Portugal: Country and Foreign Investment
History, Population, Language and Culture
Early Portuguese history saw many large movements of people as numerous groups of Celts moved in from central Europe, while Phoenicians and Carthaginians made settlements on the coast. Romanization of the area began during the Second Punic War in 218 BCE, and was a dominant force for almost 600 years until another wave of central European migration began, with the Suevi, Vandals, and Visigoths occupying the territory.
Moors from North Africa invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 711, which lead to a series of conflicts over four centuries. During this period, ousted Gothic peoples moved northwards to form the Kingdom of Asturias, from which Portugal formed as a county. Portugal then moved towards independence, which occurred after the Battle of São Mamede in 1128.
Portugal's maritime advances and navigational discoveries saw it become a world superpower during the 15th and 16th centuries. Portuguese sailors discovered Brazil and were the first Europeans to round the Cape of Good Hope and establish trade routes in the Indian Ocean.
In 1755, Portugal was badly affected by the destruction of Lisbon in an earthquake, and was occupied by Napoleon Bonaparte's forces in 1807 following its failure to agree to a continental embargo against the UK. The Portuguese monarchy fled to its colony of Brazil and made Rio de Janeiro the new capital city. The revolution of 1820 saw Lisbon re-established as the capital city and led to Brazil declaring its independence in 1822. A further revolution in 1910 saw the deposition of the monarchy, and a military coup took over in 1926 - installing a dictatorship that remained in power until another coup in 1974.
Modern Portugal consists of over 10 million inhabitants and is a fairly homogeneous country in terms of linguistics and religion - Portuguese is the dominant language and 81% of the population are Catholic.