History Of Portugal


to Western Europe is a nation that
emerged after ferocity against its Muslim invaders who arrived centuries
prior Portugal went on to pioneer many historic developments it refused to be
politically absorbed by its neighbors and so it’s people explored along the
coast of Africa to reach India and beyond kick-starting the colonial age
they went on to become a lasting Empire before unrest and revolution erupted
this is the history of Portugal thousands of years ago the Iberian
Peninsula was home to several different tribes Greeks and Phoenicians
established strings of trade colonies in this region and from here Phoenicians
voyages began along the Algarve coastline these interactions faded over
time and the region became of paramount interest to the great powers of the day
the Carthaginians established control over parts of Iberia before conflicts
escalated with the Romans Roman emerged as the great power in the
Mediterranean and invaded the Iberian Peninsula during the Second Punic War
against Carthage provoked by raids from Western Iberia they conquered more
territory but met fierce resistance from the Lusitanians and other
indo-European tribes for decades the Lusitania fought, during the leadership
of Viriathus the Lusitanians fought a bold and relentless war against the
Romans fighting numerous legions and great
generals inflicting a series of humiliating defeats upon them their
triumphs would not last as following his death the Romans defeated them the
Iberian Peninsula became fully integrated into the Roman world many
Roman cities developed from pre-existing Iron Age settlements such as Lisbon
Porto and Coimbra while other cities such as Braga were founded by the Romans with the Roman Empire falling into decline several Germanic tribes invaded the peninsula and eventually formed several
short-lived kingdoms the suebi managed to firmly establish themselves in the
region with their capital Braga while most Iberia fell under the
control of the Visigoths the Visigoths would eventually conquer the Suebi
Kingdom and gain control of Iberia the Visigoths converted to Catholicism and
the structure of society did not differ greatly from its predecessor although in
essence it was a warrior like society by the late 7th century the kingdom was
struck by famine and plague which led to a heavy death toll economic problems and
labor shortages across the Mediterranean a new force had swept across North
Africa the Umayyad caliphate at the time the visigothic kingdom was
internally weak and politically unstable it was ruled by king roderick who had
recently seats the throne in 711 the Berber general Tariq bin Ziyad crossed
the Straits of Gibraltar with 7,000 troops unopposed while Rodrick was busy
subduing a rebellion by the Basque Tariq began to plunder a number of Visigothic
cities before king roderick assembled a force and marched south the two sides
met at the Battle of Guadalupe and the Visigoths suffered a devastating defeat
the next six years saw the almost all-out conquest of the peninsula some
Visigoths fled north seeking refuge in the Christian kingdom of Asturias
protected by its mountainous terrain and would serve as resistance to the Muslim
invaders Muslims called their new conquests in Iberia al-andalus and it
became a region of scientific progress though many Jews Muslims and Christians
lived alongside each other those who did not follow Islam were considered
inferior and had to pay a heavy tax known as the jizya tax when the Umayyad
dynasty were overthrown and replaced by the Abbasids a young prince managed to
escape and took refuge this prince was Abdul Rahman and in the city of Cordoba
he proclaimed himself Emir of an independent Umayyad state over time the
emirate weakened and eventually collapsed into a number of independent
states Christians within historias began to grow bolder in their attacks and
several Christian kingdoms emerged many young Christian princes and knights were
summoned from across Europe to aid in the fight against the Moors in what
became known as the Reconquista or the reconquest during this time Alfonso the
sixth of Leon invites the Burgundian Knight to his court named Henry and he
became count of Portugal with his marriage to Alfonso’s illegitimate
daughter Teresa in time Henry’s son Afonso Henriques proclaimed himself
Prince of Portugal after a quarrel against his mother and soon after he
became King meanwhile a new wave of Berber invaders known as the Almoravid’s
subdued the various Emir’s to found their own dynasty who were in turn
replaced by the Almohads stirred by hatred several Portuguese kings carried
on the fight against more’s until the algarve was conquered
securing Portuguese rule although they would still need to discourage their
most powerful Christian neighbour Castile who for now was still fighting off their
enemies after the passing of King Fernando Portugal sank into a dynastic
crisis King Fernando’s half brother Joao of Aviz was the illegitimate son
of Pedro the first the predecessor of Fernando and he assumes de facto control
of Lisbon King Juan of Castile invaded Portugal to enforce his claim to be king
and the two kings met on the battlefield one of the most important battles in
Portuguese history would take place at the Battle of alijurbarrota the
Portuguese army estimates to have been around 7,000 soldiers took defensive
positions on a nearby Ridge ready to fight against the Castilian army perhaps
numbering 20,000 troops in a battle lasting barely an hour it is said that
Juan’s forces were utterly defeated the invading force disintegrated and Juan’s
campaign ended in failure soon after the battle and an alliance
was signed with England the Treaty of Windsor forging close ties that still
remain in effect today making it the oldest alliance in the world with
Portugal’s independence firmly secured the beginning of Portuguese expansion an
empire could begin it was in 1415 that the conquest of Ceuta have occurred one
of the most fortified Islamic strongholds in the Mediterranean had
just fallen soon after this conquest Joao’s son
Henrique of Portugal also known as Prince Henry the Navigator began to
sponsor many explorers to travel down the coastline of Africa the Portuguese
had developed an engineered small ships known as carve outs of triangular sails
that could sail against the wind in a zigzag fashion allowing faster travel
explorers sailed to the Congo River under Diego cow South Africa under
Bartholomew Dias India under Vasco de Gama Brazil under Pedro álvares Cabral
and Japan under Antonio de Mata each forging detailed maps of the
one voyage at a time soon after the voyage to the Americas by Christopher
Columbus Spain set about its exploration and its ideas of building an empire a
treaty was signed between Spain and Portugal aimed at settling conflicts
over lands newly discovered unlike its neighbour Portugal had a shortage of
manpower less than two million in fact nevertheless they went about
constructing an empire not based on territory but trade they set up military
Garrison’s and trading posts to trade but also to wage several wars against
its rivals these rivals were mainly the Ottomans and her allies who were often
competing for control of the spice trade within the Indian Ocean where several
trading posts had been set up its Empire may have committed misdeeds such as
opening up the transatlantic slave trade but was far less crude compared to other
empires colonization of land also introduced many to their language today
Portuguese is the sixth most spoken language in the world with over 250
million speakers worldwide Portugal was once again thrown into political turmoil
at the death of King Sebastian he had set out on campaign into Africa but had
left no heirs to his throne following his death amid the dynastic crisis king
philip ii of spain invaded portugal to form a personal union the Iberian Union
merging the Crown’s of Spain and Portugal Portugal remained an
independent state under the first few Spanish kings and till King Philip the
fourth made Portugal a province of Spain and removed Portuguese Nobles from
positions of power it was during this union other European powers started to
annex Portugal’s colonies most notably the Dutch who stole the spice trade and
tried to annex Brazil the loss of colonies angered many in Portugal and
the Portuguese restoration war began led by Joao the fourth who succeeded in
gaining independence in the 18th century Portugal saw one of history’s deadliest
earthquakes it occurred in the city of Lisbon and is estimated to have had a
magnitude of eight point five to nine on the Richter scale
killing 10,000 to 100,000 inhabitants many were forced to sleep on a tented
campsite the royal court accommodated with its people and when the chaos had
passed Maria the first of Portugal built the Royal ajude Palace in its place the
prime minister at the time Sebastian de Mello survived the earthquake when asked
what was to be done he responded by saying bury the dead and heal the living
setting about organisation and relief efforts during the Napoleonic Wars
Portugal refused Napoleon’s demand to stop trading with Britain Napoleon
invaded but was unsuccessful in his attempts to occupy the nation with
British intervention the Peninsular war helped maintain Portuguese independence
with the end of the Napoleonic Wars Portugal was left devastated and
extremely poor during the war the royal family fled to Brazil and set up courts
at Rio de Janeiro making it the first hosted royal court in a colony raising
the colony’s infrastructure and status the royal family returned in 1821 and
Brazil declared its independence less than a year later it was during the 19th
century that other European powers began to carve up colonies within Africa
forcing Portugal to move further inland into Angola and Mozambique in 1890 a
British ultimatum was delivered to Portugal asking for the retreat of
Portuguese military in the land between the Portuguese colonies of Mozambique
and Angola the area had been claimed by Portugal but this clashed with British
aspirations to create a railroad link between Cairo and Cape Town this
diplomatic clash led to several waves of protest and prompted the downfall of the
Portuguese government 1910 is the year in which Portugal underwent the most
critical regime it involved the alteration in the sequence of its
national history terminating the monarchy and becoming a republic during
the first world war Portugal joined the side of the Allies supplying troops and
aid at the loss of 12,000 troops following the war political chaos
several strikes and considerable economic problems led to a military coup
in 1926 Portugal got into a long period of right-wing dictatorship under the
leadership of Antonio Oscar de frog’s Carmona
after crushing a revolution Carmona was elected as the president but economic
chaos confronted Carmona and he was forced to hand over the country’s
finances to a professor Antonio de Oliveira Salazar Salazar was able to
bring the country’s finances in order rapidly Salazar was so good in
construction such as railways and power stations but use censorship and a secret
police to koala position under Salazar Portugal remained officially neutral in
World War two and traded with both sides and following the war became one of the
founding members of NATO in 1949 and the European free trade association in 1960
in 1968 he acquired a stroke and was replaced by Marcelo Caetano Marcelo was
removed from power during the carnation revolution without a single gunshot
Portugal’s third Republic was born and moved towards a democratic system of
government it was during this year that colonies around their empire started to
break away and his empire officially ended in 1999 Portugal left a profound
cultural and architectural influence across the globe
it remains developed nation with over 10 million inhabitants its most important
industries tourism which is largely as a result of its fascinating history thank
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