Portugal ble etablert som et selvsetndig kongedømme i 1139, og hevder selv å være den eldste nasjonalstaten i Europa.
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In the 15th and 16th centuries, as the result of pioneering the Age of Discovery, Portugal expanded western influence and established a global empire that included possessions in Africa, Asia, Oceania, and South America, becoming one of the world’s major economic, political and militarypowers. The Portuguese Empire was the first global empire in history, and also the longest lived of the European colonial empires, spanning almost 600 years, from the capture of Ceuta in 1415, to the grant of sovereignty to East Timor in 2002. However, the country’s international status was greatly reduced during the 19th century, especially following the Independence of Brazil, its largest colony