History of Portugal

In the history of Portugal the Greeks, Phoenicians, Carthaginians and the Romans have successfully occupied the area in Portugal that is now known as Lisbon. The Tagus River with its natural harbor was an obvious attraction. The Romans extended control in the history of Portugal over what is now current-day Portugal from their main base of power in Spain.

Romans left remnants of their culture behind, the biggest one being the Portugese language which is derived from Latin, as well as wine production which the Romans were famous for. Certain layers of the Conimbriga ruins were also built by the Romans. Christianity in the history of Portugal began to spread around the region from roughly the first century A.D.

Events in Portugal history after the collapse of the Romans includes the arrival of the Moors in 711. Their influence can be witnessed in the Algarve region of the country which used to be called al-Gharb. Agriculture advanced and urban centers grew. The Moors were gradually ousted by the Christians in the mid-1100"s in Portugal history. Around that time the first King of Portugal took power and the Knights Templar established the Convent of Christ in Tomar.

The year of 1255 in Portugal history saw Lisbon become the capital and Portugal expanded its trade of olive oil, wine and salt fish to Spain and northern Europe. Portugal early history sees the threat of Spanish domination subsided for some time and Portugal became allies with England through the Treaty of Windsor in 1386. Throughout the 1400"s in Portugal early history Portugal’s King’s expanded their territory into North Africa and beyond.

The Portugese utilized new developments in navigation, cartography and ship-building which brought prosperity to the country via the ports of Lisbon and Porto. Great profits at this time in Portugal early history from new trade helped fund ambitious projects such as the building of Torre de Belem, though the new wealth did not trickle down to general society.

In 1578 the death of the childless King Dom Sebastiao led to the conquest of Portugal and rule by Spain. He ruled until 1640 when a palace coup was stage and the throne was taken back by the Portugese. History on Portugal shows that Napoleon’s army invaded in 1807 and the Portugese royal family fled to Brazil. Napoleon was later defeated in 1811 by Anglo Portugese forces led by British generals. The monarchy continued destabilizing in the later part of the 19th century. In the early 1900"s the history on Portugal includes several coup d’etats and political assassinations that led to the overthrow of the monarchy in 1910. 1916 saw Portugal move into position in WW1 and economic problems began running rampant in the country.

In 1926 Antonio de Oliveira Salazar became prime minister and held the position until 1968! Toward the end of his rule, wars of independence broke out in Portugal’s far-flung colonial territories such as Goa, which was seized by India in 1961. In the history on Portugal an almost bloodless coup ended the authoritarian regime in 1974 and it was then that Portugal granted independence to most of its colonial territories. In 1975 Colonel Eanes became president after another failed coup.

Portugal joined the E.U. in 1986 under presidential rule of Mario Soares and economic growth continued with large-scale E.U. funding. 1997 history on Portugal shows the country’s last colony of Macau being handed back to China and two years later East Timor gained independence after a Portugese-supported UN referendum. Today tourism thrives and Portugal beaches and attractions such as Carnaval draw thousands of tourists to the region every year.

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