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Before Portugal assert itself as an independent kingdom, there were many people who came over here and helped to shape the spirit of nowadays country, leaving traces, habits, customs, techniques and knowledge. The Iberians were the first people to be on the Iberian Peninsula, territory in which Spain and Portugal are now. These people were dedicated to mining, agriculture and metallurgy.
10th Century BC
In the first millennium before Christ the Celtics arrived from Europe. They mastered the metallurgy art by working with gold, silver and bronze, building ornaments, weapons and agricultural tools. To protect themselves they built at the hilltops, circular stone houses covered by stalks, named castros. Some of the Portuguese localities have the name with the origin of these people, like Brigantia, the current Bragança, Bracara the current Braga, Pendraganum the current Pedrógão.
9th Century BC
Later on, this Celtic people would mix with the Iberians giving origin to the Celtiberians. The Lusitanians were one of the tribes that stood out in the Celtiberian people. It was a warrior tribe living in Lusitania, territory which covered much of what is now called Portugal. They were mainly devoted to agriculture, fishing and pasture farming. They used the skin of animals, like wool, that they weave to make garments.
7th Century BC
The temperate climate of the Iberian Peninsula, its natural wealth as fertile land and abundance of metals (silver, copper, tin and gold) and its geographical location continued to attract new people. The Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Carthaginians were some of the people who passed through the Iberian Peninsula from the Mediterranean Sea, and were mainly sailors and traders. They were more evolved people, which allowed the people already settled in the Iberian Peninsula to learn new techniques. The Phoenicians brought the first alphabet and wrote on papyrus, the Greeks inserted the use of coins in trading, and the Carthaginians introduced the salting technique (conservation of fish in salt).
3rd Century BC
The Romans were also attracted by the natural resources, and began to invade the Iberian Peninsula. They had a powerful, disciplined, and well organized army and easily conquered the Iberian Peninsula with the exception of Lusitania. After nearly two centuries of continuous battles won against the Romans, Viriato (chief of Lusitanian people) would eventually be betrayed by some of his followers who were paid by the Romans to kill him. The battles continued, with Sertório commanding the Lusitanian troops who would also die for treason. The weakened Lusitanian would eventually be dominated by the Romans.
1st Century BC
For almost 600 years the Iberian Peninsula was dominated by the Romans, who had also conquered the whole territory around the Mediterranean, and called it "mare nostrum" (our sea). The people eventually would adapt to this new culture, and this process was named as Romanization. The castros were replaced by rustic villages, farms in the lowlands, where the houses were covered with roof tiles and the floor with tiles. Cities were formed and luxurious homes, public buildings such as theatres, baths and aqueducts, and a network of roads and bridges were built to turn the trade and the movement of the army easier. The trade began to increase and began to emerge in usual places. In the agriculture the cultivation of wheat, vineyards, olive and fruit trees was developed, and in the industry the potteries, forges, quarries, mines, fish salting and weaving progressed. Christianity settled has a religion and Latin emerges as unifying language - giving origin to the Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French and Romanian - as well as Roman numerals sometimes still used nowadays. Many Roman remains are still found today in Portugal, from roads, bridges, temples, aqueducts, fountains to ruins of Roman villas.
Attracted by the Romans rich empire, the people who lived beyond the empire borders, which stand out the Suebi and the Visigoths, began to invade the Iberian Peninsula. These people were nicknamed by the Romans as Barbarians because they had a different culture from the one practiced in the empire. The Roman Empire, after several wars and defeats was already much weakened, and would ultimately be defeated by these people. The Suevi established themselves in the northwest and the Visigoths in the remaining territory. After a few years of battles, the Visigoths would eventually dominate the entire Iberian Peninsula expelling the Suebi from their lands. These people would eventually absorb some of the widespread Roman culture, customs and traditions, including the Latin spoken by the different tribes in distinct ways (starting to resemble with the current languages - Portuguese, Spanish, French) and religion - Christianity.
Coming from the Arabian Peninsula, the Arab (also known by Moors or Muslims) arise to invade Asia, North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula, seeking for new lands, wealth and to expand their religion. They were followers of the Islamic religion and began a fierce battle against the Christian religion people. They would eventually dominate almost all of the Iberian Peninsula with the exception of the mountainous regions of the northern, the Asturias. They settled for a long time, bringing knowledge of astronomy, medicine, geography, mathematics (the Arabic numerals currently used), nautical instruments (like a compass, maps, Arabic astrolabe), irrigation techniques (like the noria, pond, fountain, shaduf), new plants (such as rice, orange tree, almond tree, fig tree, lemon tree, lettuce, pumpkin, cucumber, cotton), olive oil mills, windmills, tile art, paper making, gunpowder and others. Arab traces can still be found today in Portugal like the mosques, some Portuguese words (Algarve, Faro, Odemira, almofada (pillow), alguidar (earthenware bowl), Algarve cities and towns with açoteias (terrace houses) and the chimneys.
For several centuries a tough battle keeps going on, with some peace periods between the peoples of the Christian religion and the Islamic religion. In the beginning of the 11th century the Christian Re-conquest happens and the first Christian kingdoms, won from the Arabs, are formed in the north of the Iberian Peninsula - the Kingdom of Asturias, Kingdom of León, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Navarra and the Kingdom of Aragon. With some advances and retreats, the Arab people were pushed to the south of the Iberian Peninsula.
King Afonso VI, who ruled the kingdom of León and Castile, asked two knights from the north of Europe, Raimundo and Henrique, to help stop the constant Arabic invasion into their kingdoms. Because of the assistance they gave, Afonso VI granted the hand of his daughter Urraca with the kingdom of Castile to Raimundo and his daughter Teresa and some land named as Condado Portucalense (corresponding to the current north of Portugal) to Henrique. In 1109 from this last marriage born Afonso Henriques who saw his father die with just three years old. Teresa takes the chief role of the county and rises like a form of regency, on behalf of his son still minor. However in an attempt to ally herself with a Galician nobleman, Fernão Peres, she jeopardizes the independence of the county in relation to the Spanish. Also refusing later to hand over the government to the legitimate D. Afonso Henriques, is initiated a confrontation in 1128 between son and mother which ended with the Battle of São Mamede, forcing Teresa to hand the title to his son D. Afonso Henriques. Continuing the battle of the Christians of León and Castile, against the Muslims who occupied the south, D. Afonso Henriques achieved an important victory against the Moors at the Battle of Ourique in 1139. With the support of the Portuguese nobles he declares the independence of the county, proclaiming himself as King of Portugal. He conquered lands till where Beja stands nowadays.
A few years later, Afonso Henriques secretly paid a tribute to Cardinal Guido de Vico, papal legate in the Iberian Peninsula, which in turn promised the Holly Faith protection, granting its independence in relation to any other authority than the Pope. On October 5th of 1143, the Emperor of Hispania and cousin of D. Afonso Henriques, Alfonso VIII, officially recognized with the Treaty of Zamora signature, the royal title of Afonso Henriques. In 1179, Alexander III, the Pope through the Manifestis Probatum bull officially recognizes D. Afonso Henriques as King and Portugal as an independent kingdom.
During the first dynasty, kings continued to extend the territory of Portugal to the south, conquering lands from the Moors. During King Alfonso III reign happened the definitive occupation of Alentejo, and the last piece of territory of the currently Portugal, the southern region of Algarve (by then with the Arabic name of "Al-Gharb"), was won from the Moors. But the kingdom of Castile claimed this land as their own, and only with the Treaty of Badajoz in 1267, signed by King D. Dinis of Portugal (Afonso III successor) and King Afonso X of Castile, the lands of the Algarve would definitely be Portuguese territory. Under this treaty, the king of Castile abdicated the territory of the Algarve, setting up the Guadiana River as the boundary line between the kingdoms. It was also during the reign of D. Dinis that it is signed the Treaty of Alcanizes in 1297, with King Fernando IV of Castile, which would describe the ultimate limits of the border between Portugal and Spain. King D. Dinis, known as the Farmer King, paid great dedication to the development of maritime commerce, agriculture and national culture impulse. Some of his most notable measures are the sowing of Leiria’s pine forest and the creation of the first Portuguese university with the support of the Pope, the University of Coimbra in 1290. During his reign, the crown came into dispute with the Holy Faith that intended to extinguish the Knights Templar Order. Aware of its importance in the Portuguese territory defense, Dinis succeeded in saving it by changing its name to the Order of Christ but keeping the same troops, the same goods and the same organizational structure.
When D. Fernando died, the ninth king of Portugal married with Leonor Telles, only had a little daughter, Beatriz, who had just married the King of Castile. Some Portuguese, led by João Master of Aviz, bastard son of King Pedro I, revolted against this situation due to the fear of losing independence to the Kingdom of Castile. The Castilians began attacking Portugal, which was without a king, and the people chose the Master of Avis to manage and take care of the kingdom defense against the Castilians. Nuno Álvares Pereira was chosen to head the Portuguese troops with whom he obtained several victories, including the Battle of Aljubarrota in 1385. With this victorious battle, the independence of Portugal is consolidated and João I Master of Avis is acclaimed King of Portugal, starting the second Dynasty. To celebrate this important victory he orders the construction of the Monastery of Batalha in gothic style (or the Monastery of Saint Mary of the Victory). D. João I, married to D. Filipa de Lencastre had five children, Duarte was the eldest and the Infante D. Henrique was the youngest. At the time Portugal was going through an economic crisis and Infante D. Henrique had the idea to create a school in Sagres to train navigators and thus begin the maritime expansion in order to seek new wealth, new places of trade and at the same time to expand the Christian faith.
It was during this century that happened the great Portuguese discoveries by sea, and consequently great products trade arrived from Africa, India and Brazil - gold and precious stones, ivory, chilies, spices (pepper, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg), sugar, silk, tobacco, slaves, Chinese porcelains. The need for high seas navigation created new boats as the caravel that allowed upwind battle and later the nau, new nautical items like the astrolabe, the quadrant, the compass, the balestilha, stricter charts and maps emerge, developing the cartography, astronomy and mathematics. They began to build new public buildings such as the Hospital Real de Todos-os-Santos in Lisbon (1492) and the Misericórdias of Lisbon, Porto and Évora. (1498/1499).
1415 - The conquest of Ceuta in North Africa takes place
1419 - João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira discovered the Madeira archipelago
1427 - Begins the discovery of the Azores archipelago by Diogo Silves
1434 - Gil Eanes arrives at Cape Bojador
1441 - Nuno Tristão arrives at Cape Blanc
1444 - Dinis Dias begins the discovery of the Cape Verde archipelago
1471 - Begin the discovery of the São Tomé e Príncipe archipelago
1487 - Bartolomeu Dias rounds the Cape of Good Hope.
1492 - Christopher Columbus with the support of the Spanish kingdom, refused before by the Portuguese Kingdom, arrives to some islands in Central American. Ensued the enactment of three papal bulls which granted the dominance of these lands to the kingdom of Spain. The King of Portugal, João II, renegotiates the decision between the two kingdoms without the intervention of the Pope. At June 4th of 1494 the Treaty of Tordesillas is signed between the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal, where it is decided that the world would be divided into two exploration areas, the Portuguese and the Spanish. An imaginary line at 370 leagues from Cape Verde served as a reference for the division, separating the lands of Portugal at east, from the lands of Spain at west.
1498 - In the King Manuel I reign, the naus were introduced in the Portuguese maritime fleet and Vasco da Gama discovers the sea route to India
1500 - Pedro Álvares Cabral in his way to India deviates from his route and arrives in Brazil.
With the reigns of King João II and Manuel I, Lisbon had a great development, benefiting from important public works, becoming one of the Europe's major cities. The Jerónimos Monastery in Manueline style, was built in Lisbon in 1502 by King Manuel I. In the reign of King João III, in 1534, begins the Brazil's colonization. Still in 1514 Jorge Álvares arrives to China in 1557, and Macau is given to the Portuguese by the Chinese Emperor Chi-Tsung as a reward for services rendered in the war against pirates in the Yellow Sea. In 1578, the King of Portugal Sebastian, who was not married nor had children, died in the Battle of Alcácer Quibir and was succeeded by his great-uncle Cardinal D. Henrique. Portugal was in a period of unstable management. Large amounts of wealth arrived to the country and only benefited the king, the nobility, the clergy and the bourgeoisie, leaving the people revolted and living from hand to mouth. D. Henrique with serious health problems and without successors shows interest in naming Filipe II of Spain as his successor to the throne, upon an agreement that would benefit the kingdom. However he dies in 1580 without any appointment and the people who feared losing the independence to Spain appoints the Prior of Crato, D. António, as king of Portugal. D. António's reign would be too short, because King Filipe II of Spain invades Portugal defeating the king in the Battle of Alcântara, headed by the Duke of Alba. The nobility had economic interests in allying to Spain and King Filipe II of Spain who promises to look after the interests of the country, respecting the laws, traditions and national customs, was easily proclaimed king with the title of Filipe I of Portugal. The third dynasty, the Filipina, begins and Portugal loses its independence being ruled by Spanish kings for 60 years.
The people were revolted by this loss of independence and the nobility did not see their promised benefits being fulfilled. There were several popular riots and in the 1st December 1640 a group of Portuguese nobles makes Duchess of Mantua prisoner, who was representing the Spanish King Filipe III in Portugal. The group proclaims the independence restoration and acclaims João IV, Duke of Bragança, as King of Portugal. Several riots between Portugal and Spain succeed that only ended in 1668 with the War of Restoration and the signing of a peace treaty between the two kingdoms. However the Portuguese territories in Brazil, Africa and Asia were being invaded and King João IV starts regaining these lands by sending the army to defend the territory and sending people to settle there. The State Council, established by Cardinal Henrique in 1562 and reorganized by King João IV, was constituted by a set of Secretaries of State and chaired by the monarch himself. Still in 1640 the first Portuguese newspapers appears with the aim of reporting the acclamation of João IV and regularly inform the public about the military successes and other events, both national and foreign. In 1697 mines of gold and diamonds were discovered in Brazil and in 1699 start being sent the first shipments to Portugal.
In 1703 Portugal and England sign a trade agreement, which ensured Portugal the ease of purchase of English fabrics and similarly ensured England the ease of purchase of Portuguese wine. Between 1715 and 1755 the Portuguese crown benefited from much wealth coming from Brazil, but the extravagance of the nobility meant that people lived in great poverty. In 1717 begins the construction of Mafra National Palace Convent and the Baroque Library of the University of Coimbra and in 1720 the foundation of the Royal Academy of Portuguese History. In 1731 the Italian opera is introduced in Portugal. In 1750 during the reign of King José I, Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, known as Marquês de Pombal, takes over as Secretary of State of the Portugal Kingdom and becomes responsible for various administrative, economic and social reforms. In 1751 the Marquês de Pombal ends slavery in Portugal. On November 1st of 1755 happens a violent earthquake in Lisbon which partially destroys the city, and Marquês de Pombal ordered the army the immediate reconstruction of the city of Lisbon. The reconstruction would follow the style of the era, the Enlightenment, and was one of the boldest urban proposals of Europe at the time.
The urban plan consisted in an orthogonal geometric design with hierarchical pathways defined by two main squares in the city: the community centre Rossio and the political and economic center Commerce Square (formerly the Palace Square). The city was equipped with major public works such as the Estrela Basilica, the Theatre of S. Carlos and the Ajuda National Palace and later, in 1784, public lighting. Marquês de Pombal that wanted to turn Portugal into an industrially independent country, increased the education of the Portuguese and established factories such as the Douro Wine Company, the Companies of Grão Pará, Maranhão, Pernambuco and Paraíba and a company of tuna and sardines fisheries in the Algarve. At Lisbon he instituted a trade board and in 1776 he organized in Oeiras the first industrial exhibition held in the world. In the area of public education he created the official primary and secondary education and founded eight hundred thirty-seven schools. Also made reforms in the university introducing the teaching of natural sciences driven by several teachers from abroad. He founded the Regal Typographical Workshop and simplified the process of book publications censorship. In 1797 the paper money is introduced in Portugal, simple pieces of paper easily falsifiable, that represented policies issued to bearer.
In the late 18th century early 19th century the French Revolution was happening in France. In 1799 the French emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, which aimed to expand its territory, begins to lose important battles against his main enemy, England. In order to regain the glory, he orders all European countries a continental blockade of British trade. Portugal, a historical ally of England does not accept these claims and the French army invades the Portuguese territory towards Lisbon. Portugal and England who have predicted this situation plan the escape of the royal family to Brazil, thus preventing their capture and subsequent possession of the French government. In 29th November 1807 the Portuguese court embarks on port Tagus heading for Brazil where arrives in January 1808, transferring the Portuguese government headcounters and the capital of the Kingdom to Rio de Janeiro. In Portugal happens a succession of riots with the French army, wich would eventually be defeated and leave Portugal in 1810, however leaving the industry, agriculture and culture of the country devastated. In 1820 Portugal pops a movement of liberal nature, with the Lisbon Court demanding the return of King João VI to Lisbon, leaving his son Peter provisory in charge of the Brazil regency. In 1822 Pedro I receive also a letter from the Lisbon Court demanding his return to Portugal with the aim of re-colonizing Brazil which he responded negatively. When he was travelling to São Paulo he receives another letter from Portugal, annulling the Constituent Assembly of Brazil that would cause revolt in Pedro I. He then declares the independence of Brazil in 7th September 1822 and proclaims himself as King of Brazil in December of that year. In the same year, in Portugal, the king pays a solemn oath to the first Portuguese Constitution of 1822 initiating a period of constitutional monarchy that divides the power in legislative, executive and judicial, limiting the role of the king. Portugal's kings who reigned during the 19th century implemented countless reforms in transports, agriculture, industry and education with the goal of developing Portugal that was lagging behind the other countries in Europe. New means of transportation emerged, such as the mail-coach, the train, the steamboat and the automobile; new communication facilities such as the telephone, the telegraph, street name plates, the letterboxes on public roads, the adhesive stamp; new systems of education as primary schools from 1st to 4th year, secondary schools from 5th to 12th year and technical schools that prepared students for work in trading or industry. However the poverty in which the French army had left the country, the impact the independence of Brazil had in the Portuguese economy, the successive extravagant expenses of the nobility and the Civil War between the brothers Pedro and Miguel disputing the crown of the kingdom, headed Portugal for a strong economic and social crisis in the second half of the 19th century. In 1884, with the Berlin Conference, it is determined the possession of territory in Africa through effective land use, where Portugal claimed the historic right of the territory that stretched from Angola to Mozambique by going against the British territorial interests, and Portugal eventually relented. This transfer increased people’s revolt, numerous manifestations occurs and the number of Republicans who were making a state since the founding of the Republican Party in 1876 grows.
In 1907, João Franco with the permission of the King, leads the government assuming an administrative dictatorship, ordaining to dissolve the parliament and decreeing press censorship. In 1908 King Carlos I and the Crown Prince Luís Filipe are shot dead, ascending to the throne King Manuel II. In the sequence of the political instability in the country, in October 1910, arises the Republican revolt carried out by military aided by popular, spreading rapidly throughout the country without encountering much opposition. On 5 October 1910 the Republic was proclaimed on the balcony of Lisbon City Hall and King Manuel II flees to England. The Republican Party takes the country leadership, forms an Interim Government headed by Teófilo Braga and begins the preparations for elections to the Constituent Assembly. The Constitution of 1911 is developed, dividing the government into the Legislative Power, Executive Power and Judiciary Power. On 24 August 1911 the Constituent Assembly appoints the 1st President of the Republic, Manuel de Arriaga. With the 1st Republic new symbols emerge like the new currency escudo, new Portugal flag, new anthem "A Portuguesa"; new measures arise like the law of separation of the state from church, the expulsion of the religious orders and religious instruction in schools, the compulsory civil registration, the regulation of the divorce, the compulsory education from 7 to 12 years old, the inauguration of Lisbon and Oporto universities, the regulation of strike, the creation of social insurance, the reduction of the working hours with a mandatory weekly rest. However the implementation of the republic that many thought would bring improvements to the situation of the country didn’t happened, continuing the economic difficulties as a result of price and taxes inflation, and a steady devaluation of the escudo. In 1916 Portugal enters the First World War in order to defend their colonies, which increase the public expenses. The country lives times of political instability with constant changes of government - between 1910 and 1920 followed 45 governments and 8 presidents. The Republican Party dissolves forming new rival parties with widely divergent ideals. All these factors contributed to an increase of discontent, generating many strikes and demonstrations that led to the military coup of 1926 led by General Gomes da Costa. It was the end of the 1st Republic and the beginning of the military dictatorship. In 1928 the chief of the military dictatorship, Oscar Carmona, calls António Oliveira Salazar to be the Minister of Finance that through a strong policy of austerity eliminates the financial deficit. In 1932 Salazar is appointed Chairman of the Council of Ministers, a position he held for 36 years, establishing in the following year the Constitution of 1933 and a new political regime – Estado Novo (New State). During this regime of authoritarian and repressive policies without regard for the freedom of the people, a period of censorship of the press was established, the old political parties disappeared with the exception of the Portuguese Communist Party working underground and being heavily persecuted by the newly created political police, PIDE. Who had a different opinion on the political regime of the country was chased and arrested. The young Portuguese people from 7 years of age were obliged to belong to a military youth organization, Mocidade Portuguesa, in which they had to march like soldiers in uniform and do the Nazi salute. During World War II, still under the government of Salazar, Portugal remained neutral in the conflict, obtaining an economic benefit due to the increased exportations of various products for the countries involved in the conflict. With the end of the World War II it is made an alliance between Western Europe and the United States resulting in NATO. Portugal opens its doors to international trade allowing the regulated entry of foreign capital, benefiting various industrial sectors. However serious regional disparities and an agricultural crisis happened, and the inability of other economic sectors to absorb the rural manpower that abandoned the countryside. This lack of employment in the sixties leads to a large phenomenon of the emigration of the Portuguese working class, for various European, Brazilian and African destinations, driven by the desire of better living conditions. Also the colonist ideology of the Estado Novo to keep their overseas possessions, contradicting the huge colonies independence movement from European countries (France, England, Holland, Spain, etc.), led Portugal to the Overseas War (1961-1974). This war causes numerous deaths and leaves the country with serious economic and political problems, in addition to strong international pressure from the UN, especially the US, which condemned colonialism. The economic decadence and the colonial war deterioration provoked discontent among the population and the armed forces, favoring the emergence of a movement against the dictatorship.
In April 25, 1974 blows up a coup d'état conducted by military from the Armed Forces Movement that would overthrow the Estado Novo after 41 years of existence. This revolution had as a code to start the radio emission of a song banned by censorship "Grândola Vila Morena" by Zeca Afonso. It became known as the Carnation Revolution, because it was a peaceful demonstration that found little resistance from loyal forces and at the end the population came out to the streets to celebrate the end of dictatorship, distributing carnations, the national flower, to the rebel soldiers as a gesture of gratitude. It was the end of the dictatorial regime replaced by a democratic regime. The political prisoners are released, the censorship and the political police are extinguished, the Colonial War terminates and consequently the beginning of the Portuguese colonies independence starts. The compulsory education and the prohibition of child labor is decreed. Citizens regain their freedom and the conditions for the state progress are created. Nevertheless, almost half a century of dictatorship delayed Portugal economically compared to other European countries, which had little competitiveness in national products and had quite undervalued currency. A year after the revolution the first free elections are held in order to form a Constituent Assembly to draft a new constitution. Several political parties are formed, and in 1976 the new Portuguese Republic Constitution is developed. Days after the Socialist Party won the general elections, and Mário Soares becomes the party leader, the Prime Minister of the Portugal First Constitutional Government. In the first democratic elections Ramalho Eanes is elected President of the Republic. In 1982 it is made a first review of the 1976 Constitution and created a Constitutional Court in the style of democratic countries. In 1986 Portugal joins the European Economic Community facilitating access of Portuguese companies to foreign markets, aiding the Portuguese economy progression.
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