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Anti-Portuguese sentiment (or Lusophobia) is a hostility toward Portugal, the Portuguese people or the Portuguese language and culture.


Like Lusitanic, the word "Lusophobia" derives from Lusitania, the Ancient Roman province that comprised what is nowadays Central and Southern Portugal, and phobia that means "fear of". The term Portuguese: lusofobia is used in Portuguese-speaking countries, and its use in English is rare. The opposite concept is lusophilia.

Historical background[edit]


In the nineteenth century, the term lusofobia was often used to describe nationalist sentiments in Brazil, a former colony of the Portuguese Empire, with Liberal politicians in Rio de Janeiro and Pernambuco advocating the reduction of immigrant Portuguese involvement in the Brazilian economy, though almost all were themselves of Portuguese descent.[1] In Rio, the "Jacobinos", a small national radical group, were the strongest opponents of the "Galegos", the Portuguese immigrants, who were (and still are) also the biggest ethnocultural community in Brazil.[2]

In the immediate aftermath of the abdication of Pedro I of Brazil in 1831, in favor of his son Pedro II of Brazil, the poor black people, including slaves, staged anti-Portuguese riots in the streets of Brazil's larger cities.[3]

Modern examples[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

In 2007 after three-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared from Praia da Luz, in the Algarve region of southern Portugal, many UK media outlets wrote highly critical articles that were described as having "a touch of arrogant xenophobia".[4] Whilst others in the media attempted to foster anti-Portuguese sentiment with ideas such as boycotting Portugal [5] as a holiday destination, this was not reflected in general public opinion which saw record numbers of UK tourists visit Portugal.[6][7] Considered a record, the estimates were of 2 million British tourists holidaying in Portugal in 2007.[8] Notable anti-Portuguese articles by Tony Parsons[9] received a record number of complaints to the Press Complaints Commission for that year.[10][11]


  1. ^ Mosher, Jeffrey C. "Political Mobilization, Party Ideology, and Lusophobia in Nineteenth-Century Brazil: Pernambuco, 1822-1850" Hispanic American Historical Review - 80:4, November 2000, pp. 881-912
  2. ^ Jacobinos versus Galegos: Urban Radicals versus Portuguese Immigrants in Rio de Janeiro in the 1890s, June E. Hahner - Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs, Vol. 18, No. 2 (May, 1976), pp. 125-15, [1], JSTOR
  3. ^ Rebelions in Bahia
  4. ^ Berlins, Marcel (10 September 2007). "Media have rushed to judge Portuguese police". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-09-10. 
  5. ^ Don't go to Portugal for your holiday
  6. ^ Algarve Tourism Board: Increase of UK tourists is the answer to the boycott appeal from Telegraph. Gazeta Digital
  7. ^ Região de Turismo do Algarve : Aumento do número de turistas britanicos é a resposta ao boicote do Telegraph
  8. ^ "Caso Madeleine" não tem efeito negativo em ano com número recorde de turistas britânicos
  10. ^ Press Complaints At All Time High
  11. ^ PCC complaints hit record high