Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Fellow in the Humanities
2007—2008 Forum on Origins
History, Economic History
Caught on the Periphery: Portuguese Neutrality during World War II and Anglo-American Negotiations with Salazar
World War II historiography has devoted much attention to the regimes of Vichy France, Nazi Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, and Franco’s Spain but often places António de Oliveira Salazar’s dictatorship in Portugal on the periphery of the crisis. Portugal’s pivotal geographic position on the Atlantic and her supply of Wolfram made her vulnerable to pressures from the warring powers for strategic concessions. Yet despite Salazar’s policy of strict neutrality and arduous negotiations, Portugal eventually granted the Allied Powers’ demands. This study intends to analyze Anglo-American negotiations with Salazar to determine how he balanced neutrality with Allied demands or whether he merely became a pawn for Anglo-American strategy. Salazar’s reactions to foreign pressures will serve to expose unexamined aspects of Portugal’s neutrality and reconsider the assumptions that exist about Salazar and his regime during the Estado Novo.