Political History

A history of Portuguese overseas expansion, 1400-1668 by Malyn Newitt

By Malyn Newitt

A historical past of Portuguese out of the country growth 1400-1668 provides an available survey of the way the Portuguese turned so influential in this interval and the way Portuguese settlements have been based in parts as far off as Asia, Africa and South America.

Malyn Newitt examines how the guidelines and associations of a past due medieval society have been deployed to help enlargement into Africa and the Atlantic islands, in addition to how, via contention with Castile, this grew right into a all over the world business. ultimately, he considers how resilient the Portuguese in another country groups have been, surviving wars and average failures, and keeping off assaults by way of the extra seriously armed English and Dutch invaders until eventually good into the 1600s.

Including a close bibliography and word list, A background of Portuguese out of the country growth 1400-1668 is a useful textbook for all these learning this interesting interval of eu expansion

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For their longer voyages down the African coast and to the islands, the Portuguese developed the traditional Mediterranean caravel and incorporated one or more pieces of artillery which were used to overawe local populations or to defend the ship itself from attack. Small guns were even mounted on the longboats which were used to go ashore. Mounting artillery on ships overcame the problem, faced by armies operating on land, of moving heavy guns. The massive iron cannon of the fifteenth century could only be moved slowly and with difficulty, and were nearly useless in any military action except long drawn-out sieges.

The Moroccan policy has always been loosely associated by historians with the Atlantic voyages of discovery, but in fact these were rival and in some ways contradictory strategies, which competed for the support of the Portuguese ruling elite and for the limited military resources of the Crown. The existence over one and a half centuries of two rival and competing policies of expansion is clear evidence that contemporaries were not united in their support of the maritime voyages or the aspirations to dominate Asian trade with Europe.

Black Africans captured or bought in West Africa were taught Portuguese and subsequently accompanied ships to act as interpreters and even as agents in the trade, while some Portuguese who had been to West Africa rented out their slaves as interpreters to other traders. Sometime during the late 1450s ships returning from trading voyages in West Africa sighted the Cape Verde Islands and, shortly before his death, Henrique was granted seigneurial rights over these newly discovered islands by the king.

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