3 minutes 15 seconds
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The history of Portugal is a long and interesting 1. Its influence is widespread and not only did it affect the rest of the European continent, but its sailors bridged the world's oceans. Few parts of the world would be the same were it not for Portugal. But where did this nation come from? Who founded Portugal and, well, to put it bluntly, how did Portugal happen?
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In order to find this out, we need to travel back to the turn of the 12th century when the Iberian Peninsula looked like this. In the south, it was dominated by the Amoravid Emirate, and the majority of the people in Iberia at this time were Muslims who had, over the centuries, converted from Christianity after the Islamic conquests of the 8th century.
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Whereas in the North, Christianity endured as the religion of the small independent states there.
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And these northern states were the kingdoms of Leon, Navarre and Aragon, as well as the county of Barcelona. And these states were, to put it mildly, not exactly keen on their southern neighbours.
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The way they dealt with these issues was via in-depth discussions and, just kidding, crusade time. These crusades brought the devout from other European states to help, and 1 such man was Henry of Burgundy. In 1095 he went south, got married to the king of Castile's illegitimate daughter and was given the county of Portugal to rule.
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Long story short, he died. His wife had an argument with their son and heir Alfonso, war, which Alfonso won. He exiled his mother to a convent and
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then ruled as the Count of Portugal after 1128. A short 11 years later, Alfonso decided that being a count wasn't as cool as being a king and so renounced his fealty to Leon. There was a war, because obviously, which Alfonso won, and after this Portugal became an independent kingdom and Alfonso was crowned Alfonso I. Also before Continuing, the name Portugal derives from the settlement of Porto Calle, which eventually became the city of Porto. As you'll have noticed, the fledgling kingdom of Portugal is quite a bit smaller than the 1 we know today, and this is where outside help came in.
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So, the Knights Templar had previously helped Alfonso in his war for independence, and they had been generously rewarded for their help.
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And Alfonso could count on their help in his plans
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to 1. Preserve his kingdom's independence and 2. Strengthen it by expanding southwards. And by sheer luck in 1144, the crusader state of Edessa fell to the Seljuks and so the Pope, doing what medieval Popes did best, called for a crusade. Many answered the call and those from these lands, rather than go the overland route, opted to sail around Iberia on their way.
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They stopped off in Portugal where they met Alfonso who asked for their help. The crusaders weren't really interested in helping at first until Alfonso sweetened the deal, with cash, specifically any and all of the spoils from helping him take the strategically important city of Lisbon. The Crusaders and the Portuguese laid siege to Lisbon in 1147 and it wasn't too long before the city surrendered due to starvation. For many, that was enough crusading and whilst a couple of thousand Crusaders continued on their way to the Holy Land most, notably the English, opted to settle in Portugal. Portugal's southward expansion would continue until its borders reached this in the 13th century and Lisbon was made the country's capital.
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Portugal's place in history had begun. Episode, and thank you for watching with thanks to my Patreon supporters whom you can see on screen now, and with an extra special thanks to... James Bizonette Ike Danny Maloney Calling Castleman Marvin Casale Rob Waterhouse Aaron The White Jordan Longley Chris Wicker Gustav Swann Gareth Turner Marcus Arsner Maggie Pakskowski, David Silverman, Spinning 3 Plates, Spencer Lightfoot, Lexi Schwinn, Winston K. Wood, Kelly Moneymaker, Anthony Beckett, The Original Cage, Robert Wetzel, Sky Chappell, Parshoo19, and Mo. Thank you.
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