Battle of Gerona (1808)
The Battle of Gerona on 20 and 21 June 1808 saw an Imperial French division led by Guillaume Philibert Duhesme try to overrun a Spanish garrison commanded by Lieutenant Colonels ODonovan and ODaly. The French assault failed and the attackers withdrew, Girona is located about halfway between the Franco-Spanish border and Barcelona on the Autovía A-7. The action occurred during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars, as part of his plan to overthrow the Spanish ruling family, Emperor Napoleon I ordered his soldiers to seize Barcelona in February 1808. The citys fortress was occupied, but a few weeks the Spanish people rebelled against Imperial French rule. Duhesme and his soldiers found themselves in difficulties. Hemmed in by Catalan militia and regular Spanish troops, the French general attempted to capture Girona in order to open up a supply line from France to Barcelona. The Franco-Italian force attempted to storm the city but they were repulsed by the city militia, Duhesme fell back to Barcelona, but he returned to mount the Second Siege of Gerona five weeks later.
As part of his plan to seize his ally the Kingdom of Spain in a coup, Emperor Napoleon ordered several key points, including Barcelona. On 29 February, General of Division Giuseppe Lechis troops were moving through Barcelona, Lechi ordered a military review, and, as his soldiers marched past the main gate of the citadel, they suddenly veered left and rushed into the fortress. Without bloodshed, the Imperial troops hustled the stunned Spanish garrison out of the fortifications, among other strong places, the French seized San Sebastian and Figueras. On 2 May, the Spanish people rose in revolt against the French occupiers, by the summer of 1808, a 12, 710-man French corps commanded by Guillaume Philibert Duhesme was based at Barcelona. General of Division Joseph Chabran led the 1st Division with 6,050 soldiers in eight battalions, the 1,700 cavalrymen in nine squadrons were under Generals of Brigade Bertrand Bessières and François Xavier de Schwarz. In view of the seriousness of the revolt, these orders were completely unrealistic, Duhesme attempted to comply with his instructions by sending Chabran and 3,000 troops to join Moncey and directing Schwarz with another column to seize Lerida.
Schwarz left Barcelona on 4 June and immediately ran into trouble, in the first of the Battles of the Bruch swarms of Catalan miquelets kept his soldiers from crossing the pass. He called for help and Duhesme diverted Chabran to assist him, but the two generals were unable to force their way through the pass on 15 June. After suffering 400 casualties in the battle, the French, Italians. The Catalan irregulars tried to oppose Chabrans withdrawing force in the plains but were driven off. The frustrated French and their allies brutally plundered every village along their back to Barcelona
Battle of Medina de Rioseco
A fresh campaign, conducted by Napoleon himself with the bulk of the Grande Armée, would be needed to redress the situation. Recent French operations in the region had come far short of Napoleons expectations, stung by these and other reverses, Napoleon committed more troops and formulated a new strategy. In July he ordered Bessières to renew his western offensive, of particular concern to Blake was the dilapidated Spanish cavalry, with which a descent into the plains of Castile seemed a sorry prospect. The Galician commander advocated holding and fortifying the rugged terrain of Léon and Galicia, between them the two Spanish generals raised about 25,000 men, many of them dispirited and in poor condition. Cuesta, citing his seniority, claimed supreme command and set his columns marching July 12, for lack of cavalry, advanced blind to French movements, expecting to find Bessières concentrating near Valladolid. Their meagre cavalry detachment stood by the road between the two corps, the French army contained elements of three divisions, decidedly mixed in quality, a reserve division, a division of veterans expedited from France, and Imperial Guard units dispatched from Madrid.
Blake, separated from Cuesta by a gap, faced off against the French with his flanks uncovered. The Imperial artillery, with twenty pieces arrayed on the Monclin Mound opposite Blake, major-General Merle led the attack against Blake on the left, reaching west toward the Spanish flank, while Mouton, on the right, put up a noisy demonstration against Cuesta. Blake reacted promptly to the menace to his position, stretching his line right to ward off encirclement and replying to the devastating French cannonades with his own batteries. Bessières cavalry reserves charged into the gap kept open by Mouton and tore into Blakes right flank, cracking his fragile force, the Imperial Guard horse managed temporarily to blunt the advance, flattening the weaker Spanish cavalry against its own supporting infantry columns. The Spanish foot, continued to gain ground, capturing two guns from the Artillery of the Guard and threatening the entire French position on the ridge. Moutons chasseurs appeared on the Spanish left, and under the pressure the Spanish line and plunged into disorder.
As with Blakes retreat, a rearguard of regular battalions held off the French while the other formations flew north to Medina. While Cuesta and Blake both escaped the battlefield, in all respects the rout was complete, the Army of Galicia, while numerically intact, all. Blake suffered most, losing 13 guns and as many as 3,000 casualties, many veteran Spanish battalions were badly mauled in the fight for the ridge, the Colorados, for instance, were destroyed as a unit. Fearing pursuit, Cuesta channeled his infantry north to Asturias and rode off with a cavalry corps to Salamanca. Following Medina de Rioseco Bessières seized Benavente, León and Zamora, Bessières victory marked a great improvement to the strategic position of the French army in northern Spain, formerly the cause of much anxiety. A delighted Napoleon asserted, if Marshal Bessières has been able to beat the Army of Galicia with few casualties and small effort, a few days later, Duponts entire corps was broken in battle at Bailén and captured by General Castaños
Kingdom of Portugal
The Kingdom of Portugal was a monarchy on the Iberian Peninsula and the predecessor of modern Portugal. It was in existence from 1139 until 1910, after 1248, it was known as the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves and between 1815 and 1822, it was known as the United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves. The name is often applied to the Portuguese Empire, the realms extensive overseas colonies. The nucleus of the Portuguese state was the County of Portugal, established in the 9th century as part of the Reconquista, by Vímara Peres, a vassal of the King of Asturias. The county became part of the Kingdom of León in 1097, the kingdom was ruled by the Alfonsine Dynasty until the 1383–85 Crisis, after which the monarchy passed to the House of Aviz. During the 15th and 16th century, Portuguese exploration established a vast colonial empire, from 1580 to 1640, the kingdom of Portugal was in personal union with Habsburg Spain. After the Portuguese Restoration War of 1640–1668, the passed to the House of Braganza and after to the House of Braganza-Saxe-Coburg.
From this time, the influence of Portugal declined, but it remained a major due to its most valuable colony. Portugal was an absolute monarchy before 1822. It rotated between absolute and constitutional monarchy from 1822 until 1834, and was a constitutional monarchy after 1834. The Kingdom of Portugal finds its origins in the County of Portugal, the Portuguese County was a semi-autonomous county of the Kingdom of León. Independence from León took place in three stages, The first on 26 July 1139 when Afonso Henriques was acclaimed King of the Portuguese internally, the second was on 5 October 1143, when Alfonso VII of León and Castile recognized Afonso Henriques as king through the Treaty of Zamora. The third, in 1179, was the Papal Bull Manifestis Probatum, once Portugal was independent, D. Afonso Is descendants, members of the Portuguese House of Burgundy, would rule Portugal until 1383. Even after the change in houses, all the monarchs of Portugal were descended from Afonso I, one way or another.
With the start of the 20th century, Republicanism grew in numbers and support in Lisbon among progressive politicians, however a minority with regard to the rest of the country, this height of republicanism would benefit politically from the Lisbon Regicide on 1 February 1908. When returning from the Ducal Palace at Vila Viçosa, King Carlos I, with the death of the king and his heir, Carlos Is second son would become king as King Manuel II of Portugal. Manuels reign, would be short-lived, ending by force with the 5 October 1910 revolution, sending Manuel into exile in England, on 19 January 1919, the Monarchy of the North was proclaimed in Porto. The monarchy would be deposed a month and no other monarchist counterrevolution in Portugal has happened since, after centuries of Portuguese dominion in Angola, the Kingdom of Kongo was made a vassal state of the Portuguese kingdom, its king pledging allegiance to the King of Portugal
Dos de Mayo Uprising
The city had been under the occupation of Napoleons army since 23 March of the same year. King Charles IV had been forced to abdicate in favour of his son Ferdinand VII, the uprising in Madrid, together with the subsequent proclamation as king of Napoleons brother Joseph, provoked resistance across Spain to French rule. Murat was the brother-in-law of Napoleon, and would become king of Naples. Initially the governing council of the city refused the request from Murat, on 2 May a crowd began to gather in front of the Royal Palace in Madrid. Those gathered entered the grounds in an attempt to prevent the removal of Francisco de Paula. Marshal Murat sent a battalion of grenadiers from the Imperial Guard to the palace along with artillery detachments, the latter opened fire on the assembled crowd, and the rebellion began to spread to other parts of the city. What followed was street fighting in different areas of Madrid as the poorly armed population confronted the French troops, Murat had quickly moved the majority of his troops into the city and there was heavy fighting around the Puerta del Sol and the Puerta de Toledo.
Marshal Murat imposed martial law in the city and assumed control of the administration. Little by little the French regained control of the city, the painting by the Spanish artist Goya, The Charge of the Mamelukes, portrays the street fighting that took place. There were Spanish troops stationed in the city, but they remained confined to barracks, the only Spanish troops to disobey orders were from the artillery units at the barracks of Monteleón, who joined the uprising. Two officers of these troops, Luis Daoíz de Torres and Pedro Velarde y Santillán are still commemorated as heroes of the rebellion, both died during the French assault of the barracks, as the rebels were reduced by vastly superior numbers. The repression following the crushing of the rebellion was harsh. Murat created a commission on the evening of 2 May to be presided over by General Grouchy. This commission issued death sentences to all of those captured who were bearing weapons of any kind, in a statement issued that day Murat said, The population of Madrid, led astray, has given itself to revolt and murder.
All those arrested in the uprising, arms in hand, will be shot, all public meetings were prohibited and an order was issued requiring all weapons to be handed in to the authorities. Hundreds of prisoners were executed the following day, a captured in a famous painting by Goya. The name of this declaration was Bando de los alcaldes de Móstoles or bando de la Independencia which translates to Declaration of Independence. While the French occupiers hoped that their rapid suppression of the uprising would demonstrate their control of Spain, in the weeks that followed there were further rebellions in different parts of the country
First French Empire
The First French Empire, Note 1 was the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte of France and the dominant power in much of continental Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. Its name was a misnomer, as France already had colonies overseas and was short lived compared to the Colonial Empire, a series of wars, known collectively as the Napoleonic Wars, extended French influence over much of Western Europe and into Poland. The plot included Bonapartes brother Lucien, serving as speaker of the Council of Five Hundred, Roger Ducos, another Director, on 9 November 1799 and the following day, troops led by Bonaparte seized control. They dispersed the legislative councils, leaving a rump legislature to name Bonaparte, Sieyès, although Sieyès expected to dominate the new regime, the Consulate, he was outmaneuvered by Bonaparte, who drafted the Constitution of the Year VIII and secured his own election as First Consul. He thus became the most powerful person in France, a power that was increased by the Constitution of the Year X, the Battle of Marengo inaugurated the political idea that was to continue its development until Napoleons Moscow campaign.
Napoleon planned only to keep the Duchy of Milan for France, setting aside Austria, the Peace of Amiens, which cost him control of Egypt, was a temporary truce. He gradually extended his authority in Italy by annexing the Piedmont and by acquiring Genoa, Parma and Naples, he laid siege to the Roman state and initiated the Concordat of 1801 to control the material claims of the pope. Napoleon would have ruling elites from a fusion of the new bourgeoisie, on 12 May 1802, the French Tribunat voted unanimously, with exception of Carnot, in favour of the Life Consulship for the leader of France. This action was confirmed by the Corps Législatif, a general plebiscite followed thereafter resulting in 3,653,600 votes aye and 8,272 votes nay. On 2 August 1802, Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed Consul for life, pro-revolutionary sentiment swept through Germany aided by the Recess of 1803, which brought Bavaria, Württemberg and Baden to Frances side. The memories of imperial Rome were for a time, after Julius Caesar and Charlemagne.
The Treaty of Pressburg, signed on 26 December 1805, did little other than create a more unified Germany to threaten France. On the other hand, Napoleons creation of the Kingdom of Italy, the occupation of Ancona, to create satellite states, Napoleon installed his relatives as rulers of many European states. The Bonapartes began to marry into old European monarchies, gaining sovereignty over many nations, in addition to the vassal titles, Napoleons closest relatives were granted the title of French Prince and formed the Imperial House of France. Met with opposition, Napoleon would not tolerate any neutral power, Prussia had been offered the territory of Hanover to stay out of the Third Coalition. With the diplomatic situation changing, Napoleon offered Great Britain the province as part of a peace proposal and this, combined with growing tensions in Germany over French hegemony, Prussia responded by forming an alliance with Russia and sending troops into Bavaria on 1 October 1806. In this War of the Fourth Coalition, Napoleon destroyed the armies of Frederick William at Jena-Auerstedt, the Eylau and the Friedland against the Russians finally ruined Frederick the Greats formerly mighty kingdom, obliging Russia and Prussia to make peace with France at Tilsit.
The Treaties of Tilsit ended the war between Russia and the French Empire and began an alliance between the two empires that held power of much of the rest of Europe, the two empires secretly agreed to aid each other in disputes
Battle of Cardedeu
The Battle of Cardadeu on 16 December 1808 saw an Imperial French corps led by Laurent Gouvion Saint-Cyr assault a Spanish force commanded by Juan Miguel de Vives y Feliu and Theodor von Reding. Saint-Cyr won the engagement by forming most of his troops into gigantic attack columns, Cardedeu is located 17 kilometres northeast of Barcelona, Spain. The action occurred during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars, by the fall of 1808, a French corps under Guillaume Philibert Duhesme was besieged in Barcelona by a 24, 000-man Spanish army led by Vives. With 23,000 Franco-Italian soldiers, Gouvion Saint-Cyr marched from France to relieve Duhesmes troops, first Saint-Cyr undertook the successful Siege of Roses. Confronted by the fortress of Girona, which had resisted two earlier attacks, the French general resorted to a risky strategy, leaving his artillery and most of his supplies behind, he avoided Girona by marching 16,500 men though the mountains and headed for Barcelona. Saint-Cyr completely outgeneraled Vives, who was able to marshal 9,000 troops to block his opponent.
Vives drew up his troops on high ground, but Saint-Cyrs huge columns proved unstoppable. The Spanish withdrew after suffering losses and Barcelona was soon relieved. As part of Emperor Napoleons plan to seize the Kingdom of Spain in a coup, several key points. Among other strong places, the French seized San Sebastián, Pamplona, on 2 May 1808, the Spanish people revolted against the Imperial French occupation in the Dos de Mayo Uprising. In the early summer of 1808, a 12, 710-man French corps commanded by General of Division Guillaume Philibert Duhesme was stationed at Barcelona. General of Division Joseph Chabrans 1st Division had 6,050 soldiers in eight battalions, the 1,700 cavalry were organized in nine squadrons under Generals of Brigade Bertrand Bessières and François Xavier de Schwarz. This modest-sized corps was instructed to put down the insurrection in Catalonia, to send assistance to Marshal Bon-Adrien Jeannot de Moncey in his attempt to capture Valencia, considering the intensity of the rebellion, these orders were unrealistic.
Chabran and Schwarz were defeated at the Battles of the Bruch in mid-June, after securing the assistance of an improvised division commanded by General of Division Honoré Charles Reille, Duhesme initiated the Siege of Gerona. This unsuccessful operation lasted from 24 July to 16 August before Duhesme retreated to Barcelona, news of the French disaster at the Battle of Bailen on 22 July 1808 buoyed Spanish morale and depressed the Imperial troops. Duhesmes troops had to fight their way back through the hills and abandon their artillery in order to make it back to Barcelona. Meanwhile, Marquis Del Palacios division of regular Spanish troops arrived from the Balearic Islands, supported by thousands of miquelets the Spaniards blockaded Barcelona at the beginning of August. On 31 July, they captured the castle of Mougat and its garrison of 150 Neapolitans with the help of Captain Thomas Cochrane, though Duhesmes 10,000 surviving troops were in a tight spot, Del Palacio did not press them very hard
Convention of Cintra
The Convention of Sintra was an agreement signed on August 30,1808 during the Peninsular War. By the agreement, the defeated French were allowed to evacuate their troops from Portugal without further conflict, the Convention was signed at the Palace of Queluz, in Queluz, Estremadura. The French forces under Jean-Andoche Junot were defeated by the Anglo-Portuguese forces commanded by Sir Arthur Wellesley at Vimeiro on August 21, however, at that moment, Wellesley was superseded by the arrival of Sir Harry Burrard and the next day by Sir Hew Dalrymple. Both were cautious old men who had little recent fighting, rather than push the French. Wellesley had sought to control of the Torres Vedras area high ground and cut the French retreat with his unused reserve. Talks between Dalrymple and François Kellerman led to the signing of the Convention, Dalrymple allowed terms for Portugal similar to those a garrison might receive for surrendering a fortress. The 20,900 French soldiers were evacuated from Portugal with all their equipment and they were transported to Rochefort, Junot arriving there on October 11.
Avoiding all Spanish entanglements and getting free transport meant the French travelled loaded, the Convention was seen as a disgrace back in the United Kingdom. A complete defeat of Junot had been transformed into a French escape, Dalrymple ignored the Royal Navys concern about a blockaded Russian squadron in Lisbon. The squadron was allowed to sail to Portsmouth, and eventually to return to Russia, despite the fact that Britain, Wellesley wanted to fight, but he signed the preliminary Armistice under orders. He took no part in negotiating the Convention and did not sign it, dalrymples reports were written, however, to centre any criticism on Wellesley, who still held a ministerial post in the government. Wellesley was subsequently recalled from Portugal, together with Burrard and Dalrymple, the inquiry was held in the Great Hall at the Royal Hospital Chelsea from November 14 to December 27,1808. All three men were cleared, but while Wellesley soon returned to duty in Portugal and Dalrymple were quietly pushed into retirement.
Sir John Moore, commenting on the Inquiry, expressed the sentiment that Sir Hew Dalrymple was confused. The whole of his conduct and since has proved him to be a foolish man. How will posterity the deed proclaim, will not our own and fellow-nations sneer, To view these champions cheated of their fame, By foes in fight oerthrown, yet victors here, Where Scorn her finger points, through many a coming year. An excerpt from the tract itself can be found in William Wordsworth, Selected Prose, Penguin Classics 1988 and it is interesting for its recognition of the significance of guerrilla warfare in the Peninsular War. The term guerrilla was not current and is not used by Wordsworth and he mentions Wellesley but does not anticipate his future importance
Second Siege of Gerona
The Second Siege of Gerona was the second unsuccessful French attempt to capture the city of Girona during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Girona is located near the present-day Autovía A-7, about halfway between the Franco-Spanish border and Barcelona, Spanish occupation of Girona threatened the French forces lines of communication between Barcelona and Perpignan. An Imperial French corps led by Guillaume Philibert Duhesme attempted to capture the city of Girona and its Spanish garrison, commanded by Richard II ODonovan, a Colonel. The French began regular operations, but withdrew when another Spanish force led by the Conde de Caldagues attacked their lines from the rear. After the Spanish people rebelled against occupation by the First French Empire, the Franco-Italian corps was surrounded by swarms of Catalan miquelets supported by a few Spanish regulars. When the French general received news that a French division under Honoré Charles Reille was coming to his assistance, having failed to storm Girona in June, Duhesme mounted a formal siege operation.
Duhesmes formal siege operations were interrupted by Caldagues attack in mid-August, though the Franco-Italian forces suffered few casualties and his soldiers became discouraged and they ended the siege. While Reille retreated to Figueres without much trouble, Duhesmes men were harassed during their return to Barcelona by the Spanish army, by the time the French forces arrived in Barcelona, they were without artillery and badly demoralized. Meanwhile, Emperor Napoleon I assembled a new corps under Laurent Gouvion Saint-Cyr to relieve Duhesme from his predicament, the next action of the Peninsular War would be the Siege of Roses, from 7 November to 5 December 1808. The Spanish Ulcer, A History of the Peninsular War, Second siege of Gerona,24 July-16 August 1808. Rickard, J. Siege of Barcelona,1 August-17 December 1808
Battle of Benavente
The French chasseurs were broken and forced into the River Esla, their commanding officer, General Lefebvre-Desnouettes, was captured. The action was the first major incident in the British armys harrowing retreat to the coast, Sir John Moore led a British army into the heart of northwestern Spain with the aim of aiding the Spanish in their struggle against the French occupation. However, Napoleon had entered Spain at the head of an army in order to retrieve French fortunes. This, together with the fall of Madrid to the French, the British army had begun their retreat and were being pursued by the main French army led by Napoleon, the cavalry under Henry, Lord Paget were performing an effective screening role to cover them. On the 28th the British cavalry were acting as a rearguard posted on the River Esla, the French force consisted of three squadrons of the Chasseurs à cheval of the Imperial Guard, plus a number of Mamelukes of the Imperial Guard. The British forces were drawn from the brigades of John Slade, 10th Hussars, outlying pickets of the British cavalry were stationed along the western bank of the River Esla, which was swollen with rain.
The French forced the outlying pickets of the British cavalry back onto the inlying picket commanded by Loftus Otway, Otway charged, despite heavy odds, but was driven back for 2 miles towards the town of Benavente. The French, though temporarily driven back, had numbers and forced the British hussars to retreat once more. Stewart knew he was drawing the French towards Paget and substantial numbers of British reserves, the French had gained the upper hand in the fight and were preparing to deliver a final charge when Lord Paget made a decisive intervention. He led the 10th Hussars, with squadrons of the 18th in support, Paget managed to conceal his squadrons from French view until he could fall on their left flank. The British swords, often dulled by their iron scabbards, were very sharp on this occasion, an eyewitness stated that he saw the arms of French troopers cut off cleanly like Berlin sausages. Other French soldiers were killed by blows to the head, blows which divided the head down to the chin, the French made a fighting withdrawal back to the river, though their squadrons were eventually broken and a running fight ensued.
The chasseurs were forced into and across the river, those who were left on the bank were either cut down or made prisoner. As the chasseurs swam their horses across the river the British troopers fired on them with their carbines, the French cavalry re-formed on their side of the river and opened carbine fire on the British, though they were subsequently dispersed by the fire of British horse artillery. The retreat of the British army, continued, Napoleon had viewed the action from a height overlooking the river, his reactions were rather muted and he made light of the losses to, and humbling of, his Cherished Children. References Sources Marquess of Anglesey, F. S. A, one-Leg, The Life and Letters of Henry William Paget, First Marquess of Anglesey, KG, 1768–1854. – The Reprint Society, London,1961, galloping at Everything, The British Cavalry in the Peninsula and at Waterloo 1808-15, Staplehurst ISBN 1-86227-016-3. Corunna 1809, Sir John Moores Fighting Retreat Osprey Publishing
Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country on the Iberian Peninsula in Southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost country of mainland Europe, to the west and south it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and to the east and north by Spain. The Portugal–Spain border is 1,214 kilometres long and considered the longest uninterrupted border within the European Union, the republic includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments. The territory of modern Portugal has been settled, invaded. The Pre-Celts, Celts and the Romans were followed by the invasions of the Visigothic, in 711 the Iberian Peninsula was invaded by the Moors, making Portugal part of Muslim Al Andalus. Portugal was born as result of the Christian Reconquista, and in 1139, Afonso Henriques was proclaimed King of Portugal, in the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal established the first global empire, becoming one of the worlds major economic and military powers.
Portugal monopolized the trade during this time, and the Portuguese Empire expanded with military campaigns led in Asia. After the 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy, the democratic but unstable Portuguese First Republic was established, democracy was restored after the Portuguese Colonial War and the Carnation Revolution in 1974. Shortly after, independence was granted to almost all its overseas territories, Portugal has left a profound cultural and architectural influence across the globe and a legacy of over 250 million Portuguese speakers today. Portugal is a country with a high-income advanced economy and a high living standard. It is the 5th most peaceful country in the world, maintaining a unitary semi-presidential republican form of government and it has the 18th highest Social Progress in the world, putting it ahead of other Western European countries like France and Italy. Portugal is a pioneer when it comes to drug decriminalization, as the nation decriminalized the possession of all drugs for use in 2001.
The early history of Portugal is shared with the rest of the Iberian Peninsula located in South Western Europe, the name of Portugal derives from the joined Romano-Celtic name Portus Cale. Other influences include some 5th-century vestiges of Alan settlements, which were found in Alenquer, the region of present-day Portugal was inhabited by Neanderthals and by Homo sapiens, who roamed the border-less region of the northern Iberian peninsula. These were subsistence societies that, although they did not establish prosperous settlements, neolithic Portugal experimented with domestication of herding animals, the raising of some cereal crops and fluvial or marine fishing. Chief among these tribes were the Calaicians or Gallaeci of Northern Portugal, the Lusitanians of central Portugal, the Celtici of Alentejo, a few small, semi-permanent, commercial coastal settlements were founded in the Algarve region by Phoenicians-Carthaginians. Romans first invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 219 BC, during the last days of Julius Caesar, almost the entire peninsula had been annexed to the Roman Republic.
The Carthaginians, Romes adversary in the Punic Wars, were expelled from their coastal colonies and it suffered a severe setback in 150 BC, when a rebellion began in the north
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was established as a sovereign state on 1 January 1801 by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland. The growing desire for an Irish Republic led to the Irish War of Independence, Northern Ireland remained part of the United Kingdom, and the state was consequently renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Britain financed the European coalition that defeated France in 1815 in the Napoleonic Wars, the British Empire thereby became the foremost world power for the next century. The Crimean War with Russia and the Boer wars were relatively small operations in a largely peaceful century, rapid industrialisation that began in the decades prior to the states formation continued up until the mid-19th century. A devastating famine, exacerbated by government inaction in the century, led to demographic collapse in much of Ireland. It was an era of economic modernization and growth of industry and finance.
Outward migration was heavy to the colonies and to the United States. Britain built up a large British Empire in Africa and Asia, India, by far the most important possession, saw a short-lived revolt in 1857. In foreign policy Britain favoured free trade, which enabled its financiers and merchants to operate successfully in many otherwise independent countries, as in South America. Britain formed no permanent military alliances until the early 20th century, when it began to cooperate with Japan and Russia, and moved closer to the United States. A brief period of limited independence for Ireland came to an end following the Irish Rebellion of 1798, the British governments fear of an independent Ireland siding against them with the French resulted in the decision to unite the two countries. This was brought about by legislation in the parliaments of both kingdoms and came into effect on 1 January 1801, King George III was bitterly opposed to any such Emancipation and succeeded in defeating his governments attempts to introduce it.
When the Treaty of Amiens ended the war, Britain agreed to return most of the territories it had seized, in May 1803, war was declared again. In 1806, Napoleon issued the series of Berlin Decrees, which brought into effect the Continental System and this policy aimed to eliminate the threat from the British by closing French-controlled territory to foreign trade. Frances population and agricultural capacity far outstripped that of the British Isles, Napoleon expected that cutting Britain off from the European mainland would end its economic hegemony. The Spanish uprising in 1808 at last permitted Britain to gain a foothold on the Continent, after Napoleons surrender and exile to the island of Elba, peace appeared to have returned. The Allies united and the armies of Wellington and Blucher defeated Napoleon once, simultaneous with the Napoleonic Wars, trade disputes, arming hostile Indians and British impressment of American sailors led to the War of 1812 with the United States. The war was little noticed in Britain, which could devote few resources to the conflict until the fall of Napoleon in 1814, American frigates inflicted a series of defeats on the Royal Navy, which was short on manpower due to the conflict in Europe