terça-feira, 10 de janeiro de 2017

Grandes personagens da História de Portugal (Portuguese) (Great personalities of the History of Portugal)

By Lourenço Pereira Coutinho:
GRANDES PERSONAGENS DA HISTÓRIA DE PORTUGAL | e-cultura [Internet]. E-cultura.sapo.pt. 2017 [cited 10 January 2017]. Available from: http://www.e-cultura.sapo.pt/artigo/7472.

I loved the course on «History of Portugal» taught by the author in the facilities of El Corte Inglés, Lisbon, Portugal. The author is an excellent communicator and storyteller. At the same time, I bought the book and delighted me with a mature and attractive writing. Only the last two chapters seem to have been written by another person, in a different, less succinct style. The book talks about the following Portuguese personalities:
  • D. Afonso Henriques, the conqueror of a kingdom;
  • João XXI, the Portuguese Pope;
  • D. Nuno Álvares Pereira, holy and constable;
  • D. João II, the prince of the great century;
  • Damião de Goes, the Humanism of the seventh century;
  • Father António Vieira, the Portugal of the Restoration;
  • Marquis of Pombal, a despot illuminated:
    • «(...), the University taught only absolute truths, without any incentive to speculation and, with few exceptions, with little interest in experimental teaching, so that they came out of it only spirits formatted and non-critical ability.»
    • «(...) D. João V (...) was unable to envision the future and forearm the Kingdom for the eventuality of the end of abundance and times of tranquility./(...) lacked him a truly comprehensive and strategic vision, a factor that distinguishes great statesmen from those who only fulfill their duty within the framework they encounter.»
    • «(...) The young Sebastião José was already showing signs of not getting along with the authority, this when he was not in charge.»
  • D. Carlos I, a poorly known king:
    • «The "English Ultimatum" (...) provoked a chorus of indignation among the most inattentive people, setting the tone for a serious contestation to the regime.»/(...) Public participation was carried out through parties with no connection with national reality and was fed by favors and commitments that guaranteed comfortable places in the State, thus ensuring the necessary political loyalties./Despite progress, Portuguese society continued to sail in still waters, had little critical sense, no commitment and was devoid of true independence. (...).»
    • «(...) The regenerating party was an amalgam of factions without a definite program, and progressives oscillated between the fierce criticism of the Crown, when in opposition, and an enervating placidity, when in Government./Nothing united these political groups to the national reality, nor did any cause motivate them then, (...).»
    • «(...), Oliveira Martins (...) took measures (...) to control the public deficit by raising taxes and cutting benefits. But none of this came and the sacrifices demanded by the Government resulted in nothing. In 1893, Dias Ferreira refused to appeal again to the external credit and the country fell into bankruptcy.»
    • «(...), the major problem of the Portuguese system was not, however, in formal or legal aspects, but in the lack of representativeness of the political system. (...).»
    • «(...) D. Carlos was (...) the first Portuguese head of state to systematically use State visits as an instrument of foreign policy./(...) the heirs of the throne made study visits by Europe to complete their education, (...).»
    • «Between 1893 and 1906, regenerators and progressives alternated quietly in power, distributing seats in the State and ensuring the political irrelevance of all other political groupings, thanks to successive electoral laws that only benefited them.»
  • Afonso Costa, The lord of the republic:
    • «Like all memorable characters, it generated deep hatreds and great admirations. In his case, this was deliberately provoked, because he almost always acted in such a way that his public acts were not consensual. (...) had a Manichean view of politics and often artificially extremed positions so as not to leave room for compromises.»
    • «(...) separating waters, pointing out enemies and contributing to a radicalization that, in the end, ended up victimizing him politically.»
    • «(...) others more mundane like Afonso Costa were more flexible or rather ambiguous and argued that Republicans should establish alliances to strengthen themselves politically.»
    • «Contrary to what Alfonso Costa had foreseen, the entry of the Great War only aggravated the Portuguese problems. (...)./(...) because they were fighting away from their country in a war where mainland Portugal was not being threatened or advocating any cause of its own (...)./Internally, the Great War brought more scarcity (...)./(...) participation in the European war resulted in a gratuitous and unjustified death.»
    • «(...) Sidónio Pais (...)/(...), the new President was (...) anticlerical and Masonic, (...).»
    • «Among the powers, it was widely believed that Portugal had no capacity to administer more colonies (...).»
    • «In the 1920s, the Republic failed to generate motivating causes or figures that could reverse the chaotic state of public affairs. (...).»
    • «In May 1926, the First Republic fell and gave way to a military dictatorship of republican and conservative matrix, (...)./(...), it lasted until 1933, when the civil element imposed the establishment of a formally corporate regime, the New State, which later evolved into an authoritarian system of traditionalist inspiration, centered on the figure of Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, (...).»
    • «(...) social peace, (...) at the expense of the silencing of oppositions; political stability, (...) due to the abolition of political parties; and economic balance, made possible by the implementation of protectionist measures [the New State].»