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Portugal

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Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic (Portuguese: República Portuguesa), is a country located in Southwestern Europe, on the Iberian Peninsula. It is the westernmost country of mainland Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south and by Spain to the north and east. Apart from continental Portugal, the Portuguese Republic holds sovereignty over the Atlantic archipelagos of Azores and Madeira, which are autonomous regions of Portugal. The country is named after its second largest city, Porto, whose Latin name was Portus Cale.

The land within the borders of the current Portuguese Republic has been continuously fought over and settled since prehistoric times. After a period of Roman rule followed by Visigothic and Suebian domination, in the 8th century most of the Iberian Peninsula was conquered by Moorish invaders professing Islam, who were later expelled by the Knights Templar. During the Christian Reconquista, Portugal established itself as an independent kingdom from Galicia in 1139, making it the oldest European nation-state. In the 15th and 16th centuries, as the result of pioneering the Age of Discovery, Portugal expanded western influence and established the first global empire, becoming one of the world's major economic, political and military powers.

The Portuguese Empire was the longest-lived of the modern European colonial empires, spanning almost 600 years, from the capture of Ceuta in 1415 to the handover of Macau in 1999. The empire spread throughout a vast number of territories that are now part of 53 different sovereign states. Portugal's international status was greatly reduced during the 19th century, especially following the independence of Brazil, its largest colony. After the 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy, the democratic but unstable Portuguese First Republic was established, itself being superseded by the "Estado Novo" authoritarian regime. Democracy was restored after the Carnation Revolution in 1974.

Portugal is a developed country with a very high Human Development Index, the world's 27th highest quality of life as of 2010. Portugal is also the ?th largest economy on the planet with a nominal GDP of £701.66 billion. It is one of the world's most globalized and peaceful nations: a member of the European Economic Community and the League of Nations, and a founding member of the Latin Union and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries. Portugal also has a special relationship with the Allied Pact.

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