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Abstract

Portuguese national identity was consciously recreated during the 1860s, and a full programme of national identity socialisation was devised. At the core of this project was the proposal to celebrate the 1st of December as the ‘Restoration of Independence Day’. The goal of the National Association 1st of December 1640, which was founded in 1861, was to combat cosmopolitanism, internationalism, and Iberianism, and highlight to the outside world, in general, and to the Portuguese ‘traitors’ in particular, the determination of the Portuguese people to retain their independence. To fulfil this purpose, it was felt necessary to awaken the soul of the Portuguese people by remembering the sufferings of the nation under the yoke of Spain, which lasted from 1580 and 1640, and the national jubilation that accompanied the restoration of freedom. This article argues that, contrary to what is stated in the vast majority of nationalist literature, the original celebration of the 1st of December should not be seen as a response to the Spanish threat of annexation, but rather as a mechanism to prevent attacks against the royal house and the regime it stood for both at home and abroad.