The empire began in the 15th century, and from the early 16th century it stretched across the globe, with bases in North and South America, Africa, and various regions of Asia and Oceania.
Why did Portuguese empire fall?
By the end of the 20th century these colonial empires were history. The rise of Soviet influence in the working class, and the cost of the Portuguese Colonial War (1961–1974), led to the collapse of the Portuguese Second Republic (Estado Novo) in 1974.
What did the Portuguese discover?
Portuguese expansion into the Atlantic began with the discovery of the Canary Islands in 1341. These are shown on the map off the west coast of North Africa. They are labeled Insule Canarie. Portugal then began a programme of systematic exploration under Prince Henry the Navigator (1394-1460).
Was Portugal the most powerful country?
Portugal was the world’s richest country when its colonial empire in Asia, Africa, and South America was at its peak.