History Of Portugal Portugal is a European nation which ascended to power during the 15th and 16th century. 1415 marked the beginning of the Portuguese empire when they conquered Ceuta, a city on the coast of North Africa. In 1500 thirteen ships set sail and claimed what was to become the Portuguese colony of Brazil. In the beginning of 16th century two million Portuguese ruled a vast empire with inhabitants in the Americas, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
History Of Portugal In 1578, King Sebastian died without an heir to the throne. Portugal became under Spanish rule from 1580-1640 and Spain’s enemies became Portugal’s. A great nobleman, John IV, launched a war of independence against Spain which ultimately led to Portuguese independence in 1668. It gradually lost its power to the Dutch, English and French who took control of Portugal’s main economic interests; the spice and slave trade
The Portuguese Empire The Portuguese Empire was the first global empire in history and also the longest-lived of the modern European colonial empires, spanning almost six centuries. The conquest of the city of Ceuta located in North Africa in 1415 marked an achievement of the Portuguese beyond the Iberian Peninsula. Following the capture of Ceuta, Infante Dom Henry the Navigator played a crucial role in securing the islands of Madeira and Azores which exported wheat to Portugal. The introduction of the caravel in the mid-15th century allowed the ship more maneuverability which helped the Portuguese advance south more efficiently. In 1488 Bartolomeu Dias rounded the Cape of Good Hope on Southern Africa proving the Indian Ocean was not land-locked.
The Portuguese Empire By the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th century, the Portuguese had reached India through the Indian Ocean and Brazil across the Atlantic. In the beginning of the 16th century a Portuguese fleet sailed to Malacca in Malaysia which was the most important east point in the trade network. In 1534 John III organized the colonization of Brazil through land grants which promoted settlement to overcome the need to defend the territory. King Phillip II of Spain invaded Portugal in 1580 uniting the two crowns, but fractured Portugal’s alliance with England while inheriting Spain’s enemies. The Portuguese eventually lost many of their colonies due to conflict in the 16th and 17th centuries. Following an earthquake and tsunami in 1755 which killed more than a third of Lisbon’s population, Portugal put its colonial ambitions on hold.
Colonial brazil Colonial Brazil is comprised from the period 1500 until 1815. The treaty of Tordesillas divided newly discovered lands between Spain and Portugal which led to the discovery of Brazil. The Portuguese soon began exporting the valuable brazilwood from Brazil following their arrival in 1500. Brazilwood contained a precious red dye which was used to stain luxury textiles. The Portuguese realized other European countries, especially France, were sending expeditions to Brazil to extract brazilwood which forced the Portuguese to create colonial villages on the coast. The most successful captaincy, Pernambuco, prospered with sugarcane mills which became the main Brazilian colonial produce for the following 150 years. The Portuguese imported many black African slaves to work on the sugarcane harvesting.
Colonial brazil Only a few of the fifteen captaincies succeeded which forced the king to establish a central form of government in Brazil. Jesuits were brought to Brazil to set up missions, save the natives from slavery, study native languages, and to convert the natives to Roman Catholicism. The success of the Jesuits to convert the indigenous people to Catholicism was due to their ability to learn the native language. The discovery of gold became the main economic activity of colonial Brazil throughout the 18th century. The Portuguese established settlements in southern Brazil which led to conflict with Spain. In 1750 the Treaty of Madrid was signed regulating the territories of Brazil between Portugal and Spain.