Portugal, the Colonized Empire: A Study of an Underdeveloped Country’s Maintenance of African Colonies
Dorothy Lee Cobbs
Thesis DT 3.5 1975 C654
v, 135 leaves; 28 cm.
The purpose of this study is to determine how Portugal, a small "colonized" country, was able to maintain three colonies in Africa up to April of 1974. To provide an adequate background for an examination of the stated problem, a look at the philosophies motivating the Portuguese mission in Africa is included. The Portuguese were no exception to formulating a mystique for their intrusion into Africa. This mystique was called, as in other parts of Africa, the "White Man's Burden" and the "civilizing Mission".
Portugal functioned as a "colony" because of an unequal exchange relationship between the metropole and the three colonies of Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bissau. She imported raw materials from the colonies and in return exported manufactured goods and foodstuffs to the colonies. However, because of the underdevelopment of the economy, Portugal had to reexport these raw materials to Europe, thereby serving a conduit role. The status of Portugal resulted from her decline as an international power and the conflicting economic factions that fought to create a status quo in which neither faction would become dominant.
The New States policies of Antonio Oliveira Salazar, Prime Minister of Portugal (1928-1968), were designed to keep foreign investors out of Portugal. Restrictions on foreign investments and her conduit role became handicaps to Portugal after 1961 when the wars in Africa began. Military expenditures for three wars in Africa were more than the economy could stand. In order to obtain needed revenue, investment laws were changed. This change allowed for more western firms to settle in Portugal. Intensification of the wars in Africa led to the creation of more and more western interests who became supportive of the Portuguese position in Africa. Not only were business firms an indication of western support of Portuguese colonialism but also assistance through the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Not all of the Portuguese agreed with the policies of the government. Discontent manifested itself with the organization of Movimento Forcas Armadas. This military group successfully carried out a coup in April of 1974. In the colonies, Africans fought against colonialism which was a fight against both racism and fascism. The three movements that continued the age old resistance to European intrusion were FRELIMO (Frente de Libertacao de Mocambique), MPLA (Movimento Popular de Libertacao de Angola), and PAIGC (Partido Africano de Independencia da Guine e Cabo Verde). These three movements were not only responsible for revolution in their own countries but also for the revolution in Portugal.
Data collected for this study was in the form of lectures, papers, discussions with individuals familiar with the Portuguese colonial experience and library sources.