Today, 24 August of 2020, Portugal celebrates two hundred years of the 1820’s Liberal revolution, which had a start in Porto after many years of abuse from France and England.
Portugal from 1807 till 1811 suffered three military invasions from France, the well-know Napolionical invasions, as a form to block the continental access to England and known as one of the darkest periods of our national history.
Needless to say, for thirteen years, Portugal was forgotten by king D. João VI who transformed Brazil in the new kingdom and Portugal the colony.
D. João VI, who had a weak personality and fear of being killed, decided to leave Portugal in November of 1807 in direction to Brazil.
With the king’s flight, the Portuguese military disorganization, the consecutive Napoleionical invasions. And the appalling social environment in Portugal brought the right conditions for England to come at the aid of our country and expel not only the French army but also obtain access to the main Brazilian commercial plazas.
Although the British presence between 1809 and 1810 was peaceful. The truth is after 1814 and with Portugal completely battered by the war, the transformation of the general William Beresford into a kind of Portugal viceroy, with full government powers, led to the first national-revolutionary attempt in 1817 which failed by denunciation.
It would be only on 24 August of 1820, Porto, taking advantage of the Beresford trip to Brasil to obtain more governance power. That the Sanhedrin that was created by Manuel Fernandes Tomás in 1818 with the support of the Portuguese troops headed by the colonel Cabreira that finally, Portugal was successful in the intention of obtaining freedom and independence as a sovereign country. The general Beresford, on his return from Brazil, couldn’t land in Lisbon and had to head to England.
Contrary to what has been published today in the Portuguese media, we are not celebrating 200 years of a new national constitution. Which only occurred in 1822. We are celebrating the end of more than one decade of French and then British dominance. We are mourning the loss of Brazil as part of our international territory (1822), and mourning the achievements we had as a liberal nation which were captured and ridiculed in the XX and XXI century, by conservative reactionaryism and small minds, fueling lobbies interests and perpetuation of inequalities.
It is offensive and a shock for our Portuguese ancestors the transmitted distorted facts about the national history, but also the distortion of the real purpose of the 1820 liberal revolution. It is offensive and a shock when national professors go to the national television and don’t speak the truth because they are part of one group that is paid or will suffer consequences if they do so.
Not knowing the truth or distort reality is to condemn individuals to ignorance, which is the worst blindness of all.
With this said, I wish all of you a wonderful week without lies.