One of Europe's oldest unitary states, Portugal has been an independent nation since the 12th century, save for a brief period of Spanish rule from 1580 to 1640. The country's heyday as a world power came during the 15th and 16th centuries, but Portugal lost much of its wealth and status after Lisbon was destroyed in the 1755 earthquake. Further losses came after the country was occupied during the Napoleonic Wars and its largest colony, Brazil,...
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