Portugal: key historical events
Page last modified 11/9/2020
2002, Portugal adopted the Euro.
18/9/1987, Americo Tomas, 14th President of Portugal, died (born 1894).
9/6/1983, In Portugal, a centre-Left coalition took office under Mario Soares.
30/10/1982, New Constitution in Portugal ended the influence of the military in government.
4/12/1980, Francisco Sa Carneiro, Prime Minister of Portugal, died in an air crash. He was succeeded on 21/12/1980 by Francisco Pinto Balsemao.
26/10/1980, Marcelo Caetano, Portuguese politician, died aged 74.
25/4/1976. Portugal held legislative elections, exactly a year after the previous elections.
2/4/1976, Portugal adopted a new Constitution with a commitment to socialism.
26/11/1975, Attempted coup in Portugal by left-wing soldiers was foiled.
26/4/1975, In Portugal’s first free elections for 50 years, former exile Mario Soares won for the Portuguese Socialist Party.
14/7/1974, Left-wing government took office in Portugal, under Colonel Vasco Goncalves.
15/5/1974, General Spinola became ruler of Portugal, see 25/4/1974. A moderate conservative senior army officer, Spinola was unable to block the rise of the Communists in Portugal and he resigned in September 1974. Spinola attempted a counter-coup against the Communists in March 1975 but this failed. In April 1975 Mario Soares’s moderate socialist party won elections, but power remained with the Supreme Revolutionary Council of Marxist Officers, led by Captain Otelo de Carvalho. Portugal seemed to be on the way to becoming a Communist state, but in November 1975 moderate socialists under Colonel Ramalho Eanes arrested Carvalho and other communist officers, with little resistance. Eanes became president in 1976 with Soares as Prime Minister, restoring democracy.
25/4/1974, A military coup in Portugal. PM Marcello Caetano was overthrown in an almost bloodless military coup organised by left-wing junior officers of the secret Movimento das Forcas Armadas (MFA). There was dissatisfaction with Portugal’s demoralising colonial wars in Angola and Mozambique. The coup provoked rejoicing in Lisbon and the red carnation was adopted as symbpl of the revolution. See 15/5/1974.
27/7/1970, The Portuguese Fascist dictator Antonio Salazar died, aged 81. He was replaced by Marcello Caerano.
27/9/1968, Antonio Salazar resigned as Prime Minister of Portugal, after holding the office for 36 years and 84 days, the longest term of office of any politician. Aged 79, he had suffered a major stroke.
29/6/1956, Pedro Santana Lopes, Prime Minister of Portugal, was born.
1/12/1954, The Estádio da Luz football stadium opened in Lisbon, Portugal.
1949, Portugal became a founder member of NATO.
29/4/1944, Bernardino Machado, President of Portugal, died.
1939-1945, Portugal was neutral during World War Two, but let the Allies use its air bases on The Azores.
30/6/1937, Portugal stopped co-operating with the Non-Intervention Committee patrol agreement and ordered British observers off its soil.
5/7/1932. Oliveira Salazar became virtual dictator of Portugal at the head of a Fascist regime. Portugal was in the middle of an economic and political crisis.
2/7/1932, Manoel II, ex-King of Portugal, died.
30/7/1930, In Portugal, the Fascist National Union Party was formed.
3/2/1927, In Portugal, a revolt began against dictator General Carmona; the revolt was defeated on 13/2/1927.
19/10/1921, Portuguese PM Antonio Granjo was assassinated.
19/1/1919. A pro-monarchist uprising in Portugal; the monarchy was proclaimed at Oporto.
15/12/1918, The Portuguese President Sidonio Paes was assassinated.
1917, Manoel Jose de Arriaga, first elected President of Portugal 1911-15 after the overthrow of King Manuel II (born 1840), died.
1916, Portugal fought on the Allied side in World War One.
21/10/1913, An attempted pro-Royalist revolution in Portugal was suppressed by the government.
3/10/1910. A revolution in Portugal ousted King Manoel II after a 2-year reign. The monarch, set up in 1128, ended. He and his mother left for England, where he died in 1932, and Portugal became a Republic under 67-year-old Teofilo Braga, on 7/10/1910.
1/2/1908, Carlos I, King of Portugal, was assassinated along with his son, Prince Luiz, by soldiers after a failed revolution. He was succeeded by his 18-year old younger son, Manoel II.
19/1/1902, Maria Cristina, Infanta of Portugal and Spain, died aged 68.
12/4/1894, Francisco Craveiro Lopes, 12th President of Portugal (1951-58), was born in Lisbon.
19/10/1889, King Luis I of Portugal died aged 51 (born 1838). He was succeeded by his son, Carlos I, aged 26.
14/11/1866, Miguel I, King of Portugal, died.
28/9/1863, Carlos I, King of Portugal, was born (died 1/2/1908).
15/11/1853, Maria II of Portugal died, aged 34. She was succeeded by her 16-year-old son, Pedro V.
16/5/1834, The 6-year civil war in Portugal ended. Miguel was defeated and left the country.
4/7/1828, Dom Miguel, Regent of Portugal, had himself proclaimed King after a coup in May 1828. Civil war began and his niece, 9-year old Maria, was taken to England for her safety.
10/3/1826, King John VI of Portugal died aged 56. He was succeeded by his son, Dom Pedro of Brazil, as Pedro IV; however Pedro IV refused to leave Brazil, and abdicated in favour of his infant daughter, Maria.
24/8/1820, A revolt broke out in Portugal as discontent grew over excessive British influence in the country, and the absence of the King, who was still in Brazil.
20/3/1816, Queen Maria I of Portugal died aged 81. She was succeeded by her son, Joao I, but he remained in Brazil.
24/2/1777, Joseph I, King of Portugal, died.
1765, Portugal abolished the auto-da-fe (act of faith) parade in Lisbon; this had often been used as an excuse for antisemitism or persecution of ‘heretic’ Christians.
25/8/1762, The city of Almeida was captured by Spain, from Portugal. Portugal was allied with Britain in a war against Spain.
1/11/1755, An earthquake reduced two thirds of Lisbon to rubble, killing 60,000 people. Lisbon had been a great city with a population of about a quarter of a million. The quake has been estimated at Richter 9, and caused cracks as wide as 5 metres in the ground to open. Further destruction was caused when a 6 metre high tsunami struck, drowning many who had sought refuge on ships in the harbour. Fire then destroyed many more buildings. Striking on All Saints Day, the quake caused many to be sceptical of God’s existence, and the event spurred research into natural causes for disasters rather than Acts of God, laying the foundations for the Enlightenment.
31/7/1750, Joao V of Portugal died aged 61, after reigning for 44 years. He was succeeded by his son, 35, Jose Manuel.
22/10/1689, John V, King of Portugal, was born.
14/1/1659, The Battle of Elvas practically ensured Portuguese independence from Spain.
6/11/1656, Joao V of Portugal died, aged 53. He was succeeded by his 13-year old son, Alfonso VI.
13/12/1640, The Duke of Braganza was crowned John IV, King of Portugal.
1/12/1640. Portugal regained its independence from the Spanish.
1594, Lisbon closed its spice market to Dutch and English traders; at this time Portugal was in personal union with Spain, both being ruled by Philip II, and England was helping the Dutch to gain independecnce from Spain. This forced traders from those countries to get their spices directly from India, and the creation of the Dutch East India Company followed.
4/8/1578, Sebastian, King of Portugal, was killed in the Battle of Al Kasr al Kebir in Morocco, where Portuguese forces were annihilated by a larger Muslim army. 7,000 Portuguese soldiers were killed and a further 8,000 were taken prisoner. The Portuguese throne was left without an heir, ending the Avis Dynasty, and enabling Philip II of Spain to claim it in 1580.
6/6/1557, John III, King of Portugal, died on his 55th birthday. He was succeeded by his 3-year old grandson, Sebastian.
22/4/1529, The Treaty of Saragossa divided the eastern hemisphere between Spain and Portugal, along a north-south line 17 degrees, 9297.5 leagues) east of the Moluccas.
13/12/1521, Manuel I, 14th King of Portugal, died aged 52 (born 3/5/1469). He was succeeded by his son, Joao III.
16/12/1515, Alphonso D’Albuquerque, Portuguese naval military expert, died at sea.
3/2/1509, Portugal defeated the Ottoman fleet at the Battle of Diu, Indian Ocean. Portugal was moving to dominate the spice trade, which had been lucrative for the Sultan of Gujarat, Mahmud Begada. Begada was supported by other beneficiaries of the established trade; Egypt, the Ottoman Empire and Venice. However the Portuguese ships, built to withstand the rigours of a long voyage, were superior, and Portugal’s victory gave them control of the Indian spice trade for a century.
6/6/1502, John III, King of Portugal, was born.
21/5/1502, The Portuguese explorer Joao de Nova discovered the island of St Helena, in the south Atlantic.
1500, The Portuguese discovered Brazil.
25/10/1495, King Manuel I became rule of Portugal, on the death of King Joao II, aged 40.
7/6/1494, The Treaty of Tordesillas was signed. In 1493, Pope Alexander VI had set a line at 100 leagues west of the Cape Verde islands from north to south Pole; Spain had the rights to colonise west of this line, Portugal to the east. The 1494 Treaty moved this line a further 270 leagues to the west. This resulted in Portugal having possession of both Brazil and Africa; in turn this greatly facilitated the expansion of the slave trade, providing cheap labour for the sugar plantations.
31/8/1486, The Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Diaz set sail for India.
1482, The Portuguese constructed a fort at Sao Jorge da Mina,Gold Coast (now Elmina, Ghana) for securing the Portuguese monopoly in the west African gold trade. By the early 1500s, some 680kg of gold a year was being shipped to Portugal from this fort.
29/8/1481, John II of Portugal began to rule in his own right.
6/3/1480, The Treaty of Toledo: Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain recognised the African conquests of Alphonso of Portugal, and he ceded the Canary Islands to Spain.
4/9/1479, The Treaty of Alcovas between Portugal and Spain confirmed Castile’s claim on the Canary Islands, and Portugal’s claim on the Azores and Madeira, also Portuguese rights in west Africa.
1470, Portuguese explorers reached the Equator.
1469, The Portuguese King, Alfonso V agreed that,in return for an annual fee, merchant explorer Fernao Gomes would be allowed to continue to push Portuguese exploration efforts further down the west African coast. Ultimately this also opened the way for Portuguese penetration into Brazil.
9/5/1386, The Treaty of Windsor cemented the alliance between England and Portugal.
14/8/1385, The Battle of Aljubarrota. Portugal secured its independence against Spain. King Joao (John) I took power, and ruled until 1433. He started the Avis Dynasty.
22/10/1383, Ferdinand I, King of Portugal, died.
22/4/1357, John I, King of Portugal, was born (died 11/8/1433).
12/9/1297, King Denis of Portugal and King Ferdinand IV of Castile signed the Treaty of Alcanizes. The geographic limits of Portugal were fixed permanently, with the exception of São Félix de Galegos, lost in 1640 and Olivenza, lost in 1801.
4/1/1248, King Sancho II of Portugal died. He was succeeded by King Alfonso III (born 2/5/1210, died 16/2/1279)..
1185, Death of King Alfonso Henriques I of Portugal. He had proclaimed himself King of Portugal in 1139,after a successful defeat of the Muslims, seizing power from his mother; his father, Henry of Burgundy, First Count of Portugal, had died when Alfonso (born 1110) was just two years old. He defeated the Muslims at Ourique (1139) and Lisbon (1147), later taking from them the provinces of Galicia, Estremadura and Elvas.
28/10/1147. The Moslems in Lisbon surrendered peacefully to an allied Christian force under Portugal’s Alfonso Henriques I. The Moslem inhabitants were allowed to depart peacefully.
25/7/1139, King Afonso Henriques I (1110-85) of Portugal defeated the Muslims at Ourique. Portugal. Battle of Ourique, Portugal. Afonso Henriques attacked the Muslims, defeating a larger army than his own, but one weakened by internal divisions. This gained him the support of the Pope. Afonso was now proclaimed the first King of Portugal.
739, The Kingdom of Asturias expanded into modern-day Portugal.
718, At the Battle of Covadonga, the Kingdom of Asturias, north-western Spain, defeated the Arabs and escaped occupation by them. However Islamic expansion continued in other regions and by the 720s they controlled an area from Provence to the borders of China.
715, Lisbon fell to the Arabs.