The Portuguese people (Portuguese: os Portugueses) are a ethnic and national group of people from Portugal. They are a closely related group to the people of Spain. As a colonial and imperial power, the Portuguese people have went through an imperial history dating back to the Romans and through colonialism.
Origin and HistoryEditPortuguese people share a very common history and origin with the people of Spain. The history of the Portuguese people literally mirrors Spain's history. Portuguese and Spanish people originated from the Roman province of Hispania. Hispania is is the ancient Roman name for its Iberian provinices which today includes modern day Portugal and Spain. Spain is still called Espanha in the Portuguese language. The Portuguese language like Spanish, is a direct descandant of the Latin language. Latin is the language that the ancient Romans spoke. Although Portuguese and Spanish come from different but related dialects, both originated from Spain. Portugal became known as Lusitania as it became a seperate Roman provnice from Hispania (now Spain). The Galician dialect was the dialect being spoken in Lustiania and eventually developed into the Portuguese language. In the Middle Ages, the Roman Empire eventually decayed. Portugal and Spain both became imperial powers. In 711 AD, an empire of Arab Muslims invaded the Iberian Peninsula was able to conquer it for a few centuries. So the Portuguese people underwent a short period of Muslim rule, consequently were probably converted to Islam. In 1492 the Muslim Moors were defeated and driven out of Portugal and Spain during what is called the Reconquista. The populations of the Iberian Peninsula were reverted to the Roman Catholic faith. Few hints of the Moorish existance can still be seen through ancient forts in Portugal. The Portuguese and Spanish languages both contain Arabic cognates. Portugal and Spain also contain a lot of places that have Arabic origin. Like Spain's capital Madrid, the name of Portugal's capital Lisbon is also of Arabic origin. During the Age of Imperialism, the Portuguese Empire became a colonial power. The Portuguese Empire had a dispute with the Spanish Empire over who gets who. The two colonial powers signed the Treaty of Tordesillas which handed over the eastern part of South America and Asia to Portugal and the western parts to Spain. Spain acquired more territory consequently. Portugal owned territories in Africa, Asia and South America. Portuguese and Spanish conquerers were called conquistadors. Today the Portuguese influence can still be found in its former territories in South America and Asia. The South American country has Portuguese influence. Many islands in Indonesia also have Portuguese influence such as being Catholics (Indonesia is a majority Muslim country).
Portuguese people are an ethnicity and they make the majority population in Portugal. As of a 2011 estimate there are 11,000,000 Portuguese people living in the country of Portugal itself. In Brazil there are 5,000,000 people of Portuguese descent. In the United States, Portuguese people make up one of the largest European ancestries. There are 1,471,549 American people of Portuguese descent. Other countries that have minority populations of ethnic Portuguese people are France, Venezuela and Spain. Countries other than the United States that have Portuguese ancestries are Mozambique and Guyana.
Portuguese people speak the Portuguese language. Portuguese is an Italic Romance language belonging to the Iberian subfamily. Portuguese is a closely-related language to Spanish for both languages are intelligible with each other. Portuguese is a world major language that contains 252,000,000 fluent speakers. Portuguese originated in Spain from a Spanish dialect called Galician. The Portuguese language is simply Portugal's national standard register of the Galician dialect and counts as a majority language in Portugal under the name "Portuguese". Galician is also spoken in Spain as a minority language. Portuguese is the national languages of Brazil and Portugal, and an official language in East Timor, Angola, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde and Equatorial Guinea. The Portuguese language is spoken as a minority in China and India. In China there is a province called Macau. The people of Macau have a strong bond with European (specifically Portuguese) culture. Macau's art contains a fusion of Roman Catholic and Buddhist arts. Both Portuguese and Chinese are official state languages in Macau. There is also a dialect spoken in northern Portgual known as Mirandese. Mirandese is the only recorded language spoken by Portuguese people other than Portuguese. Mirandese is an official regional language in northeastern Portugal.