Area Handbook for Portugal

By Eugene K. Keefe; David P. Coffin et al. | Go to book overview

PREFACE

On April 25, 1974, a military coup d'etat deposed Portugal's government, which itself had been established after a military takeover forty-eight years earlier. Marcello Caetano, who was prime minister at the time, had ruled for six years, but his administration was a continuation of the regime of António de Oliveira Salazar, who ruled Portugal from the early 1930s to the late 1960s. Both men, however, will be remembered for refusing to face up to the tide of anticolonialism that was sweeping across Africa during their tenures. In the post World War IIera, as the former Belgian, British, French, and Italian colonies in Africa gained independence and became new states and members of the United Nations, the Portuguese leaders remained adamant about holding their colonies. Their intransigence eventually led to colonial warfare, revolution, and decolonization. Portugal not only lost its colonies but was also impoverished by its long, losing effort to hold them. In mid-1976 the new leaders of Portugal were seeking political stability as a platform from which to launch economic recovery and social reform.

The Area Handbook for Portugal is intended to provide a concise, objective description of Portugal and the Portuguese. The book covers the historical background and the geography of the country as well as the principal political, social, and economic aspects of the society. There is an inherent danger in writing about a country during the time that it is undergoing a revolutionary experience (six provisional governments, two coup attempts, and two national elections in two years indicate the mercurial nature of the revolutionary regime); however, the authors have made every effort to retain their objectivity while describing the roles played by a multitude of individuals, parties, and interest groups.

The spelling of place names in this handbook conforms to the rulings of the United States Board on Geographic Names except for the use of the conventional spelling of Lisbon rather than the Portuguese Lisboa. Area measurements have been given in hectares rather than acres, and all tonnages are given in metric tons unless otherwise noted.

This study results from the combined efforts of a Foreign Area Studies multidisciplinary team of researchers assisted by the organizational research support staff. The team was chaired by Eugene K. Keefe who wrote chapter I and coordinated the contributions of the

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Area Handbook for Portugal
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Foreword iii
  • Preface v
  • Country Profile vii
  • Portugal xi
  • List of Illustrations xii
  • List of Tables xiii
  • Chapter 1 - General Character of the Society 1
  • Chapter 2- Historical Setting 13
  • Chapter 3 - Physical Environment 59
  • Chapter 4 - Population and Living Conditions 81
  • Chapter 5 - Social System 115
  • Chapter 6 - Religious Life 139
  • Chapter 7 - Education and the Arts 167
  • Chapter 8 - Governmental System 193
  • Chapter 9 - Political Dynamics 221
  • Chapter 10 - Foreign Relations 257
  • Chapter 11 - Mass Communications 299
  • Chapter 12 - Character and Structure Of The Economy 311
  • Chapter 13 - Agriculture and Industry 333
  • Chapter 14 - Trade, Transportation, and Services 357
  • Chapter 15 - The Armed Forces 373
  • Chapter 16 - Public Order and Internal Security 397
  • Bibliography 411
  • Glossary 437
  • Index 441
  • Published Area Handbooks 455
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