SALAZAR: Tyrant of Portugal

JESUIT-TRAINED CATHOLIC SEMINARIAN Antonio Salazar, former Dictator of Portugal

JESUIT-TRAINED CATHOLIC SEMINARIAN Antonio Salazar, former Dictator of Portugal

Antonio Salazar, former Dictator of Portugal, studied at the Viseu Seminary from 1900 to 1914 and considered becoming a priest, but changed his mind. He studied Law at Coimbra University during the first years of the Republican government. As a young man, his involvement in politics stemmed from his Roman Catholic views, which were aroused by the new anti-clerical Portuguese First Republic. Writing in Catholic newspapers and fighting in the streets for the rights and interests of the church and its followers were his first forays into public life. During Sidónio Pais’s brief dictatorship from 1917 to 1918, Salazar was invited to become a minister, but declined. He formally entered politics in the following years, joining the conservative Catholic Centre, and was elected to Parliament but left it after one session. He taught political economy at the University of Coimbra. “Salazar’s regime was authoritarian. He based his political philosophy around a selective and regressive interpretation of Catholic social doctrine, much like the contemporary regime of Engelbert Dollfuß in Austria. The economic system, known as corporatism, was based on a similar interpretation of the papal encyclicals Rerum Novarum and Quadragesimo Anno, which was supposed to prevent class struggle and supremacy of economics.”

A History In Fragments by Richard Vinen.

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