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António de Oliveira Salazar

Salazar, António de Oliveira (əntôˈnyŏ ħĭ ŏlēvāˈrə sələzärˈ) [key], 1889–1970, Portuguese statesman and dictator. After studying at the Univ. of Coimbra, he became professor of political economy there. Profoundly religious, Salazar was the leader of a political group committed to putting into action the social principles expressed in the encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII. He was elected a deputy in 1921 but withdrew from the chamber immediately, viewing its proceedings as futile. After the military coup of 1926 Salazar was briefly minister of finance, and in 1928 he was recalled to office by Gen. António de Fragoso Carmona. Given the full financial control that he demanded, he put Portuguese finances on a stable footing for the first time in the 20th cent. As premier after 1932, Salazar was generally considered a dictator. He introduced (1933) a new constitution that established a corporative and authoritarian state. Political opposition was effectively suppressed. Salazar supported the Nationalists during the Spanish civil war (1936–39), but he maintained relations with Portugal's traditional ally, Britain, and permitted the Allies to use the Azores as a base during World War II. After the war he set in motion several economic-development programs, but there were signs of increasing opposition to his regime. In his final years he devoted considerable resources to the attempt to suppress revolts in Portugal's African colonies. In 1968, Salazar suffered a severe stroke and was replaced as premier by Marcello Caetano.

See study by H. Kay (1970).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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