an article by Josh Gelernter called, “Japan Reverts to Fascism”. The author wrote with great alarm that Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and the coalition it leads recently won a large enough majority in both houses of the legislature to amend the Japanese constitution, the constitution which Japan has had since the end of World War II and which has never been amended to date. He describes all of the ways that, in his mind, Japan is reverting to a fascist state which seems an odd thing for a conservative American magazine to say about a conservative government that is America’s staunchest ally in the region and easily one of our most important allies in the world. Calling someone a “fascist” is usually the trademark of the left. In fact, today, about the only definition of a fascist is anyone who the left doesn’t like. It is a bizarre and inflammatory accusation to make just at the outset. But, he made it and so must back it up. What evidence does Mr. Gelernter present to justify such an accusation?
For the sake of a largely American audience, allow me to point to some examples that will best illustrate why this is a double-standard. Most Canadians have a very different view of the War of 1812 than most Americans. Most Mexicans think they were the ‘good guys’ in the War for Texas Independence and the Mexican-American War. Although it is not the case today, for much of American history, most British people had a very different view of the American War for Independence than most people in the United States. Does this bother anyone today? Again, until relatively recently, most Americans in the south still thought they were the ‘good guys’ and the United States were the ‘bad guys’ in the Civil War. It is actually normal for countries to have different points of view about conflicts depending on which side you were on. Now, Japan has not been entirely consistent on this point, particularly concerning the other Axis powers Japan willingly joined before the war started but it is perfectly natural for any country to give their own side the benefit of the doubt compared to others. I could also point out that China and Russia also both have different opinions about World War II compared to the western Allies but no one seems to mind that very much.
He also points to certain words and international rankings about the media to imply that freedom of the press is being restricted in Japan. He warns that the NHK, the state broadcasting network, is a mouthpiece for the government, implying that it spouts nothing but right-wing propaganda. Anyone can watch the NHK (it has an English-language channel) and see for themselves that this is ridiculous. If anything, the content on NHK is viewed by most Japanese on the political right as being skewed toward the left. This should not be considered surprising given that anyone with any honesty will say the same about the BBC in Britain, the CBC in Canada or the ABC in Australia. In the United States, given what is put out by the likes of CNN, MSNBC or FNC, I have a hard time taking such concerns about Japan seriously. The media itself is the biggest threat to a free press these days given how widespread, around the world, dishonesty and bias is. There is a reason why most Americans, in a country that prides itself on its free press, considers the media extremely dishonest and untrustworthy.
No, there is obviously a double-standard at work here and it just might have to do with those “Western European” theories about human rights Mr. Gelernter is so fond of. The nations of Western Europe and North America have, sadly, adopted a very liberal, internationalist mindset and guilt-complex that is destroying western civilization. An entire people seems bent on suicide and the people of Japan would only be showing great wisdom in wishing to take a different path. Are we holding up these same values at all anymore anyway? Freedom of religion is one Mr. Gelernter does not seem willing to extend to Japan and in the west it seems these days that some religions have more freedom than others. Freedom of speech also seems to be ever more restricted these days. Freedom of assembly doesn’t seem to be evenly applied anymore, it depends on what you are assembling for. Did anyone notice that the Bush family boycotted the recent Republican National Convention? I know, they oppose Donald Trump but it certainly paints an odd picture that a man like George W. Bush who would go to war to spread democracy would stay home and pout when the democratic process in his own party does not go the way he wanted it to.
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Sunday, July 17, 2016
The motto of the French Revolution and, subsequently the French republics, is "Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood". There is a delusional start for you right there. Liberty is a rather subjective term, equality is an impossibility and if you are determined to try to make equality possible, you make liberty impossible. As for brotherhood, that may have been fine when considering only the French alone but, of course, the revolutionaries never intended it that way and France has been paying the price ever since. The idea of spreading the revolution to France's European "brothers" led to years of disastrous wars that resulted in France being weakened and the Germans being united. Today the mentality has widened to include people from all around the world; Algeria, Tunisia, Senegal and so on. However, even when such people are brought to France, taught French history, had the values of the Revolution pounded into them, even if they are born and raised in France, it does no good when they have another "brotherhood", one of race or religion that runs far deeper than a liberal civics examination. Any Frenchman worth his snails would look at any of these recent attackers, even those born in his country and say, 'I like the word "Fraternity" but still I draw the line / He may be a brother of Francois Hollande but he ain't no brother of mine'.
That France, the France that restored Christianity in the near east, that explored the interior of North America, that frustrated the combined armies of Europe and built the Palace at Versailles, that France would have no problem dealing with this current crisis, because it had all the tools with which to do so. It had a will to survive, ambition to do great things, loyalty to a single leader and the faith of the "Eldest Daughter of the Church". When the France of today, revives and restores the values of that France, the current crisis can be swept away.
Saturday, July 16, 2016
For those who complain that I never have anything good to say about any republics, ever (even my own, which is certainly not true), take note that I have no fundamental objection to the Boer republics and moreover that I think the Boer republics had much to recommend them. The Boers were a rough-hewn, rugged, frontier type of people who were excellent horsemen, crack shots with a rifle and devoutly religious -all of which are qualities to admire in my book. Unlike the republics in places such as France or Russia or China, I have no problem with the creation of the Boer republics because of the nature of their birth. They were not born out of any sort of radical, revolutionary upheaval. If France or Russia represent the extreme left in the birth of republics, the United States would be much more to the right but the Boer republics would be even further to the right still. To explain, and for the benefit of those unfamiliar with the story, a brief summary of how the Boer republics came to be is probably in order.
|The Dutch arrive on the Cape|
The British became more established in the region and the Boers lived in peace beside them, mostly as farmers and ranchers. They lived simple lives but were accustomed to the hardships of frontier life and were content. However, things began to change when it was found that the Boer republics sat on top of extremely lucrative mineral deposits. They were quite literally ‘sitting on a gold mine’ (and a number of diamond mines too). This, of course, attracted more and more British settlers who moved into Boer territory and that, of course, began to arouse the opposition of the Boers. They began to enact laws to curtail the flow of the British into their territory and the influence they had. That was only natural. It was also then, only natural, for the British to object to their rights being restricted and the British Empire, also not surprisingly, took up the cause of their fellow countrymen against the Boer republics and soon this led to the outbreak of war. Looking back at the overall situation there are few historians who would try to deny that the bottom line was simply this: the Boers had control of vast riches that the British wanted for themselves and they were prepared to fight and conquer the Boer republics in order to obtain control of these mineral deposits. Would any other power, similarly placed, have done otherwise? Probably not. Still, it was hardly Britain’s finest hour.
|Boer President Paul Kruger|
Today, the unthinking mob tends to think of a “concentration camp” as a “death camp” thanks to the influence of Nazi Germany on the popular imagination. However, this should not be so and the British certainly did not put Boers into camps in order to systematically exterminate the Afrikaner people. Which is also not to say that these were nice places. They were certainly not and large numbers of civilian men, women and children died in these camps from disease, malnutrition and poor sanitation. It was, however, not due to intentional British cruelty but rather to supply shortages, logistical failures and bureaucratic log jam. In fact, it was a British woman who came to the rescue of the imprisoned Boers, raising a public outcry over the conditions in which they were being held and who mounted the effort to relieve their suffering through much more efficient private, charitable channels. Obviously, if the British were a cruel and heartless people, no one would have cared about the concentration camps, there would have been no public outcry and no massive effort to put a stop to it. The British also proved themselves to be gracious victors when the brutal bloodletting was over. Rather than rule the Afrikaners as a conquered people, the British made them partners in the new colonial enterprise that became South Africa and, as a result, many of the men who had fought the hardest against the British became ardent supporters of the British Empire, even taking up arms again to defend it in World War I.
|Louis Botha, Boer leader|
|Battle of Blood River|
The British had long abolished the slave trade and expended a great deal in suppressing it, had abolished slavery long before across the British Empire and even in Victorian times, while certainly not possessing the thinking about race that modern Britons do, tended to look on racism as something terribly uncivilized at the very least. The Boers, on the other hand, took a more old-fashioned and Biblical view of race. They outlawed slavery too though some observers felt that was more in name rather than fact and they certainly viewed Blacks as a people to be kept apart from themselves, people who were different and to be treated differently. Black Africans could not become citizens in the Boer republics, they had fewer rights and freedoms and all the rest of it (any non-Boers and anyone not Protestant also faced degrees of discrimination as well). British society tended to look down on how Blacks were treated in the Boer republics and the inferior position of the Black Africans in the Boer republics was one of the ways that British public opinion was turned in favor of military action against them though it could hardly be argued that this was ever the primary reason for the war. Nonetheless, that was an aspect which enemies of the British Empire today tend to overlook. The vast majority of Black Africans supported the British because the British offered them more rights and more equal treatment than the Boers.
By taking the side of the Black Africans, another race against those of their own blood in South Africa, the Boers and other White Africans tended to view the British as race-traitors, the people who sold out their own kind and it is easy to find people still today who have never forgiven the British for the part they played in the eradication of the White population in South Africa. The Crown, as usual, does not escape such criticism due to the way people view the monarch as the pinnacle and representation of all British people, society and government. However, while that was to be expected, the actions of Britain have obviously not immunized the British from accusations of racism and upon attaining political power, the Blacks of South Africa did not rush to restore the monarchy and become a Commonwealth Realm again. No, as we all know, the republican form of government was one thing about apartheid South Africa that the new regime wished to retain. Some do still think well of the British in South Africa, but it is not something that can be expressed openly without a severe backlash, even if you are a prominent African chief. And, today, Red China has far more influence in South Africa than Great Britain does. Taken altogether, it is simply a fact that neither Britain nor the British monarchy gained anything tangible nor even in terms of much goodwill and gratitude from its history of pro-Black policies in Africa.
|Field Marshal Jan Christiaan Smuts|
Saturday, July 9, 2016
|King George III|
As the war went on, the King became understandably bitter and voiced contemptuous views of the American populace, despite the fact that two-thirds were active or passive loyalists. However, as he said to John Adams, the first U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain, while he was the last to agree to the independence of America, he was indeed the first to extend a hand of friendship to the new nation and work to retain it as part of the British trade network and commercial empire. What many would find more surprising though, is that the King’s son and heir, the Prince of Wales and future King George IV, was allied with a political faction that practically cheered every American victory in the war. This group was backed by the Prince of Wales and focused around Charles Fox, the Marquis of Rockingham and Edmund Burke. Members of this group even took to wearing the colors of Washington’s Continental Army to show their solidarity with the American cause and most of these men were wealthy and/or aristocratic which says something about just how “revolutionary” the war in America really was. Fox and Burke would later part company over the much more revolutionary war in France with Fox supporting the revolutionaries and Burke staunchly opposing them.
|Ben Franklin meets the King & Queen of France|
In the end, no one did more than King Louis XVI of France to ensure victory for the United States in the War for Independence. Many Americans were truly grateful for this and never forgot it. Portraits of King Louis appeared in taverns around the country and the town of Marietta, Ohio was named in honor of Queen Marie Antoinette. However, one problem was that the most Francophile of the American founders were also the most radically republican. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, for example, were extremely pro-French but very anti-monarchy, though they did effectively make common cause with Napoleon Bonaparte. On the other side of the political divide, the more conservative Americans such as George Washington remained essentially Anglophiles and never forgot that the French had been pursuing their own interests rather than being truly committed to the American cause. Washington was convinced that the King Louis had been more the enemy of England than a friend of America and so he too, after independence, was quick to be friendlier with the British than the French.
|King Louis XVI|
The other monarch which, after France, contributed the most to the eventual American victory was King Carlos III of Spain. His reaction to the war in America was very much similar to that of his cousin in France. Being one of the “Enlightened Despots”, he too was supportive of the American push for representative government, welcomed the colonies being able to trade outside the British Empire and was also anxious to recoup previous Spanish losses to Britain from past conflicts. Yet, he too was rather hesitant about coming to the assistance of the Americans. Unlike France, the Kingdom of Spain still possessed a massive empire in the Americas, stretching from roughly the modern Canadian border to the southern tip of what is now Chile and Argentina. King Carlos III was less concerned about the cost involved as he was that some of his own colonial subjects might try to follow the example of the British-American colonists.
|King Carlos III|
|Prince Willem V|
|Frederick the Great|
In the neighboring Kingdom of Denmark, a major power at the time, the war in America coincided with a political division between proponents of absolutism and constitutional government as well as a lack of royal leadership due to the insanity of King Christian VII. There was widespread support for the Americans among the Danish public and even more in the Danish colonies which, of course, was a cause for concern by those in the government. The outpouring of support in the press for the Americans was also embarrassing given that Denmark was, at the time, allied with Great Britain. Those pushing for constitutional government naturally sympathized with the Americans but there was also economic realities to consider. Denmark was, for example, a major importer of rice from South Carolina and this caused considerable resentment against the British for the Royal Navy blockade of the American coast. These facts had an impact on Danish popular opinion but it likely would have amounted to nothing more were it not for another royal friend of the United States which was Empress Catherine the Great of Russia.
|Catherine the Great|
It was the Russian Empress who organized the League of Armed Neutrality to thwart the Royal Navy blockade of the American colonies as well as other countries at war with Britain. Many of these countries had little to no trade with the American colonies directly but they did do a great deal of business with France and Spain. Ultimately the League included Denmark (and Norway), Sweden (and Finland), Prussia, Austria, Portugal, Naples and even Turkey along with Russia. The Netherlands was set to join but the British acted first, seizing a Dutch ship and prompting The Netherlands to declare war on Britain, making them a participant in the war rather than a neutral. This made life very difficult for the Royal Navy which was trying to enforce a blockade but was hindered by the threat of making enemies out of all of these neutrals if they did so. As a result, of all the neutral powers of the time, the Russian Empire was doubtless the most helpful to the Americans in ultimately winning the independence of the United States. As it happens, when that came about, Empress Catherine derided King George III for recognizing American independence, which she had done all she could to help, saying that she would sooner commit suicide than to grant such recognition to any rebellious subjects of her own.
|Emperor Joseph II|
In this, Emperor Joseph II was not wrong as toward the end of his reign the Catholics and liberals in that land came together to depose him and declare independence as “The United States of Belgium”, the first bid for Belgian independence which Joseph’s brother and successor later suppressed. However, realpolitik also played a part in the Austrian attitude toward America and the rather cold reception that John Adams received when he came to Vienna to make the case for the Patriot cause. The Austrians had been trying to improve relations with Great Britain so as to isolate the Kingdom of Prussia which Emperor Joseph II had fought, unsuccessfully, early in his reign. However, the issue was complicated by family politics. The Emperor’s little sister, Marie Antoinette, was, after all, Queen of France which was America’s strongest ally. That marriage had been arranged to bind together France and Austria and the last thing the Austrian Emperor wanted was for Britain and France to be at war, since he desired friendship with both.
|Emperor Joseph II|
So it was that, among the crowned heads of the world, the United States of America was met with more support than opposition. King George III did not want it to come to war but, of course, pressed the fight zealously when it did. King Louis XVI of France and King Carlos III of Spain, after some initial hesitation, backed the Americans and gave absolutely vital support to the winning of independence for the United States. The Dutch backed the Americans though the Prince of Orange supported Britain, the King of Prussia cheered the Americans and the Empress of Russia worked to isolate Britain and make the United States acceptable in the halls of power across the Old World. The Austrian Emperor sympathized with Britain but more than anything else wanted there to be peace between Britain and France which could only benefit America. King Gustav III of Sweden was quick to recognize the United States, making Sweden the first neutral power to do so. Part of the reason for this was what was politically fashionable at the time but realpolitik proved the bigger factor as did the extent of the unpopularity of the British. British success had garnered a great deal of jealousy, past British victories left many thirsty for revenge and British policies had alienated former friends such as Prussia.
|St Mark's republic|
|Washington at the raising of the Grand Union flag|
Monday, July 4, 2016
|King Carlos III|
King Carlos III had signed the “Family Compact” with the Kingdom of France and the results of the relatively recent French and Indian War had made him very nervous about the British. He feared that the British Empire was growing too powerful, that it would upset the balance of power in Europe and that a victorious Britain would conquer the Spanish colonies in America just as they had taken Canada from France in the last war. On May 8, 1779 the Kingdom of Spain declared war on Great Britain and Ireland, though as an ally of the Kingdom of France rather than the fledgling United States outright. The goal of the King of Spain was to weaken Britain on the world stage and recover lands that the Spanish had lost to Britain in the French and Indian War. His troops did not fight alongside the American colonists as the French did but the Spanish declaration of war had a major impact on the American cause. It greatly enlarged the scope of the conflict for Britain, removed the comfortable supremacy the British had enjoyed in the naval war and forced the British military to mostly go on the defensive in America while they redeployed forces to guard against attacks from the Spanish around the world.
The Anglo-Spanish conflict got off to a good start for Spain when, in September of 1779, Spanish troops and Louisiana militia seized the British garrison at Baton Rouge, taking them by surprise as they had no idea as yet that Britain and Spain were at war. A large Franco-Spanish fleet, filled with soldiers, had actually assembled that summer with the intention of invading Britain but, while they gave the British authorities a good scare, they ultimately called off the expedition. They were confident that they could defeat the British and land their forces but were not so confident that they could maintain naval supremacy and feared losing their whole invasion force if they were left isolated in enemy country. The longest and most intense military operation of the conflict began almost as soon as Spain issued its declaration of war which was the siege of Gibraltar. The British rushed help to the embattled garrison but it only arrived in early 1780, after the garrison had endured a brutal winter in miserable conditions. The two sides remained locked in combat in what would be the longest siege British military forces have ever endured.
|Don Bernardo de Galvez|
At the same time, Gálvez was the primary source of munitions and supplies for the American expedition into the Midwest led by George Rogers Clark. The British had few military resources in the region but Governor Hamilton worked to rally the Indians to supplement his small force of redcoats to deal with the Americans as well as to attack Spanish outposts in the region. In 1780 a force of around a thousand Indians under British command attacked St Louis, Missouri, Fort San Carlos, defended by around 300 Spanish troops, mostly militia, under Captain Fernando de Leyba, the lieutenant governor. Although greatly outmatched, the Spanish had worked to fortify the area and with the support of the local French population they managed to repel the Indian attack and so secured Spanish control of the upper Louisiana territory from the British for the rest of the war. The following year the Spanish launched a counter-raid into British territory taking Fort St Joseph in what is now Niles, Michigan, probably the farthest north that Spanish forces ever fought in the Americas.
|Capt-Gen of Guatemala Matias de Galvez|
That same year, Don Bernardo de Gálvez made an effort to take Pensacola, Florida, the last major prize yet to be won in his campaign along the gulf coast. However, a hurricane intervened and ruined the expedition. 1781 was to be different. Of course, students of U.S. history will remember that it was in that year that the American War for Independence reached its climax with the siege of Yorktown, Virginia. Most know that the siege would not have been won without the assistance of considerable land and naval forces from the King of France but not many are aware of the Spanish contribution. Direct military assistance was not possible (nor needed obviously) but it was the Spanish who managed to raise funds amounting to 500,000 silver pesos in Havana, Cuba to buy vital supplies for the American forces and to pay the Continental Army (which had long been a huge hardship for the fledgling American government). The surrender of the British army under Lord Cornwallis was a devastating blow to the British war effort but was even worse for morale at home. It was the largest mass surrender of British troops in history up to that time and would remain so until World War I but in the aftermath Britain still held all of the most vital, strategic points in the American colonies.
|Spanish troops at the siege of Pensacola|
|The Spanish assault on Pensacola|
|British troops sortie at Gibraltar|
The embattled garrison was shown great honor and respect by the Franco-Spanish forces and many wept in sympathy as they marched out of the ruined fort, haggard and sickly but with their heads still held high. The commander of the Spanish forces, Louis des Balbes de Berton de Crillon, duc de Mahon (a Frenchman but serving in the Spanish army) was then chosen by King Carlos III to take charge of the still on-going efforts to regain Gibraltar. That would ultimately end in disappointment but an unauthorized Spanish attack on The Bahamas was successful, the British garrison surrendering without a fight. Gálvez had also planned an ambitious effort to conquer Jamaica but a British naval victory followed by the British agreement to end the war put a stop to this. In the subsequent Treaty of Paris, the British were able to mitigate their losses to Spain somewhat by granting more favorable terms to the Americans, such as in ceding the North American Midwest to the United States, keeping it out of Spanish hands. The Bahamas were handed back to Britain by Spain in exchange for East Florida, which, combined with the Spanish conquest of West Florida, saw the entire region restored to the Spanish Crown.
|The King & Queen of Spain visit Washington's tomb|
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
|Afonso I Henriques|
King John I was a very successful monarch, maintaining Portuguese independence from Castile, expanding Portuguese territory into north Africa and making an alliance with England that remains in effect to this day, making it the oldest alliance in the world. It was also under the reign of King John that Prince Henry the Navigator explored the African coast. The island groups of the Azores and Madeira were claimed by Portugal and the country became the preeminent power in the western world in the areas of exploration, sailing and cartography. All of this set a trend that was to continue and kept Portugal at the forefront of exploration and discovery of new lands and trade routes. It can be compared to American astronauts landing on the moon in the 1960’s as the Portuguese explorers were truly going “where no man had gone before” and discovered new lands and peoples, originally in Africa, who had never been contacted before. Under King Afonso V, Portuguese forces won further victories in North Africa and later, under King Manuel I, Portugal became a country with truly global influence.
Unfortunately, this was the peak period for Portugal and a decline was soon coming. One of the first causes involved the Jews who had previously been tolerated under King Manuel I but, when he married the Infanta Isabella of Aragon (daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Aragon and Castile), part of the marriage contract stipulated that the Jews be removed from Portugal as they had been from Spain. After that time, Jews were forced to convert to Catholicism or leave the country and as they had a very large presence in the banking and commercial sectors, the Portuguese economy took a heavy blow with this new policy. There was also a complacency that set in regarding the wealth Portugal was gaining from overseas, whether by the spice trade with Asia or the slave trade in Africa, and many took for granted that this prosperity would last forever while other countries were making serious inroads into all of these areas. There was also about to be a major problem with the Kingdom of Spain. However, mention should also be made of the great faith of Portugal. King Manuel I was a very devout Catholic and the first person to receive the honor of a Golden Rose from the Pope twice in his lifetime. The Portuguese took missionaries, often Jesuits, with them on all their overseas adventures and spread Christianity to vast new lands in Africa, Asia and South America. They were the first westerners to visit Japan and planted Christian seeds in that country that endured fierce persecution and centuries of isolation.
King John IV, the original Braganza monarch, was succeeded by the weak and chronically ill King Afonso VI under whom Portuguese fortunes continued to decline and he was ultimately deposed and exiled. The next monarch was King Peter II who allied with Britain and Austria in the War of Spanish Succession and whose forces even captured Madrid in the course of the conflict though the overall campaign was not a success. However, Peter was succeeded by King John V and under his leadership, the fortunes of the Kingdom of Portugal finally turned around. An ambitious man with a grandiose style, he expanded the Portuguese empire and brought wealth and prosperity back to the country through his victories and policies. An extremely pious man, he was also given the title of “Most Faithful Majesty” by the Pope, a title passed on to all subsequent Portuguese monarchs. He chose good ministers for the administration of the country, showed good judgment himself and presided over a flowering of art, architecture and other cultural achievements for Portugal.
The Anglo-Portuguese forces drove the French out of the country and along with the Spanish proved to be a major irritant to Napoleon. Eventually, the French were driven from the Iberian Peninsula but the region was far from free of conflict. In 1821 King John VI returned to Portugal and found a discontented country. From the beginning there had been those who sympathized with the French and their presence had only increased demands for constitutional government and an end to the absolute monarchy. A liberal constitution was produced in 1822 which greatly restricted royal powers, however, it did not include the colonies and Brazil, its status raised by the recent relocation of the seat of power there, rose up to demand independence. The son of King John VI, Peter, took the lead in this movement and became Emperor Peter (Pedro) I of Brazil. King John VI tried to dispense with the liberal constitution but the stage had already been set for a clash between those who favored constitutional monarchy and the supporters of absolutism.
Such hopes were well founded as the young King Peter V, who came to the throne in 1853, was a very intelligent and hard-working monarch. The infrastructure of the country was modernized and improved dramatically. However, there proved to be little time as the handsome young king died in 1861 during a cholera outbreak. Ironically, one of the areas that had most improved during his reign was the public health system. Still, his loss prompted further beneficial changes in that regard, most notably the passage of the Sanitary reforms. In 1878 slavery was abolished throughout the Portuguese colonial empire under King Luis I. He put Portugal at the forefront of oceanographic research but overall the country did not live up to the potential many saw in the time of Peter V. Political instability was a major problem as the liberal reforms had created a class of politicians, often corrupt, always eager to struggle for power and influence. Portugal fell behind other countries and was blocked from further colonial expansion in Africa as more countries became involved in the game.
Only a couple of years later a military coup sparked a revolution that saw the downfall of the monarchy and the establishment of a republic in 1910. There was little popular support for the upheaval but the King was forced to go into exile in Great Britain. There was one major effort to restore the monarchy but this was ultimately unsuccessful and the fortunes of Portugal likewise continued to sink under republican rule. Chaos and power struggles ensued and the country declined ever farther. Order was only restored after the establishment of the Corporatist State in 1933 after which time the economy slowly began to improve. However, that progress was thwarted by the outbreak of communist-backed anti-colonial wars in Africa. Portugal was essentially forced to fight three wars simultaneously and the strain ultimately led to the so-called “Carnation Revolution” in 1974 after which the Portuguese colonies were abandoned.