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Portugal is a country located on the Iberian Peninsula, in south-western Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state in mainland Europe, bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its capital city is Lisbon. Portugal was initially a county in the medieval Kingdoms of Asturias and León. In 1139 Count Afonso was proclaimed king by his troops after defeating the Muslims at the Battle of Ourique. Four years later, King Alfonso VII of León acknowledged Portuguese independence in the Treaty of Zamora.

In the fourteenth century common enmity with the Kingdon of Castile led to an alliance between Portugal and England and the marriage in 1387 of King John I of Portugal to Philippa of Lancaster, the cousin of King Richard II and sister of the future King Henry IV. Their children included Prince Henry the Navigator, who encouraged Portuguese exploration of the North African coast and discovered and settled the Madeira Islands and the Azores. In the course of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries Portuguese explorers established trade depots and settlements on the coasts of Africa, India, Brazil, and the East Indies. In the seventeenth century growing competition with the Dutch led to the decline of Portugal's colonial empire. In 1580 the Portuguese royal family died out and King Philip II of Spain claimed the Portuguese throne. Sixty years later, a rebellion against Spanish rule raised the Duke of Braganza to the Portuguese throne as King John IV, and Portugal resumed its existence as a separate state.

A major earthquake struck the Portuguese capital of Lisbon in 1755, leaving the country devastated. In 1795 the French regent, Queen Mother Marie Antoinette, forced a treaty of alliance on King Charles IV of Spain, alarming Queen Maria I of Portugal. The British Prime Minister Sir Charles Jenkinson intervened on Portugal's behalf, leading to the outbreak of the Habsburg War of 1795-1799. The Portuguese and British were successful, and under the terms of the 1799 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle the Spanish Bourbons were deposed and Prince August Ferdinand of Prussia was placed on the Spanish throne as King Ferdinand VII.

Although Sobel does not specifically say so, Portugal presumably suffered the same violence and anarchy during the Bloody Eighties as the rest of Europe, possibly including an anti-monarchist revolution and the establishment of a revolutionary socialist republic on the French model. Sobel also does not mention whether Portugal remained allied with Great Britain during the Global War, or whether it chose to remain neutral as Spain did. Portugal also presumably participated in Vincent Mercator's Geneva Conference and signed the resulting global nonaggression pact.