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Nationalism and regime overthrow in early twentieth century Portugal

Carvalho, Susana Adelina S. G. S. (2012) Nationalism and regime overthrow in early twentieth century Portugal. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The thesis aims to explain the role played by opposition nationalisms in the overthrow of two distinct regimes in early twentieth century Portugal – the Constitutional Monarchy in 1910 and the First Republic in 1926. After identifying a gap in the existing literature on Nationalism – namely, the importance of political opposition nationalisms in explaining the overthrow of ruling regimes in homogeneous, but ideologically divided, nation-states – this research project presents a three-phased theoretical framework devised with the objective of explaining the political events that led to the demise of both regimes. Accordingly, this thesis argues that in the case of Portugal, the demise of the Constitutional Monarchy and of the First Republic were preceded by the emergence of two opposition nationalisms, a left-wing and anti-clerical republican nationalism and a reactionary and Catholic integralist nationalism, respectively. Both opposition nationalisms were anti-systemic and revolutionary. They unfolded in three phases, which are common in both cases. Phase One, an opposing intelligentsia created a new nationalist ideology that contested the official rule of the governing regime. During the Constitutional Monarchy, this opposing intelligentsia was embodied by the 1870 Generation (1870-1876), whereas during the First Republic it was best articulated by Integralismo Lusitano (1910-1916). Phase Two, the ideological movement gave rise to a political opposition movement that competed at the electoral level, albeit with little success, and disseminated an alternative definition of who and what constituted the nation. Once again, intellectuals of the 1870 Generation created the Portuguese Republican Party (PRP) in 1876 while the integralists created the Junta Central do Integralismo Lusitano in 1916. Finally, Phase Three, the political opposition movement, barred from exercising power, formed a civilian-military coalition with the explicit aim of overthrowing the ruling regime from power. Between 1903 and 1910, an alliance was gradually built between the lower ranks of the military, the PRP, the Masonry and the Carbonária. In the final years of the First Republic (1922-1926), a civil-military alliance was formed between the higher ranks of the military and moderate and radical conservatives, including the integralists. As this thesis argues, these civil-military coalitions succeeded in overthrowing the regime when a series of economic and political crises put in question the legitimacy of the ruling institutions, and the defensive forces, loyal to the regime, ultimately adopted a neutral position vis-àvis the belligerent attacks of the opposition nationalists.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2012 Susana Adelina Sinfrónio Gomes Sousa Carvalho
Library of Congress subject classification: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Sets: Departments > Government
Supervisor: Hutchinson, John

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