Why Portugal Separated from Spain

In the Middle Ages, Portugal became a separate kingdom. Why, because the Portuguese are so similar to the Spaniards?

The Spaniards and the Portuguese do not like each other, which often happens with close neighbors. Residents of the countries are genetically similar, the language is almost the same (like Russian and Belarusian). But the competition and jealousy is high. Let’s see how it turned out that Portugal became a separate country.

I briefly recall simple facts from geography, so that there is no confusion. The Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe is separated from Africa by a small Strait of Gibraltar. On the Iberian Peninsula there are territories of four countries – Spain, Portugal, France and dwarf Andorra.

Spain is heterogeneous, inside there are many so-called autonomous communities: Catalonia, Asturias, Galicia, Basques, etc. Portugal could well become one of such areas, but its history went a different way. But, let’s talk about everything in order.

Who lived in Spain before the Spaniards
Initially, 1100 years BC. e. in the south of the Iberian Peninsula civilization lived – Tartess. In the Bronze Age, it was a fairly rich civilization that flourished through trade with the Phoenicians (Carthage). The Tartesses had silver and copper, and Carthage had household items, luxuries, tools and weapons. But after the mines were empty, it turned out that there was nothing more in the economy of Tartess. And civilization quickly collapsed. Citizens Russians, is not it, a very instructive example?

From the 300s BC e. these lands are colonized by Carthage. Who are the inhabitants of Carthage, the Phoenicians? Although they are geographically African, they genetically carry the so-called haplogroup J2. Its carriers are also all residents of the Caucasus, as well as Turks, Iranians, Greeks and Hungarians.

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Carthage began a war with the Roman Empire, which he lost. Then Rome fell. The territory of modern Spain and Portugal was inhabited by a Germanic tribe – the Vandals. Yes, yes, those who have become common nouns.

In the 5th century AD, the Visigoths invaded the Iberian Peninsula. They defeated all the locals and founded the Visigoth Kingdom.

The era of Arab conquest began in the 8th century. Arabs and Berbers (or, as they were called – the Moors) were much better developed than the Visigoths. They easily knocked out the Germans and captured these territories. Christian Europe for several centuries unsuccessfully tried to drive the Arabs from these territories.

Portugal – trophy in the fight against the Moors
Europeans created a reference point – the so-called kingdom of Leon in the north of modern Spain. From it they raided the Arabs. And it is precisely with the liberation of the Iberian Peninsula from the Arabs that the history of the separation of Spain and Portugal is connected.

The kingdom of Leon, in fact, the forerunner of Spain, the stronghold of the Europeans in the Pyrenees. In the future, Spain emerged in the 15th century from the union of several kingdoms: Leon, Castile, Galicia, etc. Portugal remained a separate kingdom with its own history.

The first person to isolate Portugal was a certain Count Vimarano. Scientists are still arguing about who he is – a Spaniard or a German Visigoth. For success in the development of the territory he was granted the county of Portugal.

But he finally strengthened power in this territory, Henry of Burgundy. This was a very experienced warrior, went to the First Crusade. He valiantly fought with the Moors in Spain, for which he was given the county of Portugal.

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In general, Portugal at that time did not give the impression of a very valuable territory. It was presented to the best warriors as if hinting: “Guys, you are fighting well. So be a buffer between us and the Moors. Show your talent on the border with the enemy. ” It reminds the concept of Cossacks – these guys in the steppe were very useful to Russia. Indeed, Portugal was a vulnerable province. And the attack of the Moors on this side was more likely. And so – let this be the headache of the feudal lord who will be given this territory.

Son vs. mother: how Portugal became a separate kingdom
But the son of Heinrich of Burgundy – Afonso I – turned out to be more ambitious. It was he who made Portugal a kingdom and its history went along its own separate path separate from Spain.

He started the war for the independence of Portugal when he turned 14 years old. And he led not with anyone, but with his mother – the Countess of Portugal, Theresa, and King Alfonso VII.

Do not rush to criticize the teenager – the actions of his mother provoked his aggression. The fact is that after the death of her husband, Teresa led an idle lifestyle. She got a favorite whom she showered with money from the chests of her late husband.

Afonso gathered the army solely by his charisma, because there was nothing else behind the teenager (all the wealth was in the bins of his mother). He won a series of bright victories and drove away the king. And mother imprisoned her in a monastery until the end of her days.

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But the monument to Afonso turned out to be some kind of curve. For the sake of the brave king, we could have tried better.
There was no respite – Afonso attacked the Moors and successfully knocked them out of the south of Portugal. After that, the inhabitants and warriors together proclaimed the youth king. However, the choice of the people is still not enough to be recognized by the world community (doesn’t it resemble the history of another peninsula? 4.6 thousand km east). Therefore, Afonso turned to the Pope, signing up for military operations against the Moors, not only in his Portugal, but throughout the Iberian Peninsula. He promised to pay tribute of 113 grams of gold every year – not so little for a poor, war-ravaged country. But a real trifle, compared with spending mom on parties with favorites.

Well, he granted extensive privileges to monastic orders and clergy. This was enough, and the Church recognized Portugal as a separate kingdom.

Having received the support of the Church, Afonso continued to expand the borders at the expense of the territory controlled by Muslims. Knocked out the Moors from Lisbon who have lived in the city for 400 years.

Especially for you Alihan Alihanrin!
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