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Author Topic: THE RENAISSANCE  (Read 4190 times)
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« Reply #30 on: November 02, 2008, 02:44:51 pm »

Portuguese exploration and colonization continued despite the new rivalry with Spain. The Portuguese became the first Westerners to reach and trade with Japan. Under the King Manuel I the Portuguese crown launched a scheme to keep control of the lands and trade routes that had been declared theirs. The strategy was to build a series of forts that would allow them to control all the major trade routes of the east. Thus forts and colonies were established on the Gold Coast, Luanda, Mozambique, Zanzibar, Mombassa, Socotra, Ormuz, Calcutta, Goa, Bombay, Malacca, Macau, and Timor.

Portugal had difficulty expanding its empire inland and concentrated mostly on the coastal areas.

Over time the Portuguese state proved to simply be too small to provide the funds and manpower sufficient to manage and defend such a massive and dispersed venture. The forts spread across the world were chronically undermanned and ill-equipped. They could not compete with the larger powers that slowly encroached on its empire and trade.

The days of near monopoly of east trade were numbered.

In 1580 the Spanish King Philip II became also King of Portugal, as rightful heir to the Crown after his cousin Sebastião died without sons (Philip II of Spain was grandson of Manuel I of Portugal).

The combined empires were simply too big to go unchallenged.

The Dutch, French and English explorers ignored the Papal division of the world. The principle of a free seafaring trade was justified in the concept of Mare Liberum by the Dutch jurist Hugo Grotius whose practical application of the principles of international law drew on the work of Spanish theorists such
as Fernando Vazquez and the School of Salamanca.

During the 17th century as the Dutch, English and French established ever more trading posts in the east, at the expense of Portugal, the wealth gained added to their military might while Portugal's weakened as it lost trading posts and colonies in West Africa, the Middle East and the Far East.

Bombay was given away to the English as a marriage gift.

Some, like Macau, East Timor, Goa, Angola, and Mozambique, as well as Brazil, remained in Portuguese possession.

The Dutch attempted to conquer Brazil, and at one time controlled almost half of the occupied territory, but were eventually defeated.
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