In 1933, one year after his inauguration as prime minister of Portugal, António de Oliveira Salazar managed to get a new constitution accepted, reorganising Portuguese politics, civil society, and economics on a corporatist basis. This article deals with the remarkable amount of interest that Salazar’s Estado Novo aroused in the circles of Christian political parties in the Netherlands in the late 1930s and early 1940s. My argument is that this interest had to do with the existing institutional compartmentalisation of Dutch society along politico-religious lines, known as ‘verzuiling’ or ‘pillarisation’. Some Catholic intellectuals felt that the Dutch Catholic community should not content itself with its own ‘zuil’ or ‘pillar’, but rather aspire after a reconfiguration of society in accordance with Catholic social teaching, of which the Estado Novo was an example. In Protestant circles, some considered the Estado Novo to be a paragon of an ‘organically’ organised state, thereby offering an alternative to the ‘pillarised’ segregation of the Dutch nation that they utterly detested. In addition, both Dutch Catholic and Protestant admirers of Salazar thought that the Estado Novo was based on principles that could offer both a solution to the political and economic crisis affecting the Netherlands in the 1930s and a fundament on which to reconstruct their country after the Nazi-German invasion in 1940.
|Translated title of the contribution||“An Interesting Experiment”: The Portuguese Estado Novo and Dutch Christianity in the 1930s and 1940s|
|Number of pages||26|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
- The Netherlands
- Estado Novo