Por'tugal (named from Portus Cale, the Roman name of Oporto, q.v.), a kingdom of Europe, lying between Spain and the Atlantic, on the west side of the Iberian Peninsula, stretches 350 miles between 36° 59' and 42° 8' N. lat., and varies in width from 70 to 140 miles between 6° 10' and 9° 31' W. long. The area is 36,038 sq. m. - a little larger than Ireland. In 1851 the population numbered 3,487,000; in 1874, 4,160,315; and In 1900 it was 5,423,132. Some 20,000 persons emigrate every year, chiefly to Brazil. Lisbon and Oporto (356,000 and 167,955 respectively) are the only towns with above 25,000 inhabitants. The six home provinces are Minho, Traz os Montes, Beira, Estremadura, Alemtejo, and Algarve; to which are to be added the Azores and Madeira, always reckoned not as colonies but as parts of the mother-country.

The coast is mostly low and flat, except immediately north and south of the mouth of the Tagus, and at Cape St Vincent. The two northern provinces are diversified by spurs (5000 feet) of the mountains of Spanish Galicia. The Sierra da Estrella (6540 feet) is a westward continuation of the Spanish Sierra Guadarrama system. The Sierra Morena is continued westwards in southern Portugal. So the principal rivers of the country - the Guadiana in the south, the Tagus in the centre, and the Douro and Minho in the north - are simply the lower courses of Spanish rivers; but the Mondego has its sources in the country. Minerals are little worked from want of fuel and cheap means of transit. Salt is prepared; copper, iron, lead, manganese, antimony, gypsum, lime, and marble are exported. The vicinity to the ocean tempers the climate, and exempts it from the dry heat of Spain. The inequalities of the surface produce, however, diversities of climate; for, while snow falls abundantly on the mountains in the northern provinces, it is never seen in the southern lowlands. Rain falls abundantly throughout the year. Malaria and fever prevail in the low flat lands and near the salt-marshes. The soil is generally rich, except in the mountainous parts; but agriculture is everywhere in a backward state, little more than half the area of the country being put to profitable use. Maize, wheat, rye, barley, and rice are grown, but not in sufficient quantity for the wants of the people; also potatoes, vegetables (especially onions), flax, fruits (oranges, lemons, chestnuts, almonds, &c). But the vine and the olive maintain the most prosperous industries; the wine annually produced (especially port, named from Oporto) amounts to 88,000,000 gallons. Silkworms and bees are kept, and fish (tunnies and sardines) are abundant. Some 50,000 persons weave wool, and the others cut cork, manufacture cotton, linen, silk, leather, glass and porcelain, paper, and gold and silver filigree, etc. The mercantile marine comprises only 280 ships of little over 86,000 tons; most of the commerce is carried in British bottoms. The exports, principally wine (more than half of the whole, and sent mainly to Britain, also to Brazil and France), copper, salt, cork, fish, oxen, fruits, vegetables, and wool, average 0 millions sterling in value annually. The value of all the exports sent to Great Britain every year ranges from 2 1/2 to 4 millions sterling. From Great Britain Portugal imports chiefly cottons (1/2 to 3/4 million sterling), woollens, coal, metals, machinery, and butter, to the annual value of 1/2 to 3/4 million sterling. Her total imports, which also embrace bullion, flour and wheat, glass, live-stock, silk, timber, linen, etc, have reached the value of 12 millions. The revenue, from 12,000 to 13,000, is usually exceeded by the expenditure. The debt has reached near 170,000,000, and the finances are in an utterly deranged condition. There are over 1490 miles of railway. The army is about 35,000 men - on a war footing, 150,000. The navy has five armoured cruisers and over twenty third-class cruisers, besides torpedo-boats, etc. The colonies of Portugal are as follows:

Africa -

Area in sq. m.


Cape Verde Islands.................................






St Thomas and Prince's Island..................



Angola, Ambriz, Benguela, Mossamedes, and Congo..............................



East Africa.................................................



Asia -

Goa (in India)...........................................



Diu, Daman, etc......................................



Timer, etc.................................................



Macao (in China)....................................






The state religion is that of the Church of Rome. There are three ecclesiastical provinces presided over by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon and two other archbishops, and fourteen bishops. The monasteries were dissolved in 1834. Compulsory education was enacted in 1844, but is very feebly enforced, and Portugal is far behind in public instruction. The one university at Coimbra (1300), one of the oldest in Europe, has five faculties, 75 professors, and about 1060 students. Portugal is a constitutional monarchy, the crown being hereditary alike in the female and the male line. The Cortes consists of the House of Peers and the House of Deputies.

The Portuguese are a mixed race - originally Iberian or Basque, with later Celtic admixture. Jewish and Arabic blood are strongly present in the centre, and African in the south. The Portuguese differ widely from their Spanish brethren, whom they regard with inveterate hatred and jealousy, mainly on account of their attempts to subvert the independence of Portugal. Like the rest of Iberia, Portugal (the southern part of which was known to the Romans as Lusitania, often taken as a poetical name for the whole country) was thoroughly Romanised after the conquest of the Carthaginians by the Romans in 138 B.C. Then the peninsula was overrun by the Visigoths, and next by the Saracens (see Spain). Northern Portugal fell under the influence of Castile; but under Alfonso I. (1143) Portugal became an independent kingdom, though the Saracens were not conquered in the south till 1250. Wars with Castile were frequent. Under John (1385-1433) began a close alliance between Portugal and England, and the Portuguese king John married John of Gaunt's daughter. With their son, Prince Henry the Navigator (died 1460), began the most brilliant era of over-sea enterprise and conquest, including the acquisition of Madeira, the Azores, and the doubling of the Cape of Good Hope (1486), the reaching of India by sea and settlements there (1497), and the discovery and occupation of Brazil (1500). In the 16th century Portugal was one of the most powerful monarchies of Europe, and most prosperous of commercial peoples; but its decline was swift, and Philip II. annexed Portugal to Spain for sixty years. English assistance secured the independence of the kingdom in 1640 (recognised by Spain in 1668); but the glory had departed. Portugal shared in the troubles of the French occupation and the Peninsular war; after Napoleon's defeat, the old family, which had taken refuge in Brazil, was restored; but the country was rent by intrigue, dissension, and civil war. The rush of the European powers to occupy central and southern Africa stirred Portugal to tenaciously cling to her once great colonial empire in Africa; but the march of events has given to Britain, Germany, France, and the Congo Free State, much that Portugal once claimed as hers.

See Crawfurd, Portugal, Old and New (1880); Salisbury, Portugal and its People (1893); Murray's Handbook; and the histories by M'Murdo (1888) and Morse Stephens (1890).