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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: The Forgotten Dictatorship: Portugal's Estado Novo, 1926-1974 (HIST10519)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryHow and why does a dictatorship last forty-five years, pursue close relations with Nazi Germany, exile its opponents, prosecute a bloody colonial war, and then get forgotten? This course is an in-depth study of twentieth-century Western Europe's longest-lasting, but least studied, dictatorship: the Estado Novo ("New State"). It explores how a dictatorship at Europe's edge rises, rules, and ends across almost half a century.
Course description This course focuses on Western Europe's longest lasting, but often overlooked, dictatorship: Portugal's Estado Novo, or New State, c. 1930-1974. Led for most of its life by one man -- António de Oliveira Salazar -- the regime emerged first as an authoritarian reaction to the chaos of the Portuguese First Republic. In Europe's "fascist era", Salazar borrowed from and cavorted with Mussolini's Italy and Hitler's Germany, but the regime defied easy categorisation: Salazar pursued close relations with his Oldest Ally, liberal and democratic Great Britain, emphasised the centrality of Catholic social teaching, and espoused an old-fashioned, even nineteenth-century view of Portugal as a civilising colonial power.

How did such a regime -- politically ambiguous but recognisably retrograde -- survive for so long in Europe's short twentieth century? That is the question that we will study on this course, beginning with the kind of regime Salazar established, moulded, and shepherded though the 1930's and World War Two. We will then move to study the regime's surprising integration into NATO, participation in the Marshall Plan, and eventual inclusion in the European Free Trade Association, all the while persecuting political opponents through secret police and controlled repression. In turn, we will study Portugal's ever-widening social chasm with Western Europe and Salazar's increasingly fevered colonial wars against the independence of Portugal's African colonies. Finally, we will examine the regime's demise -- a revolution born in both Europe and Africa -- and Portugal's sudden democratic transition.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.

Students should only be enrolled on this course with approval from the History Honours Programme Administrator.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 80 %, Practical Exam 20 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
Essay One: 2,000 words (30%)
Essay Two: 3,000 words (50%)

Non-Written Skills:
Presentation (15 minutes) (10%)
Participation (10%)
Feedback Students will receive feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours for this course or by appointment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the history of 20th century Portugal and of dictatorship, authoritarianism, and Portuguese colonialism;
  2. Gather, analyse, and reflect on a broad corpus of evidence;
  3. Develop and support scholarly arguments, both orally and in written form;
  4. Manage their own workload and work collaboratively with others.
Reading List
Felipe Ribeiro de Meneses, Salazar: A Political Biography (2nd edition, 2023)

Tom Gallagher, Portugal: A Twentieth Century Interpretation (1983)

Ângela Campos, An Oral History of the Portuguese Colonial War (2017)

Duncan Wheeler, Republican Portugal: A Political History, 1910-1926 (1998)

Pedro Ramos Pinto, Lisbon rising: Urban Social Movements in the Portuguese Revolution, 1974-75 (2015)

D.L. Raby, Fascism and Resistance in Portugal (1988)

Irene Flunser Pimentel and Cláudia Ninhos, 'Portugal, Jewish Refugees, and the Holocaust', Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust, 29.2 (2015), 101-113

António Costa Pinto and Aristotle Kallis (eds.), Rethinking Fascism and Dictatorship in Europe (2014)

António Costa Pinto and Maria Inácia Rezola, 'Political Catholicism, Crisis of Democracy and Salazar's New State in Portugal' in: Clerical Fascism in Interwar Europe (2008)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will help students develop a range of transferable skills, including:
- the ability to interrogate ideas of the 'centre' and 'periphery' in History;
- the ability to find, organise, and evaluate textual evidence;
- the ability to marshal argument in both written and oral form;
- the ability to work independently and as part of a pair or larger group.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Stephen Rainbird
Course secretary
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