caetano
1973 1,393,294 (#1) 100
150 / 150
Increase 20
Marcelo Caetano

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Griffiths, Richard (2000). An Intelligent Person's Guide to Fascism. Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd. p. 133. ISBN 9780715629185. 
  2. ^ Leite, Naomi (2017). Unorthodox Kin: Portuguese Marranos and the Global Search for Belonging. University of California Press. p. 63. ISBN 9780520285057. 
  3. ^ Fernandes, Tiago (2007). "Authoritarian Regimes and Pro-Democracy Semi-Oppositions: The End of the Portuguese Dictatorship (1968–1974) in Comparative Perspective". Democratization. 14 (4). doi:10.1080/13510340701398345. 
  4. ^ "Portugal, 1969" (PDF). PORTUGAL - Assembly of the Republic - Historical Archive Of Parliamentary Election Results. Inter-Parliamentary Union (www.ipu.org). Retrieved 8 October 2012.