The land within the borders of today’s Portuguese Republic has been continuously settled since prehistoric times. Gallaeci, Lusitanians, Celtici, Cynetes, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans and many Germanic tribes such as the Suevi, the Buri and the Visigoths, all left its influence on what is today Portuguese territory. The territory was integrated in the Roman Empire as the province of Lusitania and Roman settlers strongly influenced Portuguese culture, particularly the Portuguese language, mostly derived from Latin. After the fall of the Roman Empire and occupation by different Germanic tribes, in the early 8th century the Muslim Moors conquered the Christian Germanic kingdoms, occupying most of the Iberian Peninsula. Later, during the Christian Reconquista the Portucalensis County was settled, as part of the Kingdom of Galicia. Portugal emerged during the 12th century from this brief earldom and would establish almost its entire modern-day borders in 1249.
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 military powers. It was then united with Spain during a period called the Iberian Union; however, in 1640 it went onto re-establish total sovereignty and independence during the Portuguese Restoration War that resulted in the establishment of a new dynasty and a return to the previous separation between the two crowns and empires.
The 1755 Lisbon earthquake, Spanish and French invasions, which preceded the loss of its largest territorial possession abroad, Brazil, resulted in both the disruption of political stability and potential economic growth as well as the reduction of Portugal’s international status as a global power during the 19th century. After the overthrow of the monarchy in 1910, a republic was established that was then followed by a dictatorship. With the Portuguese Colonial War and the Carnation Revolution coup d’état in 1974, the ruling dictatorship was deposed in Lisbon and the country handed over its last overseas provinces (most prominently Angola and Mozambique in Africa); the last overseas territory, Macau, was handed over to China in 1999.
Portugal is a developed country and it has the world’s 19th highest quality-of-life, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit. It is the 14th most peaceful and the 13th most globalized country in the world. It is a member of the European Union (joined the then EEC in 1986, leaving the EFTA where it was a founding member in 1960) and the United Nations; as well as a founding member of the Latin Union, the Organization of Ibero-American States, OECD, NATO, Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the European Union’s Euro zone, and also a Schengen state.
Portuguese is the official language of Portugal. Portuguese is a Romance language that originated in what is now Galicia (Spain) and Northern Portugal, from the Galician-Portuguese language. 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 worldwide 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, and East Timor.