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The Visigothic territories included what is today Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Gibraltar, and the southwestern part of France known in ancient times as Septimania. The invading Moors wanted to conquer and convert all of Europe to Islam, so they crossed the Pyrenees to use Visigothic Septimania as a base of operations.

Muslims called their conquests in Iberia ' al-Andalus ' and in what was to become Portugal, they mainly consisted of the old Roman province of Lusitania the central and southern regions of the country , while Gallaecia the northern regions remained unsubdued. Subsequently, links were strained until the caliphate was overthrown in the late s. By most of today's Portuguese territory was under Umayyad rule. The Umayyads eventually stopped in Poitiers but Muslim rule in Iberia would last until with the fall of the Kingdom of Granada.

For the next several centuries, much of the Iberian Peninsula remained under Umayyad rule. Much of the populace was allowed to remain Christian, and many of the lesser feudal rulers worked out deals where they would submit to Umayyad rule in order to remain in power. They would pay a jizya tax, kill or turn over rebels, and in return receive support from the central government. But some regions, including Lisbon, Gharb Al-Andalus , and the rest of what would become Portugal, rebelled, succeeded in freeing themselves by the early 10th century.

In AD, a Visigothic noble named Pelagius was elected leader by many of the ousted Visigoth nobles. Pelagius called for the remnant of the Christian Visigothic armies to rebel against the Moors and re-group in the unconquered northern Asturian highlands, better known today as the Cantabrian Mountains , a small mountain region in modern northwestern Spain adjacent to the Bay of Biscay.

He planned to use the Cantabrian Mountain range as a place of refuge and protection from the invaders and as a springboard to reconquer lands from the Moors.

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After defeating the Moors in the Battle of Covadonga in AD, Pelagius was proclaimed king to found the Christian Kingdom of Asturias and start the war of reconquest known in Portuguese and Spanish as the Reconquista. Currently, historians and archaeologists generally agree that northern Portugal between the Minho and the Douro rivers kept a significant share of its population, a social and political Christian area that until the late 9th century had no acting state powers. However, in the late 9th century, the region became part of a complex of powers, the Galician - Asturian , Leonese and Portuguese power structures.

The region became known simultaneously as Portucale , Portugale , and Portugalia —the County of Portugal. Suebi-Visigothic arts and architecture, in particular sculpture, had shown a natural continuity with the Roman period. With the Reconquista, new artistic trends took hold, with Galician-Asturian influences more visible than the Leonese. The Portuguese group was characterized by a general return to classicism. The county courts of Viseu and Coimbra played a very important role in this process.

Mozarabic architecture was found in the south, in Lisbon and beyond, while in the Christian realms Galician-Portuguese and Asturian architecture prevailed. The battle resulted in Nuno Mendes' death and the declaration of Garcia as King of Portugal , the first person to claim this title.

They agreed to split it among themselves; however, Sancho was killed by a noble the next year. Alfonso took Castile for himself and Garcia recovered his kingdom of Portugal and Galicia. When the emperor died, the Crown was left to his daughter Urraca , while his illegitimate daughter Teresa inherited the County of Portugal ; in , Portugal broke away from the Kingdom of Galicia.

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Its territories, consisting largely of mountains, moorland and forests, were bounded on the north by the Minho River, and on the south by the Mondego River. Henry's son Afonso Henriques took control of the county upon his death. The city of Braga, the unofficial Catholic centre of the Iberian Peninsula, faced new competition from other regions.

Lords of the cities of Coimbra and Porto fought with Braga 's clergy and demanded the independence of the reconstituted county. Afonso proclaimed himself Prince of Portugal after this battle and in , he assumed the title King of Portugal. Later, when Portugal was already officially independent, he ruled from Coimbra.

The Algarve , the southernmost region of Portugal, was finally conquered from the Moors in , and in the capital shifted to Lisbon. Portugal's land boundaries have been notably stable for the rest of the country's history. The border with Spain has remained almost unchanged since the 13th century. Since early times, fishing and overseas commerce have been the main economic activities. During the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal became a leading European power that ranked with England , France and Spain in terms of economic, political and cultural influence.

Though not dominant in European affairs, Portugal did have an extensive colonial trading empire throughout the world backed by a powerful thalassocracy. The beginnings of the Portuguese Empire can be traced to 25 July , when the Portuguese Armada set sail for the rich Islamic trading center of Ceuta in North Africa. The conquest of Ceuta was facilitated by a major civil war that had been engaging the Muslims of the Maghreb North Africa since Uninhabited Madeira was colonized by the Portuguese in Between and , most of the Azores were discovered and these uninhabited islands were colonized by the Portuguese in Portuguese expeditions may have attempted to colonize the Canary Islands as early as , but the Crown of Castile objected to any Portuguese claim to them.

Castile began its own conquest of the Canaries in Castile expelled the last Portuguese from the Canary islands in , and they would eventually become part of the Spanish Empire. The trip marked the beginning of the Portuguese exploration of Africa. Before this event, very little was known in the world about what lay beyond the cape. At the end of the 13th century and the beginning of the 14th, those who tried to venture there became lost, which gave birth to legends of sea monsters. Some setbacks occurred: in the Canaries were officially recognized as Castilian by the pope—earlier they had been recognized as Portuguese; in , the Portuguese were defeated in a military expedition to Tangier.

These setbacks did not deter the Portuguese from pursuing their exploratory efforts. In , on the small island of Arguim off the coast of Mauritania , an important castle was built to function as a feitoria , or trading post, for commerce with inland Africa.

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Some years before, the first African gold was brought to Portugal that circumvented the Arab caravans that crossed the Sahara. On 13 November , Prince Henry the Navigator died. Henry's patronage had shown that profits could be made from the trade that followed the discovery of new lands. Accordingly, when exploration commenced again, private merchants led the way in attempting to stretch trade routes further down the African coast. In the s, Portuguese trading ships reached the Gold Coast.

Christopher Columbus set sail aboard the fleet of ships taking materials and building crews to Elmina in December In , Portugal officially rejected Columbus' idea of reaching India from the west, because it was seen as unfeasible. Some historians have claimed that the Portuguese had already performed fairly accurate calculations concerning the size of the world and therefore knew that sailing west to reach the Indies would require a far longer journey than navigating to the east. However, this continues to be debated.

Thus began a long-lasting dispute that eventually resulted in the signing of the Treaty of Tordesillas with Castile in With the expedition beyond the Cape of Good Hope by Bartolomeu Dias in , [35] the richness of India was now accessible. Indeed, the cape takes its name from the promise of rich trade with the east. Vasco da Gama sailed for India and arrived at Calicut on 20 May , returning in glory to Portugal the next year.

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At the end of the 15th century, Portugal expelled some local Sephardic Jews , along with those refugees who had come from Castile and Aragon after In addition, many Jews were forcibly converted to Catholicism and remained as conversos. Many Jews remained secretly Jewish , in danger of persecution by the Portuguese Inquisition. In , 3, New Christians were massacred in Lisbon. On 22 April , they caught sight of land in the distance. This was the coast of what would later become the Portuguese colony of Brazil. Brasil, uma história (Portuguese Edition) eBook: Eduardo Bueno: Kindle Store

The real goal of the expedition, however, was to open sea trade to the empires of the east. Trade with the east had effectively been cut off since the Conquest of Constantinople in Accordingly, Cabral turned away from exploring the coast of the new land of Brazil and sailed southeast, back across the Atlantic and around the Cape of Good Hope. Cabral reached Sofala on the east coast of Africa in July Cabral's fleet then sailed east and landed in Calicut in India in September No longer would the Muslim Ottoman occupation of Constantinople form a barrier between Europe and the east.

Ten years later, in , Afonso de Albuquerque , after attempting and failing to capture and occupy Zamorin 's Calicut militarily, conquered Goa on the west coast of India. In , Francisco de Almeida was engaged to improve Portuguese trade with the far east.

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Accordingly, he sailed to East Africa. Several small Islamic states along the coast of Mozambique — Kilwa , Brava and Mombasa —were destroyed or became subjects or allies of Portugal. By the 16th century, the two million people who lived in the original Portuguese lands ruled a vast empire with many millions of inhabitants in the Americas, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

From , the Portuguese had reached China and Japan. Hormuz , in the Persian Gulf , was seized by Afonso de Albuquerque in , who also entered into diplomatic relations with Persia. In , a force under Antonio Correia conquered Bahrain and ushered in a period of almost 80 years of Portuguese rule of the Persian Gulf archipelago [42]. East of Malacca, Albuquerque sent Duarte Fernandes as envoy to Siam now Thailand in and dispatched to the Moluccas two expeditions , , which founded the Portuguese dominion in Maritime Southeast Asia. The Portuguese established their base in the Spice Islands on the island of Ambon.

Japan , accidentally reached by three Portuguese traders in , soon attracted large numbers of merchants and missionaries. In , one of the ships in the expedition that Ferdinand Magellan organized in the Spanish service completed the first circumnavigation of the globe.


By mid-August, the Duke was only 10 kilometers from the city. This cleared the way for Philip to create an Iberian Union spanning all of Iberia under the Spanish crown. With these titles, the Duke of Alba represented the Spanish monarch in Portugal and was second in hierarchy only after King Philip in Portugal. He held both titles until his death in The Portuguese and Spanish Empires came under a single rule, but resistance to Spanish rule in Portugal did not come to an end. The Prior of Crato held out in the Azores until , and he continued to seek to recover the throne actively until his death in Impostors claimed to be King Sebastian in , , and After the 16th century, Portugal gradually saw its wealth and influence decrease.

Portugal was officially an autonomous state, but in actuality, the country was in a personal union with the Spanish crown from to The joining of the two crowns deprived Portugal of a separate foreign policy, and the enemies of Spain became the enemies of Portugal. England had been an ally of Portugal since the Treaty of Windsor in , but war between Spain and England led to a deterioration of the relations with Portugal's oldest ally and the loss of Hormuz in From to , the Dutch—Portuguese War led to invasions of many countries in Asia and competition for commercial interests in Japan, Africa and South America.

In , the Dutch seized Salvador , the capital of Brazil; [60] in , they seized Pernambuco in northern Brazil. The Dutch intrusion into Brazil was long-lasting and troublesome to Portugal.