History of Macau is a perfect conundrum in the world history. A synthesis of the olden times of two credible world cultures, Macau history is an assortment of the Asian and the European record. The festivals, art forms, sculpture and the demographic composition of Macau, China, Asia, all speak volumes about the relationship between the Chinese folk and the colonial rulers.
History of Macau dates back to 12th century. To secure themselves from the invading Mongols, Song Dynasty rulers along with their 50,000 followers began living in the Mong Ha village in the small peninsula on the mouth of the Pearl River Delta. In 1535, the Portuguese acquired the right to anchor ships in the Macau ports solely for the trading use. During the heyday of colonialism, the Portuguese established their settlements in the peninsula and adjoining isles. Henceforth, the area was named as Macau.
Macau history took a decisive turn in 1553 with the grant of permission to Portugal to have temporary colonies in the isle. The reward was for punishing the pirates. In 1557, the Portuguese had their first permanent colony in Macau. The colonial rulers intended to act as a mediator for trade with India. In 1670, the Chinese gave the lease of Macau to Portugal. The Dutch made several aborted attempts to occupy Macau in the 17th century.
Macau flourished as a seaport under the Portugal colonial rulers. During the Opium War, the Portuguese also occupied the isles of Taipa and Coloane. Under the Treaty of Peking (1887) the Chinese Government accepted the perpetual sovereignty of Portugal over Macau. Simmering discontent against the colonial oppression led to outbreak of violence in December 1966. Many people were either killed or injured in the incident.
The "three no's" movement (no taxes, no service, no selling) to the Portuguese forced the colonial power to reconcile with the people on equal terms.
History of Macau took a full circle in 1979 with the agreement between the governments of People's Republic of China and Portugal. The Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration of 1987 recognized Macau as a Chinese territory under temporary Portuguese occupation and steps were taken for its return. On December 20, 1999 the People's Republic of China assumed full sovereignty of Macau.