In the meantime, any Falangist designs on Portugal were blocked by the rise to power there of another dictator, Antonio de Oliveira Salazar (1889-1970). Portugal had participated in World War I, and the republican regime, which had driven King Manoel II (r. 1908-1910) from the country in 1910, governed until forced from office by a military coup in 1926.
Two years later Salazar, a professor of economics at the University of Coimbra, became minister of finance on the condition that he be granted sweeping powers over the economy. Salazar’s concern for sound finance during the world economic crisis won him many supporters, and in 1932 he became prime minister and progressively used his office to turn his parry into the only legal option open to the Portuguese people.
Salazar sought to remain neutral in the growing European conflict, and his authoritarian rule did not generate effective opposition from the political left. Not until 1968 did Salazar step down, Portugal’s empire overseas still virtually intact but his dictatorship increasingly inert.