chapter  9
12 Pages

Portugal and the Wider World

WithWalter C. Opello

Portugal has formed alliances to differentiate itself from Spain. This accounts for the 600-year-old alliance with Great Britain as well as Portugal’s participation on the side of France in World War I, which involved sending an expeditionary force to Flanders. In World War II Portugal remained neutral and supported the neutrality of the Spanish, who, had they joined the fighting, would have surely done so on the side of the Axis. In 1939 Portugal and Spain signed the Iberian Pact, which pledged peace and friendship between the two nations and contained an agreement to remain neutral. Relations between Portugal and the United States have been structured principally by the military-strategic interests of Washington. During World War II, the United States sought to induce Portugal to maintain its official neutrality and to stop exporting wolfram, an important ingredient in the manufacture of munitions, to Germany.