Portugal History 

 

Portugal shares the Iberian peninsula at the south-western tip of Europe with Spain. Geographically and culturally somewhat isolated from its neighbor, Portugal has a rich, unique culture, lively cities and beautiful countryside. Although it was once one of the poorest countries in Western Europe, the end of dictatorship and introduction of Democracy in 1974, as well as its incorporation into the European Union in 1986, has meant significantly increased prosperity. It may now be one of the best value destinations on the Continent. This is because the country offers outstanding landscape diversity, due to its North-South disposition along the western shore of the Iberian peninsula. You can travel in a single day from green mountains in the North, covered with vines and all varieties of trees to rocky mountains, with spectacular slopes and falls in the Centre, to a near-desert landscape in the Alentejo region and finally to the glamorous beach holidays destination Algarve.
The Portuguese Republic (Portuguese: República Portuguesa), is a country on the Iberian Peninsula, in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost country of mainland Europe, being bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south and by Spain to the north and east. The Portugal-Spain border is 1,214 km (754 mi) long and considered the longest uninterrupted border within the European Union. The republic also holds sovereignty over the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments.
Portugal lost much of its wealth and status with the destruction of Lisbon in a 1755 earthquake, occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, and the independence of Brazil, its wealthiest colony, in 1822. After the 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy, the democratic but unstable Portuguese First Republic was established, later being superseded by the “Estado Novo” right-wing authoritarian regime. Democracy was restored after the Portuguese Colonial War and the Carnation Revolution in 1974. Shortly after, independence was granted to all its colonies, with the exception of Macau, which was handed over to China in 1999. This marked the end of the longest-lived European colonial empire, leaving a profound cultural and architectural influence across the globe and a legacy of over 250 million Portuguese speakers today.
Portugal maintains a unitary semi-presidential republican form of government and is a developed country with an advanced economy, and very high living standards, having the 18th highest Social Progress in the world, putting it ahead of other western European countries like France, Spain and Italy. It is a member of numerous international organizations, including the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, OECD, NATO and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries. Portugal is also known for having fully decriminalized the usage of all drugs in 2001, the first country in the world to do so.
The land within the borders of current Portugal has been continuously settled and fought over since prehistoric times. The Celtsand the Romans were followed by the Visigothic and the Suebi Germanic peoples, who were themselves later invaded by the Moors. These Muslim peoples were eventually expelled during the Christian Reconquista of the peninsula. By 1139, Portugal had established itself as a kingdom independent from León. In the 15th and 16th centuries, as the result of pioneering the Age of Discovery, Portugal expanded Western influence and established the first global empire, becoming one of the world’s major economic, political and military powers.

Kings And Princes Of Portugal

 

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Dom John VI 

Dom John VI (Portuguese: João VI. 13 May 1767 – 10 March 1826) was King of theUnited Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves from 1816 to 1822, and, although de facto the United Kingdom over which he ruled ceased to exist, he remained so de jurefrom 1822 to 1825; after the recognition of Brazilian independence under the 1825 Treaty of Rio de Janeiro, he continued as King of Portugal and the Algarves until his death in 1826. Under the said Treaty he also became Titular Emperor of Brazil for life, while his son, Emperor Pedro I, was both de facto and de jure the monarch of the newly independent country.
Born in Lisbon in 1767, the son of Peter III of Portugal, and Queen Maria I, he was originally an infante (prince not heir to the throne) of Portugal, and only became heir to the throne when his older brother, José, Prince of Brazil, died in 1788, of smallpox, at the age of 27.
Before his accession to the Portuguese throne, John VI bore the titles of Duke of Braganza and Duke of Beja, as well as the title of Prince of Brazil. He served, from 1799, as Prince Regent of Portugal (and later, from 1815, as Prince Regent of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves), due to the mental illness of his mother, the Queen. Eventually, he succeeded his mother as monarch of the Portuguese Empire, with no real change in his authority, since, as Regent, he already possessed absolute powers.
One of the last representatives of absolutism, he lived during a turbulent period; his reign never saw a lasting peace. Throughout his period as Regent and later King, such major powers as Kingdom of Spain, Kingdom of France and its later successor the First French Empire and Great Britain (from 1801, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland) continually intervened in Portuguese affairs. Forced to flee to South America across theAtlantic Ocean into Brazil when troops of the Emperor Napoleon I invaded Portugal, he found himself faced there with Liberal revolts that reflected similar events in the metropolis; he was compelled to return to Europe amid new conflicts. His marriage was no less conflictual, as his wife, Carlota Joaquina of Spain, repeatedly conspired against her husband in favor of personal interests or those of her native Spain. He lost Brazil when his son Pedro declared independence, and his other son Miguel (later Miguel I of Portugal) led a rebellion that sought to depose him. According to recent scholarly research, his death may well have been caused by arsenic poisoning.
Notwithstanding these tribulations he left a lasting mark, especially in Brazil, creating numerous institutions and services that laid a foundation for national autonomy, and is considered by many researchers the true mastermind of the modern Brazilian state. Still, he has been widely (if unjustly) viewed as a cartoonish figure in Portuguese-Brazilian history, being accused of laziness, lack of political acumen and constant indecision, and often portrayed as physically grotesque.

 

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Prince Henry the Navigator

Pearheaded European exploration of the world and the Age of Discovery. Prince Henry the Navigator, son of King João I, became the main sponsor and patron of this endeavour. During this period, Portugal explored the Atlantic Ocean, discovering several Atlantic archipelagos like the Azores, Madeira, and Cape Verde, explored the African coast, colonized selected areas of Africa, discovered an eastern route to India via the Cape of Good Hope, discovered Brazil, explored the Indian Ocean, established trading routes throughout most of southern Asia, and sent the first direct European maritime trade and diplomatic missions to China and Japan. In 1415, Portugal acquired the first of its overseas colonies by conquering Ceuta, the first prosperous Islamic trade centre in North Africa. There followed the first discoveries in the Atlantic: Madeira and the Azores, which led to the first colonization movements.

 

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Manuel I 

Manuel I (English: Emmanuel I; 31 May 1469 – 13 December 1521), the Fortunate (Port. o Afortunado), King of Portugal and the Algarves was the son of Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu (1433–70) by his wife, Infanta Beatrice of Portugal. His name is associated with a period of Portuguese civilization distinguished by significant achievements both in political affairs and the arts. In spite of its small size and population in comparison to the great land powers of Europe, it was able to acquire an overseas empire of vast proportions and with a global dimension, for the first time in history, during Manuel’s reign.

 

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John I 

John I (Portuguese: João, 11 April 1357 – 14 August 1433) was King of Portugal and the Algarve in 1385–1433. He was called the Good (sometimes the Great) or of Happy Memory, more rarely and outside Portugal, in Spain, the Bastard, and was the first to use the title Lord of Ceuta. He preserved the kingdom’s independence from Castile.

 

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Afonso I

Afonso I (25 July 1109, Coimbra, Guimarães or Viseu – 6 December 1185,Coimbra), more commonly known as D. Afonso Henriques (Portuguese pronunciation , nicknamed “the Conqueror” (Portuguese: O Conquistador), “the Founder” (O Fundador) or “the Great” (O Grande) by the Portuguese, and El-Bortukali (“the Portuguese”) and Ibn-Arrik (“son of Henry”, “Henriques”) by the Moors whom he fought, was the first King of Portugal. He achieved the independence of the southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia, the County of Portugal, from Galicia’s overlord, the King of León, in 1139, establishing a new kingdom and doubling its area with the Reconquista, an objective that he pursued until his death, in 1185, after forty-six years of wars against the Moors.

 

 

 

 

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