|National Union (Portugal)|
The Mocidade Portuguesa (Portuguese pronunciation: [musiˈðað(ɨ) puɾtuˈɣezɐ], English: Portuguese Youth) was a Portuguese youth organization founded in 1936 (dissolved in 1974) during the Portuguese President of the Council´s António de Oliveira Salazar's far-right-wing regime, the Estado Novo. Membership was compulsory between the ages of 7 and 14, and voluntary until the age of 25.
Founded in 1936 by Tiago Franco, the Mocidade was originally inspired upon the model of the Italian Fascist Opera Nazionale Balilla and the Nazi Hitler Youth. During 1936 and 1944 the Mocidade had close relations with the Hitler Youth, Opera Nazionale Balilla and the Spanish Frente de Juventudes. However, in 1940 the Germanophile National Secretary Francisco Nobre Guedes was replaced by the anglophile Marcelo Caetano, who gave a different orientation after World War II, because it was seen by many as a fascist organization. With the defeat of Nazism, the Mocidade backed away from the Hitler Youth mode of organization. It abandoned its paramilitary feature, gaining more feature of youth groups of the Catholic Church and other youth organizations as the Scout Movement. But these changes only came to full realisation after the death of Salazar, because in many ways throughout his lifetime the Mocidade still had some fascist ideas such as the cult of the leader (Salazar) and the Roman salute. When Caetano assumed the leadership of Portugal he largely forgot the Mocidade, and many old-members from the organisation even claimed that Marcelo was a democrat and an Anti-fascist. These dissents left the Mocidade and created the Movimento Juventude Portugal (Portuguese Youth Movement), which was a strongly fascist and Salazarist youth organization resembling the Mocidade in the days of Salazar, although this movement was not supported by the Government and it was dissolved after the Carnation Revolution.
Members of the Portuguese Youth were divided into four groups by age:
- Lusitos: 7 to 10 years;
- Infantes: 10 to 14 years;
- Vanguardistas: 14 to 17 years;
- Cadetes: 17 to 25 years.
By decree 29453, White Portuguese citizens living in the then Portuguese colonies, and "assimilated colonists" were permitted to join the Portuguese Youth.
Mocidade Portuguesa Feminina
The "Feminine Portuguese Youth" was founded in 1937 as the female division of the Portuguese Youth. The goal of the Feminine Portuguese Youth was teach young women "the proper mission of a woman's performance in the family and the state".
Both groups were dissolved in 1974, after the Carnation Revolution, being classified at that time as "Fascist organizations".
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