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Portuguese Republic is a pluralistic democracy with
a semi-presidential regime. The present president
is M Jorge Sampaio, elected for five years by
general election, who wields a power which is only
partial in judicial and political arbitrations.
Prime Minister is M Antonio Guterres, he is
responsible to the President and the National
National Assembly is composed of 230 members
elected for four years by general election.
In the 2nd century BC Lusitania became Roman.
In the 5th century AD the Suebic monarchy came into
being, it was later annexed to the Visigoth
In the 12th century, the son of Henry of Burgundy,
Afonse Henriques, having conquered the Moors in
1139, took the title of King Alfonso 1st and freed
his country from Castile.
1290 : Lisbon University was created, in 1308 it
was transfered to Coimbra.
The 14th century brought the first expeditions
overseas (the Canaries 1327), an agricultural
crisis and the plague. At the death of Ferdinand
1st, and the end of the Burgundy dynasty, a new
national dynasty was created under John 1st
(1385-1433) which crushed the Castilians in 1385 at
Portugal started expanding overseas, in Africa,
Madeira, the Azores, Rio de Oro, Senegal.
The 15th century is the era of the slave trade to
South America (Brazil), the expeditions of
Bartholomeu Dias (Cape of Good Hope and the
discovery of the Indian Ocean in 1487).
Then in 1494 the Treaty of Tordesillas, which
defined the sharing of the world between Spain and
Portugal became rich and created the Kingdom of
India in 1505 with Alphonse V as Viceroy.
In 1640 Lisbon rose up against Philip IV of Spain,
and the Duke of Braganca (John IV) named King.
Spain recognized the independance of Portugal in
1668. Portugal kept Brazil but had to give up its
posts in Asia to the Dutch.
In 1703 the Treaty of Methuen was signed with
England concluding a trade agreement between the
John VI, son of Maria 1st, fled to Brazil in 1807
after his country was invaded by France.
France was heavily defeated in Portugal opposite
the Spanish and the British and the Napoleonic
armies had to pull out of a country left in
: John VI stayed in Brazil while his country
was going through very difficult times. His son
Pedro IV abdicated in favour of his daughter Maria
II, who was dispossessed by her uncle Mighel in
1828, but she seized power again in 1834.
The right wing regime which had ruled for 48
years was overthrown by Spinola
The socialists were elected to power with Soares,
then the communists with Cunha.
A Constitution with a strong Marxist
Cavaco Silva elected to the post of Prime
Portugal and Spain enter the EEC
Mario Soares elected as President
M. Soares re-elected in the presidential
The Escudo is devalued for the second
M. Jorge Sampaio elected as President
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