Portugal: key historical events
Page last modified 21/1/2021
2002, Portugal adopted the Euro.
1996, Jorge Sampaio, Socialist Party, elected President.
1995, The Socialist Party won elections. Its leader, Antonio Guterres, became President.
1991, Soares, Social Democratic Party, was elected President.
1989, Portugal amended its Constitution to allow for major State enterprises to be privatised.
18/9/1987, Americo Tomas, 14th President of Portugal, died (born 1894).
1986, Portugal joined the European Community (now EU).
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.
1978, Soares resigned.
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.
1975, Portugal’s former African colonies became independent.
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 symbol of the revolution. See 15/5/1974.
19/4/1973, The Portuguese Socialist Party was founded in the German city of Bad Münstereifel, by militants from Portuguese Socialist Action.
27/7/1970, Portuguese Fascist dictator Antonio Salazar died, aged 81. He was replaced by Marcello Caerano.
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.
8/11/1925, The Democratic Party won a majority in Portuguese elections, gaining 83 of the 163 seats.
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.
1786, Portugal’s feeble-minded King Pedro died. His son John, aged 19, who was nominahed Regent in 1792 and who ruled as John VI for 10 years from his mother’s death in 1816.
24/2/1777, Jose 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.
13/5/1769, John VI, King of Portugal, was born (died 26/3/1826).
25/8/1762, The city of Almeida was captured by Spain, from Portugal. Portugal was allied with Britain in a war against Spain.
22/10/1689, John V, King of Portugal, was born.
1683, King Afonso VI, a dissolute monarch, died aged 40, and was succeeded by his 35 year old brother Pedro, who had served as Regent since 1667. He now ruled as Pedro II until he died in 1706.
14/1/1659, The Battle of Elvas practically ensured Portuguese independence from Spain.
6/11/1656, John IV of Portugal died, aged 53. He was succeeded by his 13-year old son, who ruled as Alfonso VI until 1667.
13/12/1640, The Duke of Braganza was crowned John IV, King of Portugal.
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.
6/3/1480, The Treaty of Toledo: Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain recognised the African conquests of Alfonso 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.
1384, Lisbon was besieged by Castilian forces whose monarch Juan, by marriage to the Portuguese Infanta Beatrix, had a claim to the Portuguese throne. However Juan was not desired as King by the Portugiese people.
22/4/1357, John I, King of Portugal, was born (died 11/8/1433).
1325, King Denis died aged 64 after a 46-year reign. His rule had seen prosperity and growth in Portugal. He was saucceded by his 35-year-old son who ruled for 32 years as Afonso IV. There was civil was with his son Pedro.
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.
1223, Afonso II of Portugal died aged 38. He was succeeded by hixs 15-year-old son who ruled as Sancho II, until deposed by the Pope in 1245.
1211, King Sancho I of Portugal died aged 57 after a 26-year reign. He wa succeeded by his 26-year-old son who ruled as Afonso II until 1223.
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.