The Making of Portuguese Diaspora in Postwar North America (working title)
Manuscript adapted from Ph.D. dissertation. Expected publication in 2017.
How can a small peripheral government with few material resources assert itself as a geopolitical player in an era of rising global governance and dwindling nation-state sovereignty? This was the question in the minds of Portuguese officials when developing their foreign policies in the aftermath of the Second World War and again after the Revolution of the Carnations of April 25, 1974. In their case, examined in this study, the answer was similar in both contexts: tie Portuguese nationhood with imperial and diasporic imaginings, and develop a national diaspora with close ties with the homeland and its government. This study examines the social, cultural, religious, economic, and political processes by which Portugal’s Estado Novo dictatorship laid the foundations for the diasporic discourse and institutions that followed the end of the colonial empire and the introduction of a new democratic political order after 1974. I focus on the role played by homeland diplomats, ethnic entrepreneurs, Catholic missionaries, political activists and other transnational intermediaries in shaping a diasporic consciousness among the Portuguese communities of eastern Canada – Toronto and Montreal – and northeastern United States – New Bedford, Fall River, Boston, Providence, Newark, and other cities in New England and the Greater New York City area. This dissertation also engages with current discussions in the field of migration studies, especially those related with the concepts of diaspora, transnationalism, and nation-state, as well as ethnicity, class, and race, and introduces an imperial and homeland dimension to our frame of analysis. The period of history examined (1950s-70s) covers the inauguration of Portuguese mass migration to Canada and its resurgence to the United States; the rise of large international governing bodies, rival Cold War superpowers and their spheres of influence; the Portuguese Colonial Wars in Africa and the downfall of settler colonialism; the emergence of cultural pluralism and identity politics in Canada and parts of the United States; the radicalization of the Portuguese “anti-fascist” opposition; and the revolutionary transition to democracy in Portugal. These larger processes framed the local, national, and transnational histories of Portuguese immigrants in North America and had significant impact in the development of their diasporic communities, consciousness, and identities.
The archives I have consulted include the Arquivo Histórico-Diplomático of the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Lisbon); the Portuguese National Archives and Library (Lisbon); the Centro de Documentação 25 de Abril, University of Coimbra (Coimbra); the National Archives of Canada (Ottawa); the Archives of Ontario (Toronto); the Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, York University Libraries (Toronto); the Archdiocese of Toronto Archives (Toronto); the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, University of Massachusetts (Dartmouth).
1. PORTUGUESE MIGRATIONS: NUMBERS, POLICIES, AND PERCEPTIONS
“Look, look, they go in herds
Howls of sorrow on the roads.
Near the piers, on the bulwarks
Of distant ships…”
Guerra Junqueiro, Finis Patriae (1890)
– The early history of Portuguese modern emigration
– The postwar cycle: 1950s-1970s
– The postimperial cycle: 1970s-1980s
– A “country of immigrants”: 1990s-2000s
2. MAKING CHRISTENDOM: MISSIONARIES, NATIONAL PARISHES, AND TRANSREGIONAL CHARITY
“Separated by the sea and the continents, the secret of our union is our Faith,
the foundation of our Portugality and the spirit of the Portuguese Christian family.”
D. José Maria das Neves, OCPM director, December 13, 1962.
– The Estado Novo, the Vatican, and the Portuguese Catholic Organization for Migrations
– National parishes, the cult of Fátima, and the Portuguese clergy in the United States
– Working immigrant families, parish social services, and covetous priests in Canada
– Regional festas, gendered laity, and transregional charity
3. MAKING CIVIL SOCIETIES: SECULAR WORKERS’ FRATERNITIES AND ETHNIC ENTREPRENEURS
“[T]he Portuguese working class is not divided. Division never existed simply because they were never agents of the community identification as such.”
Rev. Eduardo San-Bento Couto, keynote address,
Portuguese Interagency Network conference, May 8, 1982
– Working-class organizations: labour unions, mutual aid societies, ethnic fraternities and sports clubs
– The ethnic elites: businessmen, professionals, and politicians
– The quest for unity: diplomatic patronage, ethnic confederations and the Portugal Day
4. MAKING ETHNIC CULTURE: PROPAGANDA, POPULAR ARTS, AND LANGUAGE
“It matters little, if from the Azores, Madeira, or the Mainland.
What matters is that we be good folk.”
Song performed by the Rancho Folclórico das Províncias e Ilhas de Portugal
– Traditional versus modern: the Estado Novo‘s cultural and educational policies
– Popular culture and rurality: the ranchos folclóricos
– Selling Portugal: tourism, trade, and music
– Portuguese language instruction and community schools
– Literate culture: ethnic press, authors and libraries
5. MAKING IMPERIAL CITIZENS: LUSOTROPICALISMO AND THE MULTIRACIAL DIASPORA
“This pilgrim Nation on foreign land that are our emigrants.”
Adriano Moreira, President of the Lisbon Geographic Society, May 9, 1964.
– Protecting the empire: lusotropicalismo, Portugal’s foreign relations, and the colonial wars
– “Black Europeans” or “White Africans”: the racial complexities of Portuguese- and Cape Verdean-Americans
– Rallying for empire: shaping the imperial consciousness of Portuguese immigrants
– The imperialist diaspora: Adriano Moreira and the Union of Portuguese Cultural Communities
6. THE RADIALS’ DIASPORA: “ANTI-FASCISTS”, WAR RESISTERS, AND OTHER POLITICAL EXILES
“Sons of the PEOPLE OF PORTUGAL, in this country there are hundreds of political exiles
and young men who had the nobility of deserting the colonialist army. Join us…”
Movimento Democrático Português, Montreal, 1967.
– The “external front”: Humberto Delgado, Henrique Galvão, and the Frente Patriótica de Libertação Nacional
– Abílio Oliveira Águas and Newark’s Committee Pro-Democracy in Portugal
– Portuguese “anti-fascists” in Canada: the Portuguese Canadian Democratic Association and the Mouvement Democratique Portugais
– Cold War surveillance and deportation: PIDE, the FBI, and the RCMP
7. NEW BEGINNINGS, OLD JOURNEYS: MULTICULTURAL, GENERATIONAL AND REVOLUTIONARY TRANSITIONS
“I came from afar, from very far. What I’ve trekked to get here!
I will travel afar, so very far, where we will find ourselves, with what we have to give us.”
Chorus for the song Eu Vim de Longe, P’ra Muito Longe (1982), by José Mário Branco.
– Multicultural societies: Portuguese immigrant communities in the early 1970s
– Generational shifts: young Portuguese activists and their political uses of race and ethnicity
– Hope and apprehension: the April 25th Revolution and its impact on the Portuguese communities during the PREC
– Post-imperial epilogues: change and continuity under Portugal’s new political order