Portugal Key Dates

c 500,000 BC    First human inhabitants of Iberia.
c 5,000 BC    ‘Iberian’ culture emerges.
c 600 BC    Celtic invaders conquer the region and settle.
206 BC    Portugal becomes part of the Roman province of Lusitania.
409 AD    Visigoth invaders from the north arrive and establish a kingdom in Iberia centred on Mérida.
711 AD    The Moors – muslim invaders from North Africa – occupy southern Iberia.
c750 AD    Portucallis – northern part of modern Portugal – falls under control of the Christian Spanish kingdom of León and Asturias.
1064    Southern border of Portucallis pushed further south, as ‘reconquista’ campaign gathers pace.
1143    Treaty of Zamora – Portucallis gains independence from kingdom of León and Castile.
1179    Portugal recognised by the Pope as an independent kingdom.
1250    Algarve captured from the Moors – frontiers of modern Portugal established.
1294    Commercial treaty signed with England.
1385    Portugal wins war of independence from Castile, with English help.
1386    Treaty of Windsor – England and Portugal form an alliance.
1419-1460    Henry the Navigator oversees an era of great overseas discovery and expansion.
1445    Cape Verde Islands reached.
1488    Portuguese ships sail round the southern tip of Africa.
7 June 1494    Treaty of Tordesillas – divides new overseas territories between Spain and Portugal.
1498    Vasco da Gama reaches India.
1500    Brazil claimed by Portugal.
1580    Spanish and Portuguese kingdoms joined after Portuguese royal family dies out.
15 December 1640    Portugal regains independence.
1668    Treaty of Lisbon – end of prolonged warfare with Spain.
1793    Portugal joins the European coalition against revolutionary France.
1801    War of the Oranges – Portugal invaded and divided between France and Spain.
1807    Napoleonic France invades – royal family flees to Brazil.
1808    British troops under Wellington arrive – start of Peninsular War.
1811    Last French troops forced to leave Portugal.
1820    Liberal revolution creates a constitutional monarchy.
1821    Royal family returns.
1822    Brazil declares independence.
5 October 1910    King abdicates amid revolution – Republic proclaimed.
1916    Portugal joins the Allies in World War I.
May 1926    Army coup ends republican government.
1933    ‘New State’ constitution establishes right-wing dictatorship.
1939-1945    Portugal neutral in World War 2, but lets UK use air bases in the Azores.
1947    Attempted revolt is crushed.
4 April 1949    Portugal becomes a founder member of NATO.
1951    Existing colonies made provinces of equal status to the home country.
1955    Portugal joins the United Nations.
18 December 1961    India annexes Goa. Guerrilla war breaks out in Angola, Guinea and Mozambique.
1962-1964    Guerrilla war breaks out in Angola, Guinea and Mozambique.
25 April 1974    Left wing Armed Forces movement overthrows government.
1975    Angola and Mozambique granted independence – many expatriates return home.
1976    Indonesia seizes East Timor.
27 June 1976    First free Parliamentary elections held in several decades.
1982    Full civilian government formally restored.
January 1986    Portugal joins the EEC.
20 December 1999    Macau returned to China.
January 2002    Portugal introduces the euro as it’s official currency.
August 2003    Vast areas of woodland are destroyed in forest fires.
August 2005    Outside help sought to tackle widespread forest fires.

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