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Portugal

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Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic (Portuguese: República Portuguesa), is a country on the Iberian Peninsula in Southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost country of mainland Europe. To the west and south it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and to the east and north by Spain. The Portugal–Spain border is 754 miles (1,213.4 kilometers) long and considered the longest uninterrupted border within the European Union. The republic also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments.

The territory of modern Portugal has been continuously settled, invaded and fought over since prehistoric times. The Pre-Celts, Celts, Carthaginians and the Romans were followed by the invasions of the Visigothic and the Suebi Germanic peoples. In 711 the Iberian Peninsula was invaded by the Moors, making Portugal part of Muslim Al Andalus. Portugal was born as result of the Christian Reconquista, and in 1139, Afonso Henriques was proclaimed King of Portugal, thus firmly establishing Portuguese independence.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal established the first global empire, becoming one of the world's major economic, political and military powers. During this time, Portuguese explorers pioneered maritime exploration in the Age of Discovery, notably under royal patronage of Prince Henry the Navigator and King João II, with such notable discoveries as Bartolomeu Dias's reach of the Cape of Good Hope (1488), the Vasco da Gama's sea route to India (1497–98) and the discovery of Brazil (1500). Portugal monopolized the spice trade during this time, and the Portuguese Empire expanded with military campaigns led in Asia. But the destruction of Lisbon in a 1755 earthquake, the country's occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, the independence of Brazil (1822), and the Liberal Wars (1828–34), all left Portugal crippled from war and diminished in its world power.

After the 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy, the democratic but unstable Portuguese First Republic was established, later being superseded by the Estado Novo right-wing authoritarian regime. Democracy was restored after the Portuguese Colonial War and the Carnation Revolution in 1974. Shortly after, independence was granted to almost all its overseas territories, marking the end of the longest-lived colonial empire. Portugal has left a profound cultural and architectural influence across the globe and a legacy of over 250 million Portuguese speakers today.

Portugal is a developed country with a high-income advanced economy and a high living standard. It is the 5th most peaceful country in the world, maintaining a unitary semi-presidential republican form of government. It has the 18th highest Social Progress in the world, putting it ahead of other Western European countries like France, Spain and Italy. A founding member of NATO and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, it is also a member of numerous other international organizations, including the United Nations, the European Union, the eurozone, and OECD.

Portugal is a pioneer when it comes to drug decriminalization, as the nation decriminalized the possession of all drugs for personal use in 2001. Moreover, after years of investment and cooperation, Portugal marked a climax on renewable energy worldwide in 2016, when it was powered for 107 consecutive hours exclusively by wind, sun, and water, which advocates say further shows fossil fuels are indeed replaceable.

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