History of Portugal Portugal is an European and Atlantic nation. The Portuguese empire (1415-1999) was the first and the last of the empires of western Europe. In the 15th & 16th ceonturies Portugal had world power, built a huge empire with South America, Africa, Asia, and Australiasia. At one time or other Portugal ruled parts or all of Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Indonesia, East Timor, Bahrain, Barbados, Nagasaki, Tanzania, Kenya, Yemen, Morocco, Uruguay, Sri Lanka, Goa and Macao, among others. Within the next two centuries Portugal lost their status and power.
Neolithic & Roman Lusitania & Gallaecia Neolithic is present day Portugal, established by Neanderthals and then Homo sapiens took over. Neolithic Portugal started to tame herding animals, raise crops, and marine fish. The first Roman invasion of the Iberian Peninsula was in 219 BC. Within 200 years almost the entire peninsula was taken over by the Roman Empire.
Portugal Empire This was the first global empire in history and the longest-lived of the modern European colonial empires. Expanded across six centuries. Between 1580 and 1640 Portugal became the partner to Spain in the union of the two countries crowns. Had losses to the Dutch during the 17th century, bringing to an end to the Portuguese trade momopoly in the Indian Ocean.
Important People Pedro Álvares Cabral was a Portuguese noble, military commander, navigator and explorer who discovered Brazil. He conducted the first exploration of the northeast coast of South America and claimed the land for Portugal. He was the head of an expedition to India in 1500, followed Vasco da Gama’s newly opened route around Africa. Vasco de Gama was a Portuguese explorer, a successful in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India. For a short time he was the Governor of Portuguese India. July 1497 Gama led a fleet of four ships with 170 men from Lisbon.
Colonial Brazil Colonial Brazil covers the period from 1500, when the Portuguese arrived until 1815 when Brazil was raised up to the United Kingdom. Of the 300 plus years of Brazilian colonial history, the economic exploration of territory was based first on brazil wood, sugar, and gold and diamonds. Slaves were used in the working force.
Age of Exploration & Discovery The European discovery of Brazil was preceded by a series of treaties between the kings of Portugal and Castile. They were the leading powers at the time. In 1500, Pedro Alvares Cabral led a group and landed in Brazil and took over the land and was then named king. After the voyage, the Portuguese concentrated their efforts on the lucrative possessions in Africa and India and showed little interest in Brazil. Between 1500 and 1530 a few Portuguese expeditions came to the new land to chart the coast and to obtain brazil wood. In Europe the wood is used to produce a valuable dye to stain luxury textiles.