Portugal Overview

The events that have characterized the history of Portugal are inextricably linked to its particular geographical position: facing West and South to the Atlantic Ocean for about 800 km, the country is the extreme western offshoot of the Old World and for several centuries it has been able to count on two natural strategic outposts in the Atlantic: the archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, two autonomous regions that belong to it since the century. XV. A maritime nation par excellence, Portugal constitutes one of the oldest political units in Europe and represents a rather singular geopolitical case, having managed to maintain roughly the same borders since the century. XIII. This stability is certainly due to the tenor of its relations with the rest of Europe: separated from the heart of the continent by the vast Spanish territory, the country has always placed itself in an eccentric position, so to speak: little affected by the great invasions of history, excludes the Arab, which has left a notable mark on the territory, preferred to create another world beyond the sea rather than entertain relations with the European powers. The ocean for centuries has therefore represented the single center of the interests of Portuguese life in all fields: from economics to politics, even to art; from it this small state has drawn its greatest resources, but also great instability. From the adventurous explorations and from the colonies, on which it has imposed its own culture, one of the largest modern empires was born, which over the centuries has been able to ensure the country moral strength and dignity of great power, even in the face of the ever looming danger of Spanish absorption: in the eastern part, in fact, the borders are not defined by natural and morphological elements (the mountainous region constitutes only the extension of the Spanish Meseta), on the contrary the territory of the country is fundamentally characterized in terms of language and pure and simple tradition Human. Like this, dictatorship that lasted half a century (for 36 years without interruption in the hands of António de Oliveira Salazar), remaining anchored to political, social and economic concepts that the rest of the Western world had long since overcome and that had ended up seriously compromising the country’s economy. However, even with serious delays compared to the other great colonial powers, new realities were imposed for Portugal as well and, under the pressure of the emerging forces of African nationalism, in the mid-1970s the empire with its secular history dissolved. and the colonies were granted national independence. Precisely from the confrontation with the new demands of the Third World in Africa, those profound transformative movements began thanks to which the country has definitively turned its back on the past, entering the new context of EEC. first (joining took place in 1986) and then by the European Union and participating in a more dynamic way in European and world events. While still having to face conditions of backwardness and failure in public administration, the country has entered the 21st century with the desire to improve the health of its economy, which has recovered slightly after the recession that occurred in 2002-2003.


Portugal has been a republic since 1910, but from May 28, 1926 to April 25, 1974 it was subjected to dictatorial regimes. Power, following a bloodless coup d’état (Carnation Revolution), then passed to a military junta and subsequently to a Revolutionary Council made up of progressive soldiers. The real transition to democracy took place with the 1976 elections, which brought the socialist Mario Soares to the government. On April 2, 1976, the new Constitution was approved, which was then subject to radical amendments in 1982 and 1989: in particular, presidential powers and the protection of the military were reduced and the collectivist rules dating back to the first draft of the Constitution were abolished. corporate. According to the new Constitution, the President of the Republic, elected for five years by universal suffrage, appoints the Prime Minister. The single-chamber National Assembly has the legislative function and its 230 members are elected by universal suffrage every four years with the proportional system. The government is responsible to the Assembly, which must obtain its trust, made up of the Prime Minister and the various ministers, who have executive power.. The Portuguese judicial system is based on continental law. The armed forces are divided into three sections: army, navy and air force; to these are added a Republican National Guard, a Public Security Police and a Border Guard. There is also a US military base in the Azores islands, for which Portugal receives US $ 55 million annually.

According to anycountyprivateschools, the history of education in Portugal dates back to the 10th century. XIII, a period in which a considerable boost was given to the development of culture with the creation of agricultural schools and the first university (Coimbra, 1290). From the middle of the century. XVI to 1750 the Jesuits monopolized education and the country’s cultural development suffered a setback. Near the end of the century. XVIII the system was renewed and from the beginning of the century. XX the educational organization passed to the Ministry of Education, which instituted compulsory schooling. Under the modern institution system, education is compulsory and free from six to 15 years of age and is given in public schools. It is divided into three cycles: the first of four years, the second of two and the third of three. The optional secondary education lasts three years, like the courses of the technical-vocational schools. Higher education is university (licenciatura, from four to six years) or technical (three years),. Illiteracy affects 5.1% of the population (2007).

Portugal Overview

You may also like...