Portugal/History

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Background: Existing as a country since 1143, and with almost always the same main territory border line since the 13th century, Portugal has always been turned to the sea. Since early, fishing and overseas commerce have been main economical activities. Henry the Navigator's interest in exploration together with some technological developments in navigation brought together, gave way to the Portuguese expansion and to great geographical knowledge advancements. Following its heyday as a world 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 loss of its Brazilian colony in 1822. A 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy starting then a period of chaotic republicanism (primeira Republica); in 1926 a nacionalist military coup began a period of more than five decades of repressive governments. In 1974, a left-wing military coup installed broad democratic reforms. The following year Portugal granted independence to all of its African colonies. Portugal entered the EC in 1985.