Spain and Portugal have a very interesting sibling rivalry relationship. This relation has driven the two nations to compete for supremacy for over a thousand years. Many events are responsible due to this relationship.
The Portuguese drove out the Moors in 1249, only to lose the larger part of the Iberian Peninsula to Spain. This created a feeling as Spain being the upstart, and arrogant big brother. It’s because of the Portuguese legendary explores, artisans, seamen that made separation from Spain a matter of National Pride. Many Portuguese are now delighted to know that there are as many Portuguese speakers as there are Spanish.
Some claim that the reason Portugal is a different country is due to terrain separating the two states. Others say it’s because of ancient dynastic factors. Several other factors contributed to more cultural separation. This separation however continues until today. Portugal got its reputation due to the heroic adventurers and the daring voyages. The Spanish were still trying to drive out the Moors by the time Portugal was thriving.
Fighting the Moors led to Spain being bankrupt, they lost even more money during the Inquisition many wealthy merchants were forced to leave Spain or face death. Spain decided to grant Columbus his man and supplies for his expedition. This was largely due to Queen Isabella wanting to convert the Asian world.
As both states tried to out compete each other new opportunities started being sought after in the new world. This created a dispute of who had the right to which lands the Treaty of Tordesillas was created giving Spain the west while Portugal got the east. Spain gained most of the Americas while Portugal gained the easternmost part of Brazil. Though Spain ignored the Portuguese expansion into Brazil. Portugal got the better deal due to the slave trade being centralized in Africa.
During 1580 because king Sebastian died in combat the Kingdom of Portugal, had no heirs this gave Spain a claim to the throne. Philip II of Spain claimed the throne. Portugal didn’t lose its independence but this created a united Iberian Peninsula. But this led to Portugal being involved in the Eighty Years War in Europe between Spain and the Netherlands. Which eventually led to the deterioration of one of Portugal’s oldest allies Spain.
From 1595 to 1663 the Dutch- Portuguese wars declared by the East India Trade Company involved the taking of commercial interests that Portugal had already established. Resulting in the loss of the Portuguese Indian Trade Monopoly.
In 1640 the Portuguese Restoration war had begun started by John IV. He was proclaimed king of Portugal and ended the 60-year period of Iberian Unification. The Spanish took this defeat as a complete utter humiliation. In 1762 Spain invaded Portugal as part of the Seven Years War.
In 1792 Spain went to war against the French. Spain being defeated caused peace to be declared in 1795 and it became a Client State of the French. In 1807 Napolic Forces moved through Spain and Invaded Portugal. With the help of British Forces the Portuguese successfully repelled the Napolic Forces.
Portugal began to slowly decline until the 20th century. The worst part of the decline was during 1807 when Brazil declared its independence and Portugal lost its most profitable colony. In the 19th century Portugal planned to expand its territories in Africa to nation size to compete with other European powers. But this was largely unsuccessful and Portugal’s power continued to decline.
During the 19th century had many wars of independence throughout America, Cuba, and the Philippines. In the 20th Century Spain played a role in competition with Portugal to own land in Africa. 1936-1939 was the Spanish Civil War it claimed 500,000 lives. After WW2 Spain become politically and economically isolated. But during the Cold War it became important for U.S. to establish military in the Peninsula. Spain noticed a noticeable amount of Economical growth known as the “Spanish miracle”.
In 1910 a revolution took place in Portugal that got rid of the Monarch system. But chaos continues afterward as the economic and social problems caused by the change were great. This in turn led to a right wing dictatorship and Portugal being one of the only neutral countries during WW2.
The rivalry of these two states has made each one gain many achievements. These achievements drove Europe in to an age of discovery, bringing massive growth to Europe. Without this rivalry the world would have been significantly different.