A Portuguesa (the Portuguese Anthem).

In the year that celebrates the centenary of the Portuguese Republic it is important to recall the history of the Portuguese anthem “A Portuguesa”. It is an hymn that has been related with the republican ideology but has little to do with it. It is interlinked with the British Ultimatum, a political crisis that occurred, at the end of the monarchy, in the relations between Portugal and  England. The British expressed their opposition to the Portuguese plans to unified its territories located in Africa in an African Empire, as they aim to enlarge its (own) empire  at the expense of the Portuguese colonies and interests (the so-called Pink Map issue).
This act of strict imperialism instilatted the outcry of Portuguese patriots and several nationalist demonstrations took place in Portugal against the British plans. History tells that Alfredo Keil composed the music and went to Lopes Mendonça house to show him the result. Mendonça informed Keil that he has already written a poem about it. The national anthem was found. 12 000 copies of the lyrics were printed and distribute around; this took place in 1890. The tune was first played in a theater as a nationalist and patriotic hymn but gradually was appropriated by the republicans. When the 5th October took place it became natural the hymn of the movement was “A Portuguesa”. The appeal to arms was no more directed towards the British but against the monarchy: às armas; às armas; pela Terra e pelo Mar; contra os canhões marchar, marchar.
Both Alfredo Keil and Lopes Mendonça were freemasons and freemasonry is dearly associated with Portuguese history.
Adaptation of an article of Alexandra Prado Coelho in Público