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Memoria e Ricerca

Masonry and national identity in Portugal in the second half of the XIXth Century

di Ignacio Chato Gonzalo
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 4 (1999), p. 9

The birth and development of nationalistic movements in the xixth Century caused conflicts and discrepancies within masonic societies. The fact is that freemasons, loyal to the principle of Universal Brotherhood, believed in internationalism, and this was enough to induce the public opinion in several countries to suspect their societies of antipatriotic feelings. This problem was specially dramatic in Portugal in the second half of the century, when the United Lusitanian Grand Orient, of which some Spanish lodges were also members, was charged with being a tool of Spain and forsaking Portuguese nationalism for the sake of an Iberian ideal, i.e. Spanish hegemony in the Peninsula. To counter these charges Portuguese masonry emphasized its nationalistic spirit, and this put an end to any dispute about this question for the following decades.