Portugal

Portugal

[pawr-chuh-guhl, pohr-; Port. pawr-too-gahl]
Portugal, officially Portuguese Republic, republic (2005 est. pop. 10,566,000), 35,553 sq mi (92,082 sq km), SW Europe, on the western side of the Iberian Peninsula and including the Madeira Islands and the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean. Portugal is bordered by Spain on the east and north and by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and south. The capital and by far the largest city is Lisbon.

Land and People

The country is crossed by rivers rising in Spain and flowing to the Atlantic; among them are the Douro, the Tagus, the Sado, and the Guadiana. The river valleys support agriculture, and vineyards are maintained in the Douro and Tagus valleys. On the lower hillslopes there are olive groves; grains are grown and livestock are raised on the flatter uplands as well as on the plains near the coast.

There are great variations in terrain and climate among the six historic provinces. Trás-os-Montes in the extreme northeast has a rigorous mountain climate, as have parts of Entre-Minho-e-Douro (officially Douro). Beira has the highest mountains of the country, the scenic Serra de Estrela, dotted with resorts. Estremadura, in W Portugal, has broad, alluvial plains, rising to cool and rocky uplands; along the Atlantic coast is a celebrated resort region, reaching to the town of Estoril, near Lisbon. Most of Alentejo has a Mediterranean climate; although much of its soil is poor, together with Estremadura it is the granary of Portugal. The southernmost of the old provinces, Algarve, resembles the northern shores of Africa; mountains curve across the north of the province down to Cape St. Vincent, the southwestern tip of Europe; citrus and almond groves and off-season vegetables thrive in the mild climate.

In addition to the capital, other notable cities are Oporto, Coimbra, Setúbal, Braga, Évora, and Faro. The majority of the Portuguese people are Roman Catholics of Mediterranean stock; Portuguese is the official language.

Economy

Portuguese agricultural techniques are less mechanized than those of most of W Europe; about 10% of the workforce is employed in agriculture, producing less than 7% of the gross national product. Wheat, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, olives, grapes, and sugar beets are the main crops; sheep, cattle, goats, pigs, and poultry are raised. The country's fishing fleets bring in vital cargoes of sardines and tuna; fishing ports extend all the way from Cape St. Vincent in the south to the mouth of the Minho River on the N Spanish border.

Portugal has food and beverage processing, oil refining, shipbuilding, and industries that produce textiles and footwear; wood pulp and paper; metals and metalworking; chemicals; rubber and plastic products; ceramics; electronics; and communications, transportation, and aerospace equipment. Low-grade iron ore, copper, zinc, tin, tungsten, and other minerals are mined. Most of the mines are in the northern mountains and in Beira. Portugal's forests provide a major portion of the world's supply of cork. Tourism is also important.

The country has enjoyed considerable economic progress since it became a member of the European Community (now the European Union) in 1986. Clothing and footwear, machinery, chemicals, cork, paper products, and hides are major exports. Machinery and transportation equipment, chemicals, petroleum, textiles, and agricultural products are important imports. Spain, Germany, France, and Great Britain are the main trading partners.

Government

Portugal is governed under the constitution of 1976 as amended. The president, who is the head of state, is elected by popular vote to a five-year term and is eligible for a second term. The prime minister, who is appointed by the president and must have support of the legislature, is the head of government. In addition, a Council of State acts as a consultative body to the president and consists of representatives from the political parties, a military defense board, and a constitutional tribunal. The unicameral legislative body is the 230-seat Assembly of the Republic, whose members are elected to four-year terms. The Socialist party and the Social Democratic party are the two major political parties. Administratively, Portugal is divided into 18 districts and two autonomous regions (the Azores and Madeira Islands).

History

Early History

There is little direct filiation between the Portuguese of today and the early tribes who inhabited this region, although the Portuguese long considered themselves descendants of the Lusitanians, a Celtic people who came to the area after 1,000 B.C. The Lusitanians had their stronghold in the Serra da Estrela. Under Viriatus (2d cent. B.C.) and under Sertorius (1st cent. B.C.), they stoutly resisted the Romans (see Lusitania). Other tribes, such as the Conii in Algarve, submitted more readily. Julius Caesar and Augustus completed the Roman conquest of the area, and the province of Lusitania thrived. Roman ways were adopted, and it is from Latin that the Portuguese language is derived.

At the beginning of the 5th cent. A.D., the whole Iberian Peninsula was overrun by Germanic invaders; the Visigoths eventually established their rule, but in the north the Suevi established a kingdom that endured until late in the 6th cent., when they were absorbed by the Visigoths. Present-day Algarve was part of the Byzantine Empire during the 6th and 7th cent. In 711 the Visigoths were defeated by the Moors, who conquered the whole peninsula except for Asturias and the Basque Country. Muslim culture and science had a great impact, especially in the south. Religious toleration was practiced, but a large minority converted to Islam.

Growth of the State

It was during the long period of the Christian reconquest that the Portuguese nation was created. The kings of Asturias drove the Moors out of Galicia in the 8th cent. Ferdinand I of Castile entered Beira and took the fortress of Viseu and the city of Coimbra in 1064. Alfonso VI of Castile obtained French aid in his wars against the Moors. Henry of Burgundy married an illegitimate daughter of Alfonso VI and became (1095?) count of Coimbra and later count of Portucalense. Henry's son Alfonso Henriques, wrested power (1128) from his mother and maintained the independence of his lands. After a victory over the Moors in 1139, he began to style himself Alfonso I, king of Portugal. Spain recognized Portugal's independence in 1143 and the Pope did so in 1179. Alfonso's long reign (1128-85) was an important factor in Portugal's attainment of independence.

Alfonso's successors were faced with the tasks of recapturing Alentejo and Algarve from the Moors and of rebuilding the areas devastated by the long wars. There was conflict with other Portuguese claimants and between the kings and powerful nobles, and there was continual strife between the crown and the church over land and power. Until the late 13th cent. the church was victorious, winning inviolability for ecclesiastic law as well as exemption from general taxation. Sancho I (1185-1211) captured the Moorish capital of Silves but could not hold it. Alfonso II (1211-23) summoned the first Cortes (council to advise the king). After Sancho II (1223-48) was deposed, Alfonso III (1248-79) took (1249) Algarve and thus consolidated Portugal. In Alfonso's reign the towns gained representation in the Cortes.

Years of Glory

The reconquest and resettlement aided local liberties, since forais (charters) guaranteeing municipal rights were granted in order to encourage settlement. As former serfs became settlers, serfdom declined (13th cent.), but in practice many servile obligations remained. Alfonso's son Diniz (1279-1325) attempted to improve land conditions. He also established a brilliant court and founded the university that became the Univ. of Coimbra. The reign of his son, Alfonso IV, is remembered chiefly because of the tragic romance of Inés de Castro, the mistress of Alfonso's son, Peter (later Peter I; 1357-67); to avenge her fate, Peter, on his succession, had two of her murderers executed. Ferdinand I (1367-83) indulged in long Castilian wars. Ferdinand's heiress was married to a Castilian prince, John I of Castile; after the death of Ferdinand, John claimed the throne.

The Portuguese, largely due to the efforts of Nun'Álvares Pereira, defeated the Castilians in the battle of Aljubarrota (1385) and established John I, a bastard son of Peter, as king. At this time began the long alliance of Portugal with England. John founded the Aviz dynasty and his reign (1385-1433) commenced the most glorious period of Portuguese history. Portugal entered an era of colonial and maritime expansion. The war against the Moors was extended to Africa, and Ceuta was taken. Under the aegis of Prince Henry the Navigator, Portuguese ships sailed out along the coast of Africa. The Madeira Islands and the Azores were colonized. Duarte (1433-38) failed to take Tangier, but his son Alfonso V (1438-81) succeeded (1471) in doing so.

Alfonso's attempt to gain the Castilian throne ended in defeat. Under his son John II (1481-95) voyages of exploration were resumed. Bartholomew Diaz rounded (1488) the Cape of Good Hope. By the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494), Spain and Portugal divided the non-Christian world between them. During the glittering reign of Manuel I (1495-1521), Vasco da Gama sailed (1497-98) to India, Pedro Alvarez Cabral claimed (1500) Brazil, and Afonso de Albuquerque captured Goa (1510), Melaka (1511), and Hormoz (1515). The Portuguese Empire extended across the world, to Asia, Africa, and America. In 1497, as a precondition to his marriage with Ferdinand and Isabella's daughter, Manuel ordered the Jewish population to convert to Christianity or leave the country. Manuel's reign and that of John III (1521-57) marked the climax of Portuguese expansion.

Years of Decline

The slender resources of Portugal itself were steadily weakened by depletion of manpower and the neglect of domestic agriculture and industry. Government policy and popular ambition concentrated on the rapid acquisition of riches through trade with East Asia, but foreign competition and piracy steadily decreased profits from this trade. Lisbon was for a time the center of the European spice trade, but, for geographical considerations and because of limited banking and commercial facilities, the center of the trade gradually shifted to N Europe. The reign (1557-78) of Sebastian proved disastrous. His rash Moroccan campaign was a national catastrophe, and he was killed at Ksar el Kebir (1578); but the lack of certainty over his death led to a legend that he would return, and Sebastianism (a messianic faith) persisted into the 19th cent.

The Aviz dynasty, founded by John I, disappeared with the death of Henry, the cardinal-king, in 1580. Philip II of Spain, nephew of John III, validated his claims to the Portuguese throne (as Philip I) by force of arms, and the long "Spanish captivity" (1580-1640) began. Spain's wars against the English and the Dutch cut off Portuguese trade with these nations; moreover, the Dutch attacked Portugal's overseas territories in order to obtain for themselves direct access to the sources of trade. Eventually the Dutch were driven from Brazil, but most of the Asian empire was permanently lost. Portugal was never again a great power.

Absolutism and Reform

Portugal was compelled to participate in Spain's wars against the Dutch and in the Thirty Years War. Finally in 1640 the Portuguese took advantage of the preoccupation of Philip IV with a rebellion in Catalonia to revolt and throw off the Spanish yoke. John of Braganza was made king as John IV (1640-56). Portugal, however, continued to be threatened by its larger neighbor. Alfonso VI (1656-67), weak in mind and body, signed the crown away to his brother Peter II (1667-1706), who was first regent and then king. The alliance with England was revived by the Treaty of Methuen (1703), which gave mutual trade advantages to Portuguese wines and English woolens, and Portugal reluctantly entered the War of the Spanish Succession against Louis XIV. Gold from Brazil helped to recreate financial stability by 1730, but it also freed John V (1706-50) from dependence on the Cortes (last called in 1677).

Absolutism reached its height under John V and under Joseph (reigned 1750-77), when the marquěs de Pombal was the de facto ruler of the land. Pombal attempted to introduce aspects of the Enlightenment in education, to achieve monarchical centralization, and to revitalize agriculture and commerce through the policies of mercantilism. His policies disturbed entrenched interests, and his new wine monopoly led to the Oporto "tippler's rebellion," which Pombal put down harshly. He also won a long contest with the Jesuits, expelling them from the land. After the terrible earthquake of 1755, Pombal began the rebuilding of Lisbon on well-planned lines. Finances again became disorganized as Brazilian treasure dwindled.

Most of Pombal's reforms were rescinded in the reign of Maria I (1777-1816) and her husband, Peter III. Under the regency of Maria's son (later John VI; 1816-26) Portugal's alliance with Britain led to difficulties with France; in 1807 the forces of Napoleon I marched on Portugal. The royal family fled (1807) to Brazil, and Portugal was rent by the Peninsular War. The French were driven out in 1811, but John VI returned only after a liberal revolution against the regency in 1820. He accepted a liberal constitution in 1822, and forces supporting him put down an absolutist movement under his son Dom Miguel. Brazil declared its independence, with Pedro I (John's elder son) as emperor.

After John's death (1826) Pedro also became king of Portugal but abdicated in favor of his daughter, Maria II (reigned 1826-53), on condition that she accept a new charter limiting royal authority and marry Dom Miguel. Miguel instead seized the throne and defeated the liberals, but Pedro abdicated the Brazilian crown, came (1832) to Portugal and led the liberals in the Miguelist Wars. Maria was restored to the throne. Although her reign was marred by coups and dictatorship, the activities of moderates and liberals laid a groundwork for the reforms—penal laws, a civil code (1867), and commercial regulations—of the reigns of Peter V (1853-61; begun under the regency of Maria's husband Ferdinand II) and of Louis I (1861-89).

Portuguese explorations in Africa strengthened Portugal's hold on Angola and Mozambique; conflicting claims with Britain in E Africa were settled in 1891. To end the inefficiency and corruption of the late 19th-century parliamentary regime, Charles I (1889-1908) established (1906) a dictatorship under the conservative João Franco, but, in 1908, Charles and the heir apparent were assassinated. Manuel II succeeded to the throne, but in 1910 a republican revolution forced his abdication.

The Republic

The republic was established in 1910 with Teófilo Braga as president. The change of rule did not cure Portugal's chronic economic problems. Anticlerical measures aroused the hostility of the Roman Catholic Church. In World War I, Portugal was at first neutral, then joined (1916) the Allies. The economy deteriorated, and insurrections of both the right and the left made conditions worse. In 1926 a military coup overthrew the government, and General Carmona became president. António de Oliveira Salazar, the new finance minister, successfully reorganized the national accounts.

Salazar became premier in 1932; he was largely responsible for the corporative constitution of 1933, which established what was destined to become the longest dictatorship in Western European history. Portugal was neutral in World War II but allowed the Allies to establish naval and air bases. It became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949 but was not admitted to the United Nations until 1955. Under Salazar's "New State," economic modernization lagged, with the result that Portugal fell increasingly behind the rest of Europe in the 1950s and 60s.

Portugal's colony of Goa was seized by India in 1961. In Africa, armed resistance to Portuguese rule developed in Angola, Mozambique, and Portuguese Guinea in the early 1960s. On the domestic front, the 1958 antigovernment candidate, Gen. Humbert Delgado, contested the previously phony elections and received almost a quarter of the vote; a constitutional amendment the following year changed the method of electing the president. Censorship of the press and of cultural activities grew especially severe in the mid-1960s, as student demonstrations were sternly repressed.

Portugal in the Late Twentieth Century

In 1968, Salazar suffered a stroke and was replaced by Marcello Caetano as premier. Under Caetano repression was eased somewhat and limited economic development programs were started in Portugal and in the overseas territories. The continuing armed conflicts with guerrillas in the African territories, requiring about 40% of Portugal's annual budget to be devoted to military spending, drained the country's resources. By early 1974 dissatisfaction with the seemingly endless wars in Africa, together with political suppression and economic difficulties, resulted in growing unrest within Portugal.

On Apr. 25 an organized group of officers toppled the government in the Captains' Revolution, encountering a minimum of resistance from loyal forces and enthusiastic acceptance from the people. The officers who initiated the revolution constituted the Armed Forces Movement (MFA). Gen. António de Spínola, who did not play an active role in the coup but had publicly criticized the Caetano government, was appointed head of the ruling military junta. The secret police force was abolished; all political prisoners were released; full civil liberties, including freedom of the press and of all political parties, were restored; and overtures were made to the guerrilla groups in the African territories for a peaceful settlement of the conflicts. In September, Spínola was forced to resign and the government became dominated by leftists.

In 1975, Angola, Mozambique, São Tomé and Principe, and Cape Verde were granted independence. East Timor was forcibly taken over by Indonesia and did not achieve independence until 2002. January to November of 1975 was the period of greatest leftist ascendancy domestically—most banks and industries were nationalized, a massive agrarian reform was begun in the Alentejo, and the MFA-dominated government tried to ignore the elections of Apr., 1975, which strongly favored moderate parties, and instead relied on Communist support. Leftist predominance vanished after a failed coup attempt by radical military units in November, but many features of the revolutionary period of 1974-75 were incorporated into the constitution of 1976.

From 1977 to 1980 several moderate, Socialist-dominated governments tried unsuccessfully to stabilize the country politically and economically. In 1980-82, a center-right coalition experienced a similar fate, although it did succeed in instituting a process of constitutional revision, which reduced presidential power, the right of the military to intervene in politics, and the anticapitalist biases of the 1976 constitution. From 1983 to 1985 a coalition government under Socialist leader Mário Soares began to make some headway against the chaos and poverty into which Salazar's long dictatorship, the African wars, and the 1974-75 leftist revolution had thrown Portugal.

In 1986, the centrist Social Democratic party under Aníbal Cavaco Silva won an undisputed majority in parliament, Soares was elected to the presidency, and Portugal was admitted to the European Community (now the European Union). Constitutional revision was furthered in 1989. Political stability and economic reforms created a favorable business climate, especially for renewed foreign investment, and there was strong economic growth. The Socialists returned to power as a minority government after the 1995 parliamentary elections; António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres became premier. Barred from running for a third term, Soares retired as president in 1996; he was succeeded by another Socialist, Jorge Fernando Branco de Sampaio. Portugal became part of the European Union's single currency plan in 1999; in October, Guterres and the Socialists were returned to power, again as a minority government. Under a 1987 agreement, Portugal's last overseas territory, Macao, reverted to Chinese sovereignty at the end of 1999. Sampaio was reelected in Jan., 2001. Social Democratic victories in the Dec., 2001, local elections led Guterres to resign as premier and party leader in 2001. Early parliamentary elections in Mar., 2002, resulted in a defeat for the Socialists, and Social Democrat José Manuel Durão Barroso became premier, heading a coalition with the smaller Popular party. Barroso resigned in July, 2004, in anticipation of his being named president of the European Commission, and Social Democrat Pedro Miguel de Santana Lopes was appointed premier. Parliamentary elections in Feb., 2005, resulted in a victory for the Socialists, who won more than half the seats, and José Sócrates Carvalho Pinto de Sousa became premier. In 2006 former premier Aníbal Cavaço Silva was elected president, becoming the first center-right candidate to win the office since the 1974 revolution. The Socialists won the parliamentary elections in Sept., 2009, but failed to secure a majority of the seats. Sócrates subsequently formed a minority government.

Bibliography

An adequate short history of Portugal is that by H. V. Livermore (1966, repr. 1969). See also D. Stanislawski, The Individuality of Portugal (1959, repr. 1969); J. Dos Passos, The Portugal Story (1969); A. H. Marques, Daily Life in Portugal in the Late Middle Ages (tr. 1971) and History of Portugal (2 vol., 1972); C. H. Nowell, Portugal (1973); L. S. Graham and D. L. Wheeler, ed., In Search of Modern Portugal (1983); H. G. Ferreira and M. W. Marshall, Portugal's Revolution: Ten Years On (1986).

officially Portuguese Republic

Country, on the west coast of the Iberian Peninsula, southwestern Europe. Area: 35,580 sq mi (92,152 sq km). Population (2005 est.): 10,513,000. Capital: Lisbon. Most of the people are Portuguese. Language: Portuguese (official). Religion: Christianity (predominantly Roman Catholic). Currency: euro. Administratively, the Atlantic islands of the Azores and Madeira are part of Portugal. Portugal is divided roughly in half by the Tagus River; the highlands rise mostly north of the Tagus and stretch northeast into Spain. Portugal has an industrialized economy in which both public and private sectors participate. Major industries were nationalized after a military coup in 1974, but many were returned to the private sector beginning in the late 1980s. Although motor vehicle manufacture is significant, light industries predominate; important products include textiles and clothing, paper and wood products, and chemicals. Portugal is a republic with a unicameral legislature; the chief of state is the president, and the head of government is the prime minister. In the 1st millennium BC, Celtic peoples settled the Iberian Peninsula. They were conquered circa 140 BC by the Romans, who ruled until the 5th century AD, when the area was invaded by Germanic tribes. A Muslim invasion in 711 left only the northern part of Portugal in Christian hands. In 1179 it became the kingdom of Portugal and expanded as it reconquered the Muslim-held sectors. The boundaries of modern continental Portugal were completed under King Afonso III (reigned 1248–79). From 1580 to 1640 Portugal was united with Spain. In the 15th and 16th centuries the monarchy encouraged exploration that took Portuguese navigators to Africa, India, Indonesia, China, the Middle East, and South America. Although Portugal established several colonies, they achieved independence over the years (see Brazil; Goa; Cape Verde; East Timor; Angola; Guinea-Bissau; Mozambique; Macau). António de Oliveira Salazar ruled Portugal as a dictator from 1932 to 1968. The country's dictatorship was overthrown in the April 25, 1974, Revolution of the Carnations. A new constitution was adopted in 1976, and civilian rule resumed. Portugal was a charter member of NATO and is a member of the European Union (EU). In 1999 the government adopted the euro as the country's official monetary unit and returned Macau, its last overseas territory, to Chinese rule.

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Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic (República Portuguesa), is a country on the Iberian Peninsula. Located in southwestern Europe, Portugal is the westernmost country of mainland Europe and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south and by Spain to the north and east. The Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira are also part of Portugal.

The land within the borders of today's Portuguese Republic has been continuously settled since prehistoric times. Some of the earliest civilizations include Lusitanians and Celtic societies. Incorporation into the Roman Republic dominions took place in the 2nd century BC. The region was ruled and colonized by Germanic peoples, such as the Suebi and the Visigoths, from the 5th to the 8th century. From this era, some vestiges of the Alans were also found. The Muslim Moors arrived in the early 8th century and conquered the Christian Germanic kingdoms, eventually occupying most of the Iberian Peninsula. In the early 1100s, during the Christian Reconquista, Portugal appeared as a kingdom independent of its neighbour, the Kingdom of León and Galicia. In a little over a century, in 1249, Portugal would establish almost its entire modern-day borders by conquering territory from the Moors.

During the 15th and 16th centuries, with a global empire that included possessions in Africa, Asia and South America, Portugal was one of the world's major economic, political, and cultural powers. In the 17th century, the Portuguese Restoration War between Portugal and Spain ended the sixty year period of the Iberian Union (1580–1640). In the 19th century, armed conflict with French and Spanish invading forces and the loss of its largest territorial possession abroad, Brazil, disrupted political stability and potential economic growth. After the Portuguese Colonial War and the Carnation Revolution coup d'état in 1974, the ruling regime was deposed in Lisbon and the country handed over its last overseas provinces in Africa. Portugal's last overseas territory, Macau, was handed over to China in 1999.

Portugal is a developed country, has a high Human Development Index and has the 19th highest quality of life in the world, although having the lowest GDP per capita of Western European countries. It is a member of the European Union (since 1986) and the United Nations (since 1955); as well as a founding member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa (Community of Portuguese Language Countries, CPLP), and the European Union's Eurozone. Portugal is also a Schengen state. According to the Global Peace Index, Portugal is the 7th most peaceful country in the world.

History

The early history of Portugal, whose name derives from the Roman name Portus Cale, is shared with the rest of the Iberian Peninsula. The region was settled by Pre-Celts and Celts, giving origin to peoples like the Gallaeci, Lusitanians, Celtici and Cynetes, visited by Phoenicians and Carthaginians, incorporated in the Roman Republic dominions (as Lusitania after 45 BC), settled again by Suevi, Buri, and Visigoths, and conquered by Moors. Other minor influences include some 5th century vestiges of Alan settlement, which were found in Alenquer, Coimbra and even Lisbon. In 868, during the Reconquista (by which Christians reconquered the Iberian peninsula from the Muslim and Moorish domination), the First County of Portugal was formed. A victory over the Muslims at Ourique in 1139 is traditionally taken as the occasion when Portugal is transformed from a county (County of Portugal as a fief of the Kingdom of León) into an independent kingdom - the Kingdom of Portugal.

On 24 June 1128, the Battle of São Mamede occurred near Guimarães. At the Battle of São Mamede, Afonso Henriques, Count of Portugal, defeated his mother, Countess Teresa, and her lover, Fernão Peres de Trava, in battle - thereby establishing himself as sole leader. Afonso Henriques officially declared Portugal's independence when he proclaimed himself king of Portugal on 25 July 1139, after the Battle of Ourique, he was recognized as such in 1143 by Afonso VII, king of León and Castile, and in 1179 by Pope Alexander III. Afonso Henriques and his successors, aided by military monastic orders, pushed southward to drive out the Moors, as the size of Portugal covered about half of its present area. In 1249, this Reconquista ended with the capture of the Algarve on the southern coast, giving Portugal its present day borders, with minor exceptions.

In 1373, Portugal made an alliance with England, which is the longest-standing alliance in the world.

In 1383, the king of Castile, husband of the daughter of the Portuguese king who had died without a male heir, claimed his throne. An ensuing popular revolt led to the 1383-1385 Crisis. A faction of petty noblemen and commoners, led by John of Aviz (later John I), seconded by General Nuno Álvares Pereira defeated the Castilians in the Battle of Aljubarrota. This celebrated battle is still a symbol of glory and the struggle for independence from neighboring Spain.

In the following decades, Portugal spearheaded the exploration of the world and undertook the Age of Discovery. Prince Henry the Navigator, son of King João I, became the main sponsor and patron of this endeavor.

In 1415, Portugal gained the first of its overseas colonies when a fleet conquered Ceuta, a prosperous Islamic trade center in North Africa. There followed the first discoveries in the Atlantic: Madeira and the Azores, which led to the first colonization movements.

Throughout the 15th century, Portuguese explorers sailed the coast of Africa, establishing trading posts for several common types of tradable commodities at the time, ranging from gold to slaves, as they looked for a route to India and its spices, which were coveted in Europe. In 1498, Vasco da Gama finally reached India and brought economic prosperity to Portugal and its then population of one million residents.

In 1500, Pedro Álvares Cabral, en route to India, discovered Brazil and claimed it for Portugal. Ten years later, Afonso de Albuquerque conquered Goa, in India, Ormuz in the Persian Strait, and Malacca in what is now a state in Malaysia. Thus, the Portuguese empire held dominion over commerce in the Indian Ocean and South Atlantic. The Portuguese sailors set out to reach Eastern Asia by sailing eastward from Europe landing in such places like Taiwan, Japan, the island of Timor, and it may also have been Portuguese sailors that were the first Europeans to discover Australia.

Portugal's independence was interrupted between 1580 and 1640. Because the heirless King Sebastian died in battle in Morocco, Philip II of Spain claimed his throne and so became Philip I of Portugal. Although Portugal did not lose its formal independence, it was governed by the same monarch who governed Spain, briefly forming a union of kingdoms, as a personal union; in 1640, John IV spearheaded an uprising backed by disgruntled nobles and was proclaimed king. The Portuguese Restoration War between Portugal and Spain on the aftermath of the 1640 revolt, ended the sixty-year period of the Iberian Union under the House of Habsburg. This was the beginning of the House of Braganza, which was to reign in Portugal until 1910. On 1 November 1755, Lisbon, the largest city and capital of the Portuguese Empire, was strongly shaken by an earthquake which killed thousands and destroyed a large portion of the city.

In the autumn of 1807 Napoleon moved French troops through its allied Spain to invade Portugal. From 1807 to 1811, British-Portuguese forces would successfully fight against the French invasion of Portugal.

Portugal began a slow but inexorable decline until the 20th century. This decline was hastened by the independence in 1822 of the country's largest colonial possession, Brazil. At the height of European colonialism in the 19th century, Portugal had lost its territory in South America and all but a few bases in Asia. During this phase, Portuguese colonialism focused on expanding its outposts in Africa into nation-sized territories to compete with other European powers there. Portuguese territories eventually included the modern nations of Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau, Angola, and Mozambique.

In 1910, a revolution deposed the Portuguese monarchy, but chaos continued and considerable economic problems were aggravated by the military intervention in World War I, which led to a military coup d'état in 1926. This in turn led to the establishment of the right-wing dictatorship of the Estado Novo under António de Oliveira Salazar. In December 1961, the Portuguese army was involved in armed action in its colony of Portuguese India against an Indian invasion. The operations resulted in the defeat of the isolated and relatively small Portuguese defense force which was not able to resist a much larger enemy. The outcome was the loss of the Portuguese territories in the Indian subcontinent.

Also in the early 1960s, independence movements in the Portuguese overseas provinces of Angola, Mozambique, and Portuguese Guinea, in Africa, resulted in the Portuguese Colonial War (1961–1974). In April 1974, a bloodless left-wing military coup in Lisbon, known as the Carnation Revolution, led the way for a modern democracy as well as the independence of the last colonies in Africa shortly after. However, Portugal's last overseas territory, Macau (Asia), was not handed over to the People's Republic of China until as late as 1999.

From the 1940s to the 1960s, Portugal was a founding member of NATO, OECD and EFTA. In 1986, Portugal joined the European Union (then the European Economic Community). In 1999, Portugal was one of the founding countries of the euro and the Eurozone. It is also a co-founder of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), established in 1996 and headquartered in Lisbon.

Administrative divisions

Portugal has an administrative structure of 308 municipalities (Portuguese singular/plural: concelho/concelhos), which are subdivided into more than 4,000 parishes (freguesia/freguesias). Municipalities are grouped for administrative purposes into superior units. For continental Portugal the municipalities are gathered in 18 Districts, while the Islands have a Regional Government directly above them. Thus, the largest unit of classification is the one established since 1976 into either mainland Portugal (Portugal Continental) or the autonomous regions of Portugal (Azores and Madeira).

The 18 district capitals of mainland Portugal are: Aveiro, Beja, Braga, Bragança, Castelo Branco, Coimbra, Évora, Faro, Guarda, Leiria, Lisbon, Portalegre, Porto, Santarém, Setúbal, Viana do Castelo, Vila Real, and Viseu - each district takes the name of the district capital.

The European Union's system of Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics is also used. According to this system, Portugal is divided into 7 regions (Açores, Alentejo, Algarve, Centro, Lisboa, Madeira, and Norte), which are subdivided into 30 subregions.

Geography and climate

The climate can be classified as Mediterranean type csa in the south and csb in the north, according to the Köppen climate classification. Portugal is one of the warmest European countries, the annual temperature averages in mainland Portugal are 13 °C (55 °F) in the north and 18 °C (64 °F) in the south and it is over 20 °C (68°F) on the warmest spots, like south coast of Madeira island. The Madeira and Azores Atlantic archipelagos have a narrower temperature range. Extreme temperatures occur in the mountains of Northeastern parts of the country in winter (where they may fall to -15 °C) and Southeastern parts in summer. Sea coastal areas are milder. Absolute extremes registered so far have been -23 °C in the big mountain of Serra da Estrela and 48 °C in the Alentejo region. There are registered values of 50,5 for Riodades. It is very plausible that these values can be registered on the Guadiana, Douro and Tagus (Tejo) warmest valleys. Mainland Portugal is split by its main river, the Tagus. The northern landscape is mountainous in the interior areas, with plateaus indented by river valleys. The south, between the Tagus and the Algarve (the Alentejo), features mostly rolling plains and a climate somewhat warmer and drier than in the cooler and rainier north. The Algarve, separated from the Alentejo by mountains, has a climate much like southern coastal Spain.

The islands of the Azores are located in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge whilst the Madeira islands were formed by the activity of an in-plate hotspot, much like the Hawaiian Islands. Some islands have had volcanic activity as recently as 1957. Azores have a subtropical humid climate, as well as Madeira which is warmer and more diversified. In the mountains it is possible to have a mountain temperate climate, on the lowlands subtropical humid climate with the exception of Porto Santo (Warm Inframediterranean climate) and Salvages islands (Ilhas Selvagens) with a desertic climate. Portugal's highest point is Mount Pico on Pico Island in the Azores. This is an ancient volcano measuring 2,350 meters (7,713 ft). Mainland Portugal's highest point is Serra da Estrela, measuring 1993 meters (6,558 ft). Portugal's Exclusive Economic Zone, a seazone over which the Portuguese have special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources, has 1,727,408 km². This is the 3rd largest Exclusive Economic Zone of the European Union and the 11th in the world.

Conservation areas of Portugal include one national park (Parque Nacional), 12 natural parks (Parque Natural), 9 natural reserves (Reserva Natural), 5 natural monuments (Monumento Natural), and 7 protected landscapes (Paisagem Protegida), ranging from the Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês to the Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela to the Paul de Arzila. Climate and geographical diversity shaped the Portuguese Flora. Due to economic reasons the pine tree (especially the Pinus pinaster and Pinus pinea species), the chestnut tree (Castanea sativa), the cork oak (Quercus suber), the holm oak (Quercus ilex), and the eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) are very widespread. Mammalian fauna is diverse and includes the fox, badger, Iberian lynx, Iberian Wolf, wild goat (Capra pyrenaica), wild cat (Felis silvestris), hare, weasel, polecat, mongoose, civet, brown bear (spotted near Rio Minho, close to Peneda-Gerês) and many others. Portugal is an important stopover place for migratory birds, like in Saint Vicent Cape or Monchique mountain, where it can be seen thousands of birds that fly from Europe to Africa in the Autumn or on the opposite direction, in the Spring. They congregate here, because Iberian Peninsula is the closest place in Europe to Africa. Portugal has around 600 bird species and almost every year there are new records. The islands have some species of American, European, and African origin, while the mainland shares European and African bird species. Portugal has over 100 freshwater fish species and vary from the giant European catfish (Tejo International Natural Park) to some small and endemic species that live only in small and located lakes (West Zone, for example). Some of these rare and specific species are highly endangered due to habitat loss, pollution and drought. Marine fish species number are on the thousands mark and include the sardine (Sardina pilchardus), tuna and Atlantic mackerel. The marine bioluminescence is very well-represented (in different colors spectra and forms), with interesting phenomena like the glowing plankton, that is possible to observe in some beaches. In Portugal is possible also to observe the upwelling phenomena, specially on the west coast, which turns the sea extremely rich in nutrients and biodiversity. Portuguese marine waters are one of the richest in biodiversity of the world.

Insect fauna has many endemic species, that are only found in some places in Portugal, others are more widespread like the stag beetle (Lucanus cervus) and the cicada. Macaronesian islands (Azores and Madeira) have many endemic species (like birds, reptiles, bats, insects, snails and slugs) that developed differently from any place in the world due to its isolated location and so evolved very unique species. Only in Madeira is possible to observe 200 species of land gastropods. Laurissilva is a unique type of subtropical rainforest in Europe and in the world. It is found in Madeira and Azores, Portugal, and also on the Canary islands, Spain.

Government and politics

Portugal is a democratic republic ruled by the constitution of 1976 with Lisbon, the nation's largest city, as its capital. The four main governing components are the president of the republic, the assembly of the republic, the government, and the courts. The constitution grants the division or separation of powers among legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Portugal like most European countries has no state religion, making it a secular state.

The president, who is elected to a five-year term, has a supervising, non-executive role. The current President is Aníbal Cavaco Silva. The Assembly of the Republic is a unicameral parliament composed of 230 deputies elected for four-year terms. The government is headed by the prime minister (currently José Sócrates), who chooses the Council of Ministers, comprising all the ministers and the respective state secretaries.

The national and regional governments (those of Azores and Madeira autonomous regions), and the Portuguese parliament, are dominated by two political parties, the Socialist Party and the Social Democratic Party. Minority parties Unitarian Democratic Coalition (Portuguese Communist Party plus Ecologist Party "The Greens"), Bloco de Esquerda (Left Bloc) and CDS-PP (People's Party) are also represented in the parliament and local governments.

The courts are organized into categories, including judicial, administrative, and fiscal. The supreme courts are the courts of last appeal. A thirteen-member constitutional court oversees the constitutionality of legislation.

Foreign relations

Portugal is a founding member of NATO (1949), OECD (1961) and EFTA (1960); it left the latter in 1986 to join the European Economic Community, that would become the European Union in 1993. In 1996 it co-founded the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP). The country is a member state of the United Nations since 1955.

It has a friendship alliance and dual citizenship treaty with Brazil. Portugal is part of the world's oldest active alliance through its treaty with the United Kingdom.

The only international dispute concerns the municipality of Olivença. Under Portuguese sovereignty since 1297, the municipality of Olivença was ceded to Spain under the Treaty of Badajoz in 1801, after the War of the Oranges. Portugal claimed it back in 1815 under the Treaty of Vienna. Nevertheless, bilateral diplomatic relations between the two neighbouring countries are cordial, as well as within the European Union.

Military

The armed forces have three branches: Army, Navy, and Air Force. The military of Portugal serves primarily as a self-defense force whose mission is to protect the territorial integrity of the country and providing humanitarian assistance and security at home and abroad. As of 2002, the total armed forces of Portugal numbered 43,600 active personnel including 2,875 women. Reservists numbered 210,930 for all services. The army had 25,400 personnel with equipment including 187 main battle tanks. The navy of 10,800, including 1,580 marines, had two submarines, six frigates, and 28 patrol and coastal combatants. The air force of 7,400 was equipped with 50 combat aircraft. Paramilitary police and republican guards, the Guarda Nacional Republicana (GNR), number 40,900. GNR is a police force under the authority of the military, its soldiers are subject to military law and organization. It has provided detachments for participation in international operations in Iraq and East Timor. The United States maintains a military presence with 770 troops. Portugal participates in peacekeeping operations in several regions. Defense spending in 1999–00 was $1.3 billion, representing 2.2% of GDP.

Since the early 2000s, compulsory military service is no longer practiced. The changes also turned the forces' focus towards professional military engagements. The age for voluntary recruitment is set at 18. In the 20th century, Portugal engaged in two major military interventions: the First Great War and the Portuguese Colonial War (1961–1974). Portugal has participated in peacekeeping missions in East Timor, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq (Nasiriyah), and Lebanon. The Portuguese Military's Rapid Reaction Brigade, a combined force of the nation's elite Paratroopers, Special Operations Troops Centre, and Commandos, is a special elite fighting force.

Economy

Portugal's economy is based on services and industry such as software and automotive. Business services have overtaken more traditional industries such as textiles, clothing, footwear, cork and wood products and beverages (wine, beer, juice, soft drinks). The country has increased its role in the automotive, mold-making and software sectors. Services, particularly tourism, are playing an increasingly important role. Portugal's European Union (EU) funding will be cut by 10%, to 22.5 billion euros, during the 2007–2013 period. EU expansion into eastern Europe has erased Portugal's past competitive advantage and relative low labor costs. Portugal's economic development model has been changing from one based on public consumption and public investment to one focused on exports, private investment, and development of the high-tech sector. At present, Portugal is exporting more technology than it imports.

Portugal joined the European Union in 1986 and started a process of modernization within the framework of a stable environment. It has achieved a healthy level of growth. Successive governments have implemented reforms and privatized many state-controlled firms and liberalized key areas of the economy. Portugal was one of the founding countries of the euro in 1999, and therefore is integrated into the Eurozone. Major industries include oil refineries, automotive, cement production, pulp and paper industry, textile, footwear, furniture, and cork (of which Portugal is the world's leading producer). Manufacturing accounts for 33% of exports. Portugal is the world's fifth-largest producer of tungsten, and the world's eleventh-largest producer of wine. Agriculture and fishing no longer represents the bulk of the economy. However, Portugal has a strong tradition in the fisheries sector and is one of the countries with the highest fish consumption per capita. Portuguese wines, namely Port Wine (named after the country's second largest city, Porto) and Madeira Wine (named after Madeira Island), are exported worldwide. Tourism is also important, especially in mainland Portugal's southernmost region of the Algarve and in the Atlantic Madeira archipelago.

The Global Competitiveness Report for 2005, published by the World Economic Forum, placed Portugal's competitiveness on the 22nd position, ahead of countries and territories such as Spain, Ireland, France, Belgium and Hong Kong . This represented an increase of two places from the 2004 ranking. Portugal was ranked 20th on the Technology index and 15th on the Public Institutions index. However, the Global Competitiveness Index 2007-2008 placed Portugal on the 40th position out of 131 countries and territories.

Research about standard of living by the Economist Intelligence Unit's quality of life survey placed Portugal as the country with the 19th-best quality of life in the world for the year 2005, ahead of other economically and technologically advanced countries like France, Germany, the United Kingdom and South Korea. This is despite the fact that Portugal has the lowest per capita GDP in Western Europe and among the lowest in the European Union.

Major State-owned companies include Águas de Portugal (water), Caixa Geral de Depósitos (banking), Comboios de Portugal (railways) and CTT (postal services). Publicly-owned companies like EDP, Galp, Jerónimo Martins, Millennium bcp, Portugal Telecom and Sonae are among the largest corporations of Portugal by both number of employees and net income.

The major stock exchange is the Euronext Lisbon which is part of the NYSE Euronext, the first global stock exchange. The PSI-20 is Portugal's most selective and widely known stock index.

Energy, transportation, communications, water supply and sanitation

In 2006 the world's largest solar power plant began operating in the nation's sunny south while the world's first commercial wave power farm opened in October 2006 in the Norte region. As of 2006, 55% of electricity production was from coal and fuel power plants. The other 40% was produced by hydroelectrics and 5% by wind energy. The government is channeling $38,000,000,000 into developing renewable energy sources over the next five years.

Portugal wants renewable energy sources like solar, wind and wave power to account for nearly half of the electricity consumed in the country by 2010. "This new goal will place Portugal in the frontline of renewable energy and make it, along with Austria and Sweden, one of the three nations that most invest in this sector", Prime Minister José Sócrates said.

Transportation was seen as a priority in the 1990s, pushed by the growing use of automobiles and industrialization. The country has a 68,732 km (42,708 mi) network of roads, of which almost 3,000 km (1,864 mi) are part of a 44 motorways system.

The two principal metropolitan areas have subway systems: Lisbon Metro and Metro Sul do Tejo in Lisbon Metropolitan Area and Porto Metro in Porto, each with more than 35 km (22 mi) of lines. Construction of a high-speed TGV line connecting Porto with Lisbon, Lisbon with Madrid and Porto with Vigo will begin in 2008.

Lisbon's geographical position makes it a stopover point for many foreign airlines at airports all over the country. The government decided to build a new airport outside Lisbon, in Alcochete, to replace Lisbon's Portela airport. Currently, the most important airports are in Lisbon, Faro, Porto, Funchal (Madeira), and Ponta Delgada (Azores). Portugal has one of the highest mobile phone penetration rates in the world (the number of operative mobile phones already exceeds the population). This network also provides wireless mobile Internet connections as well, and covers the entire territory. As of October 2006, 36.8% of households had high-speed Internet services and 78% of companies had Internet access. Most Portuguese watch television through cable (June 2004: 73.6% of households). Paid Internet connections are available at many cafés, as well as many post offices. One can also surf on the Internet at hotels, conference centres and shopping centres, where special areas are reserved for this purpose. Free internet access is also available to Portuguese residents at "Espaços de Internet" across the country.

Portugal has also modernized its water supply and sanitation system, in particular by increasing the rate of wastewater treated with support from EU subsidies to 80%. The country has also established a modern institutional and legal framework for the water and sanitation sector, including an autonomous regulatory agency, a national asset holding company called Águas de Portugal and a number of multi-municipal utilities. This replaced an institutionally fragemented sector structure, under which the country's 308 municipalities - many of them very small - had exclusive responsibility for water and sanitation.

Demographics

The population of Portugal, the first unified national-state in Western Europe, has been extremely homogeneous for most of its history. A single religion and a single language have contributed to this ethnic and national unity. The great majority of Portuguese are Roman Catholic, though a large percentage consider themselves non-practising, especially in urban lands. Portugal was one of the last western European nations to give up its colonies and overseas territories, turning over the administration of Macau to China in 1999. Its colonial history has been fundamental to national identity, as has its geographic position at the margin of Europe looking out to the Atlantic. The country is fairly homogeneous linguistically and religiously. Native Portuguese are ethnically a combination of Celts, Lusitanians, Phoenicians, Romans, Germanic (Visigoths, Suebi, Buri), Alans, Jews and Moors (mostly Berbers and Arabs).

In the 2001 census, the population was 10,355,824 of which 52% was female, 48% was male. By 2007, Portugal had 10,617,575 inhabitants of whom about 332,137 were legal immigrants. Portugal, long a country of emigration, has now become a country of net immigration, and not just from the last Indian (Portuguese until 1961), African (Portuguese until 1975), and Far East Asian (Portuguese until 1999) overseas territories. Since the 1990s, along with a boom in construction, several new waves of Ukrainian, Brazilian, people from the former Portuguese colonies in Africa and other Africans have settled in the country. Those communities currently make up the largest groups of immigrants in Portugal. Romanians, Moldovans and Chinese also have chosen Portugal as destination. A number of EU citizens from the United Kingdom, Spain and other EU member states, also have chosen Portugal as destination, with the British community being mostly composed of retired pensioners and the Spaniards composed of professionals (medical doctors, business managers, businesspersons, nurses, etc.). Portugal's gypsy population, estimated at about 40,000, offers another element of ethnic diversity. Most gypsies live apart, and primarily in the south. They can often be found at rural markets selling clothing and handicrafts. Portugal also has small Protestant, Muslim and Jewish communities, largely composed of foreigners.

The most populous cities are Lisbon, Porto, Vila Nova de Gaia, Amadora, Braga, Almada, Coimbra, Funchal and Setúbal. There are seven Greater Metropolitan Areas (GAMs): Algarve, Aveiro, Coimbra, Lisbon, Minho, Porto and Viseu.

Rank City name Population Metropolitan area Subregion
1 Lisbon 564,657 Greater Metropolitan Area of Lisbon Grande Lisboa
2 Porto 263,131 Greater Metropolitan Area of Porto Grande Porto
3 Vila Nova de Gaia 178,255 Greater Metropolitan Area of Porto Grande Porto
4 Amadora 175,872 Greater Metropolitan Area of Lisbon Grande Lisboa
5 Braga 109,460 Greater Metropolitan Area of Minho Cávado
6 Almada 101,500 Greater Metropolitan Area of Lisbon Península de Setúbal
7 Coimbra 101,069 Greater Metropolitan Area of Coimbra Baixo Mondego
8 Funchal 100,526 N/A Madeira
9 Setúbal 89,303 Greater Metropolitan Area of Lisbon Península de Setúbal
10 Agualva-Cacém 81,845 Greater Metropolitan Area of Lisbon Grande Lisboa
Source: INE census, 2001.

Education, science and technology

The educational system is divided into preschool (for those under age 6), basic education (9 years, in three stages, compulsory), secondary education (3 years, till the 12th grade), and higher education (university and polytechnic). Total adult literacy rate is 95%. Portuguese primary school enrollments are close to 100%. About 20% of college-age students attend one of the country's higher education institutions (compared with 50% in the United States). In addition to being a key destination for international students, Portugal is also among the top places of origin for international students. All higher education students, both domestic and international, totaled 380,937 in 2005.

Portuguese universities have existed since 1290. The oldest Portuguese university was first established in Lisbon before moving to Coimbra. Universities are usually organized into faculties. Institutes and schools are also common designations for autonomous subdivisions of Portuguese higher education institutions, and are always used in the polytechnical system. The Bologna process has been adopted since 2006 by Portuguese universities and polytechnical institutes. Higher education in state-run educational establishments is provided on a competitive basis, a system of numerus clausus is enforced through a national database on student admissions. Scientific and technological research activities in Portugal are mainly conducted within a network of R&D units belonging to public universities and state-managed autonomous research institutions like the INETI - Instituto Nacional de Engenharia, Tecnologia e Inovação. The funding of this research system is mainly conducted under the authority of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education. The largest R&D units of the public universities by number of publications which achieved significant international recognition, include biosciences research institutions like the Instituto de Medicina Molecular, the Centre for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, the IPATIMUP, and the Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular. Among the private universities, notable research centers include the Facial Emotion Expression Lab. Internationally notable state-supported research centres in other fields include the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, a joint research effort between Portugal and Spain. Among the largest non-state-run research institutions in Portugal are the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência and the Champalimaud Foundation which yearly awards one of the highest monetary prizes of any science prize in the world. A number of both national and multinational high-tech and industrial companies, are also responsible for research and development projects. One of the oldest learned societies of Portugal is the Sciences Academy of Lisbon.

Portugal made agreements with several European scientific organizations aiming at full membership. These include the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN), ITER, and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). Portugal has entered into cooperation agreements with MIT (USA) and other North American institutions in order to further develop and increase the effectiveness of Portuguese higher education and research.

Portugal is home to the largest aquarium in Europe, the Lisbon Oceanarium, and have several other notable organizations focused on science-related exhibits and divulgation, like the state agency Ciência Viva, a programme of the Portuguese Ministry of Science and Technology to the promotion of a scientific and technological culture among the Portuguese population, the Science Museum of the University of Coimbra, the Museum of Natural History at the University of Lisbon, and the Visionarium.

With the emergence and growth of several science parks throughout the world which helped create many thousands of scientific, technological and knowledge-based businesses, Portugal started to develop several science parks across the country. These include the Taguspark (in Oeiras), the Coimbra inovação Parque (in Coimbra), the Madeira Tecnopolo (in Funchal), Sines Tecnopolo (in Sines) and Parkurbis (in Covilhã). Companies locate in the Portuguese science parks to take advantage of a variety of services ranging from financial and legal advice through to marketing and technological support.

Law

The Portuguese legal system is part of the civil law legal system, also called the continental family legal system. Until the end of the 19th century, French law was the main influence. Since then the major influence has been German law. The main laws include the Constitution (1976, as amended), the Civil Code (1966, as amended) and the Penal Code (1982, as amended). Other relevant laws are the Commercial Code (1888, as amended) and the Civil Procedure Code (1961, as amended). Portuguese law applied in the former colonies and territories and continues to be the major influence for those countries.

Religion

Church and state were formally separated during the Portuguese First Republic (1910–26), a separation reiterated in the Portuguese Constitution of 1976. Portugal is a secular state. Other than the Constitution, the two most important documents relating to religious freedom are the 2001 Religious Freedom Act and the 1940 Concordata (as amended in 1971) between Portugal and the Holy See.

Portuguese society is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic. 84% of the population are nominally Roman Catholic, but only about 20% attend mass and take the sacraments regularly. A larger number wish to be baptized, married in the church, and receive last rites.

Many Portuguese holidays, festivals and traditions have a Christian origin or connotation. Although relations between the Portuguese state and the Roman Catholic Church were generally amiable and stable since the earliest years of the Portuguese nation, their relative power fluctuated. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the church enjoyed both riches and power stemming from its role in the reconquest and its close identification with early Portuguese nationalism and the foundation of the Portuguese educational system, including the first university. The growth of the Portuguese overseas empire made its missionaries important agents of colonization with important roles of evangelization and teaching in all inhabited continents.

The country has small Protestant, Muslim, Christian Orthodox and Jewish communities, largely composed of foreigners.

Language

Portuguese is the official language of Portugal. Mirandese is also recognized as a co-official language in several municipalities in northeastern Portugal. Portuguese is a Romance language that originated in what is now Galicia (Spain) and Northern Portugal. It is derived from the Latin spoken by the romanized Pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula around 2000 years ago. In the 15th and 16th centuries, it spread wordwide as Portugal established a colonial and commercial empire (1415–1999). As a result, nowadays the Portuguese language is also official and spoken in Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, and Macau.

Culture

Portugal has developed a specific culture while being influenced by various civilizations that have crossed the Mediterranean and the European continent, or were introduced when it played an active role during the Age of Discovery. Portuguese literature, one of the earliest Western literatures, developed through text and song. Until 1350, the Portuguese-Galician troubadours spread their literary influence to most of the Iberian Peninsula. Gil Vicente (ca. 1465 - ca. 1536), was one of the founders of both Portuguese and Spanish dramatic traditions.

Adventurer and poet Luís de Camões (ca. 1524–1580) wrote the epic poem The Lusiads, with Virgil's Aeneid as his main influence. Modern Portuguese poetry is rooted in neoclassic and contemporary styles, as exemplified by Fernando Pessoa (1888–1935). Modern Portuguese literature is represented by authors such as Almeida Garrett, Camilo Castelo Branco, Eça de Queiroz, Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, and António Lobo Antunes. Particularly popular and distinguished is José Saramago, winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for literature.

Portuguese music encompasses a wide variety of genres. The most renowned is fado, a melancholy urban music, usually associated with the Portuguese guitar and saudade, or longing. Coimbra fado, a unique type of fado, is also noteworthy. Internationally notable performers include Amália Rodrigues, Carlos Paredes, José Afonso, Mariza, Carlos do Carmo, Mísia, and Madredeus. One of the most notable Portuguese musical groups outside the country, and specially in Germany, is the goth-metal band Moonspell. In addition to fado and folk, the Portuguese listen to pop and other types of modern music, particularly from North America and the United Kingdom, as well as a wide range of Portuguese and Brazilian artists and bands. Bands with international recognition include Blasted Mechanism and The Gift, both of which were nominated for an MTV Music Award. Portugal has several summer music festivals, such as Festival Sudoeste in Zambujeira do Mar, Festival de Paredes de Coura in Paredes de Coura, Festival Vilar de Mouros near Caminha, and Rock in Rio Lisboa and Super Bock Super Rock in Lisbon. Out of the summer season, Portugal has a large number of festivals, designed more to an urban audience, like Flowfest or Hip Hop Porto. Furthermore, one of the largest international Goa trance festivals takes place in northern Portugal every two years, and the student festivals of Queima das Fitas are major events in a number of cities across Portugal. In the Classical music domain, Portugal is represented by names as the pianist Maria João Pires, and in the past by the great cellist Guilhermina Suggia. Notable composers include Luís de Freitas Branco and his student Joly Braga Santos, and Fernando Lopes-Graça. It has also a rich history as far as painting is concerned. The first well-known painters date back to the XV century – like Nuno Gonçalves - were part of the Gothic painting period. José Malhoa, known for his work Fado, and Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro (who painted the portraits of Teófilo Braga and Antero de Quental) were both references in naturalist painting.

The 20th century saw the arrival of Modernism, and along with it came the most prominent Portuguese painters: Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, who was heavily influenced by French painters, particularly by the Delaunays. Among his best known works is Canção Popular a Russa e o Fígaro. Another great modernist painter/writer was Almada Negreiros, friend to the poet Fernando Pessoa, who painted his (Pessoa’s) portrait. He was deeply influenced by both Cubist and Futurist trends. Prominent international figures in visual arts nowadays include painters Vieira da Silva, Júlio Pomar, and Paula Rego.

Traditional architecture is distinctive. Modern Portugal has given the world renowned architects like Eduardo Souto de Moura, Álvaro Siza Vieira and Gonçalo Byrne. Internally, Tomás Taveira is also noteworthy.

Since the 1990s, Portugal has increased the number of public cultural facilities, in addition to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation established in 1956 in Lisbon. These include the Belém Cultural Center in Lisbon, Serralves Foundation and the Casa da Música, both in Porto, as well as new public cultural facilities like municipal libraries and concert halls which were built or renovated in many municipalities across the country.

Cuisine

Portuguese cuisine is diverse. The Portuguese consume a lot of dry cod (bacalhau in Portuguese), for which there are hundreds of recipes. There are more than enough bacalhau dishes for each day of the year. Two other popular fish recipes are grilled sardines and caldeirada. Typical Portuguese meat recipes, that may take beef, pork, lamb, or chicken, include feijoada, cozido à portuguesa, frango de churrasco, and carne de porco à alentejana. Typical fast food dishes include the francesinha from Porto, and bifanas (grilled pork), prego (grilled beef) or leitão (piglet) sandwiches which are well known around the country. The Portuguese art of pastry has its origins in ancient recipes of which pastéis de Belém (or pastéis de nata) originally from Lisbon, and ovos-moles from Aveiro are good examples. Portuguese cuisine is very diverse, with different regions having their own traditional dishes. The Portuguese have a cult for good food and throughout the country there are myriads of good restaurants and small typical tascas.

Portuguese wines have deserved international recognition since the times of the Roman Empire, which associated Portugal with their god Bacchus. Today the country is known by wine lovers and its wines have won several international prizes. Some of the best Portuguese wines are: Vinho Verde, Vinho Alvarinho, Vinho do Douro, Vinho do Alentejo, Vinho do Dão, Vinho da Bairrada and the sweet: Port Wine, Madeira Wine and the Moscatel from Setúbal and Favaios. Port Wine is well known around the world and the most widely known wine type in the world. The Douro wine region is the oldest in the world.

Sports and games

Football is the most known, loved and played sport. The legendary Eusébio is still a major symbol of Portuguese football history and Luís Figo, Fernando Gomes and Cristiano Ronaldo are among the numerous examples of other world-class footballers born in Portugal and noted worldwide.

The Portuguese national teams, have titles in the FIFA World Youth Championship and in the UEFA youth championships. The main national team - Selecção Nacional - finished second in Euro 2004, reached the third place in the 1966 FIFA World Cup, and reached the fourth place in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, their best results in major competitions to date.

F.C. Porto, S.L. Benfica and Sporting C.P. are the largest sports clubs by popularity and in terms of trophies won, often known as "os três grandes" ("the big three"). They have a number of titles won in the European UEFA club competitions, were present in many finals and have been regular contenders in the last stages almost every season. Other than football, many Portuguese sports clubs, including the "big three", compete in several other sports events with a varying level of success and popularity, these may include basketball, futsal, handball, and volleyball. Portugal has a successful rink hockey team, with 15 world titles and 20 European titles, making it the country with the most wins in both competitions. The most successful Portuguese rink hockey clubs in the history of European championships are F.C. Porto, S.L. Benfica and Óquei de Barcelos.

The national rugby union team made a dramatic qualification into the 2007 Rugby World Cup and became the first all amateur team to qualify for the World Cup since the dawn of the professional era. The Portuguese national team of rugby sevens has performed well, becoming one of the strongest teams in Europe, and proved their status as European champions in several occasions.

In athletics, the Portuguese have won a number of gold, silver and bronze medals in the European, World and Olympic Games competitions. Cycling, with Volta a Portugal being the most important race, is also a popular sports event and include professional cycling teams such as S.L. Benfica, Boavista, Clube de Ciclismo de Tavira, and União Ciclista da Maia. The country has also achieved notable performances in sports like fencing, judo, kitesurf, rowing, sailing, surfing, shooting, triathlon and windsurf, owning several European and world titles. The paralympic athletes have also conquered many medals in sports like swimming, boccia and wrestling.

Northern Portugal has its own original martial art, jogo do pau, in which the fighters use staffs to confront one or several opponents.

International rankings

Political and economic rankings

Health rankings

Other rankings

Facts and figures

  • Official date format: YYYY/MM/DD (ex. 2006/09/08)
  • Common date format: DD/MM/YYYY (ex. 06/09/2006), dates are written out as DD de MM de YYYY (ex. 18 de Agosto de 2005)
  • Decimal separator is a comma: 123,45
  • Thousands are officially separated by a space — 10 000 — although the point is widely used — 10.000

  • The euro sign is commonly placed either before or after the amount, with the separator either a comma or a point: 10,95 € - € 10,95 - € 10.95 - 10.95 €

See also

References

Other references:

  • Ribeiro, Ângelo & Saraiva, José Hermano História de Portugal I - A Formação do Território QuidNovi, 2004 (ISBN 989-554-106-6)
  • Ribeiro, Ângelo & Saraiva, José Hermano História de Portugal II - A Afirmação do País QuidNovi, 2004 (ISBN 989-554-107-4)
  • de Macedo, Newton & Saraiva, José Hermano História de Portugal III - A Epopeia dos Descobrimentos QuidNovi, 2004 (ISBN 989-554-108-2)
  • de Macedo, Newton & Saraiva, José Hermano História de Portugal IV - Glória e Declínio do Império QuidNovi, 2004 (ISBN 989-554-109-0)
  • Ribeiro, Ângelo & Saraiva, José Hermano História de Portugal V - A Restauração da Indepêndencia QuidNovi, 2004 (ISBN 989-554-110-4)
  • Saraiva, José Hermano História de Portugal X - A Terceira República QuidNovi, 2004 (ISBN 989-554-115-5)
  • Loução, Paulo Alexandre: Portugal, Terra de Mistérios Ésquilo, 2000 (third edition; ISBN 972-8605-04-8)
  • Muñoz, Mauricio Pasto: Viriato, A Luta pela Liberdade Ésquilo, 2003 (third edition; ISBN 972-8605-23-4)
  • Grande Enciclopédia Universal Durclub, 2004
  • Constituição da República Portuguesa, VI Revisão Constitucional, 2004
  • Programa do Movimento das Forças Armadas, 1974

External links

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