Portugal is one of the oldest countries in Western Europe being able to trace its beginnings to the early 1100's. After gaining the land of their present day territory in 1249, Portugal set its sight on becoming a colonial superpower. At the height of Portugal's power, they had colonies in Africa, South America, and in East Timor and Macau in the Far East. In 1640, the monarchial government fell and the House of Braganca was established as Portugal's ruling family. They remained the ruling family until 1910 when the republic was created (http://m.state.gov/md3208.htm).
However, because of financial problems, a military government took over in 1926, and the country was ran as an "authoritarian corporate state". Because of this, Portugal stayed neutral during World War II when nearly every other country in Europe got involved. In the 1960's, because of independence movements in Africa, Portugal was losing money and legitimacy. The country's government lost so much legitimacy that a group called Armed Forces Movement was formed to take down the government in 1973. In 1974, the Armed Forces Movement was able to take down the military controlled country.
In 1976, a new constitution was ratified. Because of the long history of strong military control the constitution trimmed the power of the president, put the military under strict civilian rule, and caused the government to give up sectors like the media. After becoming more of a democratic state, Portugal became a part of the EU in 1986 (http://m.state.gov/md3208.htm). During the global financial crisis of the last couple of the last couple of years, Portugal was hit really hard. Because of a high debt, the government was forced to raise taxes and cut spending, however this did not help the financial problems of Portugal. The government preceded to raise taxes and cut spending two more times before the Prime Minister, José Sócrates, was forced to step down.
When it comes to Portugal's government today, it...