History Podcasts

Antonio Salazar

Antonio Salazar

Antonio Salazar, the son of an estate manager, was born in Vimieiro, Portugal, on 28th April, 1889. He was educated in a seminary at Viseu and the University of Coimbra. He graduated in law in 1914 and eventually became a lecturer in economics at Coimbra.

General Antonio Carmona led a military coup in Portugal 1926. He became prime minister with dictatorial powers. In 1928 he was elected president for life by plebiscite. Salazar worked as Carmona's minister of finance. In 1932 Carmona passed his power to Salazar.

In 1933 Salazar introduced a new constitution that contained similarities to the fascist system that existed in Germany and Italy. With the support of the army and the security police Salazar held power for over 35 years. Salazar's economic policies greatly enhanced the wealth of the ruling oligarchy. At the same time Portugal became the poorest country in Europe.

On the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War the Portuguese government of Salazar immediately supported the Nationalists in the struggle against the Popular Front government in Spain. Salazar feared that if the Republicans won the war his own authoritarian government would be under threat.

Salazar, concerned about the effect the events in Spain would have on his country, established a new militia that could serve as an auxiliary police. This new police force arrested dissidents and removed politically unreliable people from educational and governmental institutions.

Leaders of the Nationalist Army were allowed to negotiate with representatives from Nazi Germany in Portugal. After the signing of the Non-Intervention Agreement in September 1936, Salazar agreed that Germany could disguise the aid that it was giving by sending men, planes, tanks, and munitions via Lisbon. Salazar's police also arrested supporters of the Popular Front government living in Portugal. He also sealed off the Portuguese frontier to Republicans.

Although he came under considerable pressure from Britain and France, Salazar refused to allow international observers being stationed on the Portugal-Spain border. Officially he claimed that it would be a violation of Portugal sovereignty while in reality he did not want the world to know about the large amounts of military aid that was crossing into Spain.

Portugal remained neutral throughout the Second World War. In December 1942, the Japanese Army occupied the Portuguese territory of East Timor in the Pacific. Salazar refused to declare war on Japan but in 1943 did allow the Allies to use its territories in the Azores as military bases.

Salazar gave up power in 1968 through ill health. Antonio Salazar died in Lisbon on 27th July, 1970.


António de Oliveira Salazar

António de Oliveira Salazar was born on April 28, 1889, in Vimieiro near Santa Comba Dão in the province of Beira Alta. His parents, owners of several small estates, as well as innkeepers, were António de Oliveira and María de Resgate Salazar, who, despite financial problems, saw to it that Salazar was well educated. He entered the seminary of Viseu in 1900, but after 8 years of religious training he decided to teach. In 1910 he began to study economics at the University of Coimbra, spending 4 years there as a student and another 7 as an economics professor. He obtained a chair of political economy in 1918. A knowledge of economics was valuable in underdeveloped Portugal, and soon Salazar was well known by the government for his monetary skills.

The emergence of Salazar as a national figure came at a difficult moment in Portuguese history. After more than a century of economic difficulties tied to imperial decline, political life had degenerated badly. The double assassination of Carlos I and the crown prince in February 1908 and the overthrow of Manuel II in October 1910 had led to creation of a republic which in the 16 years of its existence went from crisis to crisis. The University of Coimbra furnished many republican leaders in the first phase of the period, but spread of a deeper radicalism engendered a conservative reaction led by António Sardinha. He sought an "organic monarchy" that would be traditionalist and antiparliamentary, but chaos prevented any success.


Antonio Salazar (1773-?)

Antonio Salazar, described variously as an Indian, mestizo, or criollo, was born about 1733 in Zacatecas, Mexico. Salazar lived and worked at San José at least through mid-1801. Salazar was in charge of the construction of the present church from at least 1779, and probably from about 1773, through its completion in about 1782. He was responsible for the final changes to the San José design that deleted the second bell tower and substituted a parapet with embrasures and false cannon in its place. (Beginning in the mid-1770s, the missionaries started planning for the secularization of the missions, with the necessary cutbacks on expenditures on mission structures.)

His contributions may also include the incomplete church at San Juan, with its odd octagonal sacristy. ( The current church was not a converted granary as previously believed, but a structure built partially on the foundation of the granary and extended further.) At Espada he apparently rebuilt the old sacristy/temporary church into a small permanent church after the Dionicio Gonzales church was destroyed about 1775.

Salazar probably designed and built the renovations at Espada’s Rancho de las Cabras, near modern day Floresville, between 1780-85.

Salazar may have worked on the parish church of San Fernando, as many of his predecessors did. He may have been responsible for the vaulted roof, dome, and demioctagonal apse that produced the church seen in the later nineteenth century, a portion of which survives today as the apse to the Cathedral. However, the earliest known reconstruction of the parish church is in 1809 after a fire sometime earlier. This would be a little late for Antonio Salazar, who would have been in his late seventies if he still lived.

AFTER SALAZAR

A number of master masons were available in San Fernando in the period from 1790 to 1810. For example, the maestros Juan Mendes and Antonio Aguilar were working in the Villa in 1790 Juan de Dios Cortes, of Valero, had lived and worked in the area all his life. Manuel Dionicio of Mission Espada, José Gaspar of San José, and Alberto Morales of San Fernando were also masters. Andres Aguirre had arrived in town in 1807 from La Rintos. Juan Diego Velor from Saltillo, had arrived in 1804, as had Juan Lopes from Alamo de Parras, and Jacobo Aleman from Germany, had come to town in 1806. Other masons, who may not have been masters, were José Antonio Bustillos, who lived at San José and was an active mason from 1786 to 1804, and Cayetano Bustillos, who may have been Antonio’s brother, at San José in 1792 and perhaps later.

Work continued at the secularized missions, although at a much lower rate. For example, a rectory was added against the west wall of the church at San Juan sometime in the mid-nineteenth century Around the same time the Benedictines moved into San José and apparently built a row of residence rooms against the north wall of the convento, where they lived while working on the reconstruction of the convento. Both the San Juan rectory and the San José residence rooms are known only from archeology and structural marks on the walls of the adjacent buildings - no photographs or mention of them are known.

Edited excerpts from the original work “Of Various Magnificence” by Jake Ivey, NPS 2007
Chapter 2: Development and Construction of a Mission on the Texas Frontier


Was Portugal Really Neutral in World War II?

Portugal was officially neutral in World War Two, but did its behaviour show that it was neutral? Here, Stefan Morrone considers this by looking at the Portuguese leader’s beliefs, the long-standing treaty between Portugal and Britain, the wolfram question, and the Azores.

A British Royal Air Force plane in the Portuguese Azores during World War II.

When discussing the roles played by various countries in conflicts throughout history, the term “neutrality” implies impartiality and a lack of bias towards any belligerent side. However, as we have seen with other countries during the Second World War, declaring neutrality was often much more complex than simply avoiding taking sides.

When the Second World War broke out in the autumn of 1939, Portugal was one of various European countries to declare its neutrality. Portugal was in quite a delicate position at the opening of the conflict, meaning that a declaration of neutrality was in the country’s best interests - at least for the moment. This declaration of neutrality would allow Portugal to preserve her own foreign policy and take advantage of various opportunities that the war provided to prosper.

Rise of the Estado Novo

Antonio Salazar was born in 1899 in Beira Alto, Portugal. Salazar’s parents sent him to a seminary for his education when he was 9 years old. However, after spending several years at the seminary, he decided he wanted to further his education, and entered Portugal’s most prestigious university, the University of Coimbra, in 1910 at the age of 21. He graduated four years later with a degree in economics and his performance merited an appointment at the university as a professor, where he became known for his speeches and articles on political economics. His popularity continued to grow, and he was elected to Portugal’s national legislature in 1921. [1]

In 1926 there was a coup d’état and the leaders offered Salazar the position of finance minister, which he accepted with the stipulation that he receive almost total control of the government. This was declined and he resigned five days later to return to teaching. Two years later, in 1928, the leader of the government again asked Salazar to become the finance minister and met the stipulations that Salazar had initially demanded.

As finance minister, he quickly managed to balance the country’s budget and brought financial success to the Portuguese government. Salazar’s position strengthened further when he became the president of Portugal’s ruling Council of Ministries in 1932.

A year later, he formally created the Estado Novo, or “New State”, a corporatist state with a fascist orientation. Although it has often been compared with the contemporary regimes of Italy, Spain, and Germany, Salazar’s Portugal differed through its comparatively moderate use of state-sponsored violence. Salazar was a Catholic traditionalist who strongly believed in using economic modernisation to defend Portugal’s Catholic and rural values.

Conflicted Loyalties

The outbreak of the Second World War put Portugal in a tenuous position. Since signing the Treaty of Windsor in 1386, Portugal had always maintained close ties with Britain. However, during this era, Portugal also maintained close ties with its large neighbour, Francoist Spain. Salazar had backed Franco’s regime during the Spanish Civil War, and this, combined with his government’s Fascist qualities, earned him the respect of Hitler and Mussolini. [2]

Upon the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, Salazar issued a declaration of Portugal’s neutrality. He also declared that Portugal’s old treaty of alliance with England did not automatically mean that Portugal had to go to war in support of the Allies. This was discussed with Britain beforehand, and the British indicated that they did not need Portuguese assistance. [3]

Salazar’s reasoning for neutrality was that he feared invasions by Germany or a potential German-allied Spain if the country entered the war German troops were stationed roughly 260 km from the Portuguese borders. As a result, Salazar decided to stay out of the conflict, but decided he could use it to his country’s economic advantage, maintaining open trade with members of both the Allied and Axis camp throughout the war years. However, when considering the question of Portugal’s neutrality, it is important to examine two key factors that came into play with Portugal’s relationships with belligerent countries.

The Wolfram Question

One of the biggest issues with Portuguese neutrality was the prevalence of the mineral wolfram in the country. [4] This powerful resource quickly became Portugal’s ticket to maintaining neutrality throughout the conflict.

Wolfram is a major source of tungsten, a metal used in steel hardening processes used in producing important items such as machine tools, armor-piercing shells, tank and airplane parts, and engine parts. Outside Portugal, the Allied powers did not want Germany to have access to this incredibly valuable resource, while inside, Salazar viewed it as a matter of Portugal’s sovereignty since the mineral belonged to the country. He decided to satisfy both parties, Allied and Axis, preferring not to alienate either camp to maintain Portugal’s neutrality.

However, the so-called “Wolfram War” seriously damaged Portugal’s claim to neutrality, since it was a definite expression of pro-Axis sentiment within the country - the Germans received approximately 75% of Portugal’s wolfram exports, while Britain received only 25%, despite the alliance and loud protestations. [5] Britain did enjoy one advantage in this situation - due to their long-standing relationship, Britain was able to pay in credit, while Germany had to pay cash. This allowed Britain to obtain a valuable resource while being short on cash.

On the other hand, Portugal also allowed the Axis powers to incur sizable debts in their clearing agreements, even advancing them significant amounts of private and government contracts. In addition, Portuguese merchants were an important source of vital smuggled commodities such as diamonds and platinum to the Axis.

Portugal negotiated secret agreements with Germany to send an average of over 2,000 metric tons of wolfram annually between 1941 and mid-1944, which was roughly 60 percent of Germany's minimum industrial requirement. [6] The intense competition for wolfram boosted the Portuguese economy and generated huge profits for banks and businesses. Portugal profited so much from the sale of wolfram trade that it continued to do so despite threats from the Allies.

In January 1944, the Allies tried to pressure Portugal to embargo all wolfram sales, but this was resisted - Portugal defended its right as a neutral country to sell to anyone they saw fit, while also fearing a German attack should they stop. The wolfram trade debacle finally ended on the eve of the D-Day invasion in June 1944, when Portugal imposed a total embargo on shipments to both sides of the war after the Allies threatened heavy economic sanctions.

Despite this, Portugal was able to profit massively from the wolfram trade and gain a major economic boost.

In addition to wolfram, Portugal had another resource coveted by both the Allied and Axis powers: the strategically important Azores islands. Located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the islands made a perfect base for launching offensive operations. For the Allies, possession of the Azores was important for protecting the convoy supply routes of the central Atlantic. Failing to control them left a gap in defenses for convoys in which they might get caught in pitched battles between Allied and Axis ships. In addition, controlling the Azores would prove vital to the Allies’ potential plan of an invasion of Europe, since they could be used as an air base to provide cover for the invading armies. [7]

For the Axis, the Azores meant an ideal U-boat base plus air bases needed for Projekt Amerika, a Luftwaffe bombing campaign of the East Coast of the US. An Azores base in the middle of the Atlantic would greatly improve the operational efficiency of German U-boats by cutting out the time needed to return to ports in France to refuel, meaning they could spend much more time out in the field. [7]

Again, Salazar was torn - should he give up control of the Azores to the Allies, he feared a German invasion of Portugal through Spain. Despite Salazar’s refusal to give up the islands, Churchill and Roosevelt jointly decided to occupy the islands in 1943 but agreed that it would have to be done delicately. Churchill favored a diplomatic approach, and invoked the Treaty of Windsor, which Salazar approved. One airfield was quickly constructed in secret, with the British entering first, followed by the Americans, with plans for more airfields to follow. However, Salazar stipulated that while the British were welcome under the Treaty, the Americans were not - and if pressed by the Germans, he could not use the excuse of diplomatic necessity, as with the British. Salazar threatened to forcefully resist the landing of American troops in the islands but reneged at the eleventh hour.

The Azores airfields were used to transfer bombers to the Pacific theatre and played a key role in winning the war in the Atlantic for the Allies. It allowed more planes to launch than from any aircraft carrier group, punched a hole in German U-boat supply lines and put Allied convoy lines within reach of land-based bomber protection, allowing for crucial shipments of provisions to reach their destinations unscathed.

The question of whether Portugal was truly neutral is a complex one. A nation can only be considered truly neutral if it exhibits no biases to other belligerent nations. Examining Portugal’s relationships with the Axis and Allied powers, Portugal in fact did express bias, although in different ways to each of the warring sides. It sold a far higher percentage of the valuable wolfram mineral to the Axis powers, making a vital contribution to their war effort, yet also contributed to the Axis’ defeat by allowing air bases to be constructed on the Azores islands and fell back on its traditional relationship to Britain.

Ultimately, Portugal can be considered neutral during the Second World War. In fitting with the traditional definition of neutrality, Portugal did not clearly favor a particular side in the conflict, instead preferring to play both sides against each other, seeking to benefit itself economically above all. Portugal’s neutrality remained useful to both sides throughout the war, and thus, by rendering different services to both sides, Salazar was able to effectively buy his country’s ability to remain out of the Second World War.

What do you think of Portugal’s role in World War Two? Let us know below.

Now, you can read about whether Spain was neutral or a Nazi ally in World War Two here .


Salazar of Portugal

In 1889 Antonio de Oliveira Salazar was born into a devout smallholding family of peasant origins. Showing that he had a studious and attentive mind, he was accepted by a seminary where he was thoroughly educated. The good monks found him studious, quiet and self-contained. He rose in education rapidly to become a lecturer at the University of Coimbra, where the elite of Portugal completed their education.

Politics did not seem to interest him as much as it did some others, though he did become a valuable member of a non-religious group which he represented as parliamentary candidate, during the epoch of the First Republic. Distinguished in Economics, he ascended under the dictatorship of General Carmona (1926 – 32). It was during the Thirties that he founded the Estado Novo which he dominated for thirty years or more. The policy was simple: abolition of other political parties and trade unions complete censorship, the maintenance of power in an all-powerful administration, and an insistence on the values of ‘God, Country and the family’. Needless to say, the centralized and authoritarian Estado Novo permitted the old elite to retain political and social control.

As Dictator, Salazar was ably supported by the feared army and especially the security police, known as the PIDE. His economic policies were the opposite of progressive however, surprisingly for a supposedly brilliant economist. Portugal rapidly became the poorest country in Europe with a Per Capita Income less than Turkey’s. But, as so often seems to happen, the landowning oligarchy became richer and richer. It is so often the same story. Salazar and his government, unabashed by poverty, refused to give up any of its African colonies.

The peculiar fact is that when Salazar was driven from power in 1968, the army that had been faithful to him refused to operate against the independence movements in the colonies. This led to the downfall of the regime. It is said that when he died in 1970 he still believed that he was dictator.


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1 James , Duffy , Portuguese Africa ( Harvard , 1959 ), 246 .Google Scholar

2 Eduardo , Mondlane , The Struggle For Mozambique ( Baltimore , 1969 ), 33 .Google Scholar

3 For example, James , Duffy , A Question of Slavery ( Oxford , 1967 ).Google Scholar

4 See, Duffy, Portuguese Africa Douglas , Wheeler and Réné , Pélissier , Angola ( London , 1971 )Google Scholar David , Abshire and Michael , Samuels , Portuguese Africa ( New York , 1969 )Google Scholar Ronald , Chilcote , Portuguese Africa ( Engelwood Cliffs , New Jersey , 1967 ).Google Scholar

5 These themes have been gleaned from a wide range of sources, including books, speeches, legislation, and newspaper commentary.


A “better” Dictator?

Born in 1889 in rural Portugal to a relatively wealthy family, the young Salazar attended the Catholic seminary and flirted with the idea of ​​joining the clergy, but he changed his mind and pursued his law at the University of Coimbra. His involvement in politics was born from the conceptions strongly imbued with Catholicism, in the context of the anti-clerical current promoted by the First Portuguese Republic (1910–1926). He officially entered politics in the early 1920s among the Catholic Party, but at first, devoted himself more to his career as a law professor.

António de Oliveira Salazar was the Prime Minister of Portugal from 1932 to 1968. He is the founder of what he called the “New State”, an authoritarian right-wing regime that ruled the country until 1974. The regime opposed not only communism and socialism but also liberalism. The “New State” was based on conservative, nationalist, and, last but not least, clerical principles. Salazar was to build an empire out of Portugal that would be a true source of civilization and stability for possessions in Africa and Asia.

After the 1926 coup that ended the first republic, he entered the government as finance minister during the regime called the Ditadura Nacional (National Dictatorship), initiated by President Carmona in 1928. In 1932 he became prime minister and having the image of an honest and very efficient minister, he enjoyed the support of both the president and that of many political factions, of which the Catholic conservatives were the most loyal to him.


How odd was António Salazar in contrast with other dictators of the time? And how true were his claims?

To elaborate, António Salazar was one to say he was more intellectual than other leaders because of his studies that he promoted how he wasn't as brutal in his dictatorship, (claiming to be above Hitler and Franco on not killing his own people in droves) boasted how he wasn't one to steal from the State/Government, (to his credit he ended Portugal's debt) promoted being Portuguese was beyond race and spanned throughout the whole Portuguese empire, (such as this propaganda pamphlet). And he claimed to be a defender of Catolicism.

How true are these claims? I'm inclined to believe that while he was interested somewhat in Portugal's well being, he still used the same methods of state policing like the PIDE and used nationalist language whilst copying some of Mussolini's quotes.

I'm not looking for a straight forward answer, because these matters are usually complicated, but Iɽ be glad to get a somewhat clarifying information since his always been a rather heavy topic when talking about in Portugal's history.


Salazar (surname)

Salazar is a surname meaning old hall (from Castilian Sala (hall) and Basque zahar (old)). [1] The name originates from the town of the same name: Salazar, in northern Burgos, Castile. Although nowadays northern Burgos is not a Basque-speaking region, it was during the early Middle Ages when the surname appeared.

Its origins are also related to a certain noble family, the Salazars, that held a fief in the area. [2] [3] During the 10th century, the surname appears as mentioned in Navarre, where it spread and there even exists a Salazar Valley. It later also spread to the rest of the Basque Country, being specially common in Biscay during the 15th century. During that time, Lope García de Salazar, a famous writer, took part in the Reconquista of Cuenca, where he was granted a fief and founded a notable family. Some of his descendants took part in the Conquest of the Americas, thus spreading the surname all through the Spanish Americas others intermarried many noble families, and the surname spread all through the Iberian peninsula.

Salazar is a common in Latin America because there were a number of Salazars among the early Spanish conquerors and settlers. [2]

Salazar is also a common surname among Roma people. [3] Due to several censuses made in the Kingdom of Castile during the 14th and 15th centuries, every Castilian subject was forced to take a name and two surnames. The Roma, who used to call themselves only by a first name, decided to take established surnames to add prestige to their families. [4] They chose from among the oldest noble families, usually of Basque origin, thus it is extremely common to find Roma with surnames such as Heredia, Salazar, Mendoza, or Montoya. [5]


Antonio Salazar - History

Antonio de Oliveira Salazar was an economics professor who came to rule Portugal as a dictator. He was born in 1889 to Antonio de Oliviera and Resgate Salazar in the province of Beira Alto in Portugal. Thus Salazar was his mother's family name. This means that in all the decades that he ruled Portugal the English-speaking world never got his name right. It should have been Antonio de Oliviera or, in modern practice, Antonio Oliviera-Salazar.

His parents owned land and had sufficient resources to send Antonio to school and at age eleven he was sent to a seminary to become a priest. But at an age of about 19 after eight years in the seminary he decided that he did not want to become a priest. He did not immediately further his career and it wasn't until 1910 at an age of about 21 that he entered the University of Coimbra, the most prestigous university of Portugal. Four years later he received a degree in economics.

His performance at University of Coimbra was sufficiently high that received an academic appointment there. In 1918 he was made professor.

While teaching at Coimbra University he wrote articles on political economy and gave speeches. He gained sufficient fame that he was elected in 1921 to the national legislature of Portugal. In 1926 there was a coup d'etat and the leaders of the coup offerred Antonio Salazar the finance ministry. He accepted with stipulations and when those stipulations were not met he resigned five days after his appointment. He went back to teaching at Coimbra University. Two years later, in 1928, the leader of the government asked Salazar to become the finance minister and met the stipulations that Salazar demanded.

Salazar had demanded and received virtual control of the Portuguese government through his finance ministership. He balanced the budget and brought financial propriety to the Portuguese government. In 1932 Salazar became president of the Council of Ministries which ruled Portugal. In 1933 Salazar formally created the Estado Novo, a corporatist state adhering to a system of social justice promulgated in the papal encyclical Rerum Novarum which had been issued in 1915. Salazar continued to rule Portugal through the next three and half decades. The corporatist regime continued to rule after Salazar suffered a stroke in 1968 until it was overthrown by a military coup d'etat in 1974. Salazar died in 1970. The military junta after it came to power in 1974 carried out a socialist revolution.


Watch the video: Antonio SinopoliTRISTE 4 (January 2022).