Although he came from a poor family, could the studious Salazar still studying and he was awarded a PhD in the School of law. In 1921 , he founded the Catholic Centre Party on and he was for a short time member of the people's representatives. The parliamentary system does not satisfy him. Afterwards he was a professor and was a financial expert. In 1926 , he was appointed by the military Government of generals appointed to Minister of finance in order to put an end to the bad financial situation in Portugal. After disagreements with colleagues and the Government's refusal to give him full powers , he resigned. In april 1928, when Portugal was virtually bankrupt , he was again Minister of finance, now with proxies. He remained Finance Minister until 1940.
In 1932, Salazar also Prime Minister. A year later, he led in a new Constitution . The politics of Salazar was a mixture of Catholic corporatism and authoritarianism. In 1934, he hit a joint fascist (national-syndicalist) and left-Marxist coup against his Government. Since then, was also the fascist national-Syndicalist Party banned. From 1936 to1944 he was also Minister of war and in addition, from 1936 to 1947, Minister of Foreign Affairs.António de Oliveira Salazar
Political ideologies such as liberalism, socialism, fascism and the anarchic syndicalism imported from Spain were suppressed. The same applied to the Communist movement. The workers and employers had to solve their problems in harmony in corporatist trade unions. In Portugal, the mostly Catholic corporatism ideologically sympathetic to the workers. During the Spanish civil war (1936-1939) Portugal granted services to Franco. After the victory of Franco Spain and Portugal the Iberian Pactlocks, that had to guarantee peace in South West Europe by neutrality, and that the Portuguese-Spanish Alliance had to strengthen.
During the Second World War Salazar remained strictly neutral. He also repeatedly insisted to the Spanish Falange on maintaining neutrality. Despite a certain authoritarian nature of his regime, he allowed the Western allies to focus on to military bases in the Azores.Salazars Portugal during the war offered hospitality to persecuted Jews and political refugees from the areas under the Axis powers; After the war fled Croatian and German officers via Lisbon to South America.
Salazar became after the war by the Western countries seen as an ally in the fight against communism. The elections were held after the war halfvrije by its National Union, the single movement of Portugal, won. After the death of the Portuguese president General, Carmonawas Salazar of 18 april 1951 to July 21, acting head of State.
Although the United States occurred at the end of the second world war on the overall dismantling of colonial empires of their European partners, Portugal knew there initially to escape. In the 1960s a political vacuum arose in Africa. The fall came after another one post-colonial regime, often resulting in an enlarged Russian influence. America was afraid that Moscow all of Africa, with all its natural resources was going to control it and went into the sea with South Africaunder apartheid, despite all other. The Portuguese colonies Angola and Mozambique were very strategically located in this field of force and could certainly on South African and-less openly-on American support.
By its colonialism hit the Government of Salazar still partly in an international isolation. The still in the fledgling European Community had to have nothing of the undemocratic and colonialist regime. There was much support for the liberation movements, not only from the Eastern bloc , for example, the MPLA of Agostinho Neto, as well as by the West, via Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire, for the FLNA by Holden Roberto. The fight against the insurgents in Africa was becoming increasingly difficult for Portugal, whereby also the economy came to a halt. In 1968 was the now ill Salazar for health reasons replaced by Marcello Caetano, without has been advised. He was still premier to be deceived. There came ever more social democratic parties supported by foreign opposition to the regime of Salazar. There was also an active Communist Party that came later was found to have a significant following elections (10%) and was supported by the Eastern bloc. Portugal was a strategically important NATO country and the Soviet Union had every interest in there through a revolution a pro-Eastern bloc State out of it. Salazar, however, remained without prejudice to popular among farmers and in particular the Catholic middle classes of Portugal. Traditionally there was gratitude that Salazar had managed to keep the country neutral, but growing discontent about the wars in Africa in which numerous conscripts died.
The political backlash against the Party supported by foreign powers of Salazar led on 25 april 1974 -four years after the death of Salazar to the left-wing Carnation Revolution, which expired without bloodshed.Finally seized the armed forces movement (MFA) in and began a period of uncertainty of tug of war on the political future of the country that lasted a year and ended in a democratic regime in which the Social Democrats came to power.
In March 2007, Salazar organised by the Portuguese Radio and television during the elections of the ' greatest Portuguese of all time ' with 41.0% to number one and winner chosen.