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As part of his marriage contract with Isabella, he was required to rid Portugal of the Jews who had taken refuge there after being expelled from Spain.A few were allowed to emigrate, but most were forcibly converted to Christianity.His wife, Elizabeth, who worked to maintain peace in Portugal, was known as the Holy Queen ( rainha santa ) and was later canonized as St. After the death of Ferdinand I in 1383, his wife Leonor Telles married their daughter Beatriz to the King of Castile.There was disagreement as to whether Beatriz should be heiress to the throne, and in 1385 the Cortes chose John, an illegitimate son of Peter I (the Cruel), a former king of Portugal, to rule as John I.Although there is no official religion in Portugal, 94.5 percent of the people are Roman Catholic.
By 1179 his kingdom, occupying the northern third of present-day Portugal, was recognized as autonomous and separate from Castile.
Phoenicians and Carthaginians later established themselves in southern Portugal.
After the Second Punic War (218-201 ) the Roman domination of Portugal began.
In 711 the Muslims invaded the peninsula, and Christian forces spent the next 500 years trying to expel them.
To fight off the African Almoravids, King Alfonso VI of León and Castile enlisted the aid of Henry of Burgundy, whom he rewarded with the title of Count of Portucale and the hand in marriage of his illegitimate daughter Teresa.
He was responsible for moving the capital from Coimbra to Lisbon, for lessening the power of the church in his land, and for convoking the Cortes at Leiria (1254) at which the commoners were represented for the first time.