Portugal, a country as large as Ireland, bounded on the S. and W. by the Atlantic, on the N. and E. by Spain, from which at different places it is separated by the rivers Minho, Douro, Tagus, and Guadiana; consists of the Atlantic slopes of the great peninsular tableland, and has a moist, warm atmosphere, heavy rains, and frequent fogs. The above rivers and the Mondego traverse it; their valleys are fertile, the mountain slopes covered with forests. In the N. the oak abounds, in the centre the chestnut, in the S. cork-trees and palms. Agriculture, carried on with primitive implements, is the chief industry. Indian corn, wheat, and in the S. rice, are extensively grown; the vine yields the most valuable crops, but in the N. it is giving place to tobacco. There are a few textile factories. The largest export is wine; the others, cork, copper ore, and onions, which are sent to Great Britain, Brazil, and France. The principal imports, iron, textiles, and grain. The capital is Lisbon, on the Tagus, one of the finest towns in the world. Oporto, the chief manufacturing centre, and second city for commerce, is at the mouth of the Douro. Braga was once the capital. Coimbra, on the Mondego, is the rainiest place in Europe. There are good roads between the chief towns, 1200 m. of railway and 3000 m. of telegraph. The people are a mixed race, showing traces of Arab, Berber, and Negro blood, with a predominance of northern strains. They are courteous and gentle; the peasantry hard-working and thrifty. Roman Catholic is the national faith, but they are tolerant of other religions. The language is closely akin to Spanish. Education is backward. The Government is a limited monarchy, there being two houses of Parliament—Peers and Deputies. The Azores and Madeira are part of the kingdom; there are colonies in Africa and Asia, in which slavery was abolished only in 1878. The 14th and 15th centuries saw the zenith of Portugal's fortunes. At that time, in strict alliance with England, she raised herself by her enterprise to the foremost maritime and commercial power of Europe; her navigators founded Brazil, and colonised India. Diaz in 1487 discovered and Vasco da Gama in 1497 doubled the Cape of Good Hope. In 1520 Magellan sailed round the world; but in the 16th century the extensive emigration, the expulsion of the Jews, the introduction of the Inquisition, and the spread of Jesuit oppression, led to a speedy downfall. For a time she was annexed to Spain. Regaining her independence, she threw herself under the protection of England, her traditional friend, during the Napoleonic struggle. She is now an inconsiderable power, commercially thriving, politically restless, financially unsound.

Population (circa 1900) given as 5,000,000.

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

Portsmouth * Poseidon
Porter, Noah
Porteus, Beilby
Portland, Isle of
Portland Vase
Porto Rico
Posse Comitatus
Post Restante
Potomac River


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Abrabanel, Isaac
Acosta, Uriel
Albuquerque, Alphonso D'
Albuquerque, Blaise
Alegambe, Philip
Alfieri, Victor
Almeida, Francis
Almeida, Lawrence
Almeida, Theodore
Alvares, Francis
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