See also: the Azores (homonymy)
The Azores belong to the ultraperipheric Régions of the European Union.
HistoryThe History seems to retain Diogo de Silves like discoverer of the archipelago in 1427. But nothing is truly certain, bus of the more old charts would mention existence of these islands. Their complete recognition was carried out over several years starting from 1432 by Gonçalo Velho Cabral to finish in 1452 by Corvo and Flores. These races were armed by Dom Henrique (the navigator), 3e wire of the king Jean Ier of Portugal, which played a very important part in the discoveries of new territories by the Portuguese, and generally left the Algarve or the Alentejo.
In the centuries which followed, from the Flemish and French colonists also came to be established on these islands. Of 1580 with 1640, as the remainder of Portugal, they were under Spanish domination (see the Bataille of the Azores) and were used as relay at the time of the return of the ships coming from the America and of the the Antilles, whereas the stopover outward journey was with Madeira. In 1583, Philippe II sent the fleet hispano-Portuguese to drive out the French merchants installed in the Azores, during the prisoners with the Vergue S of the boats, contributing to the creation of a black legend. The islands became again Portuguese after the war of restoration of Portugal.
Into 1836, the archipelago was divided into three administrative departments (or districts), comparable (except in surface) with those of Portugal even. Division was rather arbitrary and did not correspond to the three natural groups of islands, but rather to the position of the capitals of the departments (none them was in the western group):
- Angra included/understood Terceira, São Jorge, and Graciosa. The capital was with Angra C Heroismo on Terceira.
- Horta included/understood Pico, Faial, Flores and Corvo, the capital being with Horta on Faial.
- Ponta Delgada included/understood São Miguel and Santa Maria, the capital being on São Miguel.
In 1868, the Portugal started to print the Azores on its postal stamps for the use in the islands. Between 1892 and 1906, separate stamps were printed for the use in the three administrative districts.
PolicySince 1976 the Azores, like Madeira, are made up in autonomous region of the Republic of Portugal, with a clean executive and a regional Assemblée legislative. The president of the current regional government (August 2005) is Carlos César, of the Socialist party.
The seat of the regional government is located at Ponta Delgada, on the island of São Miguel, the economic capital of the Azores.
The representative of the Portuguese State, called the Minister for the Republic, resides at Angra C Heroísmo, on the island of Terceira, the historical capital.
Although deserted at the time of their discovery, further away from Africa than of Europe, and European settlement, the Azores belong to the territories considered as African by the African Union (UA) and under foreign occupation.
GeographyThe Archipel is appreciably with the same latitude as Lisbon (39° 43 '/39° 55 ' northern Latitude). He knows a very wet oceanic climate with rather reduced annual variations. The nine islands have an entire surface of 2 355 km ². Their individual surface varies between 747 km ² (São Miguel) and 17 km ² (Corvo).
The volcanic origin of all the islands is shown by the existence of very many cones of slags and by several stratovolcanoes with will caldeira. The majority of the islands are subjected to an intense seismic activity. Bridged C Pico, a primarily basaltic volcano of nature, whose altitude is of: 2351 meters on the island of Pico, is the top of the Azores and Portugal.
In 2004, the population of the Azores was of: 240600 inhabitants and the population density was of 106 inhabitants per square kilometer. Birth rate 12,5 ‰ and death rate 10,2 ‰ (2004). The principal cities are: Bridged Delgada, on the island of São Miguel (: 30000 inhabitants); Angra C Heroismo, on the island of Terceira (: 21000 inhabitants); Horta, on the island of Faial (: 15000 inhabitants).
The nine islands are divided into three groups:
- the group is of São Miguel and Santa Maria.
- the central group of Terceira, Graciosa, São Jorge, Pico (with the culminating point of Portugal, the Pico mount with: 2351 meters) and Faial.
- the western group of Flora and Corvo.
EconomyThe archipelago exports agricultural produce and dairy (25% of the Portuguese dairy production), products resulting from agribusiness industry and fishing.
CelebritiesHard ground and of passage, the Azores from time immemorial knew a strong emigration. The population of the islands assembles itself to approximately 250000 people, but it is generally considered that a million people of from the Azores ascent live abroad, especially with the the United States and with the Canada |date= August 24th, 2007 . In 1986, one estimates that: 200000 Portuguese descendant lived in Canada from which some came from the Azores, but also of the continent of Europe and Madeira. Among those:
- Nelly Furtado, originating in the Azores
- Pauleta, born in the Azores
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