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The Kingdom of Portugal is a nation in the western Iberian Peninsula, in Southwestern Europe.
High Middle Ages
Portugal is a nation of adventurers and it is only fitting that at the close of the 11th century, one such adventurer, Henry of Burgundy, found his way to what would become northern Portugal to aid local Christians in the Reconquista. Henry married a Leonese noble and gained the County of Portugal, which corresponds to OTL Northern Portugal. Henry ruled as a vassal of the current King of Leon, Alfonso VI. After the king's death, Henry tried to secede from the Kingdom but failed to do so. He died in 1109, leaving the County to his wife, Teresa who was a complacent ruler. His son by the name of Afonso, though had different ideas, and desired to secede from Leon, like his father. He raised an army in 1122, overthrew his mother, and proclaimed himself the Prince of Portugal.
Afonso then turned his eyes toward the southern Moors. His campaigns were successful to the point where, after the battle of Ourique in 1139, he was proclaimed King of Portugal by his soldiers and severed all remaining ties with the Kingdom of Leon. The next few years were spent fighting over what would become central Portugal, around Lisbon, which was conquered in 1147. Other Christian Iberian nations though, regarded him as little more than a rebel and spent the next few decades incessently fighting either the Moors or the Leonese and Galicians. In 1179, the Pope proclaimed Afonso as the King of Portugal, ending all Lenoese attempts at annexation and finally guaranteeing the full independence of Portugal. Afonso's goal was accomplished and he died in 1185.
Following Afonso's death, his successor, Sancho took up arms against the Moors with varying degrees of success. In 1189, he conquered Algarve (the southernmost region of OTL Portugal), but quickly lost it and the borders of Portugal receded back to their pre-1189 forms. After the loss of the southern reaches of the kingdom, Sancho spent most of the rest of his reign fighting Leon. The last few years of his reign were spent supporting industry and trade. After a dispute with a bishop, he resigned and bequeathed the kingdom to his son, Afonso II in 1211.
Afonso II, nicknamed "The Fat" was no warrior, and thus spent more time focusing on domestic affairs than conquest, differing from his father and grandfather. He tried to centralize power in Portugal by refusing to surrender estates to his brothers, and weakening the power of the powerful clergy. His plans backfired when he was excommunicated by the Pope for attempting to reduce Church power in the nation. He died in 1223.
Afonso II's successor, Sancho II inherited the throne at the age of 13 and was in a difficult situation, with the nation still under interdict. A treaty of 10 articles was signed by the two, and Sancho II devoted his nation's resources to the Reconquista. As a more capable warrior than his father or grandfather, he succeeded in conquering much of Aletejo and the Algarve. However, he was a poor administrator and internal disputes amongst the nobility flared up.
For more in-depth pre-1241 history, see: History of Portugal
Late Middle Ages
The relative prosperity enjoyed by Europe between circa 1100 and 1240 came to an end with the Mongol Invasion of Europe of 1240-1242 and the subsequent Black Plague. Portugal, caught up in its own struggles with the Moors and internal disputes caused by Sancho II decided not to send troops for the defensive crusade that was called, unlike its neighbor Castille.