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José Mendes Cabeçadas

José Mendes Cabeçadas Júnior

Born in Loulé on 19 August 1883; died in Lisbon on 11 June 1965.

Naval officer. Freemason. Played an important role in the events of 5 October 1910 with the revolt of the Adamastor.

Deputy (1911 to 1915).

At the time of 28 May he had been linked for some years with the opposition to the Democratic Party, then in government. He led the conspiracy in Lisbon. President Bernardino Machado asked him to head the Government (31.5.1926) where he also took over most of the portfolios. That same day he accepted Machado’s resignation and as head of the Ministry took over as President of the Republic.

His idea was of a reformist, anti-Ministry and anti-Democratic Party coup that would not endanger the essence of the constitutional regime in force. The speedy exit (17.6.1926) of someone who had seemed to be the first strong man of the dictatorship and Carmona’s triumph marked the victory of authoritarian and conservative republicanism. Cabeçadas in fact, never possessed the necessary force to exercise powers, in particular the presidential powers, he was supposed to have.

From there he moved to the opposition and became involved in military plots (e.g. 1946 and 1947).His last significant political gesture was to have been one of the first three people to sign the Programme for the Democratisation of the Republic (1961).