Portugal’s Long Night: The Legacy of Salazar with Ian Sumpter

Portugal’s Long Night: The Legacy of Salazar with Ian Sumpter


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From 1932 until 1974, Portugal endured what has become known as ‘The Long Night,’ a 42-year authoritarian dictatorship led by António de Oliveira Salazar. This seminar will explore Salazar’s rule, his colonial ambitions, and his fall from power. Salazar remains a controversial and enigmatic figure, whose legacy continues to divide opinion even today.

In 1932 António de Oliveira Salazar became Portugal’s 100th prime minister. In the following years, he drafted a new Portuguese constitution, creating what became known as the ‘Estado Novo’, or ‘The New State.’ Heavily influenced by Mussolini and the Catholic Church, the Estado Novo was an anti-parliamentarian and authoritarian government.

Its policies resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands in failed colonial wars and lead to mass migration. The wide-ranging ramifications of the resulting widespread poverty still affect Portugal today, long after the Carnation Revolution of 1974.



Led by expert historian and archaeologist Ian Sumpter, this interactive seminar will examine Salazar’s rise and fall in Portugal. 

Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of one of the most tumultuous periods in Portugal's history.

Born in Liverpool in the North of England, Ian was raised around the historic docks of the city where a love of Maritime history was born. He went on to study Archaeological sciences with the aim of specialising in Marine archaeology. His four years of the study saw him divert from his original aim and concentrate Urbanisation in the Ancient world. Working as an archaeologist for a number of years across Italy, the UK and South Asia, Ian has spent 13 years working in total working as a tour guide in Rome before the lure of the sea and sunshine brought him to Lisbon where he continues to research the urban landscape and the city’s vital relationship with the sea.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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