The PORTUGUESE EMPIRE (Portuguese : Império Português), also known
as the PORTUGUESE OVERSEAS (Ultramar Português), was one of the
largest and longest-lived empires in world history and the first
colonial empire of the Renaissance. It existed for almost six
centuries from the capture of
Ceuta in 1415 to the handover of
Portuguese Macau to
China in 1999.
The first era of the Portuguese empire originated at the beginning of
Age of Discovery
Age of Discovery . Initiated by the
Kingdom of Portugal
Kingdom of Portugal , it would
eventually expand across the globe. Portuguese sailors began exploring
the coast of Africa and the Atlantic archipelagos in 1418–19, using
recent developments in navigation, cartography and maritime technology
such as the caravel , in order that they might find a sea route to the
source of the lucrative spice trade . In 1488,
Bartolomeu Dias rounded
Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope , and in 1498,
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama reached India. In
1500, either by an accidental landfall or by the crown's secret
Pedro Álvares Cabral
Pedro Álvares Cabral discovered Brazil on the South American
Over the following decades, Portuguese sailors continued to explore
the coasts and islands of East Asia, establishing forts and factories
as they went. By 1571, a string of naval outposts connected
Nagasaki along the coasts of Africa, the Middle East, India and South
Asia. This commercial network and the colonial trade had a substantial
positive impact on Portuguese economic growth (1500-1800), when it
accounted for about a fifth of Portugal's per capita income.
Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain , I of Portugal, inherited the Portuguese
crown in 1580, this began a 60-year union between
Spain and Portugal
that has since been given the historiographic term of the Iberian
Union . Though the realms continued to be administered separately, the
Council of Portugal ruled the country and its empire from Madrid. As
the King of
Spain was also King of Portugal, Portuguese colonies
became the subject of attacks by three rival European powers hostile
to Spain: the
Dutch Republic ,
England , and
France . With its smaller
Portugal was unable to effectively defend its
overstretched network of trading posts, and the empire began a long
and gradual decline. Eventually, Brazil became the most valuable
colony of the second era until, as part of the wave of independence
movements that swept the
Americas during the early 19th century, it
broke away in 1822.
The third era represents the final stage of Portuguese colonialism
after the decolonization of the
Americas of the 1820s. The colonial
possessions had been reduced to the African coastline (expanded inland
Scramble for Africa in the late 19th century), Portuguese
Timor , and enclaves in India (
Goa ) and
Macau ). The
1890 British Ultimatum led to the contraction of Portuguese
ambitions in Africa .
Under António Salazar , the Second Portuguese
Republic made some
ill-fated attempts to hold on to its last remaining colonies and
overseas provinces after the 1961 Indian annexation of
Goa , embarking
Portuguese Colonial War
Portuguese Colonial War in Africa which lasted until the final
overthrow of the regime in the
Carnation Revolution of 1974.
China in 1999.
* 1 Background (1139–1415)
* 2 First era (1415–1663)
* 2.1 Initial African coastline excursions
Treaty of Tordesillas
Treaty of Tordesillas (1494)
* 2.3 Portuguese enter the Indian Ocean
* 2.4 Trade with Maritime Asia, Africa and the Indian Ocean
* 2.4.1 Goa,
Malacca and Southeast Asia
China and Japan
* 2.4.3 Spice Islands (Moluccas) and
Treaty of Zaragoza
* 2.4.4 South Asia, Persian Gulf and
* 2.4.5 Sub-Saharan Africa
* 2.4.6 Missionary expeditions
* 2.5 Colonization efforts in the
* 2.5.1 Canada
* 2.5.2 Brazil
* 2.6 Iberian Union, Protestant rivalry, and colonial stasis
* 3 Second era (1663–1825)
Minas Gerais and the Gold Industry
* 3.2 Pombaline and post-Pombaline Brazil
* 4 Third era (1822–1999)
British Ultimatum and end of Portuguese monarchy (1890–1910)
World War I
World War I
* 4.3 Turmoil and decolonization (1951–1999)
* 5 Legacy
* 6 See also
* 7 References
* 8 Bibliography
* 9 External links
History of Portugal (1139–1415) The Conquest of
Ceuta , in 1415, was led by
Henry the Navigator
Henry the Navigator , and initiated the
The origin of the
Kingdom of Portugal
Kingdom of Portugal lay in the reconquista , the
gradual reconquest of the
Iberian peninsula from the Moors . After
establishing itself as a separate kingdom in 1139,
its reconquest of Moorish territory by reaching
Algarve in 1249, but
its independence continued to be threatened by neighbouring Castile
until the signing of the
Treaty of Ayllón in 1411.
Free from threats to its existence and unchallenged by the wars
fought by other European states, Portuguese attention turned overseas
and towards a military expedition to the Muslim lands of North Africa.
There were several probable motives for their first attack, on the
Marinid Sultanate (in present-day
Morocco ). It offered the
opportunity to continue the Christian crusade against
Islam ; to the
military class, it promised glory on the battlefield and the spoils of
war; and finally, it was also a chance to expand Portuguese trade and
to address Portugal's economic decline.
In 1415 an attack was made on
Ceuta , a strategically located North
African Muslim enclave along the
Mediterranean Sea , and one of the
terminal ports of the trans-Saharan gold and slave trades. The
conquest was a military success, and marked one of the first steps in
Portuguese expansion beyond the Iberian Peninsula, but it proved
costly to defend against the Muslim forces that soon besieged it. The
Portuguese were unable to use it as a base for further expansion into
the hinterland, and the trans-Saharan caravans merely shifted their
routes to bypass
Ceuta and/or used alternative Muslim ports.
FIRST ERA (1415–1663)
PART OF A SERIES ON THE
HISTORY OF PORTUGAL
* Pre-Roman Peoples
Roman conquest of Hispania
Romanization of Hispania
* Suebic Kingdom
Umayyad conquest of Hispania
* County of
Portugal in the
Portuguese House of Burgundy
Age of Discoveries
* Imperial expansion
House of Aviz
House of Aviz
* Portuguese Empire
War of the Portuguese Succession
War of the Portuguese Succession
* Restoration and Pombaline Era
* Restoration War
House of Braganza
* Imperial decline, war, and revolt
* Transfer of Court
* Constitutional Monarchy
* 1910 Revolution
Monarchy of the North
World War I
World War I
* 1926 coup d\'état
World War II
World War II
* Estado Novo
Portuguese Colonial War
Portuguese Colonial War
Processo Revolucionário Em Curso
* Transition to democracy
* Economic history
* Language history
* Military history
* Music history
* Azorean history
* Madeiran history
History of Portugal (1415–1578) and Portuguese
Ceuta proved to be a disappointment for the Portuguese, the
decision was taken to hold it while exploring along the Atlantic
African coast. A key supporter of this policy was
Infante Dom Henry
the Navigator , who had been involved in the capture of
Ceuta , and
who took the lead role in promoting and financing Portuguese maritime
exploration until his death in 1460. At the time, Europeans did not
know what lay beyond
Cape Bojador on the African coast. Henry wished
to know how far the Muslim territories in Africa extended, and whether
it was possible to reach Asia by sea, both to reach the source of the
lucrative spice trade and perhaps to join forces with the fabled
Christian kingdom of
Prester John that was rumoured to exist somewhere
in the "Indies". Under his sponsorship, soon the Atlantic islands of
Madeira (1420) and
Azores (1427) were reached and started to be
settled producing wheat to export to Portugal.
INITIAL AFRICAN COASTLINE EXCURSIONS
Fears of what lay beyond
Cape Bojador , and whether it was possible
to return once it was passed, were assuaged in 1434 when it was
rounded by one of
Infante Henry's captains,
Gil Eanes . Once this
psychological barrier had been crossed, it became easier to probe
further along the coast. In 1443
Infante Dom Pedro , Henry's brother
and by then regent of the Kingdom, granted him the monopoly of
navigation, war and trade in the lands south of Cape Bojador. Later
this monopoly would be enforced by the papal bulls
Dum Diversas (1452)
Romanus Pontifex (1455), granting
Portugal the trade monopoly for
the newly discovered lands. A major advance that accelerated this
project was the introduction of the caravel in the mid-15th century, a
ship that could be sailed closer to the wind than any other in
operation in Europe at the time. Using this new maritime technology,
Portuguese navigators reached ever more southerly latitudes ,
advancing at an average rate of one degree a year.
Senegal and Cape
Verde Peninsula were reached in 1445. Map of Western Africa by
Lázaro Luis (1563). The large castle in West Africa represents the
São Jorge da Mina (
The first feitoria trade post overseas was established in 1445 on the
Arguin , off the coast of Mauritania, to attract Muslim
traders and monopolize the business in the routes travelled in North
Africa. In 1446,
Álvaro Fernandes pushed on almost as far as
Sierra Leone , and the
Gulf of Guinea
Gulf of Guinea was reached in the
Expansion of sugarcane in
Madeira started in 1455, using advisers
Sicily and (largely) Genoese capital to produce the "sweet salt"
rare in Europe . Already cultivated in
Algarve , the accessibility of
Madeira attracted Genoese and Flemish traders keen to bypass Venetian
monopolies. Slaves were used, and the proportion of imported slaves in
Madeira reached 10% of the total population by the 16th century. By
Antwerp had some seventy ships engaged in the
trade, with the refining and distribution concentrated in Antwerp. By
Madeira had overtaken Cyprus as a producer of sugar. The
success of sugar merchants such as
Bartolomeo Marchionni would propel
the investment in future travels.
In 1469, after prince Henry's death and as a result of meagre returns
of the African explorations, King Afonso V granted the monopoly of
trade in part of the
Gulf of Guinea
Gulf of Guinea to merchant
Fernão Gomes .
Gomes, who had to explore 100 miles (160 km) of the coast each year
for five years, discovered the islands of the Gulf of Guinea,
São Tomé and Príncipe and found a thriving alluvial gold
trade among the natives and visiting Arab and Berber traders at the
port then named Mina (the mine), where he established a trading post.
Portugal grew throughout a decade. In 1481,
the recently crowned João II decided to build
São Jorge da Mina in
order to ensure the protection of this trade, which was held again as
a royal monopoly. The
Equator was crossed by navigators sponsored by
Fernão Gomes in 1473 and the
Congo River by
Diogo Cão in 1482. It
was during this expedition that the Portuguese first encountered the
Kingdom of Kongo , with which it soon developed a rapport. During his
1485–86 expedition, Cão continued to
Cape Cross , in present-day
Namibia , near the
Tropic of Capricorn
Tropic of Capricorn .
Bartolomeu Dias rounded the
Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope on the
southern tip of Africa, proving false the view that had existed since
Ptolemy that the Indian Ocean was land-locked . Simultaneously Pêro
da Covilhã , traveling secretly overland, had reached
suggesting that a sea route to the Indies would soon be forthcoming.
As the Portuguese explored the coastlines of Africa, they left behind
a series of padrões , stone crosses engraved with the Portuguese coat
of arms marking their claims, and built forts and trading posts. From
these bases, they engaged profitably in the slave and gold trades.
Portugal enjoyed a virtual monopoly on the African seaborne slave
trade for over a century, importing around 800 slaves annually. Most
were brought to the Portuguese capital
Lisbon , where it is estimated
black Africans came to constitute 10 per cent of the population.
TREATY OF TORDESILLAS (1494)
Treaty of Tordesillas
Treaty of Tordesillas The 1494 Treaty of
Tordesillas meridian divided the world between the crowns of Portugal
and of Castile .
Christopher Columbus 's discovery for
Spain of the New World
, which he believed to be Asia, led to disputes between the Spanish
and Portuguese. These were eventually settled by the Treaty of
Tordesillas in 1494, which divided the world outside of Europe in an
exclusive duopoly between the Portuguese and the Spanish along a
north-south meridian 370 leagues , or 970 miles (1,560 km), west of
Cape Verde islands. However, as it was not possible at the time
to correctly measure longitude , the exact boundary was disputed by
the two countries until 1777.
The completion of these negotiations with
Spain is one of several
reasons proposed by historians for why it took nine years for the
Portuguese to follow up on Dias's voyage to the Cape of Good Hope,
though it has also been speculated that other voyages were in fact
taking place in secret during this time. Whether or not this was the
case, the long-standing Portuguese goal of finding a sea route to Asia
was finally achieved in a ground-breaking voyage commanded by Vasco da
PORTUGUESE ENTER THE INDIAN OCEAN
Portuguese India Armadas
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama 's
departure to India, in 1497
The squadron of
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama left
Portugal in 1497, rounded the Cape
and continued along the coast of East Africa, where a local pilot was
brought on board who guided them across the Indian Ocean, reaching
Calicut (the capital of the native kingdom ruled by Zamorins ) in
south-western India in May 1498. The second voyage to India was
dispatched in 1500 under
Pedro Álvares Cabral
Pedro Álvares Cabral . While following the
same south-westerly route as Gama across the Atlantic Ocean, Cabral
made landfall on the Brazilian coast. This was probably an accidental
discovery, but it has been speculated that the Portuguese secretly
knew of Brazil's existence and that it lay on their side of the
Tordesillas line. Cabral recommended to the Portuguese King that the
land be settled, and two follow up voyages were sent in 1501 and 1503.
The land was found to be abundant in pau-brasil, or brazilwood, from
which it later inherited its name, but the failure to find gold or
silver meant that for the time being Portuguese efforts were
concentrated on India. In 1502, to enforce its trade monopoly over a
wide area of the Indian Ocean, the Portuguese
Empire created the
cartaz licensing system, granting merchant ships protection against
pirates and rival states.
Portuguese discoveries and
explorations: first arrival places and dates; main Portuguese spice
trade routes (blue)
Profiting from the rivalry between the ruler of
Kochi and the Zamorin
of Calicut , the Portuguese were well-received and seen as allies, as
they obtained a permit to build the fort Immanuel (
Fort Kochi ) and a
trading post that were the first European settlement in India. They
established a trading center at
city in (1503) in 1502, which became the centre of trade in pepper,
and after founding manufactories at
Cochin (Cochim, Kochi) and
Cannanore (Canonor, Kannur), built a factory at
Quilon in 1503. In
1505 King Manuel I of
Francisco de Almeida first
Viceroy of Portuguese India, establishing the Portuguese government in
the east. That year the Portuguese also conquered
Kannur , where they
St. Angelo Fort
St. Angelo Fort , and
Lourenço de Almeida arrived in Ceylon
(modern Sri Lanka), where he discovered the source of cinnamon .
Cankili I of
Jaffna initially resisted contact with them, the
Jaffna kingdom came to the attention of Portuguese officials soon
after for their resistance to missionary activities as well as
logistical reasons due to its proximity with
Trincomalee harbour among
other reasons. In the same year, Manuel I ordered Almeida to fortify
the Portuguese fortresses in Kerala and within eastern Africa, as well
as probe into the prospects of building forts in Sri Lanka and Malacca
in response to growing hostilities with Muslims within those regions
and threats from the
Mamluk sultan. The Santa Catarina do Monte
Sinai carrack exemplified the might and the force of the Portuguese
A Portuguese fleet under the command of
Tristão da Cunha and Afonso
de Albuquerque conquered
Socotra at the entrance of the
Red Sea in
1506 and Muscat in 1507. Having failed to conquer Ormuz , they instead
followed a strategy intended to close off commerce to and from the
Madagascar was partly explored by Cunha, and Mauritius
was discovered by Cunha whilst possibly being accompanied by
Albuquerque. After the capture of Socotra, Cunha and Albuquerque
operated separately. While Cunha traveled India and
trading purposes, Albuquerque went to India to take over as governor
after Almeida's three-year term ended. Almeida refused to turn over
power and soon placed Albuquerque under house arrest, where he
remained until 1509.
Although requested by Manuel I to further explore interests in
Malacca and Sri Lanka, Almeida instead focused on western India, in
Sultanate of Gujarat
Sultanate of Gujarat due to his suspicions of traders
from the region possessing more power. The Mamlûk Sultanate sultan
Al-Ashraf Qansuh al-Ghawri
Al-Ashraf Qansuh al-Ghawri along with the Gujarati sultanate attacked
Portuguese forces in the harbor of
Chaul , resulting in the death of
Almeida\'s son . In retaliation, the Portuguese fought and destroyed
the Mamluks and Gujarati fleets in the sea Battle of Diu in 1509.
Along with Almeida's initial attempts, Manuel I and his council in
Lisbon had tried to distribute power in the Indian Ocean, creating
three areas of jurisdiction: Albuquerque was sent to the Red Sea,
Diogo Lopes de Sequeira to South-east Asia, seeking an agreement with
the Sultan of Malacca, and Jorge de Aguiar followed by Duarte de Lemos
were sent to the area between the
Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope and Gujarat.
However, such posts were centralized by
Afonso de Albuquerque after
his succession and remained so in subsequent ruling.
TRADE WITH MARITIME ASIA, AFRICA AND THE INDIAN OCEAN
Main articles: History of
Macau , History of
Goa , and Portuguese
Malacca And Southeast Asia
In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Portuguese
Empire of the
Estado da Índia ("State of India"), with its capital in Goa,
included possessions (as subjected areas with a certain degree of
autonomy) in all the Asian sub-continents, East Africa, and Pacific.
By the end of 1509, Albuquerque became viceroy of the Portuguese
India . In contrast to Almeida, Albuquerque was more concerned with
strengthening the navy, as well as being more compliant with the
interests of the kingdom. His first objective was to conquer Goa, due
to its strategic location as a defensive fort positioned between
Kerala and Gujarat, as well as its prominence for Arabian horse
The initial capture of
Goa from the Bijapur sultanate in 1510 was
soon countered by the Bijapuris, but with the help of Hindu privateer
Timoji , on November 25 of the same year it was recaptured. In Goa,
Albuquerque began the first Portuguese mint in India in 1510. He
encouraged Portuguese settlers to marry local women, built a church in
honor of St. Catherine (as it was recaptured on her feast day), and
attempted to build rapport with the Hindus by protecting their temples
and reducing their tax requirements. The Portuguese maintained
friendly relations with the south Indian Emperors of the Vijayanagara
In April 1511 Albuquerque sailed to
Malacca in Malaysia, the largest
spice market of the period. Though the trade was largely dominated by
the Gujurati, other groups such as the Turks, Persians, Armenians,
Tamils and Abyssinians traded there. Albuquerque targeted
impede the Muslim and Venetian influence in the spice trade and
increase that of Lisbon. By July 1511, Albuquerque had captured
Malacca and sent
Antonio de Abreu and
Francisco Serrão (along with
Ferdinand Magellan) to explore the Indonesian archipelago.
Malacca peninsula became the strategic base for Portuguese trade
China and Southeast Asia. A strong gate, called the A
Famosa , was erected to defend the city and still remains. Learning
of Siamese ambitions over Malacca, Albuquerque immediately sent Duarte
Fernandes on a diplomatic mission to the Kingdom of Siam (modern
Thailand), where he was the first European to arrive, establishing
amicable relations and trade between both kingdoms.
The Portuguese empire pushed further south and proceeded to discover
Timor in 1512. Jorge de Meneses discovered
New Guinea in 1526, naming
it the "Island of the Papua". In 1517,
João da Silveira commanded a
Chittagong , and by 1528, the Portuguese had established a
Chittagong . The Portuguese eventually based their
center of operations along the
Hugli River , where they encountered
Muslims, Hindus, and Portuguese deserters known as Chatins.
China And Japan
See also: Chinese people in
Nanban trade , and Slavery in
Portugal The Portuguese founded the city of Nagasaki, Japan
Jorge Alvares was the first European to reach
China by sea, while the
Romans were the first overland via Asia Minor. He was also the
first European to discover Hong Kong. In 1514, Afonso de
Viceroy of the Estado da India, dispatched Italian
Rafael Perestrello to sail to
China in order to pioneer European trade
relations with the nation.
In spite of initial harmony and excitement between the two cultures,
difficulties began to arise shortly afterwards, including
misunderstanding, bigotry, and even hostility. The Portuguese
explorer Simão de Andrade incited poor relations with
China due to
his pirate activities, raiding Chinese shipping, attacking a Chinese
official, and kidnappings of Chinese. He based himself at Tamao island
in a fort. The Chinese claimed that Simão kidnapped Chinese boys and
girls to be molested and cannibalized. The Chinese sent a squadron of
junks against Portuguese caravels that succeeded in driving the
Portuguese away and reclaiming Tamao. As a result, the Chinese posted
an edict banning men with caucasian features from entering Canton,
killing multiple Portuguese there, and driving the Portuguese back to
sea. A depiction, from 1639, of the
Macau Peninsula , during
the golden age of colonization of
Portuguese Macau .
After the Sultan of Bintan detained several Portuguese under Tomás
Pires, the Chinese then executed 23 Portuguese and threw the rest into
prison where they resided in squalid, sometimes fatal conditions. The
Chinese then massacred Portuguese who resided at
Ningbo and Fujian
trading posts in 1545 and 1549, due to extensive and damaging raids by
the Portuguese along the coast, which irritated the Chinese.
Portuguese pirating was second to Japanese pirating by this period.
However, they soon began to shield Chinese junks and a cautious trade
began. In 1557 the Chinese authorities allowed the Portuguese to
settle in Macau, creating a warehouse in the trade of goods between
Goa and Europe.
Spice Islands (Moluccas) And Treaty Of Zaragoza
Portugal was the first European nation to establish trade routes
with Japan and
Portuguese operations in Asia did not go unnoticed, and in 1521
Magellan arrived in the region and claimed the Philippines for Spain.
Spain under Charles V sent an expedition to colonize the
Moluccas islands , claiming they were in his zone of the Treaty of
Tordesillas , since there was no set limit to the east. The expedition
García Jofre de Loaísa reached the Moluccas, docking at
With the Portuguese already established in nearby Ternate, conflict
was inevitable, leading to nearly a decade of skirmishes. A resolution
was reached with the
Treaty of Zaragoza in 1529, attributing the
Portugal and the Philippines to Spain.
South Asia, Persian Gulf And Red Sea
The Portuguese empire expanded into the Persian Gulf, contesting
control of the spice trade with the Ajuran
Empire and the Ottoman
Empire . In 1515,
Afonso de Albuquerque conquered the
Huwala state of
Hormuz at the head of the Persian Gulf, establishing it as a vassal
Aden , however, resisted Albuquerque's expedition in that same
year and another attempt by Albuquerque's successor Lopo Soares de
Albergaria in 1516. In 1521 a force led by António Correia captured
Bahrain , defeating the
Muqrin ibn Zamil . In a shifting
series of alliances, the Portuguese dominated much of the southern
Persian Gulf for the next hundred years. With the regular maritime
Goa since 1497, the island of Mozambique
became a strategic port, and there was built
Fort São Sebastião and
a hospital. In the Azores, the Islands Armada protected the ships en
route to Lisbon.
In 1534, Gujarat faced attack from the
Mughals and the Rajput states
Chitor and Mandu . The Sultan
Bahadur Shah of Gujarat was forced to
sign the Treaty of Bassein with the Portuguese, establishing an
alliance to regain the country, giving in exchange Daman , Diu ,
Mumbai and Bassein . It also regulated the trade of Gujarati ships
departing to the
Red Sea and passing through Bassein to pay duties and
allow the horse trade. After Mughal ruler
Humayun had success against
Bahadur, the latter signed another treaty with the Portuguese to
confirm the provisions and allowed the fort to be built in Diu.
Humayun turned his attention elsewhere, and the
Gujarats allied with the Ottomans to regain control of Diu and lay
siege to the fort. The two failed sieges of 1538 and 1546 put an end
to Ottoman ambitions, confirming the Portuguese hegemony in the
region, as well as gaining superiority over the Mughals. However,
the Ottomans fought off attacks from the Portuguese in the
Red Sea and
Sinai Peninsula in 1541, and in the northern region of the
Persian Gulf in 1546 and 1552. Each entity ultimately had to respect
the sphere of influence of the other, albeit unofficially.
Portuguese carracks unload cargo in Lisbon. Original engraving
Theodor de Bry
Theodor de Bry , 1593, coloured at a later date.
After a series of prolonged contacts with Ethiopia, the Portuguese
embassy made contact with the Ethiopian (Abyssinian) Kingdom led by
Rodrigo de Lima in 1520. This coincided with the Portuguese search
for Prester John, as they soon associated the kingdom as his land.
The fear of Turkish advances within the Portuguese and Ethiopian
sectors also played a role in their alliance. The Adal Sultanate
defeated the Ethiopians in the battle of Shimbra Kure in 1529, and
Islam spread further in the region .
Portugal responded by aiding king
Gelawdewos with Portuguese soldiers and muskets. Though the Ottomans
responded with support of soldiers and muskets to the Adal Sultanate,
after the death of the Adali sultan
Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi
Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi in the
battle of Wayna Daga in 1543, the joint Adal-Ottoman force retreated.
The Portuguese also made direct contact with the Kongolose vassal
state Ndongo and its ruler Ngola Kiljuane in 1520, after the latter
requested missionaries. Kongolese king Afonso I interfered with the
process with denunciations, and later sent a Kongo mission to Ndongo
after the latter had arrested the Portuguese mission that came. The
growing official and unofficial slave trading with Ndongo strained
relations between Kongo and the Portuguese, and even had Portuguese
ambassadors from Sao Tome support Ndongo against the Kingdom of Kongo.
However, when the Jaga attacked and conquered regions of Kongo in
1568, Portuguese assisted Kongo in their defeat. In response, the
Kongo allowed the colonization of Luanda Island; Luanda was
Paulo Dias de Novais in 1576 and soon became a slave
port. De Novais' subsequent alliance with Ndongo angered
Luso-Africans who resented the influence from the Crown. In 1579,
Ndongo ruler Ngola Kiluanje kia Ndamdi massacred Portuguese and
Kongolese residents in the Ndongo capital Kabasa under the influence
of Portuguese renegades. Both the Portuguese and Kongo fought against
Ndongo, and off-and-on warfare between the Ndongo and
persist for decades.
St. Francis Xavier
St. Francis Xavier requesting John III of
Portugal for a
missionary expedition in Asia.
In 1542, Jesuit missionary
Francis Xavier arrived in
Goa at the
service of King John III of
Portugal , in charge of an Apostolic
Nunciature . At the same time Francisco Zeimoto,
António Mota , and
other traders arrived in Japan for the first time. According to
Fernão Mendes Pinto
Fernão Mendes Pinto , who claimed to be in this journey, they arrived
Tanegashima , where the locals were impressed by firearms , that
would be immediately made by the Japanese on a large scale. By 1570
the Portuguese bought part of a Japanese port where they founded a
small part of the city of
Nagasaki , and it became the major trading
port in Japan in the triangular trade with
China and Europe.
The Portuguese were defeated in their attempt to capture cities and
sultanates , on the Somali coast such as
Sultanate of Mogadishu ,
Merca , and
Barawa by the Somalis of the Ajuran
Empire . Guarding its
trade from both European and Asian competitors,
Portugal dominated not
only the trade between Asia and Europe, but also much of the trade
between different regions of Asia and Africa, such as India,
Indonesia, China, and Japan. Jesuit missionaries, followed the
Portuguese to spread
Roman Catholicism to Asia and Africa with mixed
COLONIZATION EFFORTS IN THE AMERICAS
Main article: Portuguese colonization of the
The Portuguese mapped and claimed Canada in 1499 and 1500s
Based on the Treaty of Tordesillas, the Portuguese Crown, under the
kings Manuel I, John III and Sebastian, also claimed territorial
rights in North America (reached by
John Cabot in 1497 and 1498). To
that end, in 1499 and 1500,
João Fernandes Lavrador explored
Greenland and the north Atlantic coast of Canada, which accounts for
the appearance of "Labrador" on topographical maps of the period.
Subsequently, in 1500–1501 and 1502, the brothers Gaspar and Miguel
Corte-Real explored what is today the Canadian province of
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador , and Greenland, claiming these lands for
Portugal. In 1506, King Manuel I created taxes for the cod fisheries
Newfoundland waters. Around 1521,
João Álvares Fagundes was
granted donatary rights to the inner islands of the Gulf of St.
Lawrence and also created a settlement on
Cape Breton Island
Cape Breton Island to serve
as a base for cod fishing. Pressure from natives and competing
European fisheries prevented a permanent establishment and was
abandoned five years later. Several attempts to establish settlements
Newfoundland over the next half-century also failed.
Within a few years after Cabral arrived from Brazil, competition came
along from France. In 1503, an expedition under the command of
Gonçalo Coelho reported French raids on the Brazilian coasts, and
Binot Paulmier de Gonneville traded for brazilwood after
making contact in southern Brazil a year later. Expeditions sponsored
by Francis I along the North American coast directly violated of the
Treaty of Tordesilhas. By 1531, the French had stationed a trading
post off of an island on the Brazilian coast.
The increase in brazilwood smuggling from the French led
João III to
press an effort to establish effective occupation of the territory.
In 1531, a royal expedition led by
Martim Afonso de Sousa and his
brother Pero Lopes went to patrol the whole Brazilian coast, banish
the French, and create some of the first colonial towns—among them
São Vicente , in 1532. Sousa returned to
Lisbon a year later to
become governor of India and never returned to Brazil. The French
attacks did cease to an extent after retaliation led to the Portuguese
paying the French to stop attacking Portuguese ships throughout the
Atlantic, but the attacks would continue to be a problem well into
the 1560s. A map from 1574 showing the 15 hereditary captaincy
colonies of Brazil
Upon de Sousa's arrival and success, fifteen latitudinal tracts,
theoretically to span from the coast to the Tordesillas limit, were
João III on 28 September 1532. The plot of the lands
formed as a hereditary captaincies (Capitanias Hereditárias) to
grantees rich enough to support settlement, as had been done
Cape Verde islands. Each captain-major
was to build settlements, grant allotments and administer justice,
being responsible for developing and taking the costs of colonization,
although not being the owner: he could transmit it to offspring, but
not sell it. Twelve recipients came from Portuguese gentry who become
prominent in Africa and India and senior officials of the court, such
João de Barros .
Of the fifteen original captaincies, only two,
Pernambuco and São
Vicente, prospered. Both were dedicated to the crop of sugar cane ,
and the settlers managed to maintain alliances with Native Americans .
The rise of the sugar industry came about because the Crown took the
easiest sources of profit (brazilwood, spices, etc.), leaving settlers
to come up with new revenue sources. The establishment of the sugar
cane industry demanded intensive labor that would be met with Native
American and, later, African slaves. Deeming the capitanias system
João III decided to centralize the government of the
colony in order to "give help and assistance" to grantees. In 1548 he
created the first General Government, sending in
Tomé de Sousa as
first governor and selecting a capital at the
Bay of All Saints ,
making it at the
Captaincy of Bahia .
Tomé de Sousa built the capital of Brazil, Salvador , at the Bay of
All Saints in 1549. Among de Sousa's 1000 man expedition were
soldiers, workers, and six
Jesuits led by
Manuel da Nóbrega . The
Jesuits would have an essential role in the colonization of Brazil,
including São Vicente, and
São Paulo , the latter which Nóbrega
co-founded. Along with the Jesuit missions later came disease among
the natives, among them plague and smallpox . Subsequently, the
French would resettle in Portuguese territory at
Guanabara Bay , which
would be called
France Antarctique . While a Portuguese ambassador
was sent to
Paris to report the French intrusion, Joao III appointed
Mem de Sá as new Brazilian governor general, and Sá left for Brazil
in 1557. By 1560, Sá and his forces had expelled the combined
Huguenot , Scottish
Calvinist , and slave forces from France
Antarctique, but left survivors after burning their fortifications and
villages. These survivors would settle Gloria Bay , Flamengo Beach ,
and Parapapuã with the assistance of the Tamoio natives.
The Tamoio had been allied with the French since the settlement of
France Antarctique, and despite the French loss in 1560, the Tamoio
were still a threat. They launched two attacks in 1561 and 1564 (the
latter event was assisting the French), and were nearly successful
with each. By this time period, Manuel de Nóbrega, along with
José de Anchieta
José de Anchieta , took part as members of attacks on
the Tamoios and as spies for their resources. From 1565 through 1567
Mem de Sá and his forces eventually destroyed
France Antarctique at
Guanabara Bay. He and his nephew,
Estácio de Sá , then established
the city of
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro in 1567, after
Mem de Sá proclaimed the
area "São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro" in 1565. By 1575, the
Tamoios had been subdued and essentially were extinct, and by 1580
the government became more of a ouvidor general rather than the
IBERIAN UNION, PROTESTANT RIVALRY, AND COLONIAL STASIS (1580–1663)
Iberian Union and
Council of Portugal See also: Dutch
Brazil The Luso-Hispanic (or Iberian)
Empire in 1598, during the
reign of Philip I and II , King of
Portugal and Spain.
In 1580, King
Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain invaded
Portugal after a crisis of
succession brought about by King Sebastian of
Portugal 's death during
a disastrous Portuguese attack on Alcácer Quibir in
Morocco in 1578.
At the Cortes of Tomar in 1581, Philip was crowned Philip I of
Portugal, uniting the two crowns and overseas empires under Spanish
Habsburg rule in a dynastic
Iberian Union . At Tomar, Philip promised
to keep the empires legally distinct, leaving the administration of
Empire to Portuguese nationals, with a
Lisbon seeing to his interests. Philip even had the
capital moved to
Lisbon for a two-year period (1581–83) due to it
being the most important city in the
Iberian peninsula . All the
Portuguese colonies accepted the new state of affairs except for the
Azores , which held out for António , a Portuguese rival claimant to
the throne who had garnered the support of
Catherine de Medici of
France in exchange for the promise to cede Brazil. Spanish forces
eventually captured the islands in 1583.
The Tordesillas boundary between Spanish and Portuguese control in
South America was then increasingly ignored by the Portuguese, who
pressed beyond it into the heart of Brazil, allowing them to expand
the territory to the west. Exploratory missions were carried out both
ordered by the government, the "entradas" (entries), and by private
initiative, the "bandeiras" (flags), by the "bandeirantes ". These
expeditions lasted for years venturing into unmapped regions,
initially to capture natives and force them into slavery, and later
focusing on finding gold, silver and diamond mines. The Recovery
Salvador da Bahia de Todos os Santos , by Philip III of
Portugal , from the
Dutch Republic .
However, the union meant that
Portugal into its
conflicts with England,
France and the
Dutch Republic , countries
which were beginning to establish their own overseas empires. The
primary threat came from the Dutch, who had been engaged in a struggle
for independence against
Spain since 1568. In 1581, the Seven
Provinces gained independence from the Habsburg rule , leading Philip
II to prohibit commerce with Dutch ships, including in Brazil where
Dutch had invested large sums in financing sugar production.
Spanish imperial trade networks now were opened to Portuguese
merchants, which was particularly lucrative for Portuguese slave
traders who could now sell slaves in Spanish America at a higher price
than could be fetched in Brazil. In addition to this newly acquired
access to the Spanish asientos , the Portuguese were able to solve
their bullion shortage issues with access to the production of the
silver mining in Peru and Mexico.
Manila was also incorporated into
Nagasaki trading network, allowing Macanese of Portuguese
descent to act as trading agents for Philippine Spaniards and use
Spanish silver from the
Americas in trade with China, and they later
drew competition with the Dutch East India Company.
In 1592, during the war with
Spain , an English fleet captured a
large Portuguese carrack off the Azores, the
Madre de Deus , which was
loaded with 900 tons of merchandise from India and
China estimated at
half a million pounds (nearly half the size of English Treasury at the
time). This foretaste of the riches of the East galvanized English
interest in the region. That same year,
Cornelis de Houtman was sent
by Dutch merchants to Lisbon, to gather as much information as he
could about the Spice Islands.
The Dutch eventually realized the importance of
Goa in breaking up
the Portuguese empire in Asia. In 1583, merchant and explorer Jan
Huyghen van Linschoten (1563 – 8 February 1611), formerly the Dutch
secretary of the Archbishop of Goa, had acquired information while
serving in that position that contained the location of secret
Portuguese trade routes throughout Asia, including those to the East
Indies and Japan. It was published in 1595; the text was then included
in the larger volume published in 1596 under the title "Itinerario:
voyage, ofte schipvaert van Jan Huygen van Linschoten naer Oost ofte
Portugaels Indien, 1579–1592, Volume 2, Issue 2, by Jan Huygen van
Linschoten, Linschoten-Vereeniging (Hague, Netherlands)". Dutch and
English interests used this new information, leading to their
commercial expansion, including the foundation of the English East
India Company in 1600, and the Dutch
East India Company
East India Company in 1602. These
developments allowed the entry of chartered companies into the East
Indies. The Portuguese victory at the Second Battle of
Guararapes ended Dutch presence in
The Dutch took their fight overseas, attacking Spanish and Portuguese
colonies and beginning the
Dutch–Portuguese War , which would last
for over sixty years (1602–1663). Other European nations, such as
Protestant England, assisted the
Dutch Empire in the war. The Dutch
attained victories in Asia and Africa with assistance of various
indigenous allies, eventually wrenching control of
São Jorge da Mina . The Dutch also had regional control of the
lucrative sugar-producing region of northeast Brazil as well as Luanda
, but the Portuguese regained these territories after considerable
Meanwhile, in the Arabian Peninsula, the Portuguese also lost control
of Ormuz by a joint alliance of the Safavids and the English in 1622,
Oman under the Al-Ya\'arubs would capture Muscat in 1650. They
would continue to use Muscat as a base for repetitive incursions
within the Indian Ocean, including capturing Fort Jesus in 1698 . In
Ethiopia and Japan in the 1630s, the ousting of missionaries by local
leaders severed influence in the respective regions.
SECOND ERA (1663–1825)
History of Portugal (1640–1777) and History of
The loss of colonies was one of the reasons that contributed to the
end of the personal union with Spain. In 1640 John IV was proclaimed
Portugal and the
Portuguese Restoration War
Portuguese Restoration War began. Even before
the war's final resolution, the crown established the Overseas
Council, conceived in 1642 on the short-lived model of the Council of
India (1604-1614), and established in 1643, it was the governing body
for most of the Portuguese overseas empire. The exceptions were North
Africa, Madeira, and the Azores. All correspondence concerning
overseas possessions were funneled through the council. When the
Portuguese court fled to Brazil in 1807, following the Napoleonic
invasion of Iberia, Brazil was removed from the jurisdiction of the
council. It made recommendations concerning personnel for the
administrative, fiscal, and military, as well as bishops of overseas
dioceses. A distinguished seventeenth-century member was Salvador de
In 1661 the Portuguese offered
Bombay and Tangier to
England as part
of a dowry , and over the next hundred years the English gradually
became the dominant trader in India, gradually excluding the trade of
other powers. In 1668
Spain recognized the end of the Iberian Union
and in exchange
Ceuta to the Spanish crown.
After the Portuguese were defeated by the Indian rulers Chimnaji Appa
Maratha Empire and by
Shivappa Nayaka of the Keladi Nayaka
Kingdom and at the end of confrontations with the Dutch, Portugal
was only able to cling onto
Goa and several minor bases in India, and
managed to regain territories in Brazil and Africa, but lost forever
to prominence in Asia as trade was diverted through increasing numbers
of English, Dutch and French trading posts. Thus, throughout the
century, Brazil gained increasing importance to the empire, which
Brazilwood and sugar .
MINAS GERAIS AND THE GOLD INDUSTRY
In 1693, one of the major locations in Brazil became
Minas Gerais ,
where gold was discovered. Major discoveries of gold and, later,
diamonds in Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso and Goiás led to a "gold rush
", with a large influx of migrants. The village became the new
economic center of the empire, with rapid settlement and some
conflicts. This gold cycle led to the creation of an internal market
and attracted a large number of immigrants. By 1739, at the apex of
the mining boom, the population of
Minas Gerais was somewhere between
200,000 and 250,000. The
Portuguese Cortes sought the
disbandment of the United Kingdom.
The gold rush considerably increased the revenue of the Portuguese
crown, who charged a fifth of all the ore mined, or the "fifth".
Diversion and smuggling were frequent, along with altercations between
Paulistas (residents of São Paulo) and Emboabas (immigrants from
Portugal and other regions in Brazil), so a whole set of bureaucratic
controls began in 1710 with the captaincy of
São Paulo and Minas
Gerais. By 1718,
São Paulo and
Minas Gerais became two captaincies,
with eight vilas created in the latter. The crown also restricted
the diamond mining within its jurisdiction and to private contractors.
In spite of gold galvanizing global trade, the plantation industry
became the leading export for Brazil during this period; sugar
constituted at 50% of the exports (with gold at 46%) in 1760.
Africans and Afro-Brazilians became the largest group of people in
Minas Gerais. Slaves labeled as 'Minas' and 'Angolas' rose in high
demand during the boom. The Akan within the 'Minas' group had a
reputation to have been experts in extrapolating gold in their native
regions, and became the preferred group. In spite of the high death
rate associated with the slaves involved in the mining industry, the
owners that allowed slaves that extracted above the minimum amount of
gold to keep the excesses, which in turn led to the possibility of
manumission . Those that became free partook in artisan jobs such as
cobblers, tailors, and blacksmiths. In spite of free blacks and
mulattoes playing a large role in Minas Gerais, the number of them
that received marginalization was greater there than in any other
region in Brazil.
Gold discovered in Mato Grosso and Goiás sparked an interest to
solidify the western borders of the colony. In the 1730s contact with
Spanish outposts occurred more frequently, and the Spanish threatened
to launch a military expedition in order to remove them. This failed
to happen and by the 1750s the Portuguese were able to implant a
political stronghold in the region.
Lisbon suffered a catastrophic earthquake , which together
with a subsequent tsunami killed between 40,000–60,000 people out of
a population of 275,000. This sharply checked Portuguese colonial
ambitions in the late 18th century.
According to economic historians, Portugal's colonial trade had a
substantial positive impact on Portuguese economic growth, 1500-1800.
Leonor Costa et al. conclude: intercontinental trade had a
substantial and increasingly positive impact on economic growth. In
the heyday of colonial expansion, eliminating the economic links to
empire would have reduced Portugal’s per capita income by roughly a
fifth. While the empire helped the domestic economy it was not
sufficient to annul the tendency towards decline in relation to
Europe’s advanced core which set in from the 17th century onwards.
POMBALINE AND POST-POMBALINE BRAZIL
Portugal did not divide its colonial territory in
America . The captaincies created there functioned under a centralized
administration in Salvador which reported directly to the Crown in
Lisbon. The 18th century was marked by increasing centralization of
royal power throughout the Portuguese empire. The
Jesuits , who
protected the natives against slavery, were brutally suppressed by the
Marquis of Pombal
Marquis of Pombal that lead to the dissolution of the order in the
region by 1759. Pombal wished to improve the status of the natives by
declaring them free and increase the mestizo population by encouraging
intermarriage between them and the white population. Indigenous
freedom decreased in contrast to its period under the Jesuits, and the
response to intermarriage was lukewarm at best. The crown's revenue
from gold declined and plantation revenue increased by the time of
Pombal, and he made provisions to improve each. Although he failed to
spike the gold revenue, two short-term companies he established for
the plantation economy saw the increase in production of cotton, rice,
cacao, tobacco, sugar. Cotton, cacao, and rice saw a significant rise
in importance in the second half of the 18th century. Slave labor
increased as well as involvement from the textile economy. The
economic development as a whole was inspired by elements of the
Enlightenment in mainland Europe. However, the diminished influence
from states such as the
United Kingdom increased the Kingdom's
dependence upon Brazil.
Encouraged by the example of the
United States of America, which had
won its independence from Britain , the attempt centred in the
colonial province of
Minas Gerais took place in 1789 to achieve the
same objective. However, the
Inconfidência Mineira failed, the
leaders arrested and, of the participants of the insurrections the one
of lowest social position,
Tiradentes , was hanged. Among the
conspiracies led by the Afro- population was the Bahian revolt in
1798, led primarily by Joao de Deus do Nascimento . Inspired by the
French Revolution , leaders proposed a society without slavery, food
prices would be lowered, and trade restriction abolished. Impoverished
social conditions and a high cost of living were among reasons of the
revolt. Authorities diffused the plot before major action began; they
executed four of the conspirators and exiled several others were
exiled to the Atlantic Coast of Africa. Several more smaller-scale
slave rebellions and revolts would occur from 1801 and 1816 and fears
within Brazil were that it would become a "second Haiti" .
In spite of the conspiracies, the rule of
Portugal in Brazil was not
under serious threat. Historian A.R. Disney states that the colonists
did not until the transferring of the Kingdom in 1808 assert influence
of policy changing due to direct contact, and historian Gabriel
Paquette mentions that the threats in Brazil were largely unrealized
Portugal until 1808 because of effective policing and espionage.
More revolts would occur after the arrival of the court.
Independence of Brazil
Independence of Brazil ; Transfer of the
Portuguese Court to Brazil ; and
United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil
and the Algarves
Brazilian Independence crippled the Portuguese
Empire, both economically and politically, for a long time.
Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Portugal, and Dom João , Prince
Regent in place of his mother, Dona Maria I , ordered the transfer of
the royal court to Brazil. In 1815 Brazil was elevated to the status
of Kingdom, the Portuguese state officially becoming the United
Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves (Reino Unido de Portugal,
Brasil e Algarves), and the capital was transferred from
Lisbon to Rio
de Janeiro, the only instance of a European country being ruled from
one of its colonies. There was also the election of Brazilian
representatives to the Cortes Constitucionais Portuguesas (Portuguese
Constitutional Courts), the Parliament that assembled in
Lisbon in the
wake of the
Liberal Revolution of 1820 .
Although the royal family returned to
Portugal in 1821, the interlude
led to a growing desire for independence amongst Brazilians. In 1822,
the son of Dom João VI, then prince-regent
Dom Pedro I , proclaimed
the independence of Brazil on September 7, 1822, and was crowned
Emperor of the new
Empire of Brazil . Unlike the Spanish colonies of
South America, Brazil's independence was achieved without significant
THIRD ERA (1822–1999)
Portuguese East Africa ,
Portuguese West Africa , and
Portuguese Guinea Further information:
Liberal Wars and History of
Portugal (1834–1910) The façade of St. Paul\'s College in
Macau , 1854
At the height of
European colonialism in the 19th century, Portugal
had lost its territory in
South America and all but a few bases in
Asia. During this phase, Portuguese colonialism focused on expanding
its outposts in Africa into nation-sized territories to compete with
other European powers there.
Portugal pressed into the hinterland of
Angola and Mozambique, and explorers Serpa Pinto , Hermenegildo Capelo
Roberto Ivens were among the first Europeans to cross Africa west
BRITISH ULTIMATUM AND END OF PORTUGUESE MONARCHY (1890–1910)
In the 19th century,
Portugal launched campaigns to solidify
The project to connect the two colonies, the
Pink Map , was the main
objective of Portuguese policy in the 1880s. However, the idea was
unacceptable to the British, who had their own aspirations of
contiguous British territory running from
Cape Town . The
British Ultimatum of 1890 was imposed upon King Carlos I of Portugal
Pink Map came to an end.
The King's reaction to the ultimatum was exploited by republicans.
In 1908 King Carlos and Prince Luís Filipe were murdered in
Luís Filipe's brother, Manuel, became King
Manuel II of Portugal .
Two years later he was overthrown and
Portugal became a republic .
WORLD WAR I
German campaign in Angola , East African Campaign
(World War I) , and
World War I
World War I
In 1914, the
German Empire formulated plans to usurp
Portuguese control. Skirmishes between Portuguese and German soldiers
ensued, resulting in reinforcements being sent from the mainland. The
main objective of these soldiers was to recapture the
, the territory having been subjugated by Germany. In 1916, after
Portugal interned German ships in Lisbon, Germany declared war on
Portugal followed suit, thus entering World War I. Early in
Portugal was involved mainly in supplying the Allies
positioned in France. In 1916, there was only one attack on the
Portuguese territory, in
Madeira . In 1917, one of the actions taken
Portugal was to assist
England in its timber industry, imperative
to the war effort. Along with the
Canadian Forestry Corps , Portuguese
personnel established logging infrastructure in an area now referred
to as the "
Portuguese Fireplace ". Throughout the year, Portugal
dispatched contingents of troops to the Allied front in France. Midway
in the year,
Portugal suffered its first
World War I
World War I casualty.
Meanwhile, in Portuguese Africa,
Portugal and the British fought
numerous battles against the Germans in both
Mozambique and Angola.
Later in the year,
U-boats entered Portuguese waters again and, once
more, attacked Madeira, and sunk multiple Portuguese ships. Through
the beginning of 1918,
Portugal continued to fight along the Allied
front against Germany, including participation in the infamous Battle
of La Lys . As autumn approached, Germany found success in both
Portuguese Africa, and against Portuguese vessels, sinking multiple
ships. After nearly three years of fighting (from a Portuguese
World War I
World War I ended, with an armistice being signed by
Germany. At the Versailles Conference ,
Portugal regained control of
all its lost territory, but did not retain possession (by the
principle of uti possidetis ) of territories gained during the war,
Kionga , a port city in modern-day
Portuguese territories in Africa eventually included the modern
Cape Verde ,
São Tomé and Príncipe ,
Angola , and
TURMOIL AND DECOLONIZATION (1951–1999)
Portuguese Colonial War
Portuguese Colonial War ,
Carnation Revolution ,
Transfer of sovereignty over Macau , and Annexation of
the 20th century,
Portugal no longer called itself an empire, but a
pluricontinental nation with overseas provinces.
In the wake of
World War II
World War II , decolonization movements began to gain
momentum in the empires of the European powers. The ensuing Cold War
also created instabilities among Portuguese overseas populations, as
United States and
Soviet Union vied to increase their spheres of
influence. Following the granting of independence to India by Britain
in 1947, and the decision by
France to allow its enclaves in India to
be incorporated into the newly independent nation, pressure was placed
Portugal to do the same. This was resisted by António de Oliveira
Salazar , who had taken power in 1933. Salazar rebuffed a request in
1950 by Indian Prime Minister
Jawaharlal Nehru to return the enclaves,
viewing them as integral parts of Portugal. The following year, the
Portuguese constitution was amended to change the status of the
colonies to overseas provinces. In 1954, a local uprising resulted in
the overthrow of the Portuguese authorities in the Indian enclave of
Dadra and Nagar Haveli
Dadra and Nagar Haveli . The existence of the remaining Portuguese
colonies in India became increasingly untenable and Nehru enjoyed the
support of almost all the Indian domestic political parties as well as
Soviet Union and its allies. In 1961, shortly after an uprising
against the Portuguese in Angola, Nehru ordered the Indian Army into
Daman and Diu
Daman and Diu , which were quickly captured and formally annexed
the following year. Salazar refused to recognize the transfer of
sovereignty, believing the territories to be merely occupied. The
Goa continued to be represented in the Portuguese National
Assembly until 1974.
António de Oliveira Salazar sought the
preservation of a pluricontinental Portugal.
The outbreak of violence in February 1961 in
Angola was the beginning
of the end of Portugal's empire in Africa. Portuguese army officers in
Angola held the view that it would be incapable of dealing militarily
with an outbreak of guerilla warfare and therefore that negotiations
should begin with the independence movements. However, Salazar
publicly stated his determination to keep the empire intact, and by
the end of the year, 50,000 troops had been stationed there. The same
year, the tiny Portuguese fort of
São João Baptista de Ajudá in
Ouidah , a remnant of the West African slave trade , was annexed by
the new government of Dahomey (now
Benin ) that had gained its
independence from France. Unrest spread from
Angola to Guinea, which
rebelled in 1963, and
Mozambique in 1964.
The rise of Soviet influence among the Movimento das Forças Armadas
's military (MFA) and working class, and the cost and unpopularity of
Portuguese Colonial War
Portuguese Colonial War (1961–1974), in which
to the emerging nationalist guerrilla movements in some of its African
territories, eventually led to the collapse of the Estado Novo regime
in 1974. Known as the "
Carnation Revolution ", one of the first acts
of the MFA-led government which then came into power – the National
Salvation Junta (Junta de Salvação Nacional) – was to end the wars
and negotiate Portuguese withdrawal from its African colonies. These
events prompted a mass exodus of Portuguese citizens from Portugal's
African territories (mostly from
Mozambique ), creating
over a million Portuguese refugees – the retornados. Portugal's new
ruling authorities also recognized
Goa and other Portuguese India's
territories invaded by India\'s military forces , as Indian
territories. Benin's claims over
São João Baptista de Ajudá were
Portugal in 1974.
According to one historian, Portuguese rulers were unwilling to meet
the demands of their colonial subjects (unlike other European powers)
in part because Portuguese elites believed that "
Portugal lacked the
means to conduct a successful “exit strategy” (akin to the
“neocolonial” approach followed by the British, the French, or the
Belgians)" and in part due to the lack of "a free and open debate on
the costs of upholding an empire against the anti-colonial consensus
that had prevailed in the United Nations since the early 1960s".
Civil wars in
Mozambique promptly broke out, with incoming
communist governments formed by the former rebels (and backed by the
Soviet Union , Cuba, and other communist countries) fighting against
insurgent groups supported by nations like
Zaire , South Africa, and
the United States.
East Timor also declared independence in 1975 by
making an exodus of many Portuguese refugees to Portugal, which was
also known as retornados. However,
East Timor was almost immediately
invaded by neighbouring Indonesia , which would later occupied up
until 1999. A United Nations-sponsored referendum resulted in a
majority of East Timorese choosing independence, which was finally
achieved in 2002.
Portugal signed the Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration with
China to establish the process and conditions
for the transfer of sovereignty of
Macau , its last remaining colony.
While this process was similar to the agreement between the United
China two years earlier regarding Hong Kong , the
Portuguese transfer to
China was met with less resistance than that of
Britain and Hong Kong, as
Portugal had already recognized
Chinese territory under Portuguese administration in 1979. Under the
Macau is to be governed under a one country, two
systems policy, in which it will retain a high degree of autonomy and
maintain its capitalist way of life for at least 50 years after the
handover in 2049. The handover in 1999 officially marked the end of
Empire and end of colonialism in Asia.
Member states and associate observer states of the Community of
Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP). The
Se Cathedral in
India, an example of Portuguese architecture and one of the largest
churches in Asia.
Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP)
serves as the cultural and intergovernmental successor of the Empire.
Macau was returned to
China on December 20, 1999, under the terms of
an agreement negotiated between People's
Portugal twelve years earlier. Nevertheless, the Portuguese language
remains co-official with
Cantonese Chinese in Macau.
Madeira , and
Savage Islands are the only
overseas territories that remain politically linked to Portugal.
Portugal began the process of decolonizing
East Timor in
Macau during 1999–2002 was sometimes considered Portugal's
last remaining colony, as the Indonesian invasion of
East Timor was
not justified by Portugal.
Eight of the former colonies of
Portugal have Portuguese as their
official language . Together with Portugal, they are now members of
Community of Portuguese Language Countries , which when combined
total 10,742,000 km², or 7.2% of the Earth's landmass (148 939 063
km²). There are six associate observers of the CPLP: Georgia ,
Senegal , and Turkey . Moreover, twelve
candidate countries or regions have applied for membership to the CPLP
and are awaiting approval. Portuguese remains an official
Macau after the handover to
Today, Portuguese is one of the world's major languages, ranked sixth
overall with approximately 240 million speakers around the globe. It
is the third most spoken language in the Americas, mainly due to
Brazil, although there are also significant communities of lusophones
in nations such as Canada, the USA and Venezuela. In addition, there
Portuguese-based creole languages , including the one
utilized by the
Kristang people in
For instance, as Portuguese merchants were presumably the first to
introduce the sweet orange in Europe, in several modern Indo-European
languages the fruit has been named after them. Some examples are
Albanian portokall, Bulgarian портокал (portokal), Greek
πορτοκάλι (portokali), Macedonian портокал
(portokal), Persian پرتقال (porteghal), and Romanian portocală.
Related names can be found in other languages, such as Arabic
البرتقال (bourtouqal), Georgian ფორთოხალი
(p'ort'oxali), Turkish portakal and
Amharic birtukan. Also, in
southern Italian dialects (e.g., Neapolitan ), an orange is portogallo
or purtuallo, literally "(the) Portuguese (one)", in contrast to
standard Italian arancia.
In light of its international importance,
Portugal and Brazil are
leading a movement to include Portuguese as one of the official
languages of the United Nations .
Evolution of the Portuguese Empire
Portuguese in Africa
Portuguese in Africa
Strait of Magellan
Strait of Magellan
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* Treece, Dave (2000). Exiles, Allies, Rebels: Brazil\'s Indianist
Movement, Indigenist Politics, and the Imperial Nation-State. Praeger.
ISBN 978-1-85109-549-0 .
* Velupillai, Viveka (2015). Pidgins, Creoles and Mixed Languages:
An Introduction. John Benjamins. ISBN 978-1-85109-549-0 .
* Wheeler, Douglas L. (1998). Republican Portugal: A Political
History, 1910–1926. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN
0-299-07450-1 . Retrieved 12 July 2012.
* White, Paula (2005). Bowman, John Stewart; Isserman, Maurice, eds.
Exploration in the World of the Middle Ages, 500–1500. Facts on
File, Inc. ISBN 3-87294-202-6 .
* Whiteway, Richard Stephen (1899). The Rise of Portuguese Power in
India, 1497–1550. Archibald Constable & Co.
* Yamashiro, José (1989). Choque Luso No Japão Dos Séculos XVI e
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Library resources about
* Online books
* Resources in your library
* Resources in other libraries
* Dutch Portuguese Colonial History Dutch Portuguese Colonial
History: history of the Portuguese and the Dutch in Ceylon, India,
Malacca, Bengal, Formosa, Africa, Brazil. Language Heritage, lists of
* "The Present State of the