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Portugal (pôrˈchəgəl), officially Portuguese Republic, republic (2015 est. pop. 10,418,000), 35,553 sq mi (92,082 sq km), SW Europe, on the western side of the Iberian Peninsula and including the Madeira Islands and the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean. Portugal is bordered by Spain on the east and north and by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and south. The capital and by far the largest city is Lisbon.

Land and People

The country is crossed by rivers rising in Spain and flowing to the Atlantic; among them are the Douro, the Tagus, the Sado, and the Guadiana. The river valleys support agriculture, and vineyards are maintained in the Douro and Tagus valleys. On the lower hillslopes there are olive groves; grains are grown and livestock are raised on the flatter uplands as well as on the plains near the coast.

There are great variations in terrain and climate among the six historic provinces. Trás-os-Montes in the extreme northeast has a rigorous mountain climate, as have parts of Entre-Minho-e-Douro (officially Douro). Beira has the highest mountains of the country, the scenic Serra de Estrela, dotted with resorts. Estremadura, in W Portugal, has broad, alluvial plains, rising to cool and rocky uplands; along the Atlantic coast is a celebrated resort region, reaching to the town of Estoril, near Lisbon. Most of Alentejo has a Mediterranean climate; although much of its soil is poor, together with Estremadura it is the granary of Portugal. The southernmost of the old provinces, Algarve, resembles the northern shores of Africa; mountains curve across the north of the province down to Cape St. Vincent, the southwestern tip of Europe; citrus and almond groves and off-season vegetables thrive in the mild climate.

In addition to the capital, other notable cities are Oporto, Coimbra, Setúbal, Braga, Évora, and Faro. The majority of the Portuguese people are Roman Catholics of Mediterranean stock; Portuguese is the official language.


Portuguese agricultural techniques are less mechanized than those of most of W Europe; about 10% of the workforce is employed in agriculture, producing less than 7% of the gross national product. Wheat, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, olives, grapes, and sugar beets are the main crops; sheep, cattle, goats, pigs, and poultry are raised. The country's fishing fleets bring in vital cargoes of sardines and tuna; fishing ports extend all the way from Cape St. Vincent in the south to the mouth of the Minho River on the N Spanish border.

Portugal has food and beverage processing, oil refining, shipbuilding, and industries that produce textiles and footwear; wood pulp and paper; metals and metalworking; chemicals; rubber and plastic products; ceramics; electronics; and communications, transportation, and aerospace equipment. Low-grade iron ore, copper, zinc, tin, tungsten, and other minerals are mined. Most of the mines are in the northern mountains and in Beira. Portugal's forests provide a major portion of the world's supply of cork. The country's hydroelectric, wind, and solar resources are being extensively developed to replace imported fossil fuels. Tourism, long important, has increasingly become a mainstay of the economy.

The country has enjoyed considerable economic progress since it became a member of the European Community (now the European Union) in 1986, though in the early 21st cent. it had weak growth and then suffered from recession beginning in late 2010. Clothing and footwear, machinery, chemicals, cork, paper products, and hides are major exports. Machinery and transportation equipment, chemicals, petroleum, textiles, and agricultural products are important imports. Spain, Germany, France, and Great Britain are the main trading partners.


Portugal is governed under the constitution of 1976 as amended. The president, who is the head of state, is elected by popular vote to a five-year term and is eligible for a second term. The prime minister, who is appointed by the president and must have support of the legislature, is the head of government. In addition, a Council of State acts as a consultative body to the president and consists of representatives from the political parties, a military defense board, and a constitutional tribunal. The unicameral legislative body is the 230-seat Assembly of the Republic, whose members are elected to four-year terms. The Socialist party and the Social Democratic party are the two major political parties. Administratively, Portugal is divided into 18 districts and two autonomous regions (the Azores and Madeira Islands).


Early History

There is little direct filiation between the Portuguese of today and the early tribes who inhabited this region, although the Portuguese long considered themselves descendants of the Lusitanians, a Celtic people who came to the area after 1,000 B.C. The Lusitanians had their stronghold in the Serra da Estrela. Under Viriatus (2d cent. B.C.) and under Sertorius (1st cent. B.C.), they stoutly resisted the Romans (see Lusitania). Other tribes, such as the Conii in Algarve, submitted more readily. Julius Caesar and Augustus completed the Roman conquest of the area, and the province of Lusitania thrived. Roman ways were adopted, and it is from Latin that the Portuguese language is derived.

At the beginning of the 5th cent. A.D., the whole Iberian Peninsula was overrun by Germanic invaders; the Visigoths eventually established their rule, but in the north the Suevi established a kingdom that endured until late in the 6th cent., when they were absorbed by the Visigoths. Present-day Algarve was part of the Byzantine Empire during the 6th and 7th cent. In 711 the Visigoths were defeated by the Moors, who conquered the whole peninsula except for Asturias and the Basque Country. Muslim culture and science had a great impact, especially in the south. Religious toleration was practiced, but a large minority converted to Islam.

Growth of the State

It was during the long period of the Christian reconquest that the Portuguese nation was created. The kings of Asturias drove the Moors out of Galicia in the 8th cent. Ferdinand I of Castile entered Beira and took the fortress of Viseu and the city of Coimbra in 1064. Alfonso VI of Castile obtained French aid in his wars against the Moors. Henry of Burgundy married an illegitimate daughter of Alfonso VI and became (1095?) count of Coimbra and later count of Portucalense. Henry's son Alfonso Henriques, wrested power (1128) from his mother and maintained the independence of his lands. After a victory over the Moors in 1139, he began to style himself Alfonso I, king of Portugal. Spain recognized Portugal's independence in 1143 and the Pope did so in 1179. Alfonso's long reign (1128–85) was an important factor in Portugal's attainment of independence.

Alfonso's successors were faced with the tasks of recapturing Alentejo and Algarve from the Moors and of rebuilding the areas devastated by the long wars. There was conflict with other Portuguese claimants and between the kings and powerful nobles, and there was continual strife between the crown and the church over land and power. Until the late 13th cent. the church was victorious, winning inviolability for ecclesiastic law as well as exemption from general taxation. Sancho I (1185–1211) captured the Moorish capital of Silves but could not hold it. Alfonso II (1211–23) summoned the first Cortes (council to advise the king). After Sancho II (1223–48) was deposed, Alfonso III (1248–79) took (1249) Algarve and thus consolidated Portugal. In Alfonso's reign the towns gained representation in the Cortes.

Years of Glory

The reconquest and resettlement aided local liberties, since forais (charters) guaranteeing municipal rights were granted in order to encourage settlement. As former serfs became settlers, serfdom declined (13th cent.), but in practice many servile obligations remained. Alfonso's son Diniz (1279–1325) attempted to improve land conditions. He also established a brilliant court and founded the university that became the Univ. of Coimbra. The reign of his son, Alfonso IV, is remembered chiefly because of the tragic romance of Inés de Castro, the mistress of Alfonso's son, Peter (later Peter I; 1357–67); to avenge her fate, Peter, on his succession, had two of her murderers executed. Ferdinand I (1367–83) indulged in long Castilian wars. Ferdinand's heiress was married to a Castilian prince, John I of Castile; after the death of Ferdinand, John claimed the throne.

The Portuguese, largely due to the efforts of Nun'Álvares Pereira, defeated the Castilians in the battle of Aljubarrota (1385) and established John I, a bastard son of Peter, as king. At this time began the long alliance of Portugal with England. John founded the Aviz dynasty and his reign (1385–1433) commenced the most glorious period of Portuguese history. Portugal entered an era of colonial and maritime expansion. The war against the Moors was extended to Africa, and Ceuta was taken. Under the aegis of Prince Henry the Navigator, Portuguese ships sailed out along the coast of Africa. The Madeira Islands and the Azores were colonized. Duarte (1433–38) failed to take Tangier, but his son Alfonso V (1438–81) succeeded (1471) in doing so.

Alfonso's attempt to gain the Castilian throne ended in defeat. Under his son John II (1481–95) voyages of exploration were resumed. Bartholomew Diaz rounded (1488) the Cape of Good Hope. By the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494), Spain and Portugal divided the non-Christian world between them. During the glittering reign of Manuel I (1495–1521), Vasco da Gama sailed (1497–98) to India, Pedro Alvarez Cabral claimed (1500) Brazil, and Afonso de Albuquerque captured Goa (1510), Melaka (1511), and Hormoz (1515). The Portuguese Empire extended across the world, to Asia, Africa, and America. In 1497, as a precondition to his marriage with Ferdinand and Isabella's daughter, Manuel ordered the Jewish population to convert to Christianity or leave the country. Manuel's reign and that of John III (1521–57) marked the climax of Portuguese expansion.

Years of Decline

The slender resources of Portugal itself were steadily weakened by depletion of manpower and the neglect of domestic agriculture and industry. Government policy and popular ambition concentrated on the rapid acquisition of riches through trade with East Asia, but foreign competition and piracy steadily decreased profits from this trade. Lisbon was for a time the center of the European spice trade, but, for geographical considerations and because of limited banking and commercial facilities, the center of the trade gradually shifted to N Europe. The reign (1557–78) of Sebastian proved disastrous. His rash Moroccan campaign was a national catastrophe, and he was killed at Ksar el Kebir (1578); but the lack of certainty over his death led to a legend that he would return, and Sebastianism (a messianic faith) persisted into the 19th cent.

The Aviz dynasty, founded by John I, disappeared with the death of Henry, the cardinal-king, in 1580. Philip II of Spain, nephew of John III, validated his claims to the Portuguese throne (as Philip I) by force of arms, and the long “Spanish captivity” (1580–1640) began. Spain's wars against the English and the Dutch cut off Portuguese trade with these nations; moreover, the Dutch attacked Portugal's overseas territories in order to obtain for themselves direct access to the sources of trade. Eventually the Dutch were driven from Brazil, but most of the Asian empire was permanently lost. Portugal was never again a great power.

Absolutism and Reform

Portugal was compelled to participate in Spain's wars against the Dutch and in the Thirty Years War. Finally in 1640 the Portuguese took advantage of the preoccupation of Philip IV with a rebellion in Catalonia to revolt and throw off the Spanish yoke. John of Braganza was made king as John IV (1640–56). Portugal, however, continued to be threatened by its larger neighbor. Alfonso VI (1656–67), weak in mind and body, signed the crown away to his brother Peter II (1667–1706), who was first regent and then king. The alliance with England was revived by the Treaty of Methuen (1703), which gave mutual trade advantages to Portuguese wines and English woolens, and Portugal reluctantly entered the War of the Spanish Succession against Louis XIV. Gold from Brazil helped to recreate financial stability by 1730, but it also freed John V (1706–50) from dependence on the Cortes (last called in 1677).

Absolutism reached its height under John V and under Joseph (reigned 1750–77), when the marquês de Pombal was the de facto ruler of the land. Pombal attempted to introduce aspects of the Enlightenment in education, to achieve monarchical centralization, and to revitalize agriculture and commerce through the policies of mercantilism. His policies disturbed entrenched interests, and his new wine monopoly led to the Oporto “tippler's rebellion,” which Pombal put down harshly. He also won a long contest with the Jesuits, expelling them from the land. After the terrible earthquake of 1755, Pombal began the rebuilding of Lisbon on well-planned lines. Finances again became disorganized as Brazilian treasure dwindled.

Most of Pombal's reforms were rescinded in the reign of Maria I (1777–1816) and her husband, Peter III. Under the regency of Maria's son (later John VI; 1816–26) Portugal's alliance with Britain led to difficulties with France; in 1807 the forces of Napoleon I marched on Portugal. The royal family fled (1807) to Brazil, and Portugal was rent by the Peninsular War. The French were driven out in 1811, but John VI returned only after a liberal revolution against the regency in 1820. He accepted a liberal constitution in 1822, and forces supporting him put down an absolutist movement under his son Dom Miguel. Brazil declared its independence, with Pedro I (John's elder son) as emperor.

After John's death (1826) Pedro also became king of Portugal but abdicated in favor of his daughter, Maria II (reigned 1826–53), on condition that she accept a new charter limiting royal authority and marry Dom Miguel. Miguel instead seized the throne and defeated the liberals, but Pedro abdicated the Brazilian crown, came (1832) to Portugal and led the liberals in the Miguelist Wars. Maria was restored to the throne. Although her reign was marred by coups and dictatorship, the activities of moderates and liberals laid a groundwork for the reforms—penal laws, a civil code (1867), and commercial regulations—of the reigns of Peter V (1853–61; begun under the regency of Maria's husband Ferdinand II) and of Louis I (1861–89).

Portuguese explorations in Africa strengthened Portugal's hold on Angola and Mozambique; conflicting claims with Britain in E Africa were settled in 1891. To end the inefficiency and corruption of the late 19th-century parliamentary regime, Charles I (1889–1908) established (1906) a dictatorship under the conservative João Franco, but, in 1908, Charles and the heir apparent were assassinated. Manuel II succeeded to the throne, but in 1910 a republican revolution forced his abdication.

The Republic

The republic was established in 1910 with Teófilo Braga as president. The change of rule did not cure Portugal's chronic economic problems. Anticlerical measures aroused the hostility of the Roman Catholic Church. In World War I, Portugal was at first neutral, then joined (1916) the Allies. The economy deteriorated, and insurrections of both the right and the left made conditions worse. In 1926 a military coup overthrew the government, and General Carmona became president. António de Oliveira Salazar, the new finance minister, successfully reorganized the national accounts.

Salazar became prime minister in 1932; he was largely responsible for the corporative constitution of 1933, which established what was destined to become the longest dictatorship in Western European history. Portugal was neutral in World War II but allowed the Allies to establish naval and air bases. It became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949 but was not admitted to the United Nations until 1955. Under Salazar's “New State,” economic modernization lagged, with the result that Portugal fell increasingly behind the rest of Europe in the 1950s and 60s.

Portugal's colony of Goa was seized by India in 1961. In Africa, armed resistance to Portuguese rule developed in Angola, Mozambique, and Portuguese Guinea in the early 1960s. On the domestic front, the 1958 antigovernment candidate, Gen. Humbert Delgado, contested the previously phony elections and received almost a quarter of the vote; a constitutional amendment the following year changed the method of electing the president. Censorship of the press and of cultural activities grew especially severe in the mid-1960s, as student demonstrations were sternly repressed.

Portugal in the Late Twentieth Century

In 1968, Salazar suffered a stroke and was replaced by Marcello Caetano as prime minister. Under Caetano repression was eased somewhat and limited economic development programs were started in Portugal and in the overseas territories. The continuing armed conflicts with guerrillas in the African territories, requiring about 40% of Portugal's annual budget to be devoted to military spending, drained the country's resources. By early 1974 dissatisfaction with the seemingly endless wars in Africa, together with political suppression and economic difficulties, resulted in growing unrest within Portugal.

On Apr. 25 an organized group of officers toppled the government in the Captains' Revolution, encountering a minimum of resistance from loyal forces and enthusiastic acceptance from the people. The officers who initiated the revolution constituted the Armed Forces Movement (MFA). Gen. António de Spínola, who did not play an active role in the coup but had publicly criticized the Caetano government, was appointed head of the ruling military junta. The secret police force was abolished; all political prisoners were released; full civil liberties, including freedom of the press and of all political parties, were restored; and overtures were made to the guerrilla groups in the African territories for a peaceful settlement of the conflicts. In September, Spínola was forced to resign and the government became dominated by leftists.

In 1975, Angola, Mozambique, São Tomé and Principe, and Cape Verde were granted independence. East Timor was forcibly taken over by Indonesia and did not achieve independence until 2002. January to November of 1975 was the period of greatest leftist ascendancy domestically—most banks and industries were nationalized, a massive agrarian reform was begun in the Alentejo, and the MFA-dominated government tried to ignore the elections of Apr., 1975, which strongly favored moderate parties, and instead relied on Communist support. Leftist predominance vanished after a failed coup attempt by radical military units in November, but many features of the revolutionary period of 1974–75 were incorporated into the constitution of 1976.

From 1977 to 1980 several moderate, Socialist-dominated governments tried unsuccessfully to stabilize the country politically and economically. In 1980–82, a center-right coalition experienced a similar fate, although it did succeed in instituting a process of constitutional revision, which reduced presidential power, the right of the military to intervene in politics, and the anticapitalist biases of the 1976 constitution. From 1983 to 1985 a coalition government under Socialist leader Mário Soares began to make some headway against the chaos and poverty into which Salazar's long dictatorship, the African wars, and the 1974–75 leftist revolution had thrown Portugal.

In 1986, the centrist Social Democratic party under Aníbal Cavaco Silva won an undisputed majority in parliament, Soares was elected to the presidency, and Portugal was admitted to the European Community (now the European Union). Constitutional revision was furthered in 1989. Political stability and economic reforms created a favorable business climate, especially for renewed foreign investment, and there was strong economic growth. The Socialists returned to power as a minority government after the 1995 parliamentary elections; António Guterres became prime minister.

Barred from running for a third term, Soares retired as president in 1996; he was succeeded by another Socialist, Jorge Fernando Branco de Sampaio. Portugal became part of the European Union's single currency plan in 1999; in October, Guterres and the Socialists were returned to power, again as a minority government. Under a 1987 agreement, Portugal's last overseas territory, Macau, reverted to Chinese sovereignty at the end of 1999. Sampaio was reelected in Jan., 2001. Social Democratic victories in the Dec., 2001, local elections led Guterres to resign as prime minister and party leader in 2001. Early parliamentary elections in Mar., 2002, resulted in a defeat for the Socialists, and Social Democrat José Manuel Durão Barroso became prime minister, heading a coalition with the smaller Popular party. Barroso resigned in July, 2004, in anticipation of his being named president of the European Commission, and Social Democrat Pedro Miguel de Santana Lopes was appointed prime minister.

Parliamentary elections in Feb., 2005, resulted in a victory for the Socialists, who won more than half the seats, and José Sócrates Carvalho Pinto de Sousa became prime minister. In 2006 former prime minister Aníbal Cavaco Silva was elected president, becoming the first center-right candidate to win the office since the 1974 revolution; he won a second term in 2011. The Socialists won the parliamentary elections in Sept., 2009, but failed to secure a majority of the seats. Sócrates subsequently formed a minority government.

High budget deficits in the wake of the global recession of 2008–9 forced the government to adopt an austerity budget in 2010. When additional austerity measures failed to win passage in Mar., 2011, Sócrates resigned, and in April, as cost of financing Portugal's debt increased, he asked for financial aid from the European Union in exchange for austerity measures that were enacted in May. Parliamentary elections in June led to a win for the Social Democrats and the Popular party; they formed a coalition government with Social Democrat Pedro Passos Coelho as prime minister. In Nov., 2011, the new government enacted austerity measures more severe than those put forward by the Socialists.

Dismal economic conditions, increasing unemployment, and decreasing government revenues in 2012 led to the need for greater austerities, and a proposal for a significant increase in employee social security contributions (coupled with a reduction in employer contributions) led to protests and government backtracking in Sept., 2012. A number of austerity measures were also overturned by the constitutional court. In mid-2013 tensions within the governing coalition over austerity measures led to a brief crisis but little ultimate change. By 2014, however, unemployment had fallen from a high of 17.7% in early 2013, and the economy had begun to grow slowly, benefiting from increased exports. In May, 2014, Portugal exited from EU bailout program.

The Oct., 2015, parliamentary elections were won by the governing coalition, but it lost its majority and subsequently lost a confidence vote. In November, the Socialists formed a minority government with the support of leftist parties, and António Costa became prime minister. His government subsequently reversed a number of austerity measures while also reducing other spending to reduce budget deficits. By 2018 its policies had helped revive the economy, though the overall government debt remained high, and wages remained low despite a significant drop in unemployment. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the Social Democratic candidate, won the Jan., 2016, presidential election. The worst drought in more than 20 years contributed to deadly wildfires in June and Oct., 2017. Costa and the Socialists won a plurality in the Oct., 2019, parliamentary elections, and again formed a minority government. Rebelo de Sousa won a second term in Jan., 2021.


An adequate short history of Portugal is that by H. V. Livermore (1966, repr. 1969). See also D. Stanislawski, The Individuality of Portugal (1959, repr. 1969); J. Dos Passos, The Portugal Story (1969); A. H. Marques, Daily Life in Portugal in the Late Middle Ages (tr. 1971) and History of Portugal (2 vol., 1972); C. H. Nowell, Portugal (1973); L. S. Graham and D. L. Wheeler, ed., In Search of Modern Portugal (1983); H. G. Ferreira and M. W. Marshall, Portugal's Revolution: Ten Years On (1986); R. Crowley, Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire (2015).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



Portuguese Republic (República Portuguê sa).

A state in the extreme southwestern part of Europe, Portugal occupies the western Iberian Peninsula and includes the Azores and the Madeira Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. It lies on the Atlantic Ocean and is bounded by Spain to the north and east. The area is 92,100 sq km, with the islands accounting for about 3,000 sq km. The population was 8.6 million in 1973, of whom 600,000 lived on the islands. The capital is Lisbon.

Portugal is divided into 22 districts, 18 of which are on the peninsula. The peninsula districts are subdivisions of the country’s 11 historical provinces (see Table 1).

Portugal formerly had colonies in Africa and Asia totaling about 2.1 million sq km and with a population of about 16 million. They included Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, the Cape Verde Islands, and the islands of São Tomé and Principe in Africa and eastern Timor and Macao (Aomin) in Asia. After the overthrow of the fascist regime in April 1974, the Portuguese government recognized the colonies’ right to independence and self-determination. It recognized the independent Republic of Guinea-Bissau in 1974, and in accordance with bilateral agreements Mozambique, the Cape Verde Islands, the islands of São Tomé and Principe, and Angola gained their independence in 1975. The problem of the decolonization of Timor and Macao is under consideration.

Portugal is a republic. The present constitution came into force on Apr. 25, 1976. The head of state is the president, elected by universal direct suffrage for a five-year term. He is the supreme commander of the armed forces and chairman of the Revolutionary Council—an advisory body. The Revolutionary Council is “a guarantor of the normal functioning of the country’s democratic institutions, of the strict observance of the constitution, and of fidelity to the spirit of the Portuguese Revolution of 1974.” The Council functions as a political and legislative body in military matters. The legislative body is a unicameral parliament called the Assembly of the Republic. It consists of 262 deputies elected by universal direct suffrage for a five-year term on the basis of proportional representation.

Executive power is exercised by the government, headed by the prime minister, whose appointment by the president must be approved by the Revolutionary Council and the parties represented in the parliament.

Coast. Most of the Atlantic coast is low, sandy and little indented. Bays and estuaries are found only at the mouths of the Tejo (Tagus) and Sado rivers, where the sea has encroached on the land.

Terrain. Much of northern Portugal is occupied by the deeply dissected margin of the Meseta, above which rise crystalline massifs. The prevailing elevation is 1,000–1,200 m, rising to a maximum of 1,991 m in the Serra da Estrela. In the west the mountains descend abruptly toward the coastal plain. South of the Tejo River lies the greater part of the Portuguese Lowland, where plains alternate with low hilly ridges. In the east the lowland is bounded by a plateau with ridges of 600–1,000 m. In the extreme south are the low Serra da Algarve (maximum

Table 1. Administrative divisions of Portugal
Historical provinces and islandsDistrictsArea (sq km)Population (1972)Administrative center
Alto Alentejo .....Évora7,400173,000Ėvora
Baixo Alentejo.....Beja10,200194,000Beja
Beira Alta .......Viseu5,000399,000Viseu
Beira Baixa ......Castelo Branco6,700245,000Castelo Branco
Beira Litoral......Coimbra4,000396,000Coimbra
Douro Litoral .....Porto2,3001,330,000Porto
Estremadura......Lisbon (Lisboa)2,8001,611,000Lisbon (Lisboa)
Minho..........Viana do Castelo2,100246,000Viana do Castelo
Ribatejo ........Santarém6,700423,000Santarém
Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro .....Vila Real4,200256,000Vila Real
Azores .........Angra do Heroísmo70084,000Angra do Heroísmo
Ponta Delgada850155,000Ponta Delgada
Madeira Islands ....Funchal800248,000Funchal

elevation 902 m), whose southern slopes descend steeply toward the coastal plain.

Geological structure and mineral resources. The mountainous northern and southern regions of Portugal are composed of Precambrian and Paleozoic crystalline schists, gneisses, quartzites, and sand-shale layers, which are a continuation of the Hercynian folded structures of the Meseta and of the Huelva massif in Spain. Outcrops of Late Paleozoic granites occupy large areas. In the west the Hercynian basement is unconformably covered by a Mesozoic trough filled with Jurassic limestones, as well as Cretaceous, Paleogene, and Neogene detrital sediments.

The most important mineral resources are deposits of tungsten ore (Panasqueira) with known and estimated reserves of 13,000 tons (computed as WO3) and tin ore (15,000 tons, with an Sn content of 0.4–1 percent), which are associated with Hercynian granites. There is a belt of pyrite ores in the south. Other resources include deposits of beryl, copper ore, iron ore, and uranium ore, with known and estimated reserves of 8,700 tons, computed as U3O8. Anthracite and brown coal occur in small deposits.

Climate. Portugal has a subtropical and Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and rainy winters. The winters are mild owing to the constant influx of moist air masses from the Atlantic Ocean. Summer dryness is relieved by the high relative humidity of the air, and the drought season is shorter than on the Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula. There are sea breezes. The mean January temperature is about 10°C along the coast and 7°-8°C in the interior. In July the temperature is 20°C along the coast and in the north, rising to 25°-27°C in the interior and the south. The high ranges in northern Portugal are snow capped for several months. Along the coast the annual precipitation ranges from about 400 mm in the south to 800 mm in the north; the mountains receive from 1,200 to 2,500 mm. Most of the rainfall occurs in winter.

Rivers. Portugal has a dense river system and is drained by the lower reaches of the large rivers of the Iberian Peninsula—the Douro (Duero), Tejo, and Guadiana. The rivers are fed chiefly by rain, and their water level rises in the winter and spring and falls sharply in the summer. In the mountains the rivers often flow through narrow and deep valleys, and have steep courses and a large hydroelectric potential. In the lowlands river water is used extensively for irrigation.

Soil and flora. Mountain-forest podzolic soils predominate in the northern mountains, and brown and cinnamon-colored soils are common in the central and southern regions. Along the coast are many swampy areas, and saline soils occur in places. In the south most of the flora is Mediterranean. Maquis thickets, with tree heath and Spanish broom in the north and rockrose (Cis-tus) in the south, flourish in the mountains far from the ocean. Portugal has been greatly deforested, and forests occupy only 5 percent of the territory. The northern mountains are covered with forests of chestnut and oak, both holm and cork oak. Groves of maritime and Italian stone pines and eucalyptus plantings are found along the coast. Meadows occupy large areas in the mountains. Halophyte meadow vegetation flourishes in places near the southern coast.

Fauna. Portugal’s Mediterranean fauna includes many Central European species, among them the wolf, fox, and marten, as well as such North African animals as the genet, Algerian hedgehog, and Spanish hare. There are numerous rodents and bats and many species of birds. Lizards and snakes are common. Sardines, anchovies, and other fish abound in the coastal waters. The fauna and the natural landscapes are preserved in the Gerês National Park in northern Portugal.

Natural regions. Northern Portugal has a relatively humid climate and mainly mountain, forest, and meadow landscapes. In southern Portugal the climate is dry, and rolling plains and Mediterranean landscapes predominate.

I. V. KOZLOV (physical geography) and L. P. ZONENSHAIN (geological structure and minerals)

Portuguese constitute more than 99 percent of the population. There are also about 50,000 foreigners, including immigrants from Portugal’s former African colonies, Spaniards, and Brazilians. The official language is Portuguese, and the dominant religion is Roman Catholicism. The Gregorian calendar is used.

The population roughly doubled between the first census, taken in 1864, and 1970. The relatively small increase over such a long period may be explained by the steady emigration abroad, which has grown from an average of 22,000 persons a year around 1950 to 54,000 in 1972. The declining birth rate is also a factor. The mass exodus of able-bodied workers from the country has accelerated the aging of the population, has created disproportions in the sex ratio (in 1971 women made up 52.5 percent of the population and men, 47.5 percent), and has caused the depopulation of some regions.

The labor force totaled 3.5 million people in 1971, of whom 36.3 percent were engaged in industry and construction (as compared to 23 percent in 1950), 31.1 percent in agriculture, forestry, and fishing (49.1 percent), and 32.6 percent in the service sector. The average population density is about 100 persons per sq km. The greatest density, 200 persons per sq km, is found in coastal regions, particularly between the cities of Setúbal and Porto, and on the islands. In 1970 urban dwellers accounted for 47.5 percent of the total population, in contrast to 23.3 percent in 1960. The largest cities are Lisbon (1.6 million inhabitants, including suburbs, in 1970) and Porto. Cities with under 50,000 inhabitants are typical.

Antiquity (to the mid-fifth century A.D.). The territory of Portugal was settled during the Paleolithic. Shell mounds in Mugem, in the Tejo Valley, attest to the presence of Mesolithic settlements of primitive hunters and gatherers. Neolithic dolmens have survived, and the Aeneolithic is represented by the bell-beaker culture (finds in Palmela, Barros, and Serradas Mutelas) and by megalithic tombs. In the Bronze Age metallurgy developed in northern Portugal, and metal objects were exported.

In the second half of the first millennium B.C. the Celts, who had frequently invaded the Iberian Peninsula, settled in present-day Portugal. The problem of the identity of Portugal’s autochthonous population has not yet been resolved. In the fourth and third centuries B.C., most of the area was inhabited by Lusitanians, whose clan and tribal system was undergoing disintegration. Their main occupation was herding, with farming playing a secondary role. From the early second century B.C., the Lusitanians fiercely fought the invading Romans, who included the as yet unconquered territory of Portugal in the Roman province of Hispania Ulterior. The anti-Roman uprising led by Viriathus, which lasted from 147 to 139 B.C., was an important stage in the Lusitanians’ struggle for independence. After Viriathus’ death Rome conquered Portugal between 138 and 136 B.C., but the resistance to the conquerors continued until the late first century B.C.

The Roman province of Lusitania, which included almost all of present-day Portugal, was formed in the last third of the first century B.C. Southern Portugal was more thoroughly romanized than the rest of the country, and the slaveholding mode of production came to dominate here. The communal system persisted in parts of northern Portugal. In the first half of the fifth century A.D. Portugal was absorbed into the kingdom of the Suevi, who had invaded the Iberian Peninsula in the early fifth century.

Feudalism (second half of the fifth century to the late 18th century). In the second half of the fifth century the Visigoths pushed the Suevi out of southern Portugal, and, after completely destroying the Suevi state in 585, they annexed northern Portugal as well. In the south feudalization took the same course as in other parts of the Iberian Peninsula. In the north, however, territorial and clan communities prevailed for a long time because the area had been less affected by Romanization and had remained longer under the Suevi, among whom the disintegration of clan and tribal relations occurred more slowly than among the Visigoths.

Portugal was conquered by Arabs and Berbers between 713 and 718. Under Arab rule the development of feudal relations south of the Douro River was identical to that in Arab Spain. In this part of Portugal the ninth and tenth centuries were a period of economic and cultural progress. The mountainous regions north of the Douro River, only nominally subject to the Arab conquerors, became the focal point of the Reconquest in the tenth century. (Minho had been reconquered from the Arabs as early as the ninth century.) After throwing off Arab rule, these northern regions became part of the kingdom of León in the middle of the 11th century. The southward advance of the forces of Alfonso VI, king of León, was stopped by the Almoravids, who defeated his army at Lisbon in 1094. To reinforce León’s western borders, Alfonso VI created a separate county on Portuguese territory in 1095 and granted it as a fief to his son-in-law, Henry of Burgundy, who assumed the title of count of Portugal, derived from the name of his residence, Portucale, present-day Porto. Henry prevented the Almoravids from seizing the County of Portugal, which became virtually independent of León. His son Alfonso Henriques took the title of king (Alfonso I) in 1139, and routed the Arabs at Ourique the same year. In 1143, León recognized the independence of the kingdom of Portugal, with Coimbra as its capital, and four years later Portugal reconquered Lisbon from the Arabs. The Reconquest was completed in Portugal in 1249–50, with the conquest of Algarve.

In the course of the Reconquest part of Portugal’s population moved south to settle on the liberated lands. Feudal relations developed differently in the north and south, chiefly owing to the divergent economic development of the two regions in earlier periods. Feudalization proceeded slowly north of the Tejo River. Most of the peasants, who had been the backbone of the Reconquest, had retained their personal freedom prior to the mid-13th century but their right to the land had become dependent on the seigneurs. On the lands reconquered from the Arabs there arose self-governing communities, called concelhos, which successfully preserved their independence of the seigneurs. Needing manpower for the struggle against the Arabs and anxious to develop the liberated lands, the kings supported the concelhos and granted them charters (forais) guaranteeing their liberties and privileges. However, as the frontiers of the state were pushed farther south, the oppression of the peasants by the feudal lords increased.

In northern Portugal much of the peasantry was enserfed in the 12th century. Lay and ecclesiastical feudal lords acquired large holdings, and a higher nobility and knighthood gradually emerged. South of the Tejo River commodity and money relations had developed in the period of Arab rule. During the Reconquest the feudal lords seized vast tracts of land in southern Portugal. The bulk of the peasantry was not enserfed here, but various forms of oppressive rent were introduced.

The Reconquest was conducted as a religious struggle, which contributed to the strengthening of the Portuguese clergy and of religious knightly orders, such as the Santiago, Calatrava, and Aviz orders or the Hospitallers and Templars.

During the Reconquest the Portuguese nationality gradually evolved, and various aspects of Portuguese culture emerged. Cities grew rapidly after 1250, largely because of Portugal’s favorable geographical location at the junction of trade routes leading from England and other northern European states to the Mediterranean countries. Lisbon, the capital of Portugal since 1255–56, became an important center of transit trade. The development of crafts and trade was also stimulated by the policy of religious toleration pursued by the Portuguese kings until the late 15th century toward non-Christians, both Muslims and Jews, who played a prominent role in these branches of the economy. The cities supported the kings in their struggle against the separatism of the feudal lords.

With the rise of the Cortes in the 13th century, an estate monarchy was established in Portugal. In 1261 the representatives of the towns prevailed upon the king not to levy new taxes without the consent of the Cortes. In the 14th and 15th centuries expanding commodity and money relations caused the disappearance of serfdom in northern Portugal and promoted the spread of money rent. At the same time, the concelhos were rapidly disintegrating, and the feudal lords seized most of the land belonging to the communities. In the course of property differentiation dispossessed peasants became economically dependent on large landholders.

After the death of Ferdinand I (1383), the last king of the Burgundian dynasty, Portugal was plunged into turmoil, aggravated by the invasion of Castilian forces. Part of the Portuguese feudal elite supported the king of Castile’s claim to the Portuguese throne. Faced with the threat of foreign oppression, diverse social strata, including the lesser nobility, the urban elite, and the popular masses, rallied around another claimant to the throne, John, the grand master of the Order of Aviz. In 1385 the Cortes elected him king. John I assured Portugal’s independence by defeating the Castilian forces at Aljubarrota in August 1385. He suppressed feudal rebellions and pursued a firm policy of state centralization. A national law code was compiled in his reign.

The 15th and 16th centuries saw the rise of absolutism in Portugal. The old aristocracy of birth steadily gave way to a service nobility, the role of the Cortes diminished, and royal prerogatives were strengthened. King John II (1481–95) limited feudal jurisdiction and brutally suppressed a feudal revolt in 1483–84, executing its leaders, the dukes of Bragança and Viseu.

The growth of absolutism was accompanied by an outward expansion, which began with the capture of the African fortress of Ceuta in 1415 and the expeditions along the western coast of Africa organized by Henry the Navigator. By 1485, Portugal had established several footholds on the western coast of Africa and had seized the Madeira Islands, the Cape Verde Islands, the islands of São Tomé and Píincipe, and the Azores. Vasco da Gama’s discovery of the sea route to India in 1498 initiated Portuguese expansion in East Africa, India, and Southeast Asia. The landing of the Portuguese navigator P. Cabral on the Brazilian coast in 1500 began the Portuguese conquest of Brazil, which subsequently became the largest Portuguese colony. The Portuguese colonial empire reached its apogee in the first half of the 16th century.

The lion’s share of the revenues from the plunder of the colonies, the export of spices, and the slave trade fell to the feudal aristocracy and higher clergy. The exploitation of the colonies contributed to the preservation of feudal relations in the mother country. The flow of great riches from the colonies resulted only in a short-lived economic upswing, reflected chiefly in the emergence of factories producing silk and wool fabrics in the late 15th and the first half of the 16th centuries. The feudal class, little interested in developing a national industry, did not invest in industry the money derived from the expansion, but spent it largely on luxury goods from England, France, and the Netherlands.

Portugal’s economy was also undermined by the “price revolution” of the 16th century, which ruined the peasants, artisans, and lesser nobility. The economic decline that set in after 1550 was exacerbated by the growing influence of the Catholic Church. The Inquisition intensified its persecution of the Marranos, who fled abroad in large numbers, taking with them a considerable amount of capital. On the sea routes to India, Portugal became involved in a bitter struggle with England, France, and, from the late 16th century, Holland. Under King Sebastian I, who acceded to the throne in 1557, the Jesuits virtually ruled the country. They drew Portugal into a war of conquest in Morocco, which ended in the defeat of the Portuguese forces and the death of Sebastian in 1578.

After the death of Sebastian, the Spanish king Philip II extended his rule over Portugal. In the period of Spanish domination, which lasted from 1581 to 1640, Portugal became an appendage of the Spanish empire and was drawn into Spain’s interminable wars with England and Holland. The country was impoverished, the population declined, taxes became more oppressive, and trade came under the control of foreigners, mainly Dutch and English merchants. The discontent with Spanish rule caused repeated uprisings in 1637–38 and a general uprising in 1640 that led to Portugal’s separation from Spain. Duke John of Bragança was crowned King John IV (1640–56). Portugal sought the support of Sweden, France, and Holland in its struggle with Spain. A treaty concluded with England in 1654 guaranteed Portugal’s independence but brought the country within England’s political orbit. Spain was obliged to recognize Portugal’s independence in 1668.

Portugal’s foreign affairs were complicated in the early 18th century by the war of the Spanish Succession. At first Portugal sided with France, but under pressure from England, which dispatched a naval squadron to Portugal in the spring of 1702, as well as from Austria and Holland, it joined the anti-French coalition on May 16, 1703. The same day England and Portugal signed the Lisbon Treaty, which proclaimed a “perpetual alliance” between the two countries. A second Anglo-Portuguese treaty, the Methuen Treaty, signed on Dec. 27, 1703, enabled the English to gain control of Portuguese foreign trade within a short time and to make Portugal politically and economically dependent on England. As a result, Portugal’s weak industry and agriculture declined, and the development of the country’s incipient capitalist relations was retarded. The situation deteriorated still further under John V (ruled 1706–50), whose court became notorious for its wasteful extravagance.

Development of capitalism from the late 18th to the early 20th century. PRECONDITIONS FOR A BOURGEOIS REVOLUTION. The political and economic difficulties confronting Portuguese absolutism assumed threatening proportions after 1750. The liberals among the nobility and nascent bourgeoisie were becoming increasingly discontented. Under Joseph I (ruled 1750–77) the minister of foreign affairs and war, S. J. de Carvalho e Melo (marquis of Pombal from 1769), held total power and enacted several reforms in the spirit of enlightened absolutism. Secular schools were established; the taxation system, the army, and the administration of justice were reorganized; measures were taken to develop Portuguese industry, trade, and agriculture; and a new code of laws was promulgated. The government subsidized the building of dye works and factories producing textiles, metal articles, and other goods, and it organized companies with monopoly rights in Portugal and Brazil. The opposition of the aristocracy to the reforms was overcome by the execution of its leading members, and the resistance of the Jesuits was broken by the confiscation of their property and the banishment of the order. Under Maria I (ruled 1777–1816) the feudal and clerical reactionaries secured the repeal of most of Pombal’s reforms. French Enlightenment philosophy of the 18th century and the Great French Revolution found an enthusiastic response in Portugal, especially among progressive students. Despite the rigorous censorship under Maria I, the ideas of P. Bayle, Voltaire, D. Diderot, J. O. de La Mettrie, and J. J. Rousseau were disseminated, particularly at the University of Coimbra. Motivated by class hatred for revolutionary France and bound by an alliance with Great Britain, the royal court took a different position on the revolution, and Portugal joined the anti-French coalition in 1793. In 1801, however, Spanish forces entered Portugal (Spain had concluded an alliance with France in 1796), and the Portuguese government was obliged to conclude highly unfavorable peace treaties with Spain and France.

After the battle of Trafalgar in 1805, Great Britain reasserted its control over Portugal, but in November 1807, in retaliation against Portugal’s refusal to join the Continental Blockade, a French army under General Junot invaded the country, entering Lisbon on November 30. The royal family, the court, and about 15,000 members of the nobility fled to Brazil. The Junta of Governors left behind in Lisbon extended de facto recognition to the French authorities. Earlier, on Oct. 27, 1807, Napoleon and his Spanish favorite Godoy had concluded a secret agreement to partition Portugal. In December, Junot replaced the Junta with a new one headed by himself. Later Junot, who had received the title of duke of Abrantes, went to Napoleon to request a “king for the Portuguese.”

The Portuguese people responded to the French occupation with an uprising that started in Porto on June 6, 1808. The Junta of the Supreme Government, formed in Porto on June 19, appealed to Great Britain for help. British troops under A. Welles-ley, later duke of Wellington, landed in Portugal, and Junot was forced to leave the country. W. Beresford, the commander of the Anglo-Portuguese army, became the virtual ruler of Portugal.

The occupation and the war had devastated Portugal. Popular discontent was mounting, and a revolutionary storm was gathering.

INCOMPLETE BOURGEOIS REVOLUTIONS AND CIVIL WARS; CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY (FROM THE 1820’s TO THE 1850’s). An uprising of the Porto garrison on Aug. 24, 1820, sparked the Portuguese Revolution of 1820. A constituent assembly convened in January 1821 adopted the draft of a liberal constitution modeled after the Spanish Cádiz Constitution of 1812. Portugal’s king John VI (1816–26), who returned from Brazil in 1821, was obliged to recognize the constitution, which went into effect on Sept. 23, 1822. The revolutions in Portugal and Spain gave impetus to the national liberation movement in Brazil. On Sept. 7, 1822, Brazil’s regent Pedro, the son of King John VI, in an effort to stay in power, proclaimed Brazil’s independence, which was recognized by Portugal in 1825.

Many of the progressive reforms adopted by the Portuguese Cortes between 1821 and 1823, including the abolition of feudal rights and the suppression of the Inquisition, were not implemented, thereby weakening the position of the constitutionalists, led by Palmela. The absolutists, who defended the interests of the feudal elite and the church and who were led by Queen Carlota-Joaquina and Prince Miguel of Bragança, sought to take advantage of the situation. The bitter struggle between the constitutionalists and the absolutists precipitated a civil war, in which the constitutionalists were victorious. Miguel, who had been proclaimed king in June 1828 by a council of the estates that he had convened, abdicated on May 29, 1834.

After Miguel’s abdication, a period of growth in industry and trade ensued that was to last until the mid-19th century. The government of the constitutionalists enacted several reforms: feudal taxes and monopolies were abolished, monastic land was sold (there were 577 monasteries in 1834), and the hereditary transmission of offices was prohibited. These bourgeois reforms, however, did not satisfy a large part of the bourgeoisie, and a split occurred among the constitutionalists. The liberal nobility, which favored the constitutional charter (with its voting qualifications) issued in 1826, united with the feudal and clerical elements to form the conservative Chartist Party (Cartista). The left-wing constitutionalists, who for the most part defended the interests of the commercial and industrial circles, demanded the restoration of the 1822 constitution. They also advocated protectionist measures to safeguard Portuguese industry. The petite bourgeoisie, the artisans, and some of the peasantry became politically active.

On Sept. 9, 1836, the leftists, headed by M. Passos, Linhares, and B. Sá da Bandeira, began an uprising that turned into a bourgeois revolution, the September Revolution of 1836. The Septembrists, or Setembrista Party, as the leftists were now called, formed a government and restored the 1822 constitution. In 1838 the Septembrists and the Chartists concluded an agreement under which the 1882 constitution was replaced by a more conservative one giving the king unlimited veto power, restricting the franchise, and introducing a bicameral system comprising a house of peers and a chamber of deputies. The 1838 agreement weakened the Septembrists, and in January 1842 a military revolt brought the Chartists to power. The Chartists restored the 1826 charter, and their leader, A. B. Costa Cabral, established a military dictatorship.

In the spring of 1846 a popular uprising, known as the Maria da Fonte War, broke out in northern Portugal. In the countryside the people seized estates and formed revolutionary juntas. Cabral’s government fell in May, and J. C. Saldanha seized power on October 6. The uprising was suppressed in July 1847, but the struggle between the parties and political groupings did not subside. The ruling circles understood the need for reform, but they feared far-reaching changes and confined themselves to introducing direct elections and municipal self-government and lowering the voting requirements. These reforms were included in the Additional Act to the Charter, adopted on July 5, 1852, through the efforts of the Regenerators, a party founded in April 1851 by the Septembrists and a group of Chartists headed by Saldanha.

INTENSIFIED SOCIAL CONFLICTS IN THE CONTEXT OF A SLOWLY DEVELOPING CAPITALIST ECONOMY(1850–1910). The implementation of limited liberal reforms, begun under Saldanha, continued under his successors, who abolished the practice of entailment and the hereditary peerage and issued a civil code. A number of economic and financial reforms were carried out, and the first railroads (the Sacavém-Vila Franca railroad was completed in October 1853), telegraph lines, and textile factories were built. However, after 25 years of Regenerator government (1851–76), Portugal’s economy remained extremely backward. Many vestiges of feudalism remained in the agrarian system, such as large-scale domain agriculture, oppressive rents, and métayage. In 1876 the “left wing” of the Regenerators broke away to form the Progressists. The Regenerators and Progressists, both linked to British capital and the Portuguese agrarian oligarchy, alternated in office.

A republican movement began developing among the bourgeois and petit bourgeois intelligentsia under the influence of the Spanish Revolution of 1868–74, and the Portuguese Republican Party was founded in 1876. Concurrently, socialism gained adherents among the petit bourgeois intelligentsia, artisans, and workers; the poet and public figure Antero de Quental was a prominent member of this movement. In Portugal the socialist movement developed under the influence of the First International, whose first Portuguese section was founded in Lisbon. In September 1872 the International had at least 28 sections in

Portugal with a total membership of 3,000. The influence of Bakuninism was weaker here than in Spain, and in 1872–73 the Portuguese federation supported the General Council in its struggle against the Bakuninists. The Portuguese Socialist Party was founded in 1875.

In the last quarter of the 19th century the boundaries of the Portuguese possessions in Africa were defined by several agreements between Portugal, Belgium, Germany, and Great Britain. Portugal gradually established its control over a number of territories (Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bissau) where its sovereignty had previously been limited to the coastal area. Intensive exploitation of the colonies followed, in which, in view of Portugal’s economic weakness, foreign capital, chiefly British, also participated.

Despite some growth of entrepreneurial activity in the 1870’s and the 1880’s, the Portuguese economy was in serious difficulty by the early 1890’s. In 1892 the government declared Portugal bankrupt and stopped paying interest on two-thirds of the national debt. Emigration rose sharply; between 1891 and 1895 an average of 31,600 persons emigrated annually, in contrast to 17,000 between 1881 and 1885. All this contributed to the growth of the republican movement, one manifestation of which was the unsuccessful republican uprising in Porto on Jan. 31, 1891. Republican disturbances broke out in the army and the navy in 1902 and again in the navy in 1906. Frightened by the unrest, the king dissolved the parliament and handed the government over to João Franco, who became the de facto dictator of Portugal in May 1906. In January 1908 municipal councils were disbanded, independent newspapers were closed down, and many republicans were imprisoned or exiled without a trial or investigation.

Franco did not succeed in suppressing the republican movement. In response to the government’s actions, protest demonstrations were held in Lisbon and other cities on Jan. 28, 1908. On February 1, King Carlos I (1889–1908) and the crown prince Luis Filipe were killed by a bomb thrown into their carriage. Carlos’ successor, Manuel II (1908–10), sought to pacify the opposition by such measures as granting amnesty to the participants in the republican naval uprising of 1906. But no serious steps were taken to improve the situation. New disturbances broke out in the army and navy in October 1909. In the elections of August 1910, the Portuguese Republican Party won 14 seats in the parliament despite the use of terror and election rigging by the authorities.

THE BOURGEOIS REVOLUTION AND THE FIRST YEARS OF THE REPUBLIC(1910—18). On the night of Oct. 3–4, 1910, the republicans began a revolt with the support of army units and the navy. The popular masses in Lisbon joined the uprising. The king fled, and the Portuguese Revolution of 1910 broke out. A republic was proclaimed on October 5, with T. Braga as the head of the provisional government. A constituent assembly met in June 1911 and adopted a republican constitution, which went into effect on September 11. The new government proclaimed the separation of church and state (the monastic orders were disbanded, and some of their property was confiscated), the autonomy of the colonies, the right to strike, and an eight-hour workday for industrial workers. However, the revolution, which admitted the bourgeoisie to power, hastened the eradication of only certain vestiges of feudalism.

After the proclamation of the republic, the workers’ movement, particularly the strike movement, gained momentum. Street fighting broke out during a general strike of Lisbon workers in January 1912. Railroad, metallurgical, construction, and other workers went on strike in February 1914.

Portugal entered World War I in 1916 on the side of the Entente. By the Versailles Peace Treaty of 1919, it received a small territory in East Africa, known as the Kionga triangle.

General crisis of capitalism,CRISIS OF THE REPUBLIC(1918–26). After the war the revolutionary and democratic movement in Portugal gained strength under the influence of the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia. In 1919–20 there was an upsurge in the strike struggle, involving railroad, metal, communications, and other workers. The Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) was founded in 1921, but the extreme right wing also became more active. All this created political instability, which became especially acute by the mid-1920’s: Portugal had seven governments between September 1924 and July 1925. The ruling elite could not cope with the economic dislocation or put in order the country’s finances, which had been undermined by the war. The value of the escudo dropped by 97 percent between 1910 and 1928, and the national debt (in 1910 escudos) rose from 692 million to 2,234 million. The foreign debt alone swelled from 208 million to 961 million escudos in that period. In these circumstances the big bourgeoisie, the landowners, and the military decided to establish a dictatorship.

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE FASCIST DICTATORSHIP; PORTUGAL UNDER FASCISM (1926–74). On May 28, 1926, a military triumvirate seized power, and on July 9 General Carmona became the country’s dictator. The 1911 constitution was abrogated, the parliament was dissolved, and the Communist Party was outlawed and went underground. The attempts of the democratic forces to oppose the coup were brutally crushed. Carmona was proclaimed president of Portugal in November 1926, and A. de Oliveira Salazar joined the government as finance minister in April 1928.

Backed by the landowners, the financial oligarchy, and the higher clergy, Salazar undertook to transform Portugal into a fascist country. In 1930 he formed the National Union, renamed the National Popular Action in February 1970, which became the ruling party. Upon becoming head of government in July 1932, Salazar seized total power. In April 1933 the constitution of the “New State” was adopted. Although it preserved some features of bourgeois democracy, the constitution gave the fascist dictatorship legal form as a “unitary corporate republic.” The 1933 constitution empowered the government to issue decrees having the force of law without the approval of the National Assembly and freed it of any responsibility to the Assembly. All opposition parties were banned.

The new constitution became a cover for Salazar’s unlimited dictatorship. Laws enacted in September and December outlawed strikes and class-based trade unions, which were replaced by government-controlled national syndicates. Political terror mounted, and on the night of Nov. 10, 1935, the authorities arrested the Secretariat of the Communist Party, headed by B. Gonsalves, the party’s general secretary. Political oppression increased in the colonies, administered under the Colonial Act of July 8, 1930, which did not accord any civil rights to the native population.

Contrary to the myth, propagated by the government, that a “class peace” had been achieved, antifascist demonstrations occurred throughout the country. The largest of them was a general workers’ strike that began on Jan. 18, 1934, to protest the fascist regimentation of the trade unions. The strike, involving 60,000 persons, turned into an armed uprising in Marinha Grande, Setúbal, the province of Algarve, and other areas, where it was crushed by troops and the police. With the support of the Salazar government, the largest monopoly associations strengthened their position in the country’s economy. The associations were dependent on foreign capital, chiefly British but also German, Belgian, and French.

In the 1930’s the foreign policy of the Salazar government supported the forces of fascism. During the Spanish Civil War (1936—39), Portugal actively assisted the Spanish fascists: transports carrying arms and troops of the German and Italian interventionists crossed the frontier; Portuguese “volunteers” were sent to Spain; and the Salazar government handed over to the Spanish rebels republican leaders and soldiers found in Portugal. In protest against the government’s support of the Spanish fascists, part of the Portuguese Navy, stationed near Lisbon, rebelled in September 1936, but the revolt was suppressed. The ties between Portugal and Spain were strengthened by the signing of a friendship and nonaggression treaty in March 1939.

World War II, at the outset of which Salazar’s government announced its neutrality, brought enormous profits to the Portuguese bourgeoisie, derived primarily from the export of raw materials, primarily strategic raw materials, such as tungsten. During the war Portugal traded with both Germany and Great Britain and the USA. In 1943 Germany influence in Portugal began to wane. Taking advantage of this, the USA concluded an agreement with Portugal on Nov. 28, 1944, providing for the establishment of American naval bases in the Azores. In June 1944, at the request of the USA and Great Britain, Portugal discontinued its shipments of tungsten to Germany. The political situation that developed in Portugal after the defeat of fascist Germany caused Salazar to resort to maneuvering. He designated Nov. 18, 1945, as the date for the elections to the National Assembly and promised to legalize the opposition and to implement other liberal reforms. But the maneuvering of the Salazar government was unsuccessful. In September 1945 the legal Movement of Democratic Unity was founded under the leadership of the underground National Antifascist Movement of Unity, organized earlier, in December 1943. In an attempt to suppress the democratic forces, the government between 1949 and 1951 again persecuted the Communist Party and the bourgeois democratic opposition. In these circumstances, vacillating elements left the Movement of Democratic Unity, which was reconstituted as the National Democratic Movement.

Portugal’s foreign policy in the late 1940’s was oriented toward close military and political cooperation with the USA. Portugal joined the Marshall Plan on Sept. 28, 1948, and NATO on Apr. 4, 1949, and concluded an agreement with the USA in 1950 providing for a mutual “guarantee of security.”

The period between 1950 and the early 1970’s was marked by a broadening of the democratic and antidictatorial movement, which assumed clandestine, legal, and semilegal forms. Not a year passed without student demonstrations, often involving clashes with the authorities. The students demanded the reform of higher education, student participation in the administration of the universities, and a democratization of public life. The progressive intelligentsia called for the abolition of censorship, the release of political prisoners, and civil liberties. Besides peaceful demonstrations and petitions, there were armed actions and sabotage, for example, the revolt of a group of military men in Beja in 1962 and the explosion at the NATO base in Tancos in 1971.

Although prohibited by law, strikes broke out in different branches of the economy. In April and May 1962 southern Portugal was the scene of a strike of agricultural workers, the largest in Portugal’s history, which resulted in the introduction of an eight-hour workday. It was followed by strikes of dock workers (May 1966), Lisbon’s shipyard workers (November 1969), railroad workers (1968 and the spring and summer of 1970), metalworkers, fishermen, and office employees. The government intensified its persecution of the democratic forces. Peaceful demonstrations were brutally crushed by the police and troops, and membership in the Communist Party or other clandestine democratic organizations was punished by long imprisonment. Eighty-six army officers who tried to incite an armed revolt in 1962 were tried in Lisbon in the summer of 1964.

In September 1968, in view of Salazar’s serious illness (he died in 1970), M. Caetano became the head of government and de facto dictator of Portugal. Caetano announced that he intended to continue his predecessor’s political course. To strengthen his position, Caetano promulgated several reforms designed to give the impression of being concessions to public demands. In 1969 he nominally disbanded the secret police (PIDE), which was replaced by the Directorate General of Security under the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In 1970, Caetano brought specialists, so-called technocrats, into the government and granted partial amnesty to political and other prisoners. A law “abolishing censorship” enacted in 1971 nevertheless prescribed prison terms for journalists guilty of publishing material detrimental to the “national interest.” The wages of some categories of industrial and office workers were slightly raised. At the same time, a law adopted in November 1971 granted the government extraordinary powers to suppress revolts. Elections to the National Assembly were held in Portugal in October 1973. As in previous elections, the election procedures and persecution of the opposition forces assured the supporters of the ruling party of all the seats to the National Assembly.

On the international scene Portugal, which in the first postwar years had leaned heavily toward one country, the USA, began a rapprochement with the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and France. In October 1963 the FRG was granted permission to establish a military base in Beja, and a French-Portuguese agreement signed in April 1964 provided for the creation of a French base in the Azores. In the early 1970’s Portugal opened negotiations with the European Economic Community; the negotiations ended in July 1972 with the signing of an agreement providing for the free trade of industrial goods and for a gradual lowering of tariffs on Portuguese agricultural products by the Common Market countries. In these years Portugal expanded its contacts with Southern Rhodesia and the Republic of South Africa for the purpose of suppressing the national liberation movement in Africa.

The political parties that arose in the late 1950’s in the Portuguese colonies, renamed “overseas provinces” in 1951, assumed the leadership of the national liberation movement, which turned into an armed struggle in Angola in 1961, in Guinea-Bissau in 1962, and in Mozambique in 1964. The patriotic forces created central political and military bodies in the course of the armed struggle. They freed large areas from the colonialists’ control and established local governing bodies in the liberated areas. The formation of an independent Republic of Guinea-Bissau was announced in September 1973. Goa, Daman (Damão), and Diu had been liberated from Portuguese rule in December 1961 and reunited with India.

The Portuguese government’s refusal to grant independence to its colonies and its war in Angola, Portuguese Guinea, and Mozambique aroused public indignation around the world. (The Portuguese expeditionary corps in Africa totaled 180,000 men in 1971.) Despite the opposition of the Western powers, the UN repeatedly adopted resolutions condemning Portugal’s colonialist policy. The socialist countries and many African and Asian nations vigorously opposed Portuguese colonialism, often from the forum of the UN. Several international democratic organizations and conferences called for a movement of solidarity with the working people of Portugal and the peoples of the Portuguese colonies.

THE OVERTHROW OF FASCISM (APRIL 1974) AND ITS RESULTS. The colonial war exhausted Portugal’s economy (the fascist government spent about one-half of the state budget on the war) and contributed to the country’s backwardness and poverty. The general discontent spread to the army, affecting even a large proportion of the officers’ corps, mainly the middle ranks. In March 1974 antigovernment demonstrations broke out in several army units, sparked by the forced retirement of General C. Gomes, the chief of staff, and his deputy, A. de Spinola, both of whom had opposed the government’s policies. On April 25 insurgent troops, led by officers belonging to the Armed Forces Movement, entered Lisbon and occupied the airport, radio stations, and government buildings. (The Armed Forces Movement had been organized in 1973 and was called the Captains’ Movement prior to Apr. 25, 1974.) Caetano’s government fell, and the Armed Forces Movement formed the Council of National Salvation, headed by General de Spinola.

The new government replaced the former governors of the overseas provinces and disbanded the National Assembly, the State Council, the fascist National People’s Action, and the secret police (Directorate General of Security). It also freed political prisoners, including members of the Communist Party, permitted demonstrations and meetings, and abolished press censorship. The Council of National Salvation also announced its readiness to open negotiations with the leaders of the national liberation movement in Portugal’s African colonies. General de Spinola was proclaimed president on May 15, and the formation of the provisional government of Portugal was announced on May 16. The government included representatives of the political parties that were legalized after the fall of the fascist dictatorship, including A. Cunhal, general secretary of the Communist Party, and M. Soares, general secretary of the Socialist Party. The government embarked on democratic reforms and adopted measures designed to raise the living standard of the poorest strata of the population. Portuguese officials opened negotiations with the leaders of the national liberation movement in the overseas territories.

While these measures were being carried out, dissension arose within the government and the country as a whole. The head of the government, A. da Palma Carlos, and four ministers who wanted to retard the democratic reforms resigned in early July, and a new government was formed on July 17. This government, headed by Colonel (later Brigadier General) Vasco dos Santos Gonçalves, included representatives of the Armed Forces Movement as well as Communists and members of other democratic groups. But the forces of reaction, who strove to bring back the old order or at any rate to stop the further development of the Portuguese revolution, did not concede defeat. On the night of September 27 they attempted to provoke an armed clash in Lisbon and seize power. The uprising planned by the rightists was thwarted by the Armed Forces Movement, aided by the Communists. General de Spinola, who had opposed the further development of the revolution, resigned on September 30, and the Council of National Salvation elected General Costa Gomes president.

On March 11, 1975, Portugal’s armed forces, supported by the Portuguese working people, failed an attempted coup by a group of reactionary officers associated with General de Spinola. The conspirators and their supporters were arrested, and General de Spinola fled abroad. To strengthen the revolutionary regime, it was decided to institutionalize the Armed Forces Movement, making it permanent and transforming it into one of the main state bodies. The Revolutionary Council, established as the executive body of the Armed Forces Movement, replaced the Council of National Salvation and the new State Council created after the antifascist coup. The Revolutionary Council was charged with guiding the Portuguese revolution and was also invested with legislative functions.

The nationalization of the country’s banks on March 14 was followed two days later by the nationalization of all insurance companies, except those having large investments of foreign capital. In April 1975 it was decided to nationalize several key branches of industry and transportation and to promulgate an agrarian reform limiting large landholdings. The new government and the progressive forces regarded these changes as a further strengthening of democracy and as the mark of a transition period to socialism.

Elections to the Constituent Assembly, held on Apr. 25, 1975, brought victory to the parties of the coalition government: the Socialist Party, the People’s Democratic Party, the Communist Party, and the Portuguese Democratic Movement. Prior to the elections, on April 11, these parties and the People’s Socialist Front and the Center Social Democratic Party had signed the Joint Action Platform proposed by the Armed Forces Movement. The Armed Forces Movement, the Communist Party, and all the progressive forces in the country have been working to strengthen national unity and have been combating the forces trying to undermine it. In the spring of 1976 a new constitution was adopted that legalized the main gains of the Portuguese revolution—the nationalization of major industries, the agrarian reform, workers’ control at enterprises, and democratic liberties.

Despite the resistance of the right wing, the Portuguese government and the leaders of the national liberation movements in Portugal’s African colonies concluded agreements providing for decolonization. On Sept. 10, 1974, Portugal recognized Guinea-Bissau as a sovereign state. Dates were set for the granting of independence to Mozambique (June 25, 1975), the Cape Verde Islands (July 5, 1975), São Tomé and Principe (July 17, 1975), and Angola (Nov. 11, 1975). Provisional governments were formed in these countries to prepare for independence.

Portugal and the USSR established diplomatic relations on June 9, 1974, and an accord was reached to expand economic ties and scientific and technical exchange between the two countries. In December 1974 the Soviet Union and Portugal signed a trade agreement and an agreement on air and maritime transport.


Lenin, V. I. “O proisshestvii s korolem portugal’skim.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 16.
Cunhal, A. Put’ k pobede. Moscow, 1967. (Translated from Portuguese.)
Cunhal, A. Ocherki po agrarnomu voprosu. Moscow, 1966. (Translated from Portuguese.)
Piskorskii, V. K. Istoriia Ispanii i Portugalii, 2nd ed. St. Petersburg, 1909.
Ispaniia i Portugaliia. Moscow, 1947.
Kolomiets, G. N. Ocherki noveishei istorii Portugalii. Moscow, 1965.
Aksanov, E. Portugaliia i ee rol’ ν fashistskoi interventsii ν Ispanii. Moscow, 1937.
Varga, E. Portugaliia ifashistskaia interventsiia ν Ispanii. Moscow, 1937.
Beliavsii, A. M. Amerikanskii imperializm na Pireneiskom poluostrove. Moscow, 1961.
Mar, N. Liudi kak skaly. Moscow, 1967.
Coelho, J. D. Soprotivlenie ν Portugalii: Zapiski podpol’shchika. Moscow, 1963. (Translated from Portuguese.)
Almeida, F. de. Historia de Portugal, vols. 1–6. Coimbra, 1922–31.
Oliveira Marques, A. I. A History of Portugal, vols. 1–2. New York-Lisbon, 1972.
Dicionário de história de Portugal, vols. 1–4. Lisbon, 1961–66.
Enciclopédia histórica de Portugal, vols. 1–12. Lisbon, 1938.
Guia da bibliografia histórica portuguesa, vol. 1, fasc. 1. Lisbon, 1959.

IA. M. SVET (to the 18th century), A. M. BELAIAVSKII (from the 18th century to the 1960’s), and IU. A. LEPANOV (1960’s and early 1970’s)

Political parties. The Portuguese Communist Party (Partido Comunista Português), founded in March 1921, was outlawed from 1926 to April 1974. The Socialist Party (Partido Socialista) was formed at a congress held in 1973 from the Portuguese Socialist Action, an opposition movement, and prior to April 1974 it functioned illegally. The party joined the Socialist International in June 1972. The Social Democratic Party (Partido Social Democrático), founded in May 1974, is a left-center party. Prior to October 1976 it was called the People’s Democratic Party. The People’s Socialist Front (Frente Socialista Popular) broke away from the Socialist Party in early 1975. The Center Social Democratic Party (Partido do Centro Democrático Social), founded in July 1974, is a right-wing party. The Portuguese Democratic Movement (Movimento Democrático Português) was founded in 1969 as a legal movement uniting the country’s opposition forces. It became a political party after the fall of the fascist dictatorship. At a nationwide meeting held in March 1976 the party was made an organization of the working people—a mass democratic and antifascist movement.

Trade unions and other public organizations. The General Confederation of the Portuguese Working People—National Intersindical (Confederação General; dos Trabalhadores Portuguêses—Intersindical Nacional), which was founded in January 1977 at the Portuguese Congress of Trade Unions, includes 272 trade unions with a membership of 1.7 million in 1977. Among other public organizations are the Young Communist League, the Democratic Women’s Movement, the Portuguese Council of Struggle for Peace and International Cooperation, the Portugal-USSR Friendship Society, and the Confederation of Portuguese Industry.


General characteristics. The development of the country’s productive forces had long been hampered by feudal vestiges in agrarian relations and by the historically conditioned dependence of the Portuguese economy on foreign monopoly capital (see above: Historical survey). Despite its favorable natural conditions and advantageous geographical position at the juncture of sea routes, Portugal in the past served as a source of agricultural raw material for the industrially developed capitalist countries. On the world market Portugal has traditionally been a supplier of wine, canned sardines, cork, and such mineral raw materials as tungsten, tin, uranium, and pyrites.

In the postwar years Portugal, ruled by a fascist government, found itself in an extremely difficult situation. The colonial wars in Africa, a drain on the country’s resources and manpower, undermined its economy and depleted its revenues. Between 1950 and 1970 the government invited foreign capital investments, assisted private capital, and expanded the role of state monopoly capital. This policy only promoted the unequal development of the various branches of the economy and resulted in the enrichment of the large monopolies dominating the main branches of the economy. One of the leading monopolies, the Companhia União Fabril, controls the shipbuilding, chemical, textile, mining, metallurgy, and other industries, maritime transport, banking, and trade. The Sociedade Anónima Concessionária da Refinação de Petróleos, which has large amounts of American and British capital, dominates oil refining and the petrochemical industry. The Estaleiros Navais de Lisboa, with Dutch and Swedish investments, is a shipbuilding monopoly. Other monopolies include the American Armstrong Cork Company and the American Ford and General Motors companies, which control automotive assembly. The close cooperation between the fascist and Portuguese and foreign monopolies intensified the contradictions in the economy and placed it in the service of military aims.

The artificial stimulus given to some export industries, the expansion of tourist facilities, and other measures caused a temporary rise of economic indicators between 1960 and the early 1970’s. In 1971 agriculture accounted for 16.2 percent of the national income (compared to 24.7 percent in 1961), industry for 44.3 percent (40.3 percent), and the service sector for 39.5 percent (35 percent). However, the almost 50 years of fascist rule were marked by stagnation in the traditional branches of industry, a crisis in agriculture, inflation, impoverishment of the working people, constant unemployment (about 200,000 in 1972), and steady emigration abroad. According to UN statistics, Portugal ranked 35th in the world in 1973 in terms of per capita income ($770).

After April 1974, democratic social and economic changes became possible in Portugal. Within a short time the provisional government took steps to overcome the country’s economic backwardness, inherited from the old regime, to reorganize the economy, and to improve the lot of the working people by introducing a nationwide minimum wage, establishing price controls on some basic necessities and services, including housing rent, and increasing assistance payments to large families.

The economic policy of the Armed Forces Movement and of Portugal’s provisional government aims to increase government supervision over economic processes, strengthen the state sector in the economy, and reduce the role of monopoly associations and large finance capital. In March 1975 the government nationalized the major private banks, and in April 1975 it nationalized several electric power companies and firms selling petroleum and petroleum products. It has also nationalized several railroads, two large shipping companies, the TAP airline company, the National Steel Company, and several branches of industry. An agrarian reform has been initiated.

Industry. Most of the country’s industrial enterprises—especially those in the traditional branches producing textiles, clothing, leather goods, footwear, wood products, and paper—are either small or medium sized, often poorly equipped, and for the most part of an artisan or semi-artisan type. The construction of large factories by the leading monopolies in the 1960’s and early 1970’s has altered the structure of the manufacturing industry: the proportion of branches of heavy industry has increased, and new production capacities have been reached in machine building, the chemical and petrochemical industry, and metallurgy. The distribution of industry remains extremely uneven, with the Setúbal-Lisbon and Porto areas accounting for three-fourths of the industrial output.

MINING AND ELECTRIC POWER. The output of the mining industry was valued at 1,298 million escudos in 1972, of which tungsten accounted for 14.1 percent, pyrites for 11 percent, limestone for 16.5 percent, and marble for 15.45 percent. Tungsten is mined at Panasqueira (along the middle course of the Zêzere River) and Borralha, tin ore around Guarda and Belmonte and in the extreme northeast, pyrites and copper ore (with sulfur as a by-product) at Aljustrel, iron ore at Torre de Moncorvo, and uranium ore at Urgeiriça (near Viseu). Some ores are exported in an unrefined state. Coal is mined on a small scale (252,000 tons in 1972).

Portugal’s petroleum refineries had a capacity of 4.2 million tons in 1972. Petroleum supplied 65.8 percent of the country’s energy in 1968, in contrast to 6.4 percent in 1930. In 1972 more than 80 percent of Portugal’s electric power was produced by hydroelectric power plants. Among the largest hydroelectric power plants are the Miranda (172 megawatts), Picote (200 megawatts), Bemposta (230 megawatts), and Carrapatelo (188 megawatts) on the Douro River. There are also large plants on the Cávado, Zêzere, and Tejo rivers.

MANUFACTURING. Ferrous metallurgy is represented by one full-cycle enterprise at Seixal, near Lisbon, and by small foundries near Lisbon and Porto. There are also copper smelting plants (Barreiro), tin smelting plants, and aluminum-processing works. (The structure of the manufacturing industry is shown in Table 2.)

Table 2. Structure of manufacturing (1971)
 Gross industrial output
Value (million escudos)Percent
Metallurgy .....................2,2963.9
Metalworking and machine building ......18,06930.6
Chemicals .....................6,59511.2
Textiles, clothing, and footwear.........10,72518.1
Food and condiments ..............6,79711.5
Woodworking and cork..............4,0616.9
Paper and printing ................3,3005.6
Silicate ceramics .................3,9436.7
Other branches..................3,2325.5

In the machine-building and metalworking industries, employing 79,000 persons in 1970, the most important branches are shipbuilding and ship repair (14,700 employed), concentrated in Greater Lisbon. A ship repair center of international significance has been built at Margueira; foreign ships totaling 13.5 million gross registered tons were repaired here in 1970. Setúbal, Azambuja, and Vendas Novas have automobile assembly plants (13, 700 employed in 1970) that use imported components. The manufacture of electrical and radioelectronic equipment is growing; 517,000 radio receivers and 64,000 television sets were assembled in 1970.

The chemical industry is represented mainly by the manufacture of inorganic products. The expanding petrochemical industry produces synthetic fibers, plastics, and other products of organic synthesis. Two-thirds of Portugal’s sulfuric acid and much of its fertilizer are manufactured at Barreiro. Other centers of the chemical industry are Lisbon and the nearby small cities of Olivais, Lavradio, Póvo de Santa Iria, and Alverca. New chemical plants have been built in Estarreja and Aveiro in northern Portugal.

Textile manufacture, a traditional industry, now employs some 135,000 persons and is oriented toward export. The cotton industry is concentrated in the northwest, in Porto, Braga, and Guimarães; most woollen fabrics are manufactured at Guarda

Table 3. Output of major Industrial products
1 1972
Electric power (billion kW-hr) ......
Pyrites (tons) ...............293,000277,000532,400
Tungsten, concentrate (WO3 content, tons) ...................3,0001,0002,400
Uranium ore (U3O8 content, tons) …8
Pig iron (tons) ...............241,000395,700
Steel (tons) ................222,000459,600
Tin (tons)..................500600700
Copper (refined, tons) ..........4,6004,000
Cement (million tons)...........
Sulfuric acid (100 percent H2SO4, tons) ...................211,000417,000450,000
Nitrogen fertilizer (tons) .........9,00061,000
Motor vehicles, assembly (units) ....1,00095,000
Cotton fabrics (tons) ...........30,30046,100
Natural silk fabrics (sq m)........36,000
Wool fabrics (tons) ............3,8005,500
Paper pulp (tons).............7,00099,000498,0001
Sardines, canned (tons) .........24,50053,80081,200

and Covilhã, in the sheep-raising mountain regions of eastern Portugal. Lisbon, Portalegre, and Viseu have textile enterprises producing fabrics made of artificial and synthetic fibers.

Enterprises producing leather goods and footwear are found throughout the country, and the clothing industry accounts for about one-third of all exports. The food and condiments industry produces primarily for export. Portugal is famous for its port and madeira wine, made in Porto and Coimbra and on the Madeira Islands (13.4 million hectoliters in 1974). Other important foodstuffs are olive oil (405,000 hectoliters) and canned fish (Porto and Setúbal).

Portugal also produces cement, glass, porcelain, and tiles, called azulejos, for the facing of houses. (See Table 3 for the industrial output.)

Agriculture. Portuguese agriculture is characterized by large estates and small or tiny farms. According to statistics from the 1950’s, more than 80 percent of Portugal’s roughly 800,000 farms have less than 3.5 hectares (ha). Whereas small hereditary family-owned farms are prevalent in the northern mountain areas, latifundia of up to 20,000 ha predominate in the central and southern plains. Medium-sized farms, called quintas, are found in some interior and coastal regions south of the Tejo River. Leasing and subleasing are common, and in some districts from one-third to one-half of all the farmland is leased. Neither the small tenant farmers nor the small landowners are in a position to engage in high-yield farming. Moreover, the owners of large estates are often content with their earnings from the harvest of cork and allow the rest of their land to lie uncultivated. More than two-thirds of those engaged in agriculture are either landless or have tiny plots and must hire themselves out as farm laborers. Although agricultural products account for a large part of Portugal’s exports, their value does not cover the import of farm products.

Portugal has 4.37 million ha of arable land, and meadows and pastures cover another 530,000 ha; woods, mainly brushwood, occupy 2.5 million ha. Of the island’s total land area of 314,000 ha, arable land covers 110,000 ha, meadows and pastures 50,000 ha, and forests and brushwood 10,000 ha. Irrigated land totaled 639,000 ha in 1968. A good deal of land lies waste. Some 34,500 tractors were in use in 1973.

CROP CULTIVATION. Commercial agriculture, including viticulture, horticulture, and olive growing, is largely oriented toward export. Vineyards, found throughout the country, are especially numerous in the coastal regions north of Lisbon and in the Tejo and Douro valleys. Olives, also grown everywhere, are a major crop in Alentejo province. Other important crops include apples, citrus fruit, and, on the islands, bananas, pineapples, and sugarcane. The chief food crops are wheat, corn, rye, rice, and beans. (see Table 4 for the sown area and harvest of the main crops.)

Table 4. Sown area and yield of principal crops
 Area (ha)Yield (tons)
1 Annual average for 1961–65
Rye .............298,000196,000119,000124,000
Beans ............427,000304,00061,000150,000
Potatoes ..........108,000112,0001,056,00011,020,000
Grapes ...........336,000355,0001,767,00011,470,000
Citrus fruit .........153,0001148,000

Alentejo Province accounts for more than half of the Portuguese wheat harvest. Corn is raised chiefly in the northwest, and 53.3 percent of the rice harvest comes from the irrigated land along the lower course of the Tejo.

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY. Cattle are raised chiefly on the small farms in the northwest, sheep are herded on mountain meadows in the interior, and pigs are kept everywhere, but mostly south of the Tejo River, where acorns in the oak forests serve as fodder. (See Table 5 for the livestock population and output of animal products.) Poultry numbered more than 16 million in 1972.

Table 5. Livestock population and animal products
1 Annual average
Dairy cows......................181,000192,000
Pigs ...........................1,636,0001,500,000
Horses .........................49,00030,000
Donkeys ........................192,000156,000
Products (tons)
Milk ...........................340,000470,000
Cheese .........................15,10016,900
Wool ..........................3,0003,400

FISHING. Marine fishing is a traditional branch of the Portuguese economy, with cod and sardines accounting for three-fourths of the annual fish catch of about 0.5 million tons. The main fishing ports are Lisbon, Setubal, Peniche, Porto, and Matozinhos.

FORESTRY. Forest industries, especially the production of cork, turpentine, and rosin, are vital to the economy. Up to 6.5 million cu m of round timber are produced annually; in 1972 the cork output was 192,200 tons.

Transportation. Portugal’s merchant marine totaled some 1.1 million gross registered tons in 1974. The country’s ports, of which Lisbon and Porto are the largest, have an average annual freight turnover of 23 million tons. Of Portugal’s 3,600 km of railroads in 1972, only the two-track stretch between Lisbon and Porto was electrified. Lisbon has a belt railroad and a subway system, built in 1959. In 1973 the country had 42,000 km of highways, of which 37,700 km were paved roads, and 920,000 motor vehicles, including motorcycles. The Tejo, Douro, and Guadiana rivers are used for shipping. Portugal has two international airports: Portela in Lisbon and Santa Maria in the Azores.

Foreign trade. Portugal has a chronic foreign trade deficit. In 1972 its exports totaled 41,480,000 escudos and its imports, 66,908,000 escudos. That year industrial and transportation equipment accounted for 30.5 percent of the total value of imports, petroleum and petroleum products for 6.25 percent, ferrous metals for 4.4 percent, raw materials, semifinished products, and metals for 7.4 percent, and textile goods for 9.7 percent. Semifinished and finished goods produced by the textile and clothing industries accounted for 24 percent of the value of exports, wine and beverages for 6.1 percent, fruit and vegetables (fresh and canned) for 4.6 percent, nonmetal raw materials for 7.5 percent, cork and wood products for 7.7 percent, chemical products for 5.1 percent, and fish and fish products for 3.2 percent. Portugal has recently begun to export electrical equipment, which contributes 5.3 percent of the value of its exports.

Portugal is a member of the European Free Trade Association. Its principal trading partners are the Common Market countries, which account for more than half of its foreign trade turnover. Most of the trade is with Great Britain, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Italy, and the USA. The end of Portugal’s economic isolation opened the way for economic and foreign trade relations with the socialist countries. Portugal entered into economic agreements with the Soviet Union in late 1974 and with Hungary and Rumania in 1975. The deficit in the balance of payments is covered by revenues from Portuguese investments abroad (7.6 billion escudos in 1971), the remittances of Portuguese working abroad (18.8 billion escudos), and foreign tourism (8.6 billion escudos).

The number of foreign tourists increased from 514,000 in 1963 to 4.2 million in 1973. The main tourist areas are the coast near Lisbon, with its famous seaside resort of Estoril, Algarve Province in southern Portugal, the Azores, and the Madeira Islands. The monetary unit is the escudo.


Cunhal, A. Ocherki po agrarnomu voprosu. Moscow, 1966. (Translated from Portuguese.)
Birot, P. Portugaliia. Moscow, 1952. (Translated from French.)
Lautensach, H. Iberische Halbinsel. Munich, 1964.
Ribeiro, O. Portugal o Mediterrâneo e o Atlântico. Lisbon, 1963.
Walker, D. S. The Mediterranean Lands. London-New York, 1960.
Anuario Estatistico (yearbook). 1875—.


In 1973, Portugal’s armed forces consisted of an army, an air force, a navy, and internal security forces. The head of state was the commander in chief, and the minister of defense and of the army exercised direct supervision over the armed forces through the staffs of the various branches. Portugal was divided into four military districts and one military governorship (Lisbon). The army was recruited on the basis of universal military service, and the draft age was 18 years. The term of service was two years in the army, three years in the air force, and four years in the navy.

In 1973 the armed forces had a total strength of about 220,000 men, excluding the internal security troops. The army of some 180,000 men consisted of one division; infantry, tank, artillery, and armored reconnaissance regiments; and separate infantry battalions. The armaments were supplied by the USA and the Federal Republic of Germany. The air force of some 20,000 men was equipped with about 160 combat planes, divided into several squadrons. The navy (about 18,000 men) had more than 50 warships, including four submarines, patrol ships, and landing vessels. Portugal also had a marine corps of more than 3,000 men. The chief naval base is at Lisbon.

Medicine and public health. According to statistics provided by the World Health Organization, Portugal had a birth rate of 20.1 and a mortality rate of 11.1 per 1,000 inhabitants in 1973. The infant mortality rate was 49.8 per 1,000 live births in 1971. The average life expectancy is 65.3 years for men and 71.0 years for women (1970). The leading causes of death are cardiovascular diseases, malignant tumors, and pneumonia. The most common infectious diseases are tuberculosis, malaria, typhoid, paratyphoid, children’s infections, and venereal diseases. Helminthiases, such as ascariasis and trichuriasis, are widespread. Ancylostomiasis, strongyloidosis, and schistosomiasis, brought to Portugal from the tropical countries, are encountered in places, particularly in the Azores, the Madeira Islands, and several southern provinces. Skin leishmaniasis occurs along the Atlantic coast, and cases of visceral leishmaniasis have been recorded throughout the country.

In 1971 there were 619 hospitals with 54,500 beds, or 6.3 beds per 1,000 inhabitants; only about 40 percent of the beds were in state-operated institutions. Outpatient care is provided by ambulatory divisions of hospitals, medical aid centers, and the offices of private practitioners. Other facilities include specialized medical institutions for the treatment of venereal diseases, trachoma, tuberculosis, and leprosy. There are also 66 health centers and 2,028 medical stations. In 1972, Portugal had about 9,000 doctors (one per 960 inhabitants), 2,600 pharmacists, and more than 5,000 middle-level medical personnel. Doctors are trained at three university medical faculties. The fascist regime spent only about 4.4 percent of the state budget on public health in 1970.

Portugal’s best-known spas are Pedras Salgadas and Vidago in Trás-os-Montes Province, Almofala and Amieira in Beira Baixa Province, and Brancas, Caldas da Rainha, Cascaies, and Torres-Vedras in Estremadura Province. The resorts of Cabeço de Montachique and Cámara near Lisbon are famous for their mineral springs. There are also resorts with thermal hydrogen sulfide waters: Aregos, Carvalhal, and San Pedro do Sul in Beira Alta Province. Also popular are the climatic resorts of Lisboa on the Atlantic coast and Funchal, Camacha, Santa Ana, and Santa Cruz on the Madeira Islands.


Veterinary services. Several dangerous infectious animal diseases are widespread in Portugal, including African swine fever (487 new outbreaks in 1973), classic hog cholera (128), swine erysipelas (346), and anthrax (one). Among other animal diseases are tuberculosis, salmonellosis, trichomoniasis, leptospirosis, Q-fever, strangles, leukosis, and helminthiases. Veterinary services and inspection are not available in some parts of Portugal. The Higher School of Veterinary Medicine in Lisbon conducts research and trains specialists. In 1973, Portugal had 670 veterinarians.

A law establishing compulsory education for children between the ages of seven and 13, passed in 1952, was virtually ignored prior to the overthrow of the fascist regime. About 38 percent of the population is illiterate. The new government is taking steps to eradicate illiteracy and expand the school system. The Catholic Church wields considerable influence in education. There are private as well as state schools.

There are few preschool institutions for children between the ages of three and six; in 1970 only some 17,000 children were enrolled in kindergartens. The primary schools offer six years of instruction, although one-room schoolhouses with four grades prevail in rural areas. In the 1970–71 school year the country’s 17,000 primary schools had an enrollment of 992,400 pupils, or 95 percent of the children between the ages of seven and 12.

Secondary schools (lycées), which charge tuition, admit those who have completed the fourth grade of a primary school. Secondary education is divided into two cycles of five and two years. The first cycle provides a general education, and the second is oriented toward either the humanities or the natural sciences. Graduates of the six-year primary school may enroll in various lower and secondary vocational schools with curricula lasting from one to five years. Primary school teachers are trained at two-year teachers colleges, open to graduates of the lycées. In the 1970–71 school year, 445,600 students were attending the various types of secondary schools. Of these, about 297,000 were enrolled in general secondary schools, 143,300 in vocational schools, and 5,300 in teachers colleges. The requirements for secondary school teaching are a university degree, passing examinations in education, and a period of practice teaching.

Portugal has five universities (three in Lisbon), of which the largest are the Universities of Coimbra, Lisbon, and Porto. The University of Coimbra, founded in 1290 in Lisbon and transferred to Coimbra in 1537, has faculties of letters, law, medicine, science, and pharmacy, as well as four institutes. The University of Porto, founded in 1911, has faculties of science, medicine, engineering, pharmacy, economics, and letters. In addition there are six institutes, the National Conservatory, and two higher schools of fine arts. A total of 50,100 students were enrolled in institutions of higher learning in the 1970–71 academic year.

The largest library is the National Library in Lisbon, founded in 1796, which has 1 million volumes. Among the most important museums are the Overseas Ethnographic Museum, the National Museum of Ancient Art, the National Museum of Contemporary Art, the Archaeological Museum, the Museum School of Decorative Arts, and the Military Museum, all in Lisbon. Also outstanding is the Natural History Museum in Coimbra.


The beginning of natural science and technology in Portugal, occurring prior to its secession from the kingdom of Léon in the late 11th and 12th centuries, coincides with the corresponding periods in the history of Roman and, later, Arab-Spanish science on the Iberian Peninsula. The Reconquest, completed in the late 13th century, the growth of cities, a measure of religious toleration, and the assimilation of the achievements of Arabic culture promoted advances in the natural sciences and technology. The University of Lisbon was founded in 1290.

During the Renaissance, Portugal’s geographic location and the colonial expansion that began in the 15th century stimulated the development of cartography, astronomy, and to some extent mathematics. Navigation techniques were improved, and new fast and highly maneuverable ships, called caravels, were built. Portuguese, as well as Spanish, expeditions ushered in the age of discovery. In the 14th century maps and roteiros (navigation charts) were compiled for a large part of the Atlantic Ocean. Around 1418, Henry the Navigator founded an observatory and a navigation school in Sagres. In the 15th and the early 16th centuries numerous expeditions were launched, leading to the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope by B. Dias (1488), the eastern coast of Brazil by P. Cabral (1500), and the sea route to India by Vasco da Gama, whose voyage (1497–99) initiated a new phase in the exploration of the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia.

Portuguese navigation and cartography surpassed that of other European countries down to the late 16th century. M. Behaim, who made the first known globe in 1492, worked in Portugal for many years. The declination tables for determining longitude, compiled by the royal astronomer A. Zacuto in the late 15th century, were widely used until the 18th century. In the mid-16th century the mathematician and astronomer P. Nunes invented the nonius and studied the loxodrome. A number of works on biology and medicine were published in the 16th and 17th centuries. Expeditions to the African and Asian mainlands and to Brazil were organized in the first half of the 17th century. On the whole, however, the 17th and 18th centuries were a period of stagnation in the natural sciences.

The late 18th century saw a revival of learning. Mathematics and natural science faculties, chemistry and physics laboratories, an observatory, a botanical garden, and a zoological museum were established at the University of Coimbra in 1772, and the Lisbon Academy of Sciences was founded in 1779. Visiting foreign scholars, mainly Italians, worked at both institutions. After the revolution of 1820 scientific work intensified, and learned societies, scientific commissions, and museums were founded. In 1852 polytechnic institutes were established in Lisbon and Porto.

In the 1870’s plans to build railroads in Africa and the general acceleration of colonial expansion by the European countries stimulated interest in the tropics. The Geographical Society and the Overseas Ethnographic Museum were founded in Lisbon in 1875. The African expeditions of A. Silva Pôrto (1852–53), A. Serpa Pinto (1877–79) and other explorers yielded much scientific information.

After the revolution of 1910 the University of Lisbon was reorganized, a university was opened in Porto, and several scientific institutions were founded. Before and during World War II the government encouraged mineral prospecting and the exploitation of mineral raw materials, especially tungsten. In the postwar period uranium exploration and mining have become increasingly important, and nuclear laboratories have been established. Research is under way in astronomy, geophysics, construction, and tropical medicine.


Afonso, A. M. História da civilização portuguesa, 2nd ed. Porto, 1952.
Cortesão, J. Os descobrimentos portugueses, vols. l-2. [Lisbon, 1959.]
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Moldenhauer, G. “Der Stand der Wissenschaften in Portugal.” Minerva Zeitschrift, 1925, part 3.
Pereira, A. da Silva. História da civilização portuguesa. Lisbon, 1957.
Selvagem, C, and H. Cidade. Cultura portuguesa, vols. 1–6, Lisbon, 1961–71.


In 1977 the Lisbon press included the weekly newspaper Avante! (founded in 1931 and published illegally prior to May 17, 1974), the main organ of the Portuguese Communist Party; the daily Diário da República (since 1820), an official government organ; the evening daily Diário de Lisboa (since 1920, circulation 30,000); the daily Diário de Noticias (since 1864, circulation 100,000); the evening daily Diário Popular (since 1942, circulation 132,000); the daily Jornal do Comércio (since 1853, circulation 20,000), the press organ of the industrial and commercial circles; and the daily A Luta (since 1975, circulation 80,000), the press organ of the Socialist Party. Other Lisbon newspapers include the Catholic daily Novidades (since 1885, circulation 10,000); the weekly Povo Livre (since 1974), the organ of the Social Democratic Party; the evening daily República (since 1911, circulation 80,000); the daily O Século (since 1880, circulation 30,000); and the illustrated weekly O Século Ilustrado (since 1939, circulation 63,000). Another large daily, O Correo do Minho, has been published in Braga since 1926.

The Portuguese information agency, the Agência Noticiosa Oficial Portuguesa, was founded in Lisbon in 1975. It replaces the Agência de Notísias e de Informações, established in 1947. The Portuguese radio and television network (Radiotelevisão Portuguêsa) has been under government control since June 1974. Radio programs are broadcast in Portuguese, English, Spanish, Italian, German, and other languages.


The earliest Portuguese literary works are A. Giraldes’ 14th-century heroic epic about the victory of Spanish and Portuguese forces over the Arabs at Salado in 1340, of which only fragments have survived, and folk lyrics in various genres, including cessantes and romanceiros. Portuguese courtly poetry, influenced by Provençal literature, also assimilated the traditions of folk poetry, particularly in such genres as the “songs about the beloved,” the “songs of jeer and abuse,” and the primitive vilhan-cico musical dramas. Numerous examples of the chivalric literature of the 13th through 15th centuries are contained in the cancioneiro collections, which include poems written by King Denis I (1261–1325), the knight J. Garcia de Guilhade (13th century), and the ecclesiastic A. Nunez. At this time the vernacular gradually replaced Latin as the language of religious writings, and Portuguese versions of general European hagiographies and religious legends appeared, as well as reworkings of French romances, notably the Breton cycle. From the early 15th century historical chronicles were written in which factual information was mingled with legend. The most important of these chronicles were compiled by F. Lopes (1380?-1460?) and G. Eanes de Azurara (1410?-1474).

Renaissance literature emerged in the late 15th century against a background of economic prosperity, incipient bourgeois relations, and increasing political vigor. G. Vincente (c. 1470-c. 1536), an early Renaissance writer and the founder of the Portuguese theater, attacked social evils and criticized the church in his plays. Most Portuguese Renaissance writers drew their inspiration from Italian models: B. Ribeiro (c. 1482–1552) wrote pastoral poetry, and the poet F. Sá de Miranda (1481–1558), who also wrote comedies of manners, was influenced by Petrarch. A. Ferreira (1528–69) is noted for his “comedies of character” and his tragedy Inês de Castro (1558). The plays of L. de Camões (born 1524 or 1525, died 1580), the greatest Portuguese Renaissance writer, belong to the genre of learned classical comedy. Camões also wrote poems in which sincere love is mingled with a sense of the disharmony of the world. His narrative poem Os Lusíadas (1572) describes Vasco da Gama’s voyage, but the main protagonist is the Portuguese people, whose courage and heroism are extolled in this national epic.

In the mid-16th century, a time of economic and political crisis, Renaissance literature declined. The influence of L. de Góngora y Argote spread in poetry, and mystical ideas became pervasive. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Renaissance humanist traditions were upheld only by the poet F. R. Lobo (early 17th century) and the playwrights S. Machado (1570?-16407), J. Ferreira de Vasconcelos (1515?-1585), A. Serrão de Castro (1610–85), also known for his satirical narrative poem The Rats of the Inquisition (published in 1883), and A. J. da Silva (1705–39).

Enlightenment ideas, introduced into Portuguese literature about 1750, infused the works of writers belonging to the literary societies Lisbon Arcádia (1756–64) and Nova Arcádia (founded 1790). Among the outstanding Enlightenment works are the plays of A. Correia Garção (1724–72) and the classical tragedies of M. de Figueiredo (1725–1801) and D. dos Reis Quita (1728–70). F. M. do Nascimento (1734–1819) wrote revolutionary and patriotic verse and N. Tolentino (1741–1811), M. M. du Bocage (1766–1805), and A. D. Cruz e Silva (1731–99) won renown for their satirical poems. Cruz e Silva is also known for his Enlightenment mock epic O Hyssope, written around 1768 and first published in 1802.

The works of such late 18th century poets as M. M. du Bocage foreshadow the romantic movement, engendered by the growth of national consciousness during the struggle against Napoleon’s invasion in 1807 and the subsequent national liberation war (1801–13) and bourgeois democratic revolution (1820). Romanticism reached its culmination in the 1830’s. Its founder was J. B. Almeida Garrett (1799–1854), best known for his patriotic narrative poems Camões (1825) and Dona Branca (1826) and his historical play Um Auto de Gil Vicente (1838). A. Herculano (1810–77) presented a panorama of Portugal’s social and political life over several centuries in his historical novels Eurico the Priest (1844) and The Cistercian Monk (1848). Among other important writers of the romantic school, which dominated literature until the late 1860’s, are the lyric poet A. F. de Castilho (1800–75), F. Gomes de Amorim (1827–91), a poet and the author of plays exposing social evils, and the novelist and playwright C. Castelo Branco (1825–90).

By the mid-19th century Portuguese literature reflected a greater interest in contemporary themes. Nevertheless the descriptions of everyday life in the plays of J. da Silva Mendes Leal (1818–86), the poems of J. de Deus (1830–1907) and other works were fused with an essential romantic perception of the world. The romantics were opposed by a group of writers known as the Coimbra school, who advocated realism. The school’s manifesto, “Good Sense and Good Taste” (1865), was written by A. de Quental (1842–91), a progressive public figure and the author of poems on civic and social themes, published in the collection Modern Odes (1865, second enlarged edition 1875). The Coimbra school included J. Dinis (1839–71), who wrote realistic novels depicting life in the provinces, and the poet C. Verde (1855–86). Its most famous representative was J. M. Eça de Queirós (1843–1900), who wrote the exposé novels The Sin of Father Amaro (1875) and The Illustrious House of Ramires (1897). The novels of F. Teixeira de Queirós (1848–1919) and A. Botelho (1856–1917) contain elements of naturalism. Realistic plays were written by J. da Câmara (1852–1908), A. M. de Guerra Junqueiro (1850–1923), and A. Enes (1848–1901). In the 20th century a decadent outlook entered Portuguese literature. Symbolism, introduced by A. Nobre (1867–1900), culminated in the poems of E. de Castro (1869–1944). The early works of F. Pessoa (1888–1935) and M. de Sá-Carneiro (1890–1915), Portugal’s greatest lyric poets of the 20th century, are written in the decadent style. The disillusionment with the bourgeois revolution of 1910 and the establishment of the fascist dictatorship in 1926 reinforced the pessimism of the Portuguese bourgeois intelligentsia and gave rise to modernist and left-wing currents. Extreme pessimism infuses the poetry of G. de Faria (1907–29), J. Bruges (1899–1952), and A. de Sousa (born 1898) and the plays of J. Almada Negreiros (born 1893) and B. da Fonseca (born 1905).

The growth of the democratic movement in the country affected the progressive writers, encouraging them to take up social themes and to portray life realistically. A truthful picture of reality is given in the novels of A. Ribeiro (1885–1963) and J. M. Ferreira de Castro (born 1898), whose novels The Storm (1940) and Wool and Snow (1947) portray the life of the working people. A. Rodrigues (born 1904) and T. Kim (born 1915) also deal with social problems.

In the 1940’s Portugal’s neorealist writers banded together in their struggle against the modernists, who had rallied around the journal Presença, founded in 1927. The neorealists, who held a central place in progressive Portuguese literature until the early 1960’s, depicted the social contrasts in contemporary Portugal. The neorealist approach is characteristic of the poetry of J. Gomes Ferreira (born 1900), the prose of A. Redol (1911–69), noted for his novels Fanga (1943) and Boat With Seven Helms (1958) and his trilogy Port Wine (1949–54), the prose of S. J. Pereira Gomes (1909–49), best known for his novella Esteiros (1944), and F. Namora Gonçalves (born 1919), who won fame with his exposé novels and his Stories From a Doctor’s Life (series 1–2, 1949–63). A persistent theme in the novels of M. da Fonseca (born 1911), M. do Nascimento (1912–66), A. Cabral (born 1917), C. de Oliveira (born 1921), and J. Cardozo Pires (born 1925) and the plays of L. F. Rebello (born 1924) is the struggle for democratic freedom and social justice. Since the overthrow of the fascist regime in 1974, progressive writers have been active in building a new, democratic Portugal.


Byla temnaia noch’: Rasskazy portugal’skikh pisatelei. Introduction by E. Riauzova. Moscow, 1962.
Antologiia portugal’skoi i brazil’skoi literatur (XIX-XX vv.) Leningrad, 1964.
Portugal’skaia poeziia XX v. Moscow, 1974. (Translated from Portuguese.)
Braga, T. História da literatura portuguesa, vols. 1–24. Porto, 1867–1907.
Saraiva, A. J. Historia da literatura portuguesa, 6th ed., Lisbon, 1961.
Ferreira, J. História da literatura portuguesa. 3rd ed. Porto, 1964.
Saraiva, A. J., and O. Lopes. História da literatura portuguesa, 6th ed. Porto [no date].
Dicionário geral luso-brasileiro da lingua portuguesa. Lisbon-Rio de Janeiro, 1963.


Paleolithic rock drawings, found at Santiago do Escoural, resemble those of Cantabria (Spain) and Aquitaine (France). Dolmens, pottery, and anthropomorphic slate figurines have survived from the Neolithic.

In the first half of the first millennium B.C., Lusitanian tribes built fortified hill settlements (citãnias) having round houses made of sandstone blocks. (Such dwellings are still found north of the Douro River.) Numerous conquerors enriched the local traditions of stone architecture: Roman ruins include the Temple to Diana at Evora, dating from the third and second centuries B.C., and the Visigoths left behind three-aisled basilicas, built in the seventh century. Arabic architecture influenced mainly the folk dwellings of southern Portugal—pisé structures combining living quarters and workshops under one flat roof. By the 12th century the Lusitanian settlements were becoming cities with irregular layouts.

Romanesque architecture, spreading southward in the wake of the Reconquest, was fortress-like and completely devoid of the decorative splendor characteristic of early Spanish architecture. Romanesque buildings include the enormous cathedrals at Braga, Viseu, Evora, and Lisbon, similar in composition to the structures at Cluny, as well as numerous monasteries and parish churches. Monastery churches built between the 12th and 14th centuries, Gothic in their ground plan and interior spatial composition, preserved a Romanesque exterior.

The Late Gothic style became the basis for the Manueline national decorative style that reached its apogee under King Manuel I (1495–1521). Its flowing plasticity contrasting sharply with the contemporaneous Spanish plateresque, the Manueline style blended fanciful naturalistic details (ship ropes, shells, and corals) with Gothic, Moorish, and even Indian motifs. Many monasteries were either built or rebuilt in the Manueline style, among them Santa Maria da Vitó ria in Batalha (1490–1522, architects Boytac and Mateus Fernandes the Elder) and Jerónimos in Lisbon (1502–20). The development of the Manueline style, which reflected the age of discovery and Portugal’s transformation into a colonial empire, was interrupted by the spread of Renaissance forms, which came into fashion at the court in the 1520’s. The leading Renaissance architect was Diogo de Torralva. Architecture declined under Spanish rule, which lasted from 1581 to 1640. The sculptural decoration of Portuguese Romanesque churches resembles woodcarving in its execution. Gothic plastic art flourished between the 13th and 15th centuries, particularly at Coimbra. Renaissance painting, for the most part the work of French masters (Nicolau Chanterene, Filipe Oudarte), is highly emotional and intensely dynamic. One of the greatest works of Portuguese 15th- and 16th-century painting, strongly influenced by early Netherlandish art, is the Altar of St. Vincent, with its highly individualized portraits, executed in the second half of the 15th century, probably by Nuño Gonçalves. Also outstanding are the archaic but austerely spiritual paintings of the Viseu school (Vasco Fernandes, Gaspar Vaz) and the more secular compositions of the Lisbon school (Gregorio Lopes, Jorge Afonso). Court portraits, reflecting the influence of A. Mor, were executed by Cristovã o de Morais. The distinctive decorative applied art of the 16th and 17th centuries, blending European and Oriental traditions, included furniture, rugs, fabrics, pottery in the Lusitanian-Oriental and Indian-Portuguese style, and azulejo tiles.

In the late 17th and 18th centuries urban construction was resumed, and regular layouts were developed for a number of cities, including Lisbon, which was rebuilt after the 1775 earthquake. The eclectic style adopted by F. Ludovice contrasted with the Portuguese variant of the baroque evolved in the north by the architects J. Antunes and N. Nasoni. The baroque buildings, compact and rational in composition, were relatively restrained in their ornamentation, which became rocaille after 1750. Buildings were faced with azulejo tiles, often completely covering the facades. In the 19th century Portuguese architecture was dominated by classicism.

Modern architectural ideas were widely introduced only after World War II. Symmetrical plans gave way to asymmetrical ones, and the latest structures and bold spatial solutions were adopted by F. K. Amaral, A. J. Pessoa, and other architects. In the 1950’s several districts in Lisbon and Porto were modernized. Apartment houses often semicircular or curving, following the bends of the streets, were constructed with loggias and sun-protective devices.

In the art of the 17th and 18th centuries baroque tendencies appeared in monumental wood and stone sculpture, as well as in terra-cotta altar figurines, called presepios (J. Machado de Castro, A. Ferreira). In the painting of the 18th and early 19th centuries, the traditions of the late Italian baroque (F. Vieira Lusitano) gave way to academic classicism (Vieira Portuense). D. A. de Sequeira, the greatest Portuguese romantic painter, drew his themes from the bourgeois revolution of 1820.

In the second half of the 19th and the early 20th centuries the dominant trend was realism, best represented by the sculpture of A. Soares dos Reis, the landscape and genre compositions of A. C. da Silva Porto and J. M. da Silva Oliveira and the easel paintings and murals of C. Bordalo Pinheiro. The cubist A. de Souza Cardoso and the abstractionist M. H. Vieira da Silva were strongly influenced by the Paris school. A neorealist current emerged in 1947. Led by J. Pomar, the neorealists turned to themes from Portuguese history and the life of the common people. Since the overthrow of the fascist regime a number of artists have sought to contribute to the progressive and democratic transformations through their art. Prominent among them are the mural painter R. Ribeiro and the graphic artist M. Gil. Traditional folk crafts include the production of majolica utensils, lace-making, weaving, and woodcarving (presépio, furniture, yokes).


Vseobshchaia istoriia iskusstv, vol. 2 (book 1); vol. 3. Moscow, 1960–62.
Vseobshchaia istoriia arkhitektury, vol. 4. Leningrad-Moscow, 1966. Vol. 5: Moscow, 1967. Vol. 7: Moscow, 1969.
Pamplona, F. de. Dicionário de pintores e escultores portugueses, ou que trabalharam em Portugal, vols. 1–4. Lisbon, 1954–59.
Kubler, G., and M. Soria. Art and Architecture in Spain and Portugal and Their American Dominions 1500 to 1800. Harmondsworth, 1959.
Gonçalves, A. M. Historiografia da arte em Portugal. Coimbra, 1960.
Smith, R. C. The Art of Portugal, 1500–1800. Lisbon, 1968.

Portuguese folk music, like its Spanish counterpart, with which it shares common roots, has ancient traditions and is remarkable for its richness and variety. Its modal structure includes medieval modes along with the major and minor modes. In its metric and rhythmic structure symmetrical phrases predominate, and alternating and mixed meters are encountered in the regions bordering on Spain.

Song and song-and-dance genres are more highly developed than instrumental ones. The most ancient songs are work songs; seasonal songs, including Christmas songs (vilhancicos), New Year songs (janeiras), and May songs (maias); and songs linked with church holidays (romarias). The most widely found song form is the fado, a lyric song sung solo to the accompaniment of a guitar, and the vira is a popular dance. The main song-and-dance genres are the chula, malhão, marrafa, caninha-verde, estaladinho, and farrapeira.

Among folk instruments, plucked string instruments are represented by the guitar, viola, and cavaquinho, wind instruments by the gaita (a fipple flute) and bagpipes, and percussion instruments by the zabumba (a large cylindrical drum), tamboril (a smaller drum), and pandeiro and adufe (round and square tambourines). Rural dances are accompanied by small instrumental ensembles consisting of guitars, violins, tamborils, and sometimes gaitas and triangles.

Professional music also has ancient traditions. Troubador music, some of the best of which was composed by the kings Alfonso III and Denis I, flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries. Vocal and instrumental polyphony reached a high level in the 15th and 16th centuries. The leading writers of polyphonic music were D. de Goes, M. Cardoso, M. R. Coelho, known for his collection The Flowers of Music (1620), F. Correa de Arauxo, famous for his collection of organ music (1626), and M. Pereira.

Italian opera companies performed in Lisbon from 1733, and Italian operatic art influenced Portuguese music down to the 20th century. Major composers of the 18th century include C. Seixas, who wrote for the organ and harpsichord, F. A. de Almeida, who composed the first Portuguese opera, Socrates’ Patience (1733), and J. de Sousa Carvalho, who wrote operas and instrumental music. The most famous operatic composer is M. Portugal, who wrote some 50 operas. Such eminent 19th-and early 20th-century composers as A. Keil, A. Machado, and J. Arroyo also wrote chiefly for the operatic stage.

The most important composers of the first half of the 20th century are J. Viana da Mota, also an outstanding pianist, conductor, and musicologist, O. da Silva, L. de Freitas Branco, R. Coelho, C. Carneyro, and F. Lopes Graça, the progressive public figure and music critic. The leading performing artist is the pianist S. Costa.

The center of the country’s musical life is Lisbon, the home of the São Carlos Opera House (founded 1793), the National Conservatory (founded 1835), a music academy, two symphony orchestras, the Polifonia Choir, and several musical societies. Porto and Coimbra are also major music centers.


The earliest known theatrical presentations—improvised performances by jongleurs and liturgical dramas—date from the 12th century. The emergence of Renaissance culture in the late 15th century stimulated the development of the theater and dramaturgy. The founder of the Portuguese theater is the playwright, actor and composer G. Vicente. Public theaters were established in Lisbon in the late 16th century. Nevertheless, the persecutions of the Inquisition and church censorship caused the theater to decline in the second half of the 16th and 17th centuries.

The ascendancy of romanticism in the 1820’s and 1830’s and the staging of J. B. Almeida Garret’s plays contributed to a theatrical revival. Through the efforts of Almeida Garret, the Conservatory of Dramatic Art was organized in Lisbon, and the Queen Maria II National Theater was founded in 1846, subsequently becoming the focus of theatrical culture in Portugal. The most famous actors and actresses of the 19th century were F. da Silva, E. das Neves, the brothers João and Augusto Rosa, E. Brazão, A. Abranches, and F. Taborda.

In the first quarter of the 20th century the Portuguese theater came under the influence of various modernist currents. Since World War II plays dealing with social problems have been staged only by small experimental theaters, often lacking buildings of their own. Only a few directors have shown an interest in the Portuguese classics or in great plays by foreign authors. The largest theaters in Lisbon, the center of Portugal’s theatrical life, are the Queen Maria II National Theater, the National Folk Theater, and the Lisbon Art Theater. There are also theaters in Porto and Coimbra. University theaters, generally semiprofessional, have proliferated. The repertoire of all these theaters includes plays by the contemporary playwrights L. S. Monteiro, B. Santareno, L. F. Rebello, C. Ferreira, A. Redol and R. Correia.

Among the leading actors and actresses of the first half of the 20th century are R. Monteiro, A. Rey Colaço, L. Simões, P. Bastos, M. Matos, A. da Cunha, E. Braga, and R. Paulo.


Rebello, L. F. História do teatro português. Lisbon, 1968.


The first Portuguese films were made in 1896, although regular film production began only after the founding of the Portugal Film Company in 1909. In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s several outstanding Portuguese stage directors, notably L. de Barros and M. de Oliveira, turned to filmmaking. The strict censorship during the fascist dictatorship hindered the development of a national cinematic art. Most of the pictures produced were commercial films. Among the few films of social and artistic significance were Oliveira’s Douro, Heavy Labor on the River (1931), Foolish Aniki (1942), and The Hunt (1965). The directors F. Lopes, E. de Sousa, and P. Rocha also produced some noteworthy films during the 1960’s. Portugal had about 400 motion picture theaters in 1974. [20–1149–3; UPDATED]

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Official name: Portuguese Republic

Capital city: Lisbon

Internet country code: .pt

Flag description: Two vertical bands of green (hoist side, two-fifths) and red (three-fifths) with the Portuguese coat of arms centered on the dividing line

National anthem: “A Portuguesa”

Geographical description: Southwestern Europe, border­ing the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Spain

Total area: 35,672 sq. mi. (92,391 sq. km.)

Climate: Maritime temperate; cool and rainy in north, warmer and drier in south

Nationality: noun: Portuguese (singular and plural); adjec­tive: 10,642,836

Population: 10,642,836 (July 2007 CIA est.)

Ethnic groups: Homogeneous Mediterranean stock with small minority groups from Africa (Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique), South America (Brazil) and Eastern Europe (Ukraine, Romania).

Languages spoken: Portuguese (official), Mirandese (offi­cial - but locally used)

Religions: Roman Catholic 84.5%, other Christian 2.2%, other 0.3%, unknown 9%, none 3.9%

Legal Holidays:

All Saints' DayNov 1
Assumption DayAug 15
Christmas DayDec 25
EasterApr 24, 2011; Apr 8, 2012; Mar 31, 2013; Apr 20, 2014; Apr 5, 2015; Mar 27, 2016; Apr 16, 2017; Apr 1, 2018; Apr 21, 2019; Apr 12, 2020; Apr 4, 2021; Apr 17, 2022; Apr 9, 2023
Good FridayApr 22, 2011; Apr 6, 2012; Mar 29, 2013; Apr 18, 2014; Apr 3, 2015; Mar 25, 2016; Apr 14, 2017; Mar 30, 2018; Apr 19, 2019; Apr 10, 2020; Apr 2, 2021; Apr 15, 2022; Apr 7, 2023
Immaculate ConceptionDec 8
Independence DayDec 1
Labor DayMay 1
Liberty DayApr 25
National DayJun 10
New Year's DayJan 1
Republic DayOct 5
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.


a republic in SW Europe, on the Atlantic: became an independent monarchy in 1139 and expelled the Moors in 1249 after more than four centuries of Muslim rule; became a republic in 1910; under the dictatorship of Salazar from 1932 until 1968, when he was succeeded by Dr Caetano, who was overthrown by a junta in 1974; constitutional government restored in 1976. Portugal is a member of the European Union. Official language: Portuguese. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: euro. Capital: Lisbon. Pop.: 10 072 000 (2004 est.). Area: 91 831 sq. km (35 456 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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