Portugal’s participation in the First World War was depicted by its supporters as a vital component of the consolidation of the country’s young republican regime (established in 1910) and its affirmation abroad. However, there was never any consensus on intervention and the despatch of an expeditionary force on the Western Front, and a coup d’état in December 1917 led to a revision of Portugal’s commitment to the conflict. The defence of the country’s substantial colonial empire generated greater agreement at the level of national elites, but the war in the colonies – especially in Mozambique – proved especially problematic for the Portuguese. All of these factors, taken together with domestic upheaval and a disappointing peace treaty in 1919, suggest that rather than strengthening the Republic, the First World War served to undermine it fatally, leaving it unprepared for the challenges of the post-war world.
Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, and Bill Nasson