Why did the Portuguese Colonial Empire Persist

Oct 2018
83
China
#1
Im curious as to why the Portguese Empire, specially their holdings in Africa lasted as long as it did. They're empire was clearly a racial based one, with blacks in the bottom, so I don't ubdeunders why they didn't face the same amount of external pressure that states like Rhodesia or South Africa did during the Cold War.
 
Oct 2018
83
China
#2
I guess my point about external pressure relates to how it seems like they weren't forced into giving up their empire like the British or French after the Second World War. I realize that's in large part because of the war itself, but I would think there would have been more done by the US to turn Portugal into a pariah state.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,044
Portugal
#3
Im curious as to why the Portguese Empire, specially their holdings in Africa lasted as long as it did. They're empire was clearly a racial based one, with blacks in the bottom, so I don't ubdeunders why they didn't face the same amount of external pressure that states like Rhodesia or South Africa did during the Cold War.
I guess my point about external pressure relates to how it seems like they weren't forced into giving up their empire like the British or French after the Second World War. I realize that's in large part because of the war itself, but I would think there would have been more done by the US to turn Portugal into a pariah state.
Since you are mentioning the Cold War I suppose that your doubt is about the post 1947 period, and not why it lasted so many centuries.

Let me begin to state that the Empire was not that clearly a racial based one, especially after the “Estatuto do indígena” (Status of the indigenous population) after 1954 and abolished in 1961 with the objective to convert all the people from the colonies in Portuguese citizens. The question was more social (civilizational would be a better word), than a question of race. The objective was the “assimilation”, i.e. the conversion of the African population to the Portuguese culture, mostly the use of European cloths, the learning of Portuguese, and the catholic religion:

“Estatuto do indígena”: https://governodosoutros.files.word...3a9-angola-e-moc3a7ambique-annotado-e-le1.pdf

But to answer to your question the Portuguese Colonial Empire in Africa lasted more than the other European empires because in a Cold War environment Portugal was a anti-communist, right-wing, nationalist and traditionalist dictatorship that saw the colonies as a part of Portugal raising the idea that Portugal was a pluricontinental country with territories in Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania, and that those territories outside Europe were also a part of the Portuguese national territory.

And Portugal was not completely a pariah state (for instance Spain was more isolated at the time) but was always heavily criticized in that period and a country with few allies.

When the Colonial war begun in Angola with the UPA attacks (instigated by the USA that wanted to pressure Portugal to the independence of the African Colonies, the colonies were relatively quiet until 1961), NATO didn’t allow that the most modern weapons could be used in Africa (since they were bough with NATO’s support), and there was a boycott from several countries (USA included) and the new equipment was mainly bought in France and Germany (the USA and the UK had been the previous suppliers).
 

Devdas

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
3,797
India
#5
Im curious as to why the Portguese Empire, specially their holdings in Africa lasted as long as it did. They're empire was clearly a racial based one, with blacks in the bottom, so I don't ubdeunders why they didn't face the same amount of external pressure that states like Rhodesia or South Africa did during the Cold War.
Decolonization was resisted by Portuguese dictator Salazar. Portugal actually ended in a war to keep hold on their African colonies and it impact was huge on Portuguese economy. Like in my country, after British and French left, Portugal refuse to decolonize their Indian territories(Goa, Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli) tensions were very high in 1950s and even in 1960s after the military takeover of Portuguese ruled territories. It was only after the carnation revolution in Portugal in 1974, they Portuguese finally decided to de colonize.
 
Oct 2018
83
China
#6
Since you are mentioning the Cold War I suppose that your doubt is about the post 1947 period, and not why it lasted so many centuries.

Let me begin to state that the Empire was not that clearly a racial based one, especially after the “Estatuto do indígena” (Status of the indigenous population) after 1954 and abolished in 1961 with the objective to convert all the people from the colonies in Portuguese citizens. The question was more social (civilizational would be a better word), than a question of race. The objective was the “assimilation”, i.e. the conversion of the African population to the Portuguese culture, mostly the use of European cloths, the learning of Portuguese, and the catholic religion:

“Estatuto do indígena”: https://governodosoutros.files.word...3a9-angola-e-moc3a7ambique-annotado-e-le1.pdf

But to answer to your question the Portuguese Colonial Empire in Africa lasted more than the other European empires because in a Cold War environment Portugal was a anti-communist, right-wing, nationalist and traditionalist dictatorship that saw the colonies as a part of Portugal raising the idea that Portugal was a pluricontinental country with territories in Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania, and that those territories outside Europe were also a part of the Portuguese national territory.

And Portugal was not completely a pariah state (for instance Spain was more isolated at the time) but was always heavily criticized in that period and a country with few allies.

When the Colonial war begun in Angola with the UPA attacks (instigated by the USA that wanted to pressure Portugal to the independence of the African Colonies, the colonies were relatively quiet until 1961), NATO didn’t allow that the most modern weapons could be used in Africa (since they were bough with NATO’s support), and there was a boycott from several countries (USA included) and the new equipment was mainly bought in France and Germany (the USA and the UK had been the previous suppliers).
Very good answer
 
Likes: Tulius
Oct 2015
4,487
Matosinhos Portugal
#7
Portugal was more resistant to its policies, compared to other European countries that were also colonizers.

Tulius Portugal used weapons that belonged to NATO in Portuguese Africa.
Also used napal in Mozambique.

as well as torture, injections of air, nails nails on the heads and massacres, is infamously part of Portuguese history and truths are to say, I am not proud of any of the ills that many compatriots did in Portuguese Africa because they were sent to do these acts.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,044
Portugal
#8
Tulius Portugal used weapons that belonged to NATO in Portuguese Africa.

Also used napal in Mozambique.

as well as torture, injections of air, nails nails on the heads and massacres, is infamously part of Portuguese history and truths are to say, I am not proud of any of the ills that many compatriots did in Portuguese Africa because they were sent to do these acts.
Yes, NATO materiel was used in Africa, I think it would be impossible that wouldn’t happen. But some was forced to withdraw, and I am thinking about the F-86 Sabre fighters that were removed in 1964 after USA pressure on the issue.

By the way the Napalm used overseas wasn't necessarily NATO materiel.
 

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