History of Portugal
Portugal may be a small country but that has been one of the biggest maritime empires in history.
With just over 10 million inhabitants, Portugal occupies a rectangle by the sea a mere 92,090 square kilometers at the westernmost point of Europe. But its size in no way corresponds to the size of its value. Be it the historical, cultural, gastronomic and landscape level, the goods Portugal owns can not be described as small.
Portugal is one of the most ancient nations of Europe, cumulated more than eight centuries old. Having been successively subject to invasions of different people, it added influences over time, having shaped and and resulted in the country we know today.
The human presence on the territory of Portugal dates back to the Palaeolithic era, but the history of Portugal as a nation only dates from the year 1140 A.D. when Dom Afonso Henriques proclaimed himself as king of Portugal. However, only the May 23, 1179 is that Pope Alexander III enacted Manifestis Probatum that recognized officially his reign.
The fifteenth century was the period of discoveries, the historical time when Portugal reached the greatest glory, expanding and becoming known for the "new worlds to the world," as Camões once said. This expansion began with the colonization of Ceuta in 1415, following then to the west coast of Africa, Madeira and the Azores, Canary Islands, Cabo Verde, Hong Kong, Beijing and Timor. Thus, at that time, Portugal was acclaimed as one of the major powers of Europe, due to its vast colonial and_ maritime empire, that much was due to its seafaring, among which are included Vasco da Gama and Pedro Alvares Cabral.
After the unprecedented glory and expansion period, Portugal has suffered a setback. In 1580, in the sixteenth century, it was annexed to the Spanish crown. It only came to recover its independence on December 1, 1640, when supporters of John IV made the coup d'etat at the royal palace in Lisbon and began the 4th Portuguese Dynasty, in the Bragança house.
During the Napoleonic Invasions, in 1807, the Portuguese royal family fled to Brazil and settled in Rio de Janeiro that later became the capital of the Portuguese Empire. John VI only returned to Lisbon in 1821 to accept the Liberal Constitution adopted by the courts. Only since then the Portuguese monarchy became constitutional.
On 5 October 1910 he gave the fall of the monarchy in Portugal, with the exile of the royal family, and_ was proclaimed the Portuguese Republic, also known as Parliamentary Republic. This new political system lasted until the 28th May 1926, when it coup d'etat happend that led to the military dictatorship, which later culminated in the New State.
In the 1960s, under the dictatorship of Salazar, some families suffered a major economic probation, which sparked the migratory movements to France and Germany that took place at the time. This dictatorial regime finally sank on 25 April 1974 when the Carnation Revolution happend the country's return to democracy.
In 1986, Portugal joined the European Union (formerly the European Economic Community - EEC) , and in 2002, adopted the (€) Portuguese as official currency.
Currently, Portugal is experiencing a stable economic and social situation. Being the 5th safest country in the world and having convenient enviable geographic and atmospheric conditions, it is a paradise on earth for those who want a friendly and fruitful atmosphere to visit or even to stay in.
Photo source: Parlamento Português