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Officially the Portuguese Republic, Portugal is a parliamentary democracy. You can find the definition of parliament by clicking on it. Portugal was a global power in the 15th and 16th centuries, but lost a lot of its power in 1755 when the capital city, Lisbon endured a massive earthquake and when its biggest colony, Brazil gained independence in 1822. A revolution in 1910 changed the form of government from a monarchy to a military government. The strict military government lasted for many years until 1974 when an opposing military takeover installed big democratic reforms. The next year, Portugal granted independence to all of its African colonies. Portugal entered the European Union in 1986.


Located in Southwestern Europe, Portugal borderis the North Atlantic Ocean and the west of Spain. I has a total land mass of
92,090 square kilometers and is the 117th biggest country in the world based on land size.

The terrain of Portugal is mountainous in the north, while the south is mostly rolling plains. Portugal's climate is cool and rainy in the north. It is warmer and drier in the south.


Portugal is the 76th most populous country in the world with 10,707,924 inhabitants.


A literate person can read and write once he or she has reached the age of 15. In Portugal 93.3% of the population is literate.


Portugal has citizens mostly of Mediterranean descendance. There are also many citizens of black African descent who immigrated at the end of colonization. Beginning in the 1990s, Eastern Europeans have immigrated to Portugal. Portuguese citizens are 84.5% Roman Catholic, 2.2% another form of Christianity, 9% unknown, and 4 % without any religion. Portuguese is the predominant language spoken in Portugal although the language Mirandese is also present.


Portugual is divided into 18 districts that are like states and also has two regions which rule themselves. The 18 districts are: Aveiro, Beja, Braga, Braganca, Castelo Branco, Coimbra, Evora, Faro, Guarda, Leiria, Lisboa (Lisbon), Portalegre, Porto, Santarem, Setubal, Viana do Castelo, Vila Real, Viseu. The two autonomous regions are called Madeira and Acores. They are both small series of islands in the Atlantic Ocean near Portugal.


The Kingdom of Portugal was recognized in the year 1143. On October 5, 1910, the current republic was proclaimed.


The current constitution of Portugal was adopted on April 2, 1976.


Everyone the age of 18 and older has the right to vote.


Portugal's chief of state is President Anibal CAVACO SILVA. He has been in power since March 9, 2006. Not all parliaments have presidents, but Portugal does.
Portugal's head of government is not the president. In a parliamentary system of government you have someone called a Prime Minister. In Portugal, the Prime Minister is Jose SOCRATES Carvalho Pinto de Sousa. He has been the Prime Minister since March 12, 2005.

The president has the power of choosing a Council of Ministers with the recommendation of the prime minister. These ministers help the president with many issues in the country like. For example there may be a Minister of Transportation or a Minister of Education.
There is also a Council of State that acts as a consultative body to the president. This council gives the president advice and helps him make decisions.
The president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term and can me elected to serve a second term. The president chooses his prime minister.


Portugal has one legislative house called the Assembly of the Republic. The Assembly of the Republic has 230 members who are elected by the public and serve four-year terms. Besides making laws the Assembly of the Republic is also responsible for managing the country's budget.


The Judicial Branch in Portugal is similar to that of the United States. The highest and most powerful court is called the Supreme Court and its judges are appointed to serve for life. The only difference is that the judges are not chosen by the president, but by a legal council that oversees the judiciary system.


Portugal does not recognize Spanish rule over the territory of Olivenza based on a difference of interpretation of the 1815 Congress of Vienna and the 1801 Treaty of Badajoz.