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What is the OLDEST Country in EUROPE?

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According to the Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy a country is a territory constituted as a sovereign state. The formation of a state is not an easy task and it is the end of long historical processes where borders have been drawn and redrawn many times. So how many countries are there in the world today?

The UN recognizes 194 official countries across five continents. Each with their own story, but if you look a little closer… What is the oldest country in Europe? You know?

The Oldest Country in Europe

Although there is often discussion about this, Portugal is the oldest country in Europe. And as we said above, it is the result of long historical processes. All over the world, human beings have hoisted the flags of religion, race or language to reign among others, in Europe, America, Asia…

In all cases, cities have developed a sense of community from shared traditions. Later, political ups and downs would form artificial states, glued together at will but easily dismantled when that power lost power. Think of the Ottoman Empire, the Soviet Union, the Austro-Hungarian Empire…

But what happened to Portugal? Its foundation took place around the year 1139 and although the date does not say much the stability of its borders must be taken into account. If that is the factor to consider, then yes, Portugal is the oldest nation in Europe.

The fact is that while the rest of the continent suffered wars and revolts that permanently shifted its borders, the monarch changed, the empire changed, modern states were formed, democracies, republics, dictatorships, Portugal has a rather quiet history. Portugal is almost ten centuries old and these borders have remained stable since the end of the 13th century.

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Are you surprised it’s Portugal? Were you thinking, perhaps, of Greece? Let us remember what variable we are taking into account, the stability of the borders. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Portuguese territory was invaded by various peoples, including the Arabs, and when it was reconquered, the County of Portugal incorporated into the Kingdom of Castile.

Obviously there were several attempts at autonomy, when they wanted to expel the Arabs, which was finally achieved when Portugal signed independence in the year 1143, a treaty recognized by Pope Alexander III. At that time, Count Alfonso Enríquez, son of Count Enrique de Borgoña, a good military and political strategist, reigned. Later, the conflicts with the Kingdom of Castile would come to an end, by the signing of the Treaty of Alcañices between Dionisio I of Portugal and Fernando IV of Castile.

this treaty also fixed the borders between the Kingdom of Portugal and that of León. After the war, Portugal was able to concentrate on its own development and that is how it entered the so-called “The Age of Discoveries”. Its fleet sails the seas, explores the African coasts, discovers the union of the Atlantic and Indian oceans at the Cape of Good Hope, enters South and South America, colonizes Brazil and reaches the East.

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The lands of the New World gave him new riches hand in hand with mining, with gold and precious stones that made the court of King John V one of the richest in Europe. Later, there were political, economic and social conflicts. In reality, the 19th century was not a calm century since it experienced all kinds of revolts and even military uprisings. Moreover, between the 19th and 20th centuries, empires began to crumble, and that of Portugal was no exception.

Portugal collided several times with England, without luck, so in the end it affected, among other things, of course, the power of the monarchy which was finally abolished in October 1910. Next the republic was born then comes the country’s participation in the First World War the seizure of power by the military and was about to begin the Salazar was fascist court.

The end of the Second World War also affected Portugal I. No one wanted to let go of their overseas possessions but those were already untenable situations. Then Portugal entered war in Angola, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique. The external problems did not alleviate the internal problems and so, in the following decades, Portugal suffered an unprecedented crisis which led to the so-called Carnation Revolution in 1974.

Between the military danger and the communist danger, it was in the 1970s that the country finally severed its ties with its African colonies, recognizing their independence. Finally, a democratic process began to stabilize and in 1976, the first president was elected by universal suffrage.

Now, if we consider another variable, there are of course nations older than Portugal. For instance, Greece, with a cultural consistency of thousands of years. Obviously the centuries have produced changes in its political structure and boundaries and one should not compare the current boundaries with those of ancient Greece, but much of its original culture is still evident today and the establishes as one of the oldest nations not only in Europe but in the world.

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Portugal, Greece, we must also mention San Marino. It is a small country but a country all the same and it is also one of the oldest in Europe and in the whole world. Officially, San Marino was established in the year 301 by a Christian stonemason, Marinus the Dalmatian, who left the island of Arbe to escape the anti-Christian policies of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. He came here, hid on Mount Titano and founded a small community.

Obviously, San Marino was in the hands of neighboring powers, but in 1631, the Vatican finally recognized its independence. Years later, in 1797, it was also recognized by France, and around 1815 by many other European countries. His independence was sometimes in danger, for example during the reunification of Italy, but he succeeded in defending it by signing several treaties.

Although San Marino is a microstate, we cannot say the same for France. The founding of this nation dates back to the breakup of the Holy Roman Empire in the year 843 or the accession to the throne of King Clovis in the year 481. Whether one date is taken or the other, the truth is that France has existed for a long time. too long Weather report.

We could also talk about Armenia which has had its own territory for at least 2,600 years, Bulgaria and already outside Europe Japan, Iran Egypt and Ethiopia They are among the oldest countries.

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