José Luciano de Castro

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José Luciano de Castro Pereira Côrte-Real (born  December 14, 1834 in Oliveirinha , Portugal, †  March 19, 1914 ) was a politician from the time of the constitutional monarchy in Portugal . He was leader of the Historical Party , minister several times and three times (1886 to 1890, 1897 to 1900 and 1904 to 1906) Prime Minister of his country.


José Luciano de Castro

In his youth, Luciano de Castro studied law at the University of Coimbra and later worked as a lawyer and journalist. In 1854, at the age of only 19, he was elected to the Portuguese Parliament for the first time, the Cortes and joined the Historical Party. In 1869, in the third government of the Duke of Loulé , he became Minister of Justice. In 1876 he was one of Braamcamp's most important collaborators in the unification of the Historical Party with the Reformist Party to form the Progressive Party . In 1885 he took over the leadership of the Progressives after the death of Braamcamp. When Luciano de Castro took over the party leadership, the Progressive Party was in the opposition, the conservative Regeneration Party ruled with António Maria de Fontes Pereira de Melo at its head. When his government failed over a tax dispute the following year, the progressives came back to power, Luciano de Castro became prime minister for the first time and remained in the post for four years.

The colonial crisis

At the end of this first de Castro government, the Anglo-Portuguese colonial crisis fell, the government's greatest challenge. Portugal went public in 1887 with a plan (the so-called plan of the pink map) to unite its colonies in East Africa (today's Mozambique ) and West Africa (today's Angola ) into a coherent colony. At the Berlin Conference ( Congo Conference 1884/85), which dealt with the division of the last not yet colonized areas in Africa , it was decided that in future claims that were no longer historically justified (this system would have been advantageous for Portugal, because ultimately its discoverers almost everywhere in Africa (the first Europeans) should be the basis for colonial possession in Africa, but rather the exercise of effective control over the land. At this point in time Portugal controlled only the coastal strip in its two colonies in southern Africa, the hinterland was largely left to its own devices. So, if Portugal wanted to implement its ambitious plan to merge its two colonies, the Portuguese would not only have to gain control of the interior of their own colonies, but also bring the area between the two territories under their control. Portuguese soldiers began to occupy areas outside of the regions previously controlled by Portugal (e.g. in today's Malawi ).

With this policy Portugal automatically came into conflict with Great Britain . The British pursued their own plan, namely the establishment of a British-controlled corridor in Africa in a north-south direction to enable the construction of a rail link from Cairo to Cape Town . They protested against the Portuguese advances and presented the country with an ultimatum that was initially kept secret in early 1890 . In this highly dramatic situation, King Charles I dismissed Luciano de Castro and appointed the leader of the opposition Regeneration Party, António de Serpa Pimentel , who had replaced the now deceased Fontes de Melo as party leader in the Regeneration Party, as the new Prime Minister.

The second and third government of Luciano de Castro

Domestically, the Portuguese monarchy found itself in an increasingly difficult situation. In view of the military and economic conditions, Portugal could not oppose Great Britain and therefore had to accept the British ultimatum, so renounce its plan of the pink map ( Treaty of London (1890) ), finally with the Treaty of Windsor 1899. Also the government of Serpa Pimentel rushed over this question. The plan of the pink map had sparked a wave of nationalist enthusiasm in Portugal, so the disappointment was correspondingly great when one had to forego its implementation. The criticism of the weakness of the once so powerful Portugal, which had become evident, hit the entire “Classe politique”, Regeneratios- and Progressive Party, and even became a fundamental criticism of the ruling system, that is, of the monarchy. There were also economic problems that ultimately led to national bankruptcy . Portugal slowly slipped into anarchy , violent riots were the order of the day, the supporters of the republic grew stronger and stronger. The king first tried bipartisan governments ( João Crisóstomo de Abreu e Sousa , José Dias Ferreira ), but when they were unable to cope with the problems, he appointed Ernesto Rodolfo Hintze Ribeiro , the successor of Serpa Pimentel, who had since become ill, in the leadership the Regeneration Party, again a Conservative government. Once again the old system of "rotativism" was reactivated, in which the king alternately appointed governments from the two major parties. Hintze Ribeiro and Luciano de Castro, who became Prime Minister twice, took turns in government responsibility. No one succeeded in preventing the republican currents from growing.

From 1897 to 1900, Luciano de Castro was Prime Minister, then Hintze Ribeiro again. Its government was weakened in 1901 when João Franco left the Regeneration Party with his supporters, but was able to hold on to power until 1904, when it fell over the question of the tobacco and match monopoly. Luciano de Castro took over the government again and for the last time. The domestic political situation worsened. Luciano de Castro banned some republican publications, in response to which there were new street fights and riots. When the French president visited the country, he was welcomed with enthusiasm, a strong Republican demonstration. The Progressive and the Regeneration Party signed a kind of "armistice" to jointly defend the King's government against the Republicans. Luciano de Castro resigned, and Hintze Ribeiro was again briefly head of government, but since he could no longer turn the wheel around, the king finally appointed João Franco as prime minister, who ruled the country dictatorially. Luciano de Castro withdrew resignedly into private life and no longer played a role in further Portuguese domestic politics.

predecessor Office successor
António Maria de Fontes Pereira de Melo
Ernesto Rodolfo Hintze Ribeiro
Ernesto Rodolfo Hintze Ribeiro
Prime Minister of Portugal
Antonio de Serpa Pimentel
Ernesto Rodolfo Hintze Ribeiro
Ernesto Rodolfo Hintze Ribeiro