The Democratic Process

The desire for freedom and the dissatisfaction with the politics of the government (including the colonial war), were some of the causes of the fall of the authoritarian regime in a peaceful coup, led by the army, on the 25th of April of 1974.

The country turned then dangerously to the left, approaching itself of the soviet regime, a situation that worried enormously Portugal’s allies. This lasted 1 and half years, when another military coup (25th of November of 1975), brought the country back to the path of true democratization.



Group photo of the first government and President elected after the revolution (1976).



In 1976 a new Constitution was drawn up, substituting the one that had been in use since 1933. In 1985 the country joined the then EEC. These two events – the democratization of the country and its inclusion in the European Union mark the beginning of a new era for Portugal – its normalization as a stable and mature democracy.




Signature in Lisbon (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos), of the Treaty of Adhesion to the EEC (1986).


Some military that participated in the Carnation Revolution of the 25th of April 1974. It is known by this name because of the carnations that the military and other intervenient began wearing on that day. It was a peaceful revolution, with almost no bloodshed, apart from some victims killed by the political police of the overthrown regime. The destitute government (lead by Marcelo Caetano, that had succeeded to Salazar in 1968) went into exile, first to Madeira and then to Brazil.

Time magazine cover, August 1975. It represents the international fear of a communist political turn in Portugal, transforming it in the first Marxist country of Western Europe.


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