Portuguese presence in Africa started in 1415 with the conquest of Ceuta and is generally viewed as ending in 1975, with the independence of its later colonies, although the present autonomous region of Madeira is located in the African Plate, some 650 km (360 mi) off the North African coast, Madeira belongs and has always belonged ethnically, culturally, economically and politically to Europe, some 955 km (583 mi) from the European mainland.
Angola/Portuguese West Africa: colony (1575–1589); crown colony (1589–1951); overseas province (1951–1971); state (1971–1975). Independence in 1975.
Cabinda: protectorate (1883–1887); Congo district (1887–1921); intendancy subordinate to Maquela (1921–1922); dependency of Zaire district (1922–1930); Intendacy of Zaire and Cabinda (1930–1932); intendancy under Portuguese Angola (1932–1934); dependency under Angola (1934–1945); restored as District (1946–1975). Controlled by Frente Nacional para a Libertação de Angola (National Liberation Front of Angola) as part of independent Angola in 1975. Declared Cabinda a Republic in 1975, but not recognized by Portugal nor Angola.
Moçambique/Portuguese East Africa: possession (1498–1501); subordinate to Goa (1501–1569); captaincy-general (1569–1609); colony subordinate to Goa (1609–1752); colony (1752–1951); overseas province (1951–1971); state (1971–1974); local transitional administration (1974–1975). Independence in 1975.
Land of the Corte-Real: (1501–?) claimed after the voyages of the Corte-Real brothers. Portuguese had two settlements in Newfoundland, one in Portugal Cove - St. Philips and the other in Portugal Cove South.
Brazil was explored and claimed in 1500, and become independent in 1822. Unlike the Spanish, the Portuguese did not divide their possession in South America in several vice-royalties.
Barbados: Possession known as Os Barbados, discovered by Pedro Campos in 1536 being an exile post for Brazilian Jews. The only Caribbean possession the Portuguese held for eighty-four years until Portugal abandoned the island to continue exploring nearby Brazil.
Cisplatina (Uruguay): occupation (1808–1822). Captaincy in 1817 (of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves). Adhered as a province of the new Empire of Brazil in 1822. Became independent 1827, changing its name to Uruguay.
French Guiana: occupation (1809–1817). Restored to France in 1817.
Macau/Macao: settlement (1553–1557), leased territory subordinated to Goa (1557–1844); overseas province (1844–1883); combined overseas province with Portuguese Timor under Goa (1883–1951); overseas province (1951–1976); Chinese territory under Portuguese administration (1976–1999). Returned to full sovereignty of People's Republic of China as a special administrative region in 1999.
Socotra: possession (1506–1511). Became part of Mahri Sultanate of Qishn and Suqutra
Qatar: possession (1517–1538). Lost to the Ottomans
Timor: claimed and partially possessed from 1520 to 1640.
West Timor: part of Timor lost to the Dutch in 1640.
Portuguese Timor: colony subordinate to Portuguese India (1642–1844); subordinate to Macau (1844–1896); separate colony (1896–1951); overseas territory (1951–1975); republic and unilateral independence proclaimed, annexed by Indonesia (1975–1999, UN recognition as Portuguese territory). UN administration from 1999 until independence in 2002. James Cotton, East Timor, Australia and regional order: intervention and its aftermath in Southeast Asia. (Routledge, 2004).</ref>
Present-day countries with territories once part of the Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese empire spread over time throughout a vast number of Territories that are now part of more than 70 different Sovereign States, many of which did not exist as they are, at the time.
Cotton, James. East Timor, Australia and regional order: intervention and its aftermath in Southeast Asia (Routledge, 2004).
De Meneses, Filipe Ribeiro, and Robert McNamara, eds. The White Redoubt, the Great Powers and the Struggle for Southern Africa, 1960-1980 (Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2017).
James, W. Martin. Historical dictionary of Angola (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018).
Lloyd-Jones, Stewart, and António Costa Pinto, eds. The last Empire: thirty years of Portuguese decolonization (Intellect Books, 2003).
MacQueen, Norrie. The Decolonization of Portuguese Africa: Metropolitan Revolution and the Dissolution of Empire (1997).
MacQueen, Norrie. "Belated Decolonization and UN Politics against the Backdrop of the Cold War: Portugal, Britain, and Guinea-Bissau's Proclamation of Independence, 1973–1974." Journal of Cold War Studies 8.4 (2006): 29-56.
Springhall, John. Decolonization since 1945: the collapse of European overseas empires (Palgrave Macmillan, 2001).