I had posted the following in the Royal Library forum under the thread Books on Portuguese History, but thought I would start another thread here in this forum to get others' comments and observations about Portuguese history.
"I just finished reading Portugal: A Companion History
. I found it very helpful, providing a good, quick overview of the history of Portugal. I had one observation about Portugal's history. It seems that when Portugal experienced instability and turmoil, it was because it was attempting to negotiate its way through the conflicts between Spain, France, England and/or the Dutch, or these powers were attempting to pit Portugal against their enemies. No wonder Portugal had such difficult times."
There may be those who will disagree with me on this point, but I have to have some sympathies with even the "unpoplular" monarchs during those times since it would have been no easy feat to maintain the sovereignty and integrity of the Portuguese nation. Just the fact that Portugal maintained its integrity and sovereignty while being subjected to great forces that could have pulled it apart, should make the Portuguese people very proud of their history and themselves as a people.