Carnation Revolution

The Carnation Revolution (Portuguese, Revolução dos Cravos) was an almost bloodless, leftist, military-led coup d'état, started on April 25, 1974, in Lisbon, Portugal, that effectively changed the Portuguese regime from an authoritarian dictatorship to a liberal democracy after two years of a transitional period known as PREC (Processo Revolucionário Em Curso), characterized by social turmoil and power dispute between left and right wing political forces. Although government forces killed four people before surrendering, the revolution was unusual in that the revolutionaries did not use direct violence to achieve their goals. The population, holding red carnations (cravos in Portuguese), convinced the regime soldiers not to resist. The soldiers readily swapped their bullets for flowers. It was the end of the Estado Novo, the longest authoritarian regime in Western Europe (but not the last to end; Francisco Franco ruled Spain until his death in 1975). The revolution is often simply referred to, as its celebratory holiday, o dia vinte e cinco de Abril (the 25th of April).


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