A talk on ‘The Dictators of Portugal’ by Algarve historian Peter Kingdon Booker will be held on Tuesday, May 28 in Lagoa Library at 6pm and on Friday, May 31 in Tavira Library at 11am.
Those of us brought up in the traditions of a hard-won democratic system find difficulty in conceptualising a dictatorship. In practice, dictatorship was very little different from absolute monarchy, except of course that a dictatorship carries no connotation of heredity.
The last absolute monarch in Portugal was D. João VI and, since his time, there have been at least four different dictators in this country, possibly five. Even before the reign of D João VI, there was the enlightened despotism of the Marquês de Pombal.
Everyone knows of Dr Salazar, of course, but who were the others?
In this presentation, Peter shows who were these dictators and when they held power. More difficult, perhaps, is to show how they came to hold absolute power, and how they were eventually dismissed. This lecture casts some light on the evolution of the political system in Portugal, right down to the point of the Carnation Revolution.
Photo: Marcello José das Neves Alves Caetano and Sidónio Bernardino Cardoso da Silva Pais