chapter  4
22 Pages

From Castilian Province to Portuguese Republic

WithWalter C. Opello

The split widened at the Portuguese Republican party (PRP) congress in October 1911, when the moderates were hooted down and left in disgust. The fragmentation of PRP, personalism, and petty squabbles produced acute governmental instability during the First Republic. The PRP was, perhaps, Portugal’s first political party in the modern sense of the term. Joao Goncalves Zarco and his supporters, principally from southern Portugal, where the Knights of Calatrava were situated, drove Teles from Portugal. This action precipitated an invasion by Castilian forces who found support in the north, where there was much sentiment for the legitimist cause. Portugal into terras was replaced by provinces for administrative purposes. The Republicans based their appeals on crude nationalism and played on the fears of many that a continuance of the inept government of the liberals would make Portugal either a British colony or a province of Spain.