Information about Portugal

Following its heyday as a global maritime power during the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal lost much of its wealth and status with the destruction of Lisbon in a 1755 earthquake, occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, and the independence of its wealthiest colony of Brazil in 1822.

A 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy; for most of the next six decades, repressive governments ran the country.

In 1974, a left-wing military coup installed broad democratic reforms.

The following year, Portugal granted independence to all of its African colonies.

Portugal is a founding member of NATO and entered the EC (now the EU) in 1986.

In January 2011, Portugal assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2011-12 term.

Above picture: The Torre de Belem (Belem Tower) was built in the early 16th century to commemorate Vasco de Gama's voyages of discovery to India (1497-1524).

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