Camacho, Manuel Brito

(1862-1934)
   A leading political figure of the First Republic, leader-founder of a principal pre-1919 party and high commissioner of Portuguese East Africa in the l920s. Brito Camacho was trained as a medical doctor, but became noteworthy first as the editor of a fighting republican newspaper, A Luta (The Struggle), which played a role in the republican propaganda era in the years before the 5 October 1910 republican revolution. Camacho became one of the principal republican leaders during 1906-12 and, when he dissented from the radical line of the Portuguese Republican Party (PRP), he split from that party and formed his own Republican Union (UR) party, which lasted from 1912 to 1918.
   A major policy issue for Camacho and his UR followers was opposition to Portugal's active intervention in World War I on the Allied side. When Portugal did enter the war in March 1916, Camacho lent his political influence through his newspaper and his following to opposition to the PRP's policy of war intervention. Camacho played an important role in the preparation of political and military support for Sidônio Pais's December 1917 coup, which succeeded in overthrowing the PRP and ousting Afonso Costa. After the assassination of Sidónio Pais and the brief civil war of early 1919, Brito Camacho withdrew from domestic politics and sought rest and escape abroad. In a brief but important period (1921-23), Camacho served as the republic's high commissioner in Mozambique. He spent much of the remainder of his life in research and writing.
   See also Political parties.

Historical dictionary of Portugal 3rd ed.. . 2014.

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