The Scramble for Africa Reloaded? Portugal, European Colonial Claims and the Distribution of Colonies in the 1930s

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Abstract

Situating itself at the crossroads of colonial history, international history and European history, this article examines the movement for colonial appeasement and the redistribution of African colonies in the 1930s from a frequently overlooked viewpoint: Portugal and its empire. Even though Portugal was not a principal actor in the discussion of colonial redistribution, the Portuguese empire was placed at the centre of these debates as a subject to be discussed. The article demonstrates that the great powers' perception of Portugal as an inadequate colonial power was central to their strategy of colonial redistribution in an international context that espoused guarantees of territorial integrity to great and small states alike. In addition, it shows how Portugal entered the debate on colonial appeasement to promote a rhetoric of victimisation and bolster support for the dictatorship.
Original languageEnglish
JournalContemporary European History
Early online date2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020

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