A History of Portugese Overseas Expansion 1400-1668 by Malyn Newitt

By Malyn Newitt

A background of Portuguese out of the country growth 1400-1668 offers an obtainable survey of ways the Portuguese grew to become so influential in this interval and the way Portuguese settlements have been based in parts as far off as Asia, Africa and South the United States. Malyn Newitt examines how the information and associations of a past due medieval society have been deployed to assist enlargement into Africa and the Atlantic islands, in addition to how, via contention with Castile, this grew right into a world wide enterprise. ultimately, he considers how resilient the Portuguese in a foreign country groups have been, surviving wars and typical failures, and keeping off assaults through the extra seriously armed English and Dutch invaders until eventually good into the 1600s. together with a close bibliography and thesaurus, A historical past of Portuguese in a foreign country enlargement 1400-1668 is a useful textbook for all these learning this attention-grabbing interval of ecu growth

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War was expected to pay for itself and to provide the major pathway to a prosperous career. Lack of resources at the disposal of the Crown had always meant that contias and the army’s pay were met from the proceeds of confiscations, ransoms or plunder. Nobles for their part had to reward their followers, with the result that the search for plunder, ransoms and slaves became so important that it often determined the whole thrust of a campaign. The voyages of ‘discovery’ down the coasts of Africa, organised after 1430 by the Infante Dom Henrique and other noblemen, were openly and explicitly a series of raids designed to obtain slaves for sale or important ‘Moors’ who might be ransomed.

It was Zurara’s genius to imply that this essentially conservative and traditional man was a visionary, a recluse, a saint and a scholar. 75 In fact there is little evidence for any of this. 76 Henrique was a powerful medieval baron who headed a significant faction of the nobility and who consistently, over a lifetime, pursued the idea of a reconquista in Morocco. Like other powerful barons of the time Henrique accumulated titles privileges and lordships. It was the policy of João of Avis to use his sons as the principal props of his dynasty and Henrique was appointed governor of the Order of Christ and governor of the Algarve, and received the lordship of Viseu.

79 Exploiting the commerce of West Africa was left to merchants, many of them Italian, who came to Henrique for licences but who were left very much to their own devices to make what profits they could. Modern research has entirely demolished the idea that Henrique was a scientist, a mystic and the founder of a ‘school’ of navigation and geography. As Baillie Diffie wrote definitively in 1977, there is not found one single word of his love of books…nor does any contemporary praise his knowledge of astronomy… Henry was not learned in geography nor was he a mathematician.

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