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Portugal is officially named the Portuguese Republic. Most of this sovereign state is situated on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe and is, in fact, the oldest state on the Iberian Peninsula, and Lisbon is both the capital and the oldest city in Portugal.

It has two official languages: Portuguese and Mirandese, the latter being a language spoken in a small area in the northeast of the country. Just under 97% of the poplin the country are ethnic Portuguese, and 81% are Roman Catholic.

The westernmost nation of mainland Europe, it shares a border with Spain, which is to the north and the east and has the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the south. Portugal also includes two archipelegos in the Atlantic Ocean: Madeira and the Azores, each of which is autonomous and simply territories of Portugal.

Portugal has been continuously settled, fought over, and resettled since prehistoric times. In the first millennium, BC, Pre-Celts, followed by Cents invaded the territory and then settled and intermarried local people, creating new ethnic groups and tribes.

Some of the coastal settlements were established by the Carthaginians and the Romans around the same time. In the 3rd century BC, the Romans invaded and maintained control over the area for several centuries. They were followed by the Visigoths.

In 711, the Umayadd Caliphate made up of the Berbers and the Arabs from the Middle East invaded, defeated the Visigoths, and took control of the area, meeting with little resistance. Pockets of the population were allowed to remain Christian. The Caliphate established the Muslim site of Al Andalus. The reign of the caliphate lasted until 1492, though some of the regions, like Lisbon, had rebelled successfully in the early part of the 10th century.

During the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal established the Portuguese Empire. The Empire boasted one of the world's most mighty military and economy. Under the royal patronage of both Henry the Navigator and King John II, Portuguese mariners sailed beyond the Cape of Good Hope in 1488, Vasco da Game discovered the route to India via the sea in 1497, and the Portuguese discovered Brazil in 1500. This period of time, known as the Age of Discovery, was ended after the 1855 Great Lisbon earthquake, the occupation of the country during the Napoleonic Wars, and Brazil's independence in 1822. An overwhelmed Portugal was hobbled and its status as a world power dwindled.

From 1834 until 1910, Portugal was a constitutional monarchy, and King Pedro V, who reigned from 1853 to 1861, modernized the country, supervising the construction of roads, railroads, and telegraphs as well as improvements in public health. When cholera swept the country from 1853 to 1856, he visited hospitals and patients' homes comforting them and giving gifts, which only boosted his popularity with his subjects. Unfortunately, he himself contracted and died of cholera, as did numerous members of the royal family in 1861.

In February of 1908, King Carlos I and his heir apparent, Prince Dom Luis Filipe, were assassinated in Lisbon. The country was thrown into chaos. These orders, after two bankruptcies (1892 and 1902), caused protests, revolts, and general chaos. The teenaged son of the slain king became King Manuel II. Fewer than 3 years later, on October 5, 1910, during a revolution organized by the Portuguese Republican Party, Manuel II was overthrown in a coup d'état and republicanism was instated.

The First Portuguese Republic resulted from the revolution, which abolished the monarchy. But the new republic was unstable from the beginning, and after a series of coups were attempted, each one leading to even more instability.

In 1933, another coup was staged, and Antonio de Oliveira Salazar established a dictatorship called Estado Novo or the Second Republic.

In 1974, the Carnation Revolution, also called the Third Republic, began, resulting in a bloodless military coup. One of the first actions of the new regime was to grant independence to its overseas holdings, including Angola, Mozambique, East Timor,Cape Verde, and São Tomé and Príncipe.

Freedom Day became a national holiday, celebrating the April 25, 1974 coup as well as the first free elections on the same date in 1975.

In 1976, a new constitution guaranteed Portuguese the right to practice their faiths which led to conscientious objectors to be of any faith, whereas previously only Roman Catholics were recognized.

Between 1974 and 2014, Portugal had incredibly numerous governments and experienced severe economic problems. The International Monetary Fund helped them keep afloat financially, and in 2011, the national economy collapsed, forcing them to ask for a bailout. IMF and the European Union agreed to terms of a €78 billion bailout.

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