Contemporary History of Portugal

Academic year
Subject Area
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites


Teaching Methods

The organization of time in practical classes must have active participation from students. In expository classes slides are used (in Powerpoint support) and the discussion focused on specific issues is previously prepared by the students. Some classes will have more time focused on activities developed by students, particularly with presentation of papers on specific topics, analysis of texts and historical articles, always seeking the individual or group debate   in the classroom.

Learning Outcomes

Overall objectives

- Know the political, economic and social development of contemporary Portugal.
-  compare changes in Portuguese society over the past two centuries with the European and global reality.

Specific objectives and competencies

- Identify key moments of breakthrough political, economic and social development in Portugal in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries;

- Understand and characterize the major historical periods (Liberalism, First Republic, the Estado Novo, Democratic Portugal);

- Analyze the transformation of Portuguese society over the past two centuries in European and global context;

- Understand the historical contexts that explain the changes of regime and political systems in Portugal;

 Generic competencies

-  Ability to analysis and synthesis. Oral and written skills, incorporating the vocabulary in a speech that suits the subject.

Work Placement(s)



I. Contemporary Portugal:The crisis of the Absolutist regime. Revolution and counter-revolution (1820-1850). Regeneration (1851-1890). The crisis of liberal monarchical regime (1890-1910). The first phase of the First Republic (1910-1917). The period of sidonism  and the monarchy of North (1917-1919). The "new Old Republic" (1919-1926). Military Dictatorship of Estado Novo (1926-1974). The April Revolution and PREC (1974/75). End of Empire and Portugal joined the EEC.

II. The sociological and historiographical debates about the 'delay' of the economy: the economic explanatory theses of our lagging behind the more developed countries, the historical background and sociological concepts and discourses on the periods of 'decadence' and 'regeneration.'

Head Lecturer(s)

António Manuel Antunes Rafael Amaro

Assessment Methods

Final Assessment
Exam: 100.0%

Continuous Assessment
And a group work with presentation in class on specific topics of the syllabus.: 25.0%
Two intermediate tests : 75.0%


ALEXANDRE, Valentim, Velho Brasil. Novas Áfricas: Portugal e o Império 1808-1975, Porto, Afrontamento, 2000.

AMARO, António Rafael Amaro, A Seara Nova nos anos vinte e trinta (1921-1939): memória, cultura e poder. Viseu, UCP, 1995.

CATROGA, Fernando, O republicanismo em Portugal. Da formação ao 5 de Outubro de 1910, 2 volumes, Coimbra, FLUC, 1991.

MATTOSO, José (dir.), História de Portugal, Lisboa, Círculo de Leitores, 1994 ( vols.5, 6, 7 e 8).

PINTO, António Costa (dir.), Portugal contemporâneo (Coordenação), Lisboa, Edições Dom Quixote, 2004.

RAMOS, Rui (Coord.), História de Portugal, 3.ª ed., Lisboa, A Esfera dos Livros, 2010.

REIS, António (dir.), Portugal contemporâneo, 6 volumes, Lisboa, Publicações Alfa, 1991.

ROSAS, Fernando, O Estado Novo (1926-1974) . Vol. 7 de História de Portugal (dir. José Mattoso). Lisboa, Círculo de Leitores, 1994.

SANTOS, Boaventura Sousa, Portugal. Ensaio contra a autoflagelação. Coimbra: Almedina, 2011.