Freedom Day of Portugal

25 Apr 2019  Thu

Observed on 25th April 2019, Freedom Day in Portugal commemorates the 1974 Carnation Revolution that officially ended almost five decades of dictatorship in Portugal.

Known as the Carnation Revolution, this was a virtually bloodless, leftist, military-led coup. It ended the rule of Marcello Caetano, who had assumed the country's leadership from the Dictator António Salazar.The revolution began on 25 April 1974, in Lisbon and transformed the Portuguese regime from an authoritarian dictatorship to a democracy.

The revolution began as a coup organised by the Armed Forces Movement composed of military officers who opposed the regime, but it was soon coupled with an unanticipated, popular civil resistance campaign. The revolution led to the fall of the Estado Novo, the end of 48 years of authoritarian rule in Portugal, and Portugal's withdrawal from its African colonies.

It followed a long period of social, economic and political changes. Portugal's first free election was held on 25 April 1975 to write a new constitution replacing the Constitution of 1933. The day of 25th April does not only celebrate the 1974 Revolution but also commemorates the first free elections that took place a year later on 25 April 1975.

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