eye.gif (5286 bytes) Point of VIEW.

A purely analytical perception...

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../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Portugal is an area just a tad smaller than Indiana when you include both the Azores and the Madeira Islands and it is located in the Southwestern part of Europe with the Atlantic Ocean and Spain making up its borders. While the northern part the country is cool and damp, the south tends to be more temperate and has less rainfall. Natural resources include tungsten, marble, wood (cork); iron ore and uranium while fish have historical abounded in the coastal regions accessible by Portuguese trawlers.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Portugal's population is hovering around 10 million, but in recent years, the country is one of the few in the world that has a negative population growth. This is occurring in spite of the fact that there is very little migration and each resident has an average life expectancy of 75.66 years for a statistical combination of both sexes. Religiously, the population is almost entirely catholic and the language that they speak is Portuguese. The Country's capital is Lisbon and the Government is what is termed as a Parliamentary Democracy. Portugal has been independent since 1140 and it and as such ranks among the oldest countries on earth.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  Portugal has a President who is the Chief of State and a Prime Minister who is the head of the government. The President appoints the cabinet (Council of Ministers) at the direction of the Prime Minister.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">The Legislative branch is unicameral and has 230 members who are elected by popular vote to four-year terms. The Judicial Branch has as its highest court, the Supremo Tribunal de Justica or Supreme Court with its judges appointed for life.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Economically speaking, the sky is the limit in a relative sense for Portugal as both short and long-term fundamentals contain all of the critical elements for outstanding growth. Inflation is under control; the deficit and interest rates are coming down. The Government is spending substantial money on infrastructure projects and Portugal enjoys a unique position of having the lowest average annual wage of any common market member.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  While plant efficiency has been on the low side relative to its EU neighbors, Portugal is making this an important part of its economic plan and has substantial room to improve.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Although it may come as a surprise to many, Portugal is basically a service economy with almost 60% of their Gross Domestic Product coming from that area. Industry makes up 36% and agriculture a surprisingly low. 6%. The unemployment rate while high relative to global standards, relative to the Common Market is a viable 7% and falling. Fishing, Tourism and winemaking are among the more important industries for Portugal.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Imports are dangerously ahead of exports by almost 50% and the majority of trade is naturally with the EU. External debt is a tad on the high side but under control.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  Portugal has good-sized Merchant marine and impressive ports and harbors. Railroads and airports are adequate. Internationally, Portugal has some problems with Indonesia over East Timor and is in the process of handing back ownership of Macao to China. Portugal unfortunately remains an important transshipment country for cocaine entering the European market from Latin America and Hashish from North Africa. On the other hand, Portugal is a substantial consumer of illicit heroin from Southwest Asia.

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">Crime

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">While crime as such is not particularly rampant in Portugal, crimes against tourists are rising and causing some alarm in Government circles. Pickpockets and purse-snatchers are ever-present at popular tourists sites, buses, trains, station, airports, subways and restaurants. Cars with foreign licenses are considered fair play for vandals and thieves, Tourists are recommended to take all luggage from their car's passenger compartment and trunk upon parking. Walking around with substantial cash and credit cards is foolhardy and a photocopy of their passport should be placed in a secure location.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">On a continent that has a reputation of reckless driving, Portugal may lead the pack and certainly has one of the highest rates of automobile accidents and fatalities in Europe. Roads are not particularly well maintained and tend to be somewhat narrower than most in Europe. Illumination is poor on many secondary highways and road signs could stand a lot of improvement.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  

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../../_span style_.css"font-size:12.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Arial">Portugal, In the Beginning

../../_span style_.css"font-size:12.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:13.5pt;font-family:Arial;font-weight:normal">The country was inhabited early in the Paleolithic period and has been rich in implements and artifacts.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  From approximately 7000 B.C., hunting and fishing tribes lived primarily at the mouth's of many of the country's rivers and tributaries and left substantial evidence of their past. The first dwellings that are found in Portugal wait until approximately 3,000 B.C. when Neolithic tribes not until created crude homes but began cultivating the land and domesticating many of the indigenous animals such as deer, sheep, pigs, cats and horses. Cults of the dead sprung up at this time and shrines were created which are still visible today.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">The next set of visitors to the Iberian Peninsula came at about 1500 B. C. and were called the Iberos who came from North Africa and were the first residents of Portugal to write.

../../_span style_.css"font-size:12.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:13.5pt;font-family:Arial;font-weight:normal">These were followed in more rapid succession by the Phoenicians who traded spices and herbs for silver, copper and tin. The Celts settled into Peninsula by force and ultimately blended with the Iberos creating Celtiberians who built their settlements high in the hills and where they still stand. The Greeks followed the Celts and the Carthaginians bested the Greeks and took the Peninsula in about the fifth century B. C.

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../../_span style_.css"font-size:12.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:13.5pt;font-family:Arial">The Romans

../../_span style_.css"font-size:12.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:13.5pt;font-family:Arial;font-weight:normal">The Romans followed 200 years later and they too conquered the entire peninsula. Their victory was not an easy job and a warrior clan called the Lusitanian's who lived in the Western part the Peninsula and where led by Viriato, held them at bay until he was murdered by Portuguese turncoats. This event created both the first nation hero, Viriato and the first national traitors, those that murdered him.

../../_span style_.css"font-size:12.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:13.5pt;font-family:Arial;font-weight:normal">The Romans brought with them an advanced civilization and established substantial new industry within the territory. Iron smelting, tile and brick making were among the trades that the Roman's taught the locals. They also developed roads and bridges connecting Portugal's administrative centers. During that period, many substantial monuments to Roman Gods were erected throughout the what is now Portugal.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  The Romans forced the conversion of the Portuguese to their multi-deity type religion. When the Romans determined that Christianity offered the best long term to salvation, they as well as the Portuguese converted once again.

../../_span style_.css"font-size:12.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:13.5pt;font-family:Arial;font-weight:normal">The Roman Empire started to crack a tad after the start of the fifth century A.D. and the Iberian Peninsula was inundated by the Vandals, Swabians and Alans, most of who came from the region where Germany now exists. The three groups split the country in pieces and each settled into the land area that best suited their historic way of life. Most vestiges of the Roman's soon disappeared and the only monument to their rule over the area became the temples and monuments that they left behind.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  The Romans, upset to say the least with their domain being picked apart like a Christmas Turkey brought in their "A: team, the Visigoths, who on occasion would fill in for the Italians when there was a matter that they couldn't personally handle. The Vandals left town for North Africa by the first boat and the Swabians were mulched in a series of battles and ceased to exist on the Iberian Peninsula is critical players. Those that were left fused into the Visigoth society.

../../_span style_.css"font-size:12.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:13.5pt;font-family:Arial;font-weight:normal">The Visigoths held this "commission" from the Romans and it was literally a right to do whatever they wanted with whomever they conquered in Rome's name. . About the only thing that they shared with Rome was Christianity, the Latin language and a bunch of greed. Therefore, what you had here until the eight-century was a Monarchy, which was ruled by a succession of despotic Kings, more interested in tribute than tribunal.

../../_span style_.css"font-size:12.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:13.5pt;font-family:Arial">Christianity

../../_span style_.css"font-size:12.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:13.5pt;font-family:Arial;font-weight:normal">Well, they got one heck of a shock when Tariq ibn Ziyad and his Muslim hosts marched up the Iberian Peninsula in the early part of the eight century. They turned Rodrigo; the Visigothic King into minced meat in about two seconds flat and from their it was clear sailing to take the entire peninsula. This was accomplished in a sweep operation, which took another couple of years because they didn't have any mechanized vehicles or planes. The Visigoths indicated that they only went along with the Christianity thing because they were told to by the Romans. Now that they weren't around anymore, the Visigoths quickly transferred their allegiances to Islam. The Iberian Peninsula became the toast of Europe under Islamic rule and schools, libraries and irrigation systems were erected throughout the area.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  The Portuguese language ultimately bore reminders of this benevolent despotism and over 600 Arabic words are now part of the language.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> 

../../_span style_.css"font-size:12.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:13.5pt;font-family:Arial;font-weight:normal">As with any good thing, these guys started fighting over the spoils and in the eleventh century and the formerly homogenous government was broken up into fiefdoms, which maintained their independence from the whole. Well, these guys didn't count on the fact that some of the Visigoths fled for the hills (where else would you go?) when the Muslims had come to town. These guys in the hills had not converted and as such weren't with it in terms of the Islamic bit and were anxious to get some of their Churches back. They started picking off the fiefdoms one at a time. You couldn't tell who was winning or losing without a scorecard because first it was the Muslims and then the Christians were on top. When the smoke had cleared it was getting to look a lot like a stalemate.

../../_span style_.css"font-size:12.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:13.5pt;font-family:Arial;font-weight:normal">So it went until 1096 when the Duke of Burgundy's Brother, Henry got the hereditary title to the province of Portucalense and Coimbra when he married Teresa, the illegitimate daughter of Alfonso VI, King of Leon. Well, Henry did Alphonso's biding until the King's death in 1109; such as going to meetings, attending social functions and smiting the Muslims. Everybody immediately started carving up Alfonso's empire and the sight was disgusting to behold. On the other hand, Henry stayed neutral and died in 1112. His Wife, Teresa, now was in the driver's seat and steered the same course for a time.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">   

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Well wouldn't you know it? Alfonso the VII grabbed the gold ring (who else) and things started getting a bit rough. First thing out of the box, Alfonso told Teresa that she had to do him homage and other things as well and she would have no part of it. He to irate and went to war and when her troops saw that she was losing they left her command to join her son, Afonso Henriques, who had started an operation of his own. Well the bad kid beat his mother's army and took over the whole thing at the age of twenty. What he won was called Portugal.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  Alphonso VII had now been nominated as Emperor by his biggest fan, himself, and determined that Alfonso Henriques had not being a properly humble and determined to smite him.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  However, the story gets still more complex. You see some of the Muslims had hid in the hills just as the Visigoths had done and were still getting orders from the Almohads in Morocco. A.H did not want to wage war on two fronts and agreed to kiss Alphonso the VII 's ring when he was in the vicinity.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">This gave A.H. time to beat the stuffing out of the Muslims and when he had finished with that, he took on Alfonso VII once again. In 1143, a real jousting match with real knights and horses took place and although the victory wasn't total, Afonso Henriques sent Alfonso VII running for cover and it was agreed at the Conference of Samora that Afonso could be King of Portugal although Alfonso VII remained Emperor of the World, at least in his own mind.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">In 1147 a prodigious gathering occurred in Lisbon and we would like to keep it in context by taking it directly of the Medieval Sourcebook: Osberus De expugnatione Lyxbonensi, 1147 (The Capture of Lisbon)


[Adapted from Brundage] The first groups to depart on the Second Crusade were Anglo-Norman and Flemish sailors and troops who left Dartmouth on May 19, 1147 bound for Spain. Their goal was to conquer a number of position on the west coast of Iberia, among them the city of Lisbon. Affonso I of Portugal was already in the field there when the Anglo-Norman troops landed on the beaches in June 1147.

An account of the expedition survives, written by Osbernus.

"The city of Lisbon at the time of our arrival consisted of sixty thousand families paying taxes-this figure includes the suburbs round about, except the free ones, which pay taxes to no one. A circular wall there surrounds the top of the hill and, at the left and right, the city walls descend to the banks of the Tagus River. The suburbs, down below the city wall, are cut into the banks of the river in such a way that each of them has a superbly fortified citadel. The place is girded with pitfalls. The city was populous beyond belief, for, as we learned from its alcayde, or governor, after the capture of the city, it had one hundred fifty-four thousand men, not counting women and children, but including the citizens of Scantarem who had been expelled during this year from their stronghold and who were living in Lisbon as guests and immigrants. This number also included the leading citizens of Cintra, Almada, and Palmela, and many merchants from all parts of Spain and Africa. Although there were many citizens, the city had only fifteen thousand lances and shields with which to arm its men. They therefore came out in shifts, exchanging their weapons with one another, as their prince decreed."

"The city's buildings were jammed so closely together that it was scarcely possible, save in the merchants' quarters, to find a street more than eight feet wide. The reason for such a dense population was that there was no established religion there. Each man was a law unto himself. As a result the basest element from every part of the world had gathered there, like the bilge water of a ship, a breeding ground for every kind of lust and impurity."

"On the vigil of St. Peter the Apostle [June 30 1147] we arrived there at the dinner hour. After the meal, some of our men landed from the ships on the shore next to the city. The Moors opposed their landing, but they were unable to withstand our forces and were driven back, not without losses, to the gate of the suburb. Saher of Archelle, however, angered at the enemy's scheme, called our men back from the attack and thanked God that, unlike those who had previously attempted this task, we had had a different experience at the outset. He convoked those who were there and ordered that the tents be pitched atop the hills which overlooked the town, barely a stick's throw away. He held that it would be a shame to give ground after the first brush with the enemy, lest we seem to be yielding to them. All those present favored his stand. When the first watch of the night came, however, only two tents - those of Hervey of Glanville and Saher of Archelle - had been pitched, for all the others had gone back to the ships. Although there were but a few of us - a mere thirty-nine -we kept watch, not without fear, through the night and so celebrated the solemn vigil of St. Peter with our hauberks on. In the morning everyone pitched his tent as quickly as he could, as if they had not known before about our situation. As bad previously been arranged, the bishops who were with us went to the King to make him come out to meet us. They returned with him in a short time, since he had been in the vicinity for more than eight days awaiting our arrival. He had heard of our coming from those of our men who had separated from our expedition and had come in five ships after a five-day sail from Dartmouth. This group had arrived eight days earlier than we did. When the King arrived, therefore, almost all of us, rich and poor, went out to meet him as usually happens in such a mob. When the King inquired who were the chief men among us, or whose advice carried most weight with us, or if we had entrusted the charge of replying for the whole army to anyone, he was told in short order that we had so-and-so as our chief men, that their advice and actions carried the most weight, but that they had not yet decided to whom they would entrust the office of spokesman."

"Representatives were elected from among our leaders, together with those of the men from Cologne and Flanders, so that they could act on our behalf with the King and reach a definite agreement between us and him. Later, the representatives together with the King, the Archbishop and the bishops, the clergy, and the laity caused the protocol of the confirmation of the agreements to be published before everyone in these words:

"Let the terms of the agreement reached between me and the Franks be known to all sons of the Church, both present and to come. Namely that I, Affonso, King of the Portuguese, with the consent of all my people, so that it may be remembered by future generations, do provide by this protocol of confirmation that the Franks who shall remain with me in the siege of the city of Lisbon shall have and take into their power and possession the goods of whatever kind belonging to the enemy and that I and my men shall have no part whatever of them. The Franks shall freely have the ransom money from the enemy prisoners who are taken alive and who wish to be ransomed. The prisoners, moreover, they shall release to me. If they should, perchance, take the city, they shall have it and hold it until it has been searched and despoiled, both of prisoners for ransom and of everything else. Then, when it has been as thoroughly searched as they wish, they shall turn it over to me. Afterwards, the city and the conquered territory shall, under my direction, be divided among the Franks according to ranks, as these are best known to me, to be held in accordance with the most honorable customs and liberties of the Franks."

"Over them there shall be reserved for me only the power of an advocatus. I release firmly and in good faith, moreover, the ships and goods of the men who shall have been together with me at the siege of Lisbon and their heirs from all of the commercial tax which is commonly known as the pedatica from this time onward in perpetuity throughout my whole land. . . ."

"Twenty sure hostages, bishops and laymen, were given on oath and warranty, on behalf of the King for the observance of this agreement. The King swore, moreover, that he would observe the treaty and agreement aforesaid. He further agreed that he would not desert us unless he were stricken with a mortal sickness or unless his lands were occupied by the enemy. . . . We also bound ourselves likewise to uphold the agreement, took an oath, and gave twenty hostages..."

"When morning came the constables and leaders of our side went again to the King's court at about the ninth hour of the day in order to turn over the hostages and to attend to the many things necessary for the siege. Those of our boys who were carrying slings, meanwhile, provoked the enemy into advancing onto the field with the result that, being the more provoked by the slinging of stones from a distance, the enemy ventured a major attack. As our men, little by little, armed themselves, the enemy shut themselves within the suburb. They threw stones from the roofs of the houses which were enclosed by parapets, and thus they made it difficult for our men to enter. Our men, who were looking for an opening whereby they might get in, if there were such a thing, drove them back into the middle of the suburb. There they put up a strong resistance to us. Our men, little by little, increased in numbers and made a fiercer attack. Many, meanwhile, were struck by arrows and the missiles of the balistas and fell, for the volley of stones made it impossible to approach closer. Thus a great part of the day was spent. Finally, at sunset, our men got through some twisting passages which were scarcely passable even for unarmed men and, after a major encounter, occupied part of a hill...."

"The Moors , meanwhile, made frequent sorties against our men by day because they held three gates against us. With two of these gates on the side of the city and one on the sea, they bad an easy way to get in and out. On the other hand, it was difficult for our men to organize themselves. The sorties caused casualties on both sides, but theirs were always greater than ours. While we kept watch, meanwhile, under their walls through the days and nights, they heaped derision and many insults upon us. They considered us worthy of a thousand deaths, especially since they thought that we spurned our own things as vile and lusted after others' goods as precious. Nor did they recall doing us any injury, save that if they had anything of the best quality in their possession we might consider them unworthy of having it and judge it worthy of our possession. They taunted us with the many children who were going to be born at home while we were gone and said that our wives would not be anxious about our deaths, since home was well supplied with little bastards. They promised that any of us who survived would go home miserable and poverty-stricken and they mocked us and gnashed their teeth at us. They also continuously attacked Blessed Mary, the mother of God, with insults and with vile and abusive words, which infuriated us. They said that we venerated the son of a poor woman with a worship equal to that due to God, for we held that he was a God and the Son of God, when it is apparent that there is only one God who began all things that have begun and that he has no one coeval with him and no partaker in his divinity.... They attacked us with these and similar calumnies. They showed to us, moreover, with much derision the symbol of the cross. They spat upon it and wiped the feces from their posteriors with it. At last they urinated on it, as on some despicable thing, and threw our cross at us.."

"[Finally, after the siege had lasted for nearly seventeen weeks, on October 23 we] decided, when all had returned to the camp, to enter the town at sword's point. The men of Cologne and the Flemings, meanwhile, were indignant because the King seemed to be favoring the hostages. They rushed armed out of their camp to seize the hostages violently from the King's camp and to take vengeance on them. All around there was tumult and clashing of arms. We were midway between the King's camp and theirs, still talking and waiting, and we reported to the King what was being prepared, The Flemings' leaders, Christian and the Count of Aerschot, although they were barely armed, put a stop to the tumult among their men as soon as they learned of it. When the tumult had been quieted they went to pacify the King, assuring him that they were not involved in this action. After he had taken surety from them and had finally quieted the Flemings down, the King ordered them to put down their arms, asserting roundly that he would put off the siege until the next day. It was decided, therefore, on the following day that all the followers of each of our leaders would swear fealty to the King on behalf of themselves and their people, to be kept so long as they remained in his land."

"When these matters had been agreed upon by both sides, the arrangements which the Moors had proposed on the previous day for the delivery of the city, were accepted. It was decided among us that one hundred and forty of our armed men and one hundred and sixty of the Flemish and the Cologne contingents should enter the city before everyone else and peacefully take over the fortifications of the upper fortress so that the enemy might bring all of their money and possessions there and give a guarantee by swearing before our men. When all these things had been collected, the city was then to be searched by our men. If any further possessions were found, the man in whose house they were discovered was to pay for it with his head. When everyone had thus been despoiled, they were to be let go in peace outside of the city. When the gates had been opened and those who were chosen were allowed to enter, the men of Cologne and the Flemings thought up a sly method of deceiving us: they requested our men to allow them to enter first for the sake of their honor. When they had received permission and got a chance to enter first, they slipped in more than two hundred of their men, in addition to those who had been selected. These were also in addition to others who had already slipped through the ruined places in the walls which lay open to them, while none of our men, except those selected, had presumed to enter."

"The Archbishop and the other bishops went in front of us with the Lord's cross and then our leaders entered together with the King and those who had been selected. How everyone rejoiced! What special glory for all! What great joy and what a great abundance there was of pious tears when, to the praise and honor of God and of the most Holy Virgin Mary the saving cross was placed atop the highest tower to be seen by all as a symbol of the city's subjection, while the Archbishop and bishops, together with the clergy and everyone, intoned with wonderful rejoicing the Te Deum, Laudamus and the Asperges me, together with devout prayers."

"The King, meanwhile, went around the strong walls of the fortress on foot. The men of Cologne and the Flemings, when they saw in the city so many spurs to their greed, did not observe their oaths or their religious guarantees. They ran hither and yon. They plundered. They broke down doors. They rummaged through the interior of every house. They drove the citizens away and harassed them improperly and unjustly. They destroyed clothes and utensils. They treated virgins shamefully. They acted as if right and wrong were the same. They secretly took away everything which should have been common property. They even cut the throat of the elderly Bishop of the city, slaying him against all right and justice. . . . The Normans and the English, however, for whom faith and religion were of the greatest importance, contemplating what such actions might lead to, remained quietly in their assigned position, preferring to stay their hands from looting rather than to violate the obligations of their faith and their oathbound association. This affair covered the Count of Aerschot, Christian, and their leaders with very great shame, for while their men had patently disregarded their oath, ours, by staying out of it, made the greed of the others plain. Finally they came to themselves and besought our men with earnest prayers that we should occupy the remaining sections of the city together with them so that, after the loot had been divided, all the injuries and thefts might be discussed peacefully and they would be prepared to make amends for the evils they had presumed to commit. The enemy, when they had been despoiled in the city, left the town through three gates continuously from Saturday morning until the following Wednesday., There was such a multitude of people that it seemed as if all of Spain were mingled in the crowd."

"Thereafter a miracle worthy of great admiration was reported: for fifteen days before the capture of the city, the enemy's food supplies bad become inedible because of an intolerable stench. Afterward we tasted them and found them pleasing and acceptable, both to us and to the enemy. When the city was despoiled, there was found in the cellars some eight thousand seams" of wheat and barley and some twelve thousand pints of oil. . . . There was discovered in their temple, which rises on seven ranks of columns with arches atop them, nearly two hundred corpses as well as more than eight hundred other people who were sick and remained there in all their squalor and filth."

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../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Afonso was a pretty good soldier and re-conquered a whole bunch of Muslim held territory. As a matter of fact he got back more land than any other King in the neighborhood did did. In the meantime, he flagged down a passing armada of English, Flemish and German crusaders who at that point in time were on their way to Palestine for a barbecue. Afonso waived them down and told them that he had a bunch of Muslim's holed up in a place called Lisbon and that they would be easy pickings. Well, the siege went on for months but after it was over our boy now had the crown jewel in his pocket, Lisbon. After that battle was over, the German's, English and Flemish soldiers when on to Palestine but they had informed their friends that this guy Afonso is a pretty good soldier.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">So, from time to time, passing groups of soldiers going to whatever was happening in the Mideast always stopped off and lent a helping hand to Afonso in whatever he was doing at the time. For the most part he was killing Muslims and doing what thought was a really credible job. Thus, wanting to give the lad a little something for a job well done, the Pope recognized him as King of Portugal in 1179 and besides that, he gave him he got all of the land that he had conquered that the other King's in the neighborhood couldn't prove that they owned. Wouldn't you just know it, just when things were really going well died. The year was 1185.

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">A Lover Maybe, a Fighter, Never

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">His immediate heir did not share Afonso's proclivity for the battle and his son Sancho I who thought war was a cakewalk. After winning some small battles, the Muslim's handed him his head. Afonso II, Sancho's son, with help from, would you believe Alfonso VIII, were able to do some damage though against the Muslims. One the other hand, none of the damage that Afonso inflicted was done by him personally because of this peculiar problem he had, you see Afonso II was also called Afonso the Fat for reasons that those who were with in close propinquity could tell quite easily. As a matter of fact, those that were quite a distance away could else see his Royal Largess as well.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Thus, there was not a horse in the Kingdom that could carry the Kings posterior let alone the rest of his body. When we say that Afonso II and Alfonso VIII did well against the Muslim's what we really mean is that Alfonso VIII and Afonso's men did good work, as Afonso II couldn't quite make it to the battlefield. Afonso had nothing better to do at home and thought up ways to torture his subjects. He instituted hearings to determine whether wealthy landowners really deserved title to their properties and if there was the slightest doubt, he had them evicted. He also began inquires into the properties of the Church and a large battle ensued, the result of which lead to the Archbishop of Braga excommunicating the king and his court. If that wasn't enough the annoyed Archbishop placed the entire Kingdome under interdict and had the actions confirmed by the Vatican. Afonso never gave in and died in 1223.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">King Sancho II threw the invaders out of Algarve, but the Pope still smarting from Afonso II's transgressions took it out on his heir. Thus, Sancho II was deposed by the pope upon which event, Afonso III supplanted his brother. ../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> Afonso III was not only a good warrior but also had some interesting ideas about running a country. He convened the first meeting of the Portuguese Cortês (parliament), which offered representation to the people themselves. On the other hand, in spite of all of the help and good wishes that the Pope had extended to him in ejecting his brother, he continued to reposes church property. Ultimately, the Pope had enough and excommunicated Afonso III as well. The Pope mumbled something about the fact that the kid was an ingrate but a chip off the old block. ../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> 

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Between Sancho II and Afonso III, they were able to extend the Kingdom to new limits. Afonso III died in 1179 and was succeeded by his son, Dinis. With all of these victories, the Portuguese saw a need for people to inhabit the land that they had just conquered. Taking a page from Alfonso Henriques who had given the passing crusaders land and citizenship in exchange for all that fighting, his progeny learned greatly and followed his lead.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">One group that the King's decedents had particular success with was the monastic orders and soon the Franciscans, Dominicans and Benedictines were building monasteries and cultivating land all over the place with charters granted by the Vatican.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  Those areas that were in the south of Portugal and within shouting range of the Muslims were offered to religious order of knights in exchange for help during insurrections, revolutions and invasions. Tracts were given to well known groups such as the Order of the Templars, the Order of the Hospitallers, the Order of the Calatravans and the Order of the Knights of Saint James all shared in the bounty.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> 

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">The Set Up

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Therefore, what you really had in Portugal was a King at the top of the pecking order and in the Northern Part of the country, feudal subdivisions governed by nobleman. They to some degree shared the throne with the Catholic Church who also divided the same land into parishes. In the south, things worked differently, all of the military orders the various Knights, in the center the monastic orders reigned supreme. Thus the King ran the show with quite able assistance from the various orders that had moved in at the King's bequest. The only thing that the King was directly responsible for was the management of the cities and he installed bureaucrats to fulfill the role of handling that chore.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> 

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">The social classes were made up of clergy, nobility and commoners. Religion was a hot topic during the dark ages and people had a lot of respect for their messengers. Thus, the Clergy sat at the top of the social totem poll. In addition the clergy was usually the most educated held the highest positions and had squirreled away the most money.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  The second social class contained the nobility who got there primarily because they were either buddies of the King or rich enough to buy the really big estates and have their own armies. These folks were call, would you believe, "rich Men" (homens-ricos) The more money and the more land and the more soldiers these folks accumulated, the higher in the pecking order they became. The most interesting group in this class were the villein-knights, who were really high-class commoners who had their own gear which included swords, lances, saddles and most important, horses.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">These guys were given a lot of latitude if they would settle in near where the Muslims lived and were allowed to stage plunder and pillage their Islamic neighbors as they saw fit. This kept them in the bucks and provided protection to the outer rim of the kingdom. The commoners contained a group called the serfs who were really at the bottom of the barrel and these guys were not much better than slaves. They did all of the dirty work, but if the King figured out that if he could lure these guys into colonizing the border areas that contained the Muslims, and in exchange give them their freedom, it would probably work to everyone's advantage and it did. Actually there was really one additional class, and that was the Muslim that were captured in battles and they were brought back to do all of the really hard stuff and for them, there was no way out.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> 

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">The King had his own little group of hangers on that did things for him. You had the Royal Council that was made up of a bunch of the King's best friends and they were for the most part from either the high-end of the nobility chain or from the clergy who may have been the only ones that could read and write. In the Royal Council was a guy that was called the Chancellor and it was his job to the Royal Seal. While his job was really the most important in the Kingdom, it didn't take a lot of time to watch the Seal and the Chancellor did a lot of hunting and fishing. Then you had the Notary and he was the guy that gave the King advise on all of the country's legal issues. He did not have much of a job either because most of the time, the king would just make up a new law when he wanted to something anyway.

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">Who Did What For Whom?

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">It became confusing when the King became upset and proclaiming all kinds of things and then the Notary really had his hands full to remember what they were. The Scribe was also really important because more often than not the King couldn't read or write either so someone had to do it for him. This was a tough job because most Kings would want to have the Scribe write things whenever an idea occurred to them which could happen in the middle of the night or in the middle of a battlefield. This was a much tougher job that the previous two and the longevity of Scribes were not particularly secure. The last guy who in my opinion was the most important was the Majordomo who was the head of the King's household guard. This guy was really important because if he and the King every had a fight, God only knows what he could be telling his guys to do. The Kings tried to be extra nice to the Majordomos.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">One of the problems that would occur now and again was just plain old encroachment. The King owned a lot of land and did substantial taxation in order to keep gold in the royal vaults and bread on the royal tables. On the other hand, the noblemen and the clergy were always encroaching a little bit here and then a little bit there. There was no real heredity titles to land at this time and no one really new where the borders of anyone else's property was. Thus, Royal, Noble and Clerical tax collectors offtimes wound up dunning the same people on three different occasions. This became a pain the in the butt for taxpayers and so whenever a new King ascended the throne, one of his first orders of business was to re-draw everyone's map and get them back down on the own side of town again.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  There was a whole process attached to this called "confirmation". Thus, you had it but there was a new King and he would either confirm or not confirm the fact that you could keep it.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">This whole process became unwieldy and the King set up a commission to set up "inquiries". These guys were really looking for serious encroachers or as we would call them today, tax evaders. The first time these guys brought a case to the King, it turned out that the Church was the worst offender and all hell broke loose. You see, this was happening under the stewardship of Afonso II and the Archbishop of Braga didn't like the implications one bit and excommunicated Afonso in 1219. Well the King wasn't going to let the Archbishop get away with a slight like that without doing something about it. Afonso II taught him a lesson by grabbing all of the Church Properties in sight and so lost control of his temper that the Archbishop fled Portugal in the middle of the night and headed for safety in Rome.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  Well, you can imaging what the Archbishop told the Pope about Afonso when he got to Rome.

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">The Pope Chimes In

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">The Pope naturally jumped to the defense of his Archbishop who had explained to the Holy See that he hadn't stolen anything at all, he had gotten a vision one night that the Church should be entrusted with certain property that no one seemed to want and as though divinely inspired, the Archbishop had confiscated it in the name of the Church. The Pope seeing the rational in all of this, in 1220 confirmed the King's excommunication and relieved him of his of fealty to the Holy See. This temporary problem ended three years later when the King died. In death, the problem was resolved by the Chancellor who arranged a religious burial for the excommunicated King in exchange for the property that was taken from the Church being returned.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">    .

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">The Church having won a decisive victory became embrazened. They started encroaching more and more on property belonging to others and when asked what was occurring, clerics would indicate that some divine right had driven them to do the dead. In 1284, King Dinis had enough and really put his foot down. The Church would be prohibited from buying property and they would have to liquidate what they had purchased since the beginning of his reign. King Dinis became the third King in succession to be excommunicated just as his father before him and his father's father before that. The King in exchange for the Church's latest excommunication literally told the Pope and his people to drop dead. The Portuguese Crown took over the right to regulate royal patrimony.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">These were the only ones that had overstepped their bounds in the Kingdom, the "Orders" were also playing fast and loose with the King's property. Of particular note, the Templars found everything expunged from them completely and given to first the Hospitallers and then in negotiations with the King and Pope, to the newly founded military-religious order denominated, the Order of Christ. The Orders though were of extreme importance in the history of Portugal as the fact that some, like the Order of Avis contributed greatly to Portugal's continued independence thanks to their force of arms and their continued state of battle readiness.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  The recently endowed Order of Christ later returned the Crown's favor by paying for Prince Henry the Navigator's voyages of discovery.

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">Succession

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">King Dinis was a pretty good Joe and he got the label as The Farmer (O lavrador) because he felt that agricultural development had not moved ahead fast enough. He established the draining of the wetlands and the planting of pine forests. At first everyone though that Dinis was daft but he then revealed his secret plan. Portugal didn't have enough timber that could be used for making seaworthy vessels and the only way the could get into the conquest game would be to start growing some good, healthy pine trees. Those that were diligent in planting substantial pine forests were well rewarded. To augment his plan, Dinis made a Genoese sailor the admiral of the Portuguese Navy and simultaneously collaborated with Edward II of England on a deal with that allowed Portuguese sailors to enter the British ports. In another vein, Dinis ordered that all official documents had to be written in Portuguese thus mandating a State Language for the first time.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Afonso IV, known as Afonso the Brave, succeeded his father, King Dinis and was pretty much a chip off the old block. He annoyed nearly everyone by badmouthing his two illegitimate brothers who he felt were being cuddled. Dad had given them just about everything they had ever wanted and he had enough of it. Afonso was just about to go after Alfonso XI when the Muslims who were still upset about being uprooted from Europe landed a substantial force on the peninsula in 1340. . Afonso was joined by Alfonso XI, the King of Castile and the King of Aragon in a battle to drive out the infidels. The Battle of Salado was fought which was the first time the embryonic Portuguese Navy was used in time of war. The combined forces were victorious and Afonso was stunning in victory.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  In 1355, Afonso was getting bored and determined that it would be best to have Ines de Castro who had become the mistress of his son, the future Peter I, murdered. Have completed his mission, Peter I was naturally furious and the two did not talk again until the time of Afonso death in 1357.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">On the other hand, the Muslims weren't the only problem that existed during this period. There was a thing called the plague going around that was taken a horrible toll on the people. King Fernando I was in power and the Portugal had been hard hit by causalities from the rampant disease. He ordered landowners to literally use their land or lose it because he felt that more crops had to be produced. Anyone that was unemployed was also order onto the land to help cultivation and harvest. While his move in the agrarian communities were more defensive, he also gave shipbuilders who would construct vessels over 100 tons in weight, the right to take whatever timber they desired from the royal forests. In addition he gave them one of the world's first tax abetments by allowing their first voyages to be duty free. Of even greater import, he established Portugal's first insurance company by escrowing 2 percent of shipping profits of vessels over 50 tons and should they suffer a wreck, they would receive compensation from the fund.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> 

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Things had been a little to quiet and when Fernando died in 1383, all hell broke lose. Fernando id not have a male heir and his will indicated that his wife, Leonor Teles a Castilian, would ascend the throne until Fernando's daughter who was married to Juan I of Castile had children and at that time they would take over. Well this didn't play well out in the country as Castilian's were thought to be spies and worse and that ultimately under her reign, Portugal would somehow lose its independence.

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">The Plot Thickens

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">The plot thickens and a villain appears at stage right, Joao, the Master of the Order of Avia and would you believe a not too legitimate son of Fernando's father, Pedro I and a person that was desperate to ascend the throne. Not having much to do one afternoon, Joao broke into the Palace and murdered the Chancellor, Count Andeiro. This concerned Leonor immensely and she left town on the next horse, headed for Alenquer, which had historically been the property of all the Queens of Portugal. She told Juan 1 about what was going on and using her story as an excuse invaded Portugal. Leonor's in a move that had probably been worked out in advance abdicated the thrown and now things were really starting to get serious. Joao was proclaimed governor and defender of the trust and asked the English in help in the battle he would soon be waging.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">As you can well imagine, everyone was abuzz with what was going on and of course people started to take sides in the matter. Suffice as to say, some put their money on Joao and some bet on Juan of Castile. Juan made the first move when he attacked Lisbon both by land and by sea. As luck would have it, just as Juan started looking pretty good on paper, the plague broke out among his troops and Juan, ever the resourceful one, retreated hastily. Joao wasn't sitting still, he immediately attempted to legitimize his ascension to the crown by politizing everyone in sight and a beauty contest was held in which Joao was victorious and proclaimed King with the title of Joao I.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">In the meantime, the English started to arrive but in spite of that, before you knew it, the Portuguese were outnumbered by better than four to one. By using a military maneuver called defensive squares of dismounted cavalry that had worked really well elsewhere, they routed the Castilian army really good on the plain of Aljubarrota in thirty minutes of combat. This battle has been said to have secured Portugal's independence for the next 200 years. We are not sure why.

../../_span style_.css"font-size:12.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:13.5pt;font-family:Arial;font-weight:normal">As if things weren’t complicated enough, a treaty of friendship was signed between England and Portugal. No sooner had that happened than John of Gaunt, son of Edward III and Father of Henry IV determined to take over the Castilian throne and imposed upon his newfound Portuguese friends to aid him mightily and they did. On the other hand, the people in charge of awarding Castilian Kingships were not impressed with Gaunt's credentials and paid him to drop out of the race for king. Discouraged he took the cash and left town. However, John of Gaunt left his daughter in Portugal as a reward to Joao for his assistance and then, as these things will often happen, they got married and their progeny became known as the "marvelous generation", the princes who led Portugal into what was known as its golden age.

../../_span style_.css"font-size:12.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:13.5pt;font-family:Arial;font-weight:normal">They were named Duarte, (Edward) who like his father both collected books and wrote a moral treatise, Leal Conselheiro "Loyal Counselor", Pedro, Fernando and the youngest, Henrique--Prince Henry the Navigator also the master of the Order of Avis, all of whom did great things as well as some things that were not so great. Overall though they did pretty well. Moreover, Philippa, the Queen, herself was instrumental in arranging some sophisticated trading situations for both countries and through them, prosperity reigned supreme.

../../_span style_.css"font-size:12.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:13.5pt;font-family:Arial;font-weight:normal">Much of what we know about Portugal and the world of that era was because of a creation of Duarte's, the office of cronista mor do reino (Chief chronicler of the realm) and he appointed Fernao Lopes, a seasoned historian to the job. He was succeeded by Gomes Eanes de Zurara who wrote cronica da tomada de Ceuta (Conquests and Discovereies of Henry the Navigator) and the Crpmoc dp Descpbro, emtp e Cpmqiosta da Giine (The Chronicle of the discovery and Conquest of Guinea) The trend of having historians chronicle events continued for some time but the style and character of changed. The Encyclopedia Britannica has an interesting observation on the literary shift;

../../_span style_.css"font-size:11.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:13.5pt;font-family:Arial;font-weight:normal">"Poetry was cultivated in the mid-15th century after a long eclipse, but much had changed. The dominant influence came now from Spain, and Portuguese poets initiated the long chapter of allegiance to Spain. Apart from the ballads, popular poetry had disappeared along with that of the troubadours. The constable Dom Pedro de Portugal initiated the fashion of writing in Castilian. As on of the first to adopt the new Spanish trend toward allegory and the cult of classical antiquity derived from Italy, his influence on his compatriots was doubly important. His own poems were inspired by deep feeling and much reflection on life, an he was one of almost 200 poets represented in an anthology of poetry, the Cancioneiro Geral (1516; "General Songbook"), of the chronicler Garcia de Resende, covering the preceding three-quarters of a century. The main subjects of these 1,000-odd poems, in Portuguese and Castilian, were love, satire, and epigram. Resende was a better poet than most of his contributors. ../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> 

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">After a series of thrusts and parries, Alfonso V, also know as Afonso the African, ascended the throne and became the 10th King of Portugal when he was six years old. . He was known as Afonso the African because of his campaigns in Morocco but alas, he should better have been called Afonso the weak as he had not gotten his act quite together when he became King. This was a period when in reality the Duke of Braganca was pulling the strings behind the throne and intrigue was in the air. The same old things was going, Queen Leonor of Aragon should have gotten the nod but women's rights had not been firmly established as yet and because of that she named Pedro as her choice for regent.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Although this was a popular choice, the Duke of Braganca started a public relations campaign against him and Alfonso, who really could care less went along with the show. Well Pedro did not take kindly to all the innuendoes about him and decided that this was best resolved in a slander action. Sadly, Pedro was much before his time and no one knew what he was talking about and thus with no other choice he went to war. It was Pedro against the Duke and the King at the battle of Alfarrobeira in 1449 where his army took the gas pipe and he was killed. This gave the Duke even more powers and sent Afonso V into limited seclusion when he went to France to become an avowed hermit. ../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> He came back to Portugal in 1477, but decided that he had enough of Kinging and renounced his reign by signing the Treaty of Alcocovas in 1479, which in effect gave away title to Castile. He died before the Cortês could ratify his abdication, which was at that point no longer of any great import. ../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">   

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">When Alfonso generously died, his son Joao II assumed control and as though he had learned a lot from dad's mistakes, this guy was no wimp. He got all of the important folks together and made everyone cough up all of their castles and towns. When the commoners complained that they were getting shafted, Joao II also ordered that all taxes would be evaluated by his own constables and all complaints would henceforth be investigated. This played big with the people but the nobles were not exactly jumping up and down for joy over what had occurred. The Duke of Braganca thought that he was dealing with the old regime and started plotting against the King. This action not only cost him his head in 1484 but it also cost him his properties. This turns out not to be as important as once he had lost his head, the properties had lost their interest to him.

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">A Deal, Of Sorts

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">A new consortium appeared that concerned the Monarchy greatly. It appears that the Turks and the Pirates had formed an alliance in which, the Pirates would control the sea and the Turks would control the land and thus cut off all spice trade with Europe. What made matters even worse is the fact that if you wanted spices at all, the Turks were imposing heavy taxes to let them through and the Portuguese loved the spices more that life itself.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> 

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">In the meantime, with all of those excommunications, things had not been going well with Rome and the Pope so Portugal saw a chance of looking good. They attacked Morocco, which they thought the Pope would like a lot because he didn't appreciate the Muslims. This killed three birds with one stone, a prodigious feat. The first was that it destroyed the core of the pirate operation, second was that it gave them a leg up by having territory on the South side of the Mediterranean and third, the Pope was really happy about what had happened and sent his best wishes. The Portuguese people were overjoyed as well. At this time, the Portuguese no totally dominated the Straits of Gibraltar.

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">Henry the Navigator

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Moreover, remember, in the Maritime world, Portugal had a secret weapon, Prince Henry, also known as Henry the Navigator. Henry was not too shabby being the boss guy at the Order of Christ, which had big bucks and a lot of clout. Henry was into religion and kind of had fervor, but also had a scientific bent so if he could expand Portugal's domain, capture a bunch of natives and turn them into Christians and see the world at the same time, this would be haven.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  Henry started out strong but soon ran into disappointments.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">In 1415, Henry captured the Moroccan city of Ceuta with a lot of help from his friends, his father in particular, but in any event, for a kid this was a great start and a reward for opening up the city for pillaging, dad appointed him governor. Henry was 21. As the governor, Henry had at his disposal whatever he wanted and his prize possessions were two, top of the line ships. He gave sailing orders to Joao Goncalves Zarco and Tristao Vaz Teixeira, two of his trusty assistants and told them to go out to sea and see what they could. They soon reported back that they had discovered the islands of Porto Santo near Madeira for the seventh time and for good measure that had discovered Madeira itself which was about the ninth discovery of the place. Although, this was an interesting start in the discovery business for Henry, it did not bring any headlines. On the other hand, he gave the property to his Naval Captains who had conducted the complex operation and they in turn could do with them as they saw fit.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Dad was pleased with the kid's progress though and decided to give him incentive to do even better things, Henry received the titles of Duke of Viseu and Lord of Covilha from a beaming father.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  Much to Dad's shock thought, at this point Henry pulled up stacks and became governor of Algarve, located at the southernmost province in Portugal and settled down in Sagres, at town at the tip of the country. He set up a miniature kingdom in Algarve, and started advertising for shipbuilders, cartographers, instrument makers and astronomers along with able-bodied seamen.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> 

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">He started the discovery bit in 1420 using the port of Lagos as a jumping off point. Incidiently, Henry was a loner, never married but was happiest when doing his thing. When Dad died in 1433, brother Duarte who succeeded him got on Henry's case for just about everything. Extravagance, unmethodical habits, not keeping his word, immorality in the way he raised money but Henry was not all that excited about Duarte anyway. He and brother Pedro were great friends and he envied Pedro's grand tour of Europe in which he visited England, Flanders, Germany, Hungary , Moldavia, Romania, Italy, Aragon and Castile. However, the best thing of all about Pedro was the fact that he had garnered a book detailing Marco Polo's travels and had it translated for his brother to read. This set the stage for Henry's conquest of newly discovered lands.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">In 1434 terms, the world kind-of ended at Cape Bojador, which was the westerly, most point in the African Continent. Many we certain that this was where ships would fall from earth or worse and when one of Henry's guys, Gil Eanes did it and came back to tell the story, there was much joy. With the knowledge that the end of the world was not next to the Western Sahara Desert, Henry's people became embolden and sent his men ever-further.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  In 1436 Eanes got down the coast as far as the Senegal River, which to the Portuguese became the river of gold. It turned out that a couple of natives who lived in the area were out for a stroll.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">They were not too concerned because no one from Europe ever had come to this spot. Image their surprise when they were surrounded by white men wearing metal suites that reflected the sun. These must be gods they thought. However, before you know it, Gil's glistening guys grabbed the poor flabbergasted natives and tied them up. Through a form of rudimentary sign language, the trussed up natives indicated that there would be a lot of shinny yellow gold in it for Eanes' men and the agreed. The natives delivered and were released, the name, River of Gold.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">But the Portuguese had learned two things, there was a distinct possibility that on this content there was a physical resource that could be tapped to do the menial work around Portugal and that there seemed to be mucho gold in the area. This message was relayed to Henry dispatched Nuno Tristao who upon arriving in Mauritania, loaded the boats with slaves by promising them goodies when they got back to Portugal. Well, the slaves didn't get any goodies but the Portuguese determined that slave trading could provide substantial foreign exchange revenues and they created a staging area in Mauritania for the collection of additional bodies.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">In 1437, Henry teamed up with his younger brother, Fernando and with Duarte's permission they determined to sack Tangiers. This was logical for two reasons, the first was the fact that Fernanco had not sacked anything before and it would do him good to become more involved in that part of the Royal Family's pursuits. The other and less important reason was the fact that Tangier was in close proximity to Ceuta and by controlling both cities, it would improve the logistics, the security and the income, a good portion of which was being wasted by being spent of security.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Things did not turn out well, while it may have been that Henry was a great discoverer in waiting, his military skill were of the lowest magnitude and the enterprise turned out worse then bad. Not only was the battle going poorly but Henry and his men had been cut off from their ships and could not escape. They were gradually being cut to pieces when the Moroccans offered a deal, Henry stays as hostage and the rest of you can move on. Henry agreed but his men would not permit their commander to do that and someone suggested that they leave Fernando as a hostage, he was doing much anyway. This seemed like a good idea for everyone but Fernanco who died in captivity at Fez in 1443.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Henry returned home and found that his brother Duarte had died while he was away and at least he wasn't going to get nagged over the Tangiers thing. Henry knew that Duarte was the kind that could have gone on for hours over what had happened to Fernando and for the most part was relieved. On the other hand, he discovered that Duarte's son, who was six years old, was now Afonso V. Pedro had become Regent, which meant that he was going to run the show until Afonso showed some signs of life. Afonso's mother, Duarte's wife and Leonor of Aragon (that's all one person) didn't like Pedro one bit. He was always traveling around and doing wonderful things and this was not her style. They got into a bloody fight over the Regent thing and she blurted out that she would prefer Henry.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  Well, Henry told them that he was going back to Sagres and do a little fishing.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  Absolutely furious that she didn't get her way, Leonor, left town, no, she left the country and never came back. Everyone thought this was for the best.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Henry became friendly with some neighborhood Moors in Ceuta and they told him in confidence about the location of a gold mine in Africa. Never one to keep a secret he immediately sent an expeditionary force to the location that the neighborhood Moor had discussed and will wonders never cease, they came back with a bit of gold and a bunch of slaves. Henry always had said, "If you can't find a lot of gold, you might as well find slaves, they can do a lot of work and we can get good money for them." Henry was overjoyed.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Dinis got to the Cape Verde Islands in 1444 and Tristao went down the River of Gold in 1445.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">   Cape Verde was circumnavigated in 1445 and in 1448 the slave business was really booming. It had gotten so good that he decided to build a holding fort and a warehouse on Arguin Island and although Henry didn't think about it at the time, this became the first European trading post ever established overseas. In the meantime, Duarte's son, Afonso V had not matured very much but had reached the legal age of ascension, fourteen. Mom had died in Castile in the child needed a friend so he married Pedro's daughter, Isabel which didn't help anything. This didn't help much as Pedro thought that he was an idiot anyway.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">In 1449 at Alfarrobeira, Afonso and Pedro brought their armies together and Pedro was killed by an arrow from a crossbowman. Henry was really broken up about this and volunteered to slay the Moors until he got himself together. The thoughtful kind denied the request and gave him the sole right to send ships to visit and trade with the Guinea coast of Africa. In 1456 the Portuguese arrived in Guinea. The following year, Sierra Leone was reached and when Henry died several years later he had left an awesome legacy and a bunch of unpaid bills. It turns out that in the end Duarte was right, in the exploration business, you can spend a lot more than you take in unless you make everything, pay as you go. Henry didn't and his estate could not cover the bills. On the other hand , slaves were now for sale in Portugal for all points west and east. Trade was booming and Henry had become important. Some say that his seamen had progressed in their exploration as far south as Cape Plmas off the Ivory Coast. On the other hand, Henry never discovered anything himself, he was a patron for those who were interested in this line of work and was a wonderful sidelines cheerleader.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Henry's death didn't stop the progression but political questions arose. Should the Portuguese continue plucking slaves out of Africa and finish their exploration of the continent, should they get real and conquer the rest of Morocco, or should they find a sea route to India. Duarte, Afonso V, Manuel I and Joao III all took turns in trying to bring the Moroccans to their knees. In 1458, Afonso V who had a fervent zeal for crusading attacked Alcacer Ceguer and believe it or not was successful.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">The problem was that wars are expensive and things were just not working out. Ultimately this project was abandoned with the exception of Ceuta and Tangiers.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">With the war behind them the Portuguese enlarged their prime business of moving slaves north and into Europe. Things were going so well that Afonso V hit upon a new scheme. He offered Fernao Gomes a five-year contract to move his exploration of Africa South by 300 miles a year. As longs as Gomes delivered he would have a monopoly on anything that was coming out of Guinea during the duration of the contract. Gomes when he heard the offer we are told replied, "Piece of Cake".

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">In 1471, for the first time, Portuguese sailors crossed the equator and in that year exploited Mina de Ouro (Ghana). Ghana soon became the Crown's leading revenue source as it was a prodigious gold producer. For a time, slaves were diverted to this area in order to get shipments into high gear. On the other hand, the Portuguese were dedicated to their jobs and highly motivated as well. They saw to it that the mining operations were well staffed and highly efficient for their time.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Moreover, in 1471, the islands of Sao Tome and Principe were discovered and in 1474, Gomes came upon Fernao do Po' which he named after himself.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  But bigger things were going on in the discovery arena, Diogo Cao found new world further south, down the African coast in 1482 but../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  in 1487, Bartolomeu Dias did the unimaginable. He sailed south beyond the tip of Africa so far that he was out of touch with land for a month. Ultimately he turned back and made landfall on Africa's Eastern Court at a place called Terra dos Vaqueriros. Although he never saw the Cape of Good Hope, he had proved that the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean joined and to some degree it was established that a route had been discovered to reach Asia by sea.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  He started his long trip home to tell the news to the King.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">In the meantime, another explorer in-waiting dropped the Portuguese Kingdom in 1484, a dude by the name of Christopher Columbus who thought he was much more talented than Henry the Navigator. Chris started to make case to Joao II that Portugal should drop some loot in a sack and let him build and equip three ships for a year or so of exploration across the Atlantic and back, and most important, Chris should get the nod as "Great Admiral of the Oceans" for his pain. Chris who had never proven he could find his own home after dark went on and told Joao II that in addition to becoming "Great Admiral", he should be made governor in perpetuity of whatever lands he discovered. Joao asked the kid if he was finished and Chris indicated that there were a few more things on his wish list, "he should get 10% of all revenues and precious metals that he discovered and along with a piece of the slave trade if any were developed.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Joao shock his head and looked at Chris as though he were a nut cake. In spite of that a meeting with the kings advisors soon took place and when Chris explained to them what he intended to do, how far it was and how long it would take, they told him he was nuts and dismissed him from court. As it turns out, Chris was wrong and the Savants opinion of the distance across the Atlantic was more correct. In the meantime, at court that day that heard the proposal and they went to Joao after Chris had been thrown out and proposed the exact same plan with one exception, the country would not have to put up a dime as, they would put up the dough for the ships and the other stuff themselves. The Court agreed and off they went in the wrong direction and were lucky to ever return.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Columbus came back again to bug Joao in 1488 and while Chris was meeting with the King, Dias returned from Africa with news about a great way to get to India.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  Chris was sitting there listing to the whole thing and upon hearing the news, Joao II got all excited and started making preparations for an Indian trip by circumnavigation the tip of Africa. Poor Columbus was just standing there holding his hat when one of the ministers told him that it was time to go and he had been dismissed.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">However, Joao got a little too excited from the news and drooped dead. He was replaced by Manuel I in 1495 who completed the preparations. Our old friend Vasco Da Gama was given the job of reaching India in 1497 and with four ships, set sail to make his mark. As we all know, Vasco got the job done after traveling two years and two days one way.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Excited by his success, Manuel got together a fleet of thirteen ships for a follow-up voyage and he brought out the whole first platoon for the event. The fleet would be commanded by Pero Alvares Cabral and would include such stalwarts as Bartolomeu Dias, along with assorted priests, nobles and over one thousand men. Well, you can imagine their surprise when they spotted Brazil instead of India. A boat was dispatched to inform Manuel of the fact that they may have discovered a new source of both gold and slaves. The rest of the fleet proceeded to India and arrived in 1500.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Manuel got down to business and put together a really big fleet of 22 ships and 2,500 men under the command of Francisco de Almeida. Manuel gave him the title of Viceroy of India, whatever that meant and instructed him to conclude alliances with India and while he was at it, to build more people factories in Africa while constructing forts along the way. These would all be on the East coast as the west coast had already been taken care of. While he was at it, Francisco managed to really irritate the Muslim traders who were dealing in spices. He imposed../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  a series of tariffs on their vessels if they wanted to ply the waters that the Portuguese controlled. The Muslim's didn't have the guns to blow him out of the water but they were able to deal directly for the goods in Malaysia totally bypassing the Portuguese while creating competition.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  Now the Portuguese were upset and Francisco determined that if there was to be no tax then they were not going to allowed to trade.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Well, a couple of new fleets were organized under a couple of very aggressive captains, the first, Tristao da Cunha build a fort at the mouth of the Red Sea and started blowing the Muslims out of the water. His counterpart, Afonso de Albuguerque was not a sophisticated, he started pillaging and ravaging Oman and whatever else lay around the territory and to let everyone know that he was serious about his ravaging, he constructed a fort at the mouth of the Persian Gulf for all of the Muslims to see. This brought out the worst in the Muslims and Egypt, the Turks and the Venetians put together a little surprise for Afonso, one big fleet armed to the teeth. The meet in 1509 off of Diu in the Indian Ocean and Afonso blew them out of the water. The King said this was good and Portugal was now top dog anywhere.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Every that knew Albuguerque called him hypertensive and this was quite an accomplishment considering the sciences of medicine and psychology we're not yet that far advanced. In any event, he was on a tear, in 1510 he ravaged Goa, the next year it was Malacca and then he tried to take Aden. Aden was not receptive to his overtures especially after they found out that he was a pillager and repulsed him. Undaunted, he regrouped his forces and tried again, but this time he included Mecca in his pillaging plans. This certain did not endear him to the Muslim's but the Pope was ecstatic. The only trouble was that just before all of the pillaging was about to start, Albuquerque got sick and soon after that, dropped dead. This caused heartache in Europe and much joy in Mecca.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> 

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">The fact that Portugal could not lay claim to Mecca only amounted to a minor glitch in their overall plans. Joao III sent ships to Borneo, Java, Timor and the Celebes as well as establishing relations with Japan. Portugal established businesses in China and grabbed Macao for themselves in 1557. In the meantime, Spain was also on a tear but confining their pillaging to the New World. No less an authority than Pope Alexander VI had carved up the plunders for the two countries and left Portugal holding the short hairs in the New World forbidding them from exploring beyond a meridian drawn 1,600 kilometers west of the Cape Verde Islands.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Well, everyone in Portugal knew that this included Brazil and in 1502, Fernao Noronha was given the same deal that Gomes had glommed onto many years earlier. In this case though the ante had risen, Noronha had to extend the exploration off the coast of Brazil, 1,000 miles a year while Gomes only was obligated to do 300. Fernao did his job well and before you could shake a stick, the colonists were already starting to arrive on Brazil's sandy beaches. Not only that, but instead of just beating up on the natives and making everyone slaves, the Portuguese grew some sugar as well. In 1530, Joao III, gave Martim Afonso de Sousa power over Brazil and allowed him to distribute the land among his captains as he saw fit. The captains in turn were allowed to redistribute that land among colonist and could tax them in exchange for granting them protection. I guess because of the facts that the captains were allowed to give out the land such land was called captaincies.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Each Captain ran his own show, but it soon became evident that this system was seriously flawed. The pirates, funded and supported militarily by the French would attack each captaincie individually and none had the strength to ward them off. Thus, Joao III indicated that this wouldn't do and appointed Tome' de Sousa in 1549 with the authority to bring the captaincies together. Tome' started out his new assignment by taken on the French pirates in the bay of Rio de Janeiro and sent them scurrying on their way. Ebullient over their first real military victory in the New World, countless new settlers clamored to come to Brazil and make the pile. Soon the colonies were growing wheat, oranges, sugarcane, grapes and rice. Having these goodies available made Joao III very pleased.

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">A Pause That Refreshes

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">There is a corollary story to this which is entitled "The Book That Killed Colonialism" by Pramoedya Ananta Toer, excerpted in the New York Times Magazine section on 4/18/99. This is alternative reading on the last subject.

../../_span style_.css"font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Arial">"../../_span style_.css"font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt">Spain and Portugal, Europe's two great seafaring nations of the time, set out to find the answer. To preserve order among Catholic countries, a line of demarcation was drawn (later made official by Pope Alexander VI in 1493), giving Spain the right to conquer all non-Christian lands to the west of the Cape Verde Islands, and Portugal the authority to take pagan countries to the east of the islands and as far as the 125th meridian (which falls near the Philippines). It was for this reason that Columbus, helmsman for the Spanish fleet, sailed west and found a continent instead of the source of spices. Portugal, on the other hand, sent its ships eastward to Africa, from which they returned laden with gold, ostrich eggs and slaves -- but no spices."

../../_span style_.css"font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt">"In early 1498, Vasco da Gama reached the island of Madagascar, off the coast of east Africa. There he found a guide to lead him across the Indian Ocean to the port of Calicut in southwestern India. Arriving on May 20, da Gama ''discovered'' India. Unfortunately for the weary sailor, he also found that of the spices he sought, only cinnamon was in abundance. To reach the true source of spices, he would have to sail thousands of miles southeast to what is now known as Indonesia and then on to the Moluccas (located, incidentally, in Spain's half of the world). Over the next century, the Portuguese forged their way southeast, consolidating Muslim-held trade routes and converting souls along the way. By the time da Gama's ships made it to the Moluccas in the middle of the 16th century, Africa, the Indian subcontinent and Malaya had all been subjugated in the name of both trade and Christ."

../../_span style_.css"font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt">"Other travelers had visited the region before -- including Marco Polo -- but it was the Portuguese who established the first permanent foreign presence. With the help of handheld firearms, Portugal quickly spread its power across the archipelago. In no time, the country controlled the spice route from beginning to end."

../../_span style_.css"font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt">"There was a problem, though. Portugal lacked the population required to support a maritime force capable of controlling half the non-Catholic world. As a result, it was forced to hire sailors from Germany, France and especially the Netherlands. This weakness would eventually spell the downfall of its monopoly in the spice trade."

../../_span style_.css"font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt">"One Dutch sailor in the Portuguese fleet, Jan Huygen van Linschoten, made extensive notes during his six years of travel throughout the archipelago. He paid particular attention to the weaknesses of his employers. Portugal, not surprisingly, had done its best to mask its vulnerabilities, but all these were exposed in 1596, when van Linschoten returned home and published a book, ''A Journey, or Sailing to Portugal India or East India.'' The book -- a virtual travel guide to the region -- was quickly translated into French, English, German and Latin."

../../_span style_.css"font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt">"Two years after van Linschoten's work was published, the Netherlands, through a consortium of Dutch companies, sent its own fleet to Indonesia. The Dutch fleet's first attempt failed, but gradually, wave after wave of Dutch ships reached the islands, driving out the Portuguese and bringing untold wealth to the Netherlands. Lacking not only manpower but also the diplomatic stature to protect its interests, the Portuguese were unable even to put up a fight."

../../_span style_.css"font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt">"In part, the success of the Dutch can be attributed to their good working relationship with Java's powerful feudal lords and to their professionalism. Initially at least, they had come to trade, not to conquer / and on that basis created what was then the largest maritime emporium in the world at its seat in Batavia (now Jakarta). "

../../_span style_.css"font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt">"Over time, however, the Dutch shippers needed military force to safeguard their monopoly. To keep international market prices high, they also limited spice production. For this reason, almost the entire populace of the Banda Islands, source of nutmeg, was exterminated in the early 17th century. The island was then stocked with European employees of the company. For field workers they brought in slaves and prisoners of war."

../../_span style_.css"font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Arial"> 

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">In The Meantime, How is The Church Doing?

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">The Church on the other hand, was not doing so well, it seems that this new heretical religion had popped up in Europe during the early part of the sixteenth century called Protestantism. This Reformation brought about an immediate answer from Rome called the Counter-Reformation, which became a ritual of purity. Portugal was not too different in this respect from the rest of Europe. As the Vatican instructed a Court of Inquisition was established in 1536 and began operations in 1539 under The Archbishop of Evora a confirmed zealot who combined a rare sense of sadism with confessions, tortures and executions in immediate succession. The Jewish population of Portugal came under particular stress because there were not a lot of other people in the country that weren't already confirmed, card carrying Catholics. The Archbishop was forced to concentrate his entire fury on the Jews to make them first convert, then torture them until they would admit that they really didn't../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  believe followed by good old fashioned public burning. On the other hand, this had some real advantages, the other Jews noticing what was happening to their friends, left town in a hurry, never to return.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  When the smoke had cleared, over the next 150 years , 1,400 people had suffered the wrath of the Catholic Church.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> 

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Portugal itself was under stealth attack by the Vatican. In 1539, the Society of Jesus, a religious order was established by Ignatius de Loyola with the mandate of furthering the cause of Catholicism and propagating its teachings. A group of Loyola's most fervent followers personally arrived in Portugal to make sure that the King's son was adequately educated in the correct manner. Once they were satisfied that the lad was properly brainwashed they went on to set up Jesuit schools in Portugal.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">In addition they gained control of literally the entire secondary education system in the country. King Joao had now become a fervent believer and beseeched Francisco Xavier to allow Portugal to open doors for the Church in some of the countries that they had relationships with. Xavier jumped at the chance to add converts and he began proselytizing everyone he could get his hands on in Goa, Cochin, Ceylon, Malacca and Japan. Apparently the trip had been too much for him and Xavier died in China in 1552. Many said that the sheer joy of converting all of these people did him in, but it was a noble end.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  Brazil too came in for its share of religion and a team of Jesuits lead by Father Manuel de Nobrega started by building a church in Sao Salvador da Baia. From this base they were able to do substantial damage to the local religion but they offered they natives protection against all sorts of enemies and this clinched the deal.

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">In The Chips

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial"> 

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">No matter what else was going on, Portugal was racking in the money. Big palaces were constructed, sumptuous silks and exotic foods were imported and life was pretty good. On the other hand, the inside was rotten to the core, no middle class existed and no commercial sector was extant, with the exception of the Crown's possessions. The running out of the Jews had been less than helpful because they were the only ones with the technical skills to make the Portuguese engine purr. With the Diaspora, modern concepts died at birth and the intransigent feudal elements had gained unreasonable amount of power over the national infrastructure. This put much more pressure on the Royal House to perform up to the standards of the past but history tells us that the House of Avis could not deliver another../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  King that could get the job done and the country went into the tank, slowly.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">As if an example was needed, Joao III was father to an idiot child, Sebastiao,../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  that some who were closest to him generously called him mentally unstable. Naturally he assumed the Crown when he reached his fourteenth birthday and he soon developed an obsession with getting off on another great crusade. No one in court had the courage to tell him that this had become passé' as the young man was given to fallen into a rage at the least provocation. Whatever caused it we do not know today but something set him off. He had been sitting around the court talking to the Jesuits about crusades, pillaging and the like and suddenly he determined that a conquest of Morocco would bode him well. He talked to Uncle Philip II about his plan and he told him he was nuts and crazy Sebastian determined to press on by himself. Some say that Philip II turned to his council and stated: If he wins, we shall have a good son-in-law; if he loses, we shall have a good Kingdom."

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Sebastian got himself together an army of 24,000 and with a large fleet he sailed for Morocco in 1578. He arrived in Alcazarquivir and were they waiting for him. At the battle of Al-Kasr-al-Kabir (Alcazarquivir), what the Moroccans did to this army lead by a dip and as poorly equipped as any in history shouldn't be repeated. Not only did the King disappear, never to be seen again but many of his lords were captured and held for ransom. When the toll was added up, this defeat was easily the most disastrous in Portuguese military history. In possibly the unkindest cut of all, the King did not leave any decedents sending ascension into a cocked hat.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> 

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">A stopgap was found in Sebastiao's uncle, Henrique who was the only surviving son of Manuel I and would you believe a Cardinal. Well, forget about an heir from this guy everyone said. In spite of his infirmed condition Henrique was determined to father someone so that they could carry on the lineage. He personally asked the Pope for dispensation to impregnate. This unusual request was flatly denied by the Vatican and upon his demise the country had to look to pretenders.

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">The Double Cross

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Spain seeing that the Portuguese were in big trouble and decided that the time was right to invade. Now, there were two dudes at that time that both wanted to run the country and one of them was the illegitimate son of Joao III's son, Luis. His name was Antonio and he was in charge of the army when the Spanish force commanded by the duke of Alba invaded and kicked up a storm. Things turned much simpler when Antonio got smashed, the Spanish annexed Portugal and Filipe I declared Philip II of Spain, the other pretender, King. His credentials included the fact that he was a nephew of Joao III.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  For a time he didn't allow his armies to pillage the country and some have said the his generals ran out of rope hanging so many of the Philip's soldiers that just couldn't keep away from the loot.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Well, if you think things were bad before, you hadn't seen anything yet. Lisbon told it all and you only had to see the corrupt officials, the covetous merchants who were only looking for the next pocket to pick and the people themselves who did not have a nickel to buy a cup of coffee in the midst of grandeur. It seems that Philip II was convinced that the two things that could unit Portugal with Spain and return Portugal to it former position in the world were the Jesuits and the Inquisition. In the meantime he took over the Portuguese nave and its colonies in Africa, Asia and South America and at this point Philip was the most powerful king in the world.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> 

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">While everyone wasn't effected the same way, the new guys that were brought in to torture the "New Christians" made the Archbishop of Evora look like Mr. Nice Guy. While this was all going on, some of the people were not happy with Spanish rule especially those that lived in the countryside. These folks weren't convinced that Sebastiao had really died and that there wasn't some weird thing going on that had caused all of the dislocations that had occurred.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Sebastiao in death rose to heights that his mentality never would have allowed in life. He became an Icon and a messianic cult developed that literally worshiped him and called Sebastiao, the "hidden prince. His followers were just waiting for the day that their leader would return and lead them to victory over the Spanish invaders. Furthermore, the cult was not just satisfied to worship in silence, they actively plotted, worked for and sparked a series of very substantial rebellions. The only sad part of the rebellions was that they were singularly unsuccessful and as a result, many of those in the resistance were killed. Yet, even today, many of the people of Portugal believe that the "hidden prince" will return and bring back the glory to Portugal that it had achieved before his dismal battlefield performance sent the country into the dark ages.

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">From Bad to Worse Yet!

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Well it wouldn't take a genius long to figure out that the situation in Portugal was becoming tenuous and then it went straight downhill. Phillip II was kind of a blah King but not overly offensive. His successor, Phillip III, did not even visit Portugal for 21 years after his father's death in 1598. He appointed Spaniards to all of the major and minor ruling committees and his son Philip IV cared even less about Portugal than he did. The kid thought that governing was for the birds and kept himself out of situations where he would have to make a decision. In order for the Government to literally function, the Duke of Olivares stepped to the plate at Philip's urging and did all of the things that you would expect would endure the Portuguese people to him. He raised taxes to the breaking point, he order conscription of the population to help the Spanish fight the French and as the final straw he attempted to have Spain unified with Portugal.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Everything hit the fan in 1637 when the Spanish being unable to collect their tax levies by edict resorted to stronger tactics. Not only that but conscription was not going along as well as the Spanish had desired among the Portuguese and France was doing far to well in their war. The nobles were ordered to enforce conscription at the fear of losing their lives if they were not successful. The ill winds did not all blow ill and one of the winds had the name Cardinal Richelieu of France. The heady Cardinal had a deal that they couldn't refuse. He offered to support a pretender to the Portuguese Throne../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  with ships, soldiers ammunition and If needed leadership if the Portuguese would throw in with the French. Considering anything and up tick form the hated Spanish. Now that there was a small rainbow somewhere in site a rebellion broke out in Evora in 1637. Joao, Duke of Braganca was nominated King and he came with all of the accoutrements. He was the largest landowner and the leading aristocrat, he was well liked and supported by the nobles. The clinching thing was the fact that he was the closest related noble to the House of Avis.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Lukewarm at first, ultimately Joao got with the movement and in 1640 when the Catalans rebelled against Philip IV, Joao's army entered the royal palace and arrested the only person that was there. It happened to be the duchess../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  of Mantua, a distant cousin of Spain's King. A couple of days latter, the Duke of Braganca became Joao IV and was crowned King. This re-established Portuguese independence and marked the beginning of a new dynasty which became known as the House of Braganca.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">The Spanish arrangement with Portugal had lasted sixty years and had brought with it the demise of the its seafaring empire. Portugal who had had a wonderful relationship with England became Spain's partner during a war with. The Spanish also dragged a kicking and screaming Portugal into war with Holland. Both countries now considered Portugal fair game and went after their holding in Asia and Brazil. The Dutch were now the merchants for the Far East and the English now represented Europe's commercial interests in India. The only thing of substance that was left was Brazil but not because the Dutch hadn't tried. Oh, they also salvaged Macao, but at least at the time it didn't amount to much of anything.

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">What a Mess!

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">So now Portugal had their country back but the Spanish were lousy housekeepers and had made a ruin of it. Beside that, Spain, was making motions as though they did not like the fact that they had been summarily thrown out the door and might want to return, in force. Joao IV hastily signed a pact with Louis XIII of France and ultimately did the same with both England and the Dutch. This dampened Spain's ardor for re-conquest and things quieted down a bit.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  Joao died about this time and the Queen; Luisa de Gusmao took on the regency. Joao and Luisa had three children, the oldest predeceased his father, the middle child Afonso, was, to some degree paralyzed and Pedro was an infant. Afonso was going to get the nod but considering the fact that he was also substantially intellectually impaired with the intellect that was equivalent to that of a termite, it was doubtful that he would ascend the throne.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">In spite of this, Luisa, determined that he would make a fine young King and through various machinations was able to have him declared King. He did not bother anyone particularly and he spent his time for the most part watching his beloved cockfights which he had a particular affinity too. Alfonso VI, as he was called married Marie-Francoise Isabelle of Savoy and because she was not able to produce a successor and the fact that he was out watching cockfights all of the time, things did not work out.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  The reserves were called and Pedro was nominated for the job and while all of this was going on, in 1663, the Spanish noting that a dolt was running the country again attacked. They were defeated at Ameixial in battles that were miraculously won by the Portuguese and determined that enough was enough and recognized Portugal's independence.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> 

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Afonso was banished to Terceira Island in the Azores as a result of his bumbling and Pedro II as his brother was called married the lovely Marie-Francoise. He worked at providing the country with an heir and was so diligent in his efforts that he also had no time for the Throne. He assigned the job or running things to Luis de Menenses, Count of Ericeira who became head of the treasury. Ericeira was taken by the French economic system and for the most part complimented their ways. He did not think that the folks should drink and passed Portugal's equivalent to prohibition a loudly ridiculed action. He imported looms from Britain and made it mandatory for citizens of Portuguese to wear only clothes fashioned on Portuguese looms. The Portuguese had not yet gotten the idea of how to work the contraptions and some said that the country's people had become the worse dressed in the universe.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> 

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">Back At the Ranch

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Meanwhile, back in Brazil, Portuguese leaders in that country were in dire need of labor as they had created an agricultural society that was heavily dependent on backbreaking work. The Portuguese bureaucrats immediately looked to the Amerindians for this task but the Jesuits, who were in the process of converting these souls into pious Catholics determined that they could not convert them on one had and enslave them on another. While this made some sense, it did not supply needed labor to the fields. Portugal looked to Angola and Guinea where there was an ample supply of slaves available who the Jesuits said that they had not reason to convert. This having been decided, the boats started moving the hapless people from factories in Africa to the fields of Brazil.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">By this time, Portuguese soldiers, adventures (bandeirantes) and mercenaries had just about taken charge of the entire country. The bandeirantes under the command of Pais Leme struck it rich and discovered both gold and diamonds. This took care of civilizing the country, as when word of the discovery leaked out, the Portuguese could not keep the other Europeans out with a baseball bat. On the other hand, people also picked up their plows, and send and hoes and everything else that had anything to do with farming and chucked it to try their hand at getting filthy rich. Some did, but the prime benefactor of this largesse was the Portuguese Crown, that received a ton of easy money. The build a bunch of fancy castles and cathedrals, got lazy and screwed everything up. Others in Europe took notice of Portugal's newfound riches and particularly in England, heads were turned. Treaties were updated, trade agreements were passed and Portugal became an enormous buyer of English goods paid for by the glistening yellow stuff of which Portugal had a temporary overabundance.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Joao V followed Pedro II and although he was only seventeen, a treasury brimming with money and a fertile mind soon set Portugal on a new path. He determined that the country should become more involved in the arts and pushed occupations such as watch making, papermaking, glassmaking, tapestry weaving and furniture design. He endowed an number of universities, built architectural works of the highest order including the royal palace a Mafra which was on a par with the Escorial in Spain, built one of the largest aqueducts in history to bring water to Lisbon and funded writers and poets. The period of time he ruled made many think of the golden days of Portugal and the country did enjoy of renaissance of magnificent proportions.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Joao V was unique in the line of Portuguese succession in that when he died in 1750, he left a record of accomplishments in the fields or arts, education and architecture that had been unprecedented in the country's history. When he died, things took another turn for the worse. Jose I, Joao V's son took charge in 1750 and made it crystal clear that he was not interested in the affairs of government. He as others before him picked someone to do his dirty work, his choice was Sebastiao Jose de Carvalho e Melo, the Marques de Pombal. This was a both good and bad choice. The good news was that Sebastiao could see the fact that Portugal was not keeping up with the rest of Europe in any respect, the bad news was that he didn't feel that any catching up could happen without a lot of pain. His prescription was the sooner the better and the more the merrier.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  Yet, before he could begin implementing much of his concept, a violent earthquake demolished Lisbon in 1755.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">To some degree, this was a blessed event, the narrow, winding streets of Lisbon had never been pleasant to navigate and the entire city infrastructure was unwieldy and more helter-skelter than planned. Pombal became energized and hired the world-renowned architect Eugenio dos Santos and fabled Engineer, Manuel da Maia who started on grandiose plans for the first planned community in Europe. In the meantime, he brought in food the countryside, created medical facilities for the injured, maintained security over the devastated region and did not allow inflation to rear it. Those that saw his plan and had witnessed what he had accomplished../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  became his converts and son, Pombal was elevated to Chief Minister, a job that allowed him to rule with an iron hand.

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">One Tough Hombre'

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">His consolidation of power began by attacking his most visible adversaries, the nobles, and began by corralling, interrogating, torturing and executing them by the hundreds. He used the rouse that an attempt had been made on the life of the King on September 3, 1758, which put the population in an uproar and gatherings started to form chanting for blood.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">   Having dispatched the majority of those noblemen that had any semblance of power he turned his activities to the second power source with the country, the Jesuits and accused them of being in league with the noblemen relative to the assassination attempt on the King's life. He was not quite as harsh with the Jesuits, he confiscated their property, closed their schools, threw the Bishop of Coimbra in jail, expelled their rank and file en mass and for good measure severed all relations with the Vatican.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Pombal was beginning to real feel good about what he was doing and now started revving up. He stopped the sale of god and silver, brought the export of wine under state control, restricted the fishing industry, expanded the manufacturing of silk, brought in professional foreign management to run the glassmaking operations, created holding companies to oversea commercial ventures in Brazil, introducing European Technics into the manufacturing business in the country and appointed cut-throat managers in the sardine and tuna processing businesses. He started mathematics and philosophy departments in Portugal's Universities, expanded the number of teachers, installed new teaching techniques, built laboratories, an observatory, a museum of natural history and revamped primary and secondary education. He imported teachers for these schools and paid them from a special education tax that he created.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Probably because of all this activity, Jose' I dropped dead in 1777 to succeeded by Maria I his daughter. The women would not have know reality if it stared her in the face and she lived during a later era would not have been allowed to write with pointed pencils and would have had her food served to her by inmates wearing white uniforms thru slits in a cell. She suffered any number of vexing psychological problems but of particular annoyance was the fact that she believed that someone had placed an evil curse on her body. This became very disconcerting during meetings with her advisors when she spent most of the time trying to determine who among her the staff had inflicted her with the psychosis.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">In addition she suffered from nightmares during which she was constantly being chased by devils. After an entire night of being pursued by fury monsters, she would awake in a really bad mood and take her irritation out on all those around her. While these conditions made her an excellent candidate for the Portuguese Throne it certain had a debilitating effect on her subjects. . Upon ascending the exalted position, she was much more a hands on person then dad and immediately began undoing everything that Pombal had accomplished.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">The Queen, was one of those people who have a bad hair day every day of the week started the unraveling process by exorcising Pombal, dismantling the state companies which were now performing like well oil machines, freeing the noble prisoners and restoring them to their former exalted status, restoring relations with the Vatican and eliminating laws passed against the clergy. Thanks to the quick work of Maria I, Portugal sunk back into the morass of being a third rate power and became mired in the dredges of Maria's oppressions.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Admittedly not being able to handle the reigns of power, now that she had totally dismantled anything even resembling a modern state, she turned of the hands of government to her second son, Joao who was busy being the Prince of Brazil. Now about this time, Madam Lafarge was sitting next to the guillotine watching the heads being lopped off while she caught up on her knitting. This did not sit well with Kings all over Europe who were considering the possibility of the same thing happening to them. When mama called on Joao, he had not yet been brought up to date about what was going on in France and accepted the job. When he landed in Portugal and found out the facts, this became one unhappy camper.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> 

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Well, when he got himself together, he signed mutual assistance treaties with Britain and Spain in 1793 and along with his Spanish buddies, he attacked France trying to nip the revolution in the bud. Joao was not a very good soldier and neither were his Spanish comrades as the French ate their lunch. The French drove on Madrid and the Spanish were forced to make a separate peace with them before they were driven into the Mediterranean. The lovable Spanish, never one to miss an opportunity now ganged up on Portugal with the French peace treaties to the contrary ordered the Portuguese to disavow its alliance with Britain and close its ports to that country. As a carrot and stick approach, Spain further thought that it would be a good idea for Portugal to collateralize Spain's loss of territory to Britain by having Portugal give Spain 25% of its territory until Spain recovered its lost possessions. The Portuguese lost again in what later became know as the "War of the Oranges," and coughed up pretty much of what Spain had demanded at Badajoz in 1801.

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">Who Is That Short Fellah On The Horse With His Arm In His Inside Coat Pocket?

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">In 1804, Napoleon became the emperor of France and the British blockaded the country. This infuriated the general and he order all nations in Europe to severe relations with the English. Portugal having come close to dismemberment several years earlier indicated that they did not wish to take sides in the matter and would like to be friends with everyone. This strategy, although unique, was particularly unsuccessful when France and Spain agreed to invade Portugal with the country to be divided up one-third to the French, one-third to Spanish and one-third to a Manuel de Godoy, Spain's Chief Minister. In November of 1807, with the French and Spanish Soldier on the move toward Lisbon, the Royal Family did what any Royal Family would do under the circumstances, they hurriedly left town. While the King was sunning himself on the beaches of Brazil, the Spanish and French under French General Andoche Junot took control of Lisbon.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">In the believe it or not category, the people in Portugal having lost their King and their land to foreigners became really upset and rebelled again the Spanish and French in 1808 and in a pitched battle with the French, sent them scurrying for shelter. This led to the signing of the Sintra Convention, which allowed the French to evacuate Portugal without getting massacred. The military juntas that had defeated the French now designated a British Officer, William../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  Carr Beresford to revamp the military into cohesive fighting units while giving him the rank of Commander in Chief.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  The ever-adventurous French invaded Portugal once again in 1809 and were soundly thumped by a joint force of Portuguese and British under the Duke of Wellington. Not to be outdone, another French force entered Portugal to come to the first one's aid and the Iron Duke did them in as well.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Napoleon, knowing that the third time often brings a change of luck, the French army was once again sent into Portugal in 1810. This time, the French under the command of General Andre' Massena side stepped the Iron Duke and sacked Coimbra. Wellington jabbed, feinted and finally punched landing an uppercut to Massena's glass jaw at Sabugal where he was hung out to dry.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">During the ensuing years, Portugal became a hot bed of political fantasizing. With no particular leader of succession, the Portuguese ultimately asked Joao VI to return from Brazil and run the country. He thought long and hard about the subject and kept returning to the thought that at the moment he still had his head and if he returned, it could well wind up in a basket, This was shortly after Gomes Freire Andrade had been arrested on treason charges and hanged along with eleven of his supposed co-conspirators. The people had felt that Beresford had been a little pushing in promoting the death sentences and were becoming tired of rule by an outsider. Beresford left for Brazil under pressure and pleaded with Joao VI once again to take up the crown in Portugal who finally agreed in 1821 but Beresford never was allowed back into the country.

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">The Encyclopedic Viewpoint

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">This part of the history of Portugal is a little discombobulated and we have enclose a quote from the Encyclopedia Britannica relative to this era to make thing either a little clearer or confuse you totally. There is probably some truth in both stories:

Pedro IV, founder of the Brazilian empire and first emperor of Brazil, from Dec. 1, 1822, to April 7, 1831, also reckoned as King Pedro (Peter) IV of Portugal.

Generally known as Dom Pedro, he was the son of King John VI of Portugal. When Napoleon conquered Portugal in 1807, Pedro accompanied the royal family in its flight to Brazil. He remained there as regent when King John returned to Portugal in 1821.

Pedro surrounded himself with ministers who counseled independence. When the Portuguese Cortês (Parliament), preferring colonial status for Brazil, demanded that Pedro return to Lisbon to "complete his political education," he issued a declaration of Brazilian independence on Sept. 7, 1822. Within three months he was crowned emperor.

Pedro's initial popularity waned, and in 1823, when the Brazilian Assembly was preparing a liberal constitution, he dissolved that body and exiled the radical leader José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva. On March 25, 1824, however, Pedro accepted another liberal constitution drafted by the Council of State.

Although adoption of that charter may have saved Pedro from deposition, it did not reestablish his popularity. His autocratic manner, his lack of enthusiasm for parliamentary government, and his continuing interest in Portuguese affairs antagonized his subjects, as did the failure of his military forces in a war with Argentina over what is now Uruguay. Strong opposition in the Brazilian Parliament and a series of local uprisings induced him to abdicate in 1831 in favour of his son Dom Pedro II, who was then five years old. Pedro I then returned to Portugal.

On the death of King John VI (March 10, 1826), Pedro I had become titular king of Portugal as Pedro IV. Two months later, still in Brazil, he issued a parliamentary charter for Portugal and conditionally abdicated the Portuguese throne in favour of his daughter Maria da Glória, the future Queen Maria II. He died in Portugal while attempting to secure his daughter's claim against that of his brother, the regent Miguel.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial"> 

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Joao left his son in charge in Brazil and the natives there became extremely restless and in 1822 they declared their independence. This decision was not so much the fact that Pedro, Joao's son had bad breath or any of his other poor hygienic qualities as had been reported at the time. It was more the fact that the United States had gotten their freedom from the British and most of the Spanish colonies in the New World had also broken away from their Mother country. Freedom was in the air. The Brazilian's opted for what they called a constitutional monarchy, which created a elected government titularly lead by a constitutional emperor. Despite his hygienic problems, Pedro got the nod for this largely ceremonial post.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> Portugal also adopted the same for of government at about the same time. They had three branches of government, the legislative that was headed by an elected unicameral Chamber of Deputies, the executive, the King and his hangers-on and the judicial, which were the courts. Effectively, the King had become a figurehead, which among some was not the way to go. The faction that wanted to stick with the absolute monarchy (Absolutists), led by the Count of Amarante got himself together a little army and started a small insurrection. The leadership was picked up by Miguel, Joao VI son who had not agreed to be bound by the new constitution. Miguel and his conspirators were trounced, he was stripped of his titles by dad and banished to the French Riviera.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  Joao died in 1826.

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">Like a Butterfly

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Pedro who at this time was still involved in social functions in Brazil was the logical successor to his father but because he was having a great time in Brazil going to parties without having a lot of responsibility, convinced the powers that be in Portugal that his seven daughter, seven year old Maria da Gloria would make a perfect monarch for Portugal. In 1826, this proviso was accepted subject to the condition that the banished Miguel, her brother, become her husband and the people saw that this was good.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  Maria got the throne, Miguel was regent.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">A new constitution was created to satisfy the absolutists which gave back some power to the Monarch, an upper chamber appointed by the King, similar to the House of Lords in England, the lower chamber, elected in a fashion by the people, the Judiciary and the King that could veto anything that made him cranky.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">This didn't satisfy either side and Miguel was asked to come back and take of the reigns as King. It seems that his sister who was now almost nine had not accomplished much and was more interested in playing with her dolls than holding court. Miguel indicated that he would take the reigns only if he had everything his own way which included the right to boss everybody around in the fashion that other Kings had done before him. For some strange reason, Miguel got his wish and in 1828 he became both King and boss and the constitution was torn up. Naturally there were many in the country that didn't appreciate this turn of events and they exhibited their displeasure by revolting. These crybabies were soon dealt with in the normal channels although many fled to Spain and England. Miguel, now having a free hand became a real despot and was not liked by a lot of people outside of the court.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Therefore, there was not a lot of joy in Portugal over conditions and Pedro left Brazil in charge of his son, Pedro II and looked to do something about his brother who really was not a class person. From 1831 to 1834 there were a lot of skirmishes all over Portugal with first the absolutists and then the liberals gaining the upper hand. Finally, after three years of fighting, a deal was worked out where Miguel who had lost the last and most important battle would once again pack up and leave the country (something that he was good at) in exchange for a signing bonus and a pension. Pedro, having liked the party circuit in Brazil, re-established the constitution and became a straw monarch.

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">One War After Another

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">In 1836, the Septembrists to control of the country to the exclusion of all others and they stayed in power until 1846 when the higher taxes that had become painful caused another war and this time, the British and Spanish intervened followed by the Convention of Gramido which put everything back in perspective with a sort of sharing arrangement taking place between Saldanha, the head of a group called the Regenerators because they wanted modification in the charter../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  and Costa Cabral who were willing to live with the status quo. Saldanha soon became bored with the arrangement and attacked Costal Cabral. Saldanha scored a quick victory and a charter was created that seemed satisfactory to everyone. The Septemberests became known as the Historicals and when the word became fashionable, the Progressives. Government had become more simple and with only a small percentage of the population allowed to vote in the so-called free-elections, control was a simple matter.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">The two parties, the Regenerators and the Progressives, determined that the best way to go would be to alternate control and beginning in 1856 this became the common practice. In reality these changes at particular intervals (rotativismo) became extremely popular and lasted until the end of the century.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> 

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">With a modicum of stability the Portuguese again looked outward at what then remained of their colonial empire. They held, Mozambique, Luanda, Benguela and Sao Tome', all in Africa. Various adventurers and explorers started tramping around the African Continent with Portuguese Flags claiming everything in site for the Mother Country. Some of these folds were Harmenegildo Capelo, Roberto Ivens and Alexandre Serpa Pinto. They were aggressive and in spite of a lot of jungle, bush and really mean animals lurking in the shadows they explored and claimed all of the land from Angola to South Africa. Portugal made a particular stink of the Congo when Britain, France and Germany all wanted it for themselves. In 1885, a conference was held in Berlin, which awarded the area to Belgium because everyone at the conference like the King of that country a lot. While losing the Congo, the Conference determined that Portugal had set up colonies in Mozambique, Angola and Guinea, legitimizing their claim to what they already had when all the fussing started.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">There was one catch to the whole situation though, the maps were not exact enough and the British had designs on some of the Portuguese territory so that they could build a railroad that would start at the tip of Africa (Cape Town, South Africa) and run to Cairo, a magnificent concept. On the other hand, this created a need for territory belonging to Portugal. The British of Cecile Rhodes backed up their territorial claims by making treaties with the various tribal chiefs who governed the land they wanted, an excellent move. The Portuguese asked for a re-convention of the Berlin Conference so that the conflicting claims could be arbitrated, the British said that was not the way things were going to work and in 1890, told the Portuguese to get out of the conflict area or they would be thrown out. .

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">No Cards To Play

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">They ultimatum that Britain issued was accepted by a Portugal that was incapable of going to war with anyone. The Progressive Party, which at that time controlled the government fell and was replaced by a new party called the Republicans. They went around telling the people that if they weren't put in office, the wimps in power would soon abduct the entire country and turn Portugal into either a British Possession or a Spanish Province. This approach played big time with the people and the stands on universal suffrage, separation of church and state and the killing off of the monarchy once and for all were highly touted.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Conflicts between the Historicals and the Regenerators now became public relations tools to get the upper hand in a system that had seen better days by the turn of the century. This allowed the Republican Party to draw strength from the other two political factions. The first breakthrough came for the Republicans in 1906 when neither the Historicals or the Regenerators could establish a parliamentary majority. The Republicans who had elected four officials from Lisbon started their climb into the catbird seat. None of the three factions would give an inch that in 1907, The King, Carlos I created additional havoc by dissolving the parliament and handing the country's leadership to Joao Franco who had just organized his own party, the Conservative Reformist Movement.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  Franco was given by the King the power to govern by decree, which did not win any friends or influence any people in the realm. So upset were the Republicans that two of them attacked the Royal Family when they were on an outing and the King and his youngest son were killed.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Manuel, then eighteen, was the King's oldest son and he ascended the throne and became Manuel II. Franco saw that the country was falling apart and not wanting to be the cause of another Portuguese disaster resigned from office and ordered new elections before leaving Portugal for good. After numerous attempts, no new government could be agreed upon by the political parties and in 1910, the Brazilian Republic appeared on the scene. For some obscure reason this was used as an excuse by the Portuguese Navy, which began shelling the Royal Palace. Manuel II indicated that this sort of thing was not in his employment contract and he packed his bags and those of the Royal Family and headed for sanctuary in England.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">This created all of the opening that was needed and the Republicans captured the big enchilada in 1910 when Teolfilo Braga, their candidate became El Presidente.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  Not the we hadn't seen it before but the Republicans did all of the things that do gooders are supposed to do. They secularized the country by determining that there would be no official state religion, there would be no religious instruction in public schools and forbidding the military from taking part in religious ceremonies. The workers were allowed to strike and civil service was modernized. Last but not least, a new flag was minted for the country, which was pretty.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  The Portuguese again went with a American-British format when they created am upper house, named, would you believe, the Senate in which members were elected for a six year term. A lower house called the Chamber of Deputies where the members were elected for three years. The President in this setup was more like a King that was out to lunch. He kind of presided over things once and a while but it was the Prime Minister and his cabinet that did the dirty work. The Party was officially renamed, The Portuguese Republican Party (Partido) Republican Portugues)

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">As things will happen, the Republicans were having everything their own way and times were good. Naturally, this lead to fighting and when the smoke had cleared, a faction broke away from the Republican Party and they named themselves, would you believe, the Democratic Party. (Partido Democratico)

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">In February 1912, the UNR leadership itself split into two republican splinter parties. The immediate cause of the rift was disagreement over the UNR program and rivalry between Camacho and Almeida. The rump, led by Camacho, was renamed the Republican Union (União Repúblicana--UR), and its members became known as Unionists. The other group, led by Almeida, was called the Republican Evolutionist Party (Partido Repúblicano Evolucionista- -PRE), and its followers became known as Evolutionists. The program of the PRE was quite similar to that of the UR, but it urged a policy of moderation and conciliation and advocated proportional representation and revision of intolerant laws.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Things went from bad to worse and during the Republican Party's nearly sixteen years of existence, there were eight elections for the country's presidency, seven for Congress and count them, almost fifty government. This was primarily caused by the fact that a clear majority wasn't available at this time for either side. During this period the military deemed it necessary to step and sort out maters. By this time, World War I was rearing its ugly head and then Prime Minister Afonso Costa determined that Portugal's colonial interests would be best served by entering the war on the side of the allies. The troops were on prepared and were decimated in Flanders. As had been the case in recent times, Portugal couldn't get their act together but because of their horrendous showing on the battlefield, Major Sidonio Pais was put in charge. The only problem with this move was the fact that he had previously served diplomatically in Prussia and was extremely sympathetic to Germany. This did not work at all and just about everything that he did irritated the many of the people when a Republican corporal took the matter into his own hands and assassinated Pais.

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">Monarchy, What's Monarchy?

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">This was not a particularly stabilizing and wouldn't you know it, Henrique Paiva Couciero a monarchist, attempted to bring back the King. This lead to a civil war of sorts and the economy, which had not yet recovered, from World War I, went into the tank. The people were laughing at the government and the world was laughing at Portugal. Nothing worked, which particularly vexed the military leaders, the shoddy equipment that they were expected to use along with their low wages meant that career officers could starve to death in poverty while leading their men. The Catholic intelligentsia was also up in arms and both groups were looking for ways to upset the applecart.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  During the first year of the Republic's existence, no less than three attempts at revolution were attempted. The last, On May 26, 1926, when General Manuel Gomes da Costa announced that he was marching on Lisbon took hold and a military uprising spontaneously occurred. The General entered Lisbon, Prime Minister da Silva could see that his gig was over and he handed to keys to the empire to the general, the First Republic had ended with a flourish.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">In spite of Gomes da Costa triumphant performance, Naval Commander Jose' Mendes Cabecadas got the keys to the government. This started the revolution all over again and finally on June 17, 1927, General da Costa took office. That lasted less than a month when on July 9th of the same year, General Oscar Fagoso Carmona was sworn into office. That lead to the next problem as Carmona was both a republican and a devote Catholic but it turned out that he was receptive to all points of view and when he was sworn in he appointed as his Prime Minister Colonel Jose' Vicente de Freitas.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">This move firmly entrenched the military and killed for the moment any chance of the country reverting to monarchy. Caromona's best choice though was the selection of Antonio de Oliverira Salazar as Minister of Finance. Salazar was extremely bright, a professor of economics and political science at the University of Coimbra who had studied for the priesthood before receiving his doctorate degree from the University. He had never married, was looked upon as a great writer and an extraordinary scholar; he was a staunch Catholic while being his own man as well. Salazar asked and received autonomy for his Ministry and that was given. Salazar, among other miracles was able to balance the budget right out of the box for the first time in over a decade. Salazar became bigger than life and went on to centralize the ministry, he put in methods to improve tax collection, he eliminated waste, stabilized the currency, controlled credit, revamped the country's exports while re-establishing new tariffs on imports, and eliminating bureaucracy from government offices and cutting expenditures. He became a legion and was highly regarded by all factions, thus his reign far outdistances either that of the Prime Minister or that of the President.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Salazar talked about establishing a new constitution and for the most part, the military liked the authoritarian vein in which it was described. In 1932, the entire government of General Julio Domingos de Oliverira resigned, having been in office almost two years, and it was replaced by a Salazar consortium.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  This was not a glad-handed or even someone that was warm and cuddly, this Salazar was one tough hombre' who could in-fight with the best of them and was capable of extreme ruthlessness when it became necessary to make a point. Salazar created a reborn state with his new constitution in 1933 and although it granted power to all, he never was able to give up the reigns of government. He maintained total control of local government, federal government, the police and the political party in power.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> 

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">War Clouds All Over The Place

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">In 1936 the Spanish Civil War started and it lasted three years. The Russians had interceded "big time" on the side of the revolutionaries and it was concern over this that caused him to send Portuguese troops to aid Franco. The world was extraordinarily turbulent during those times and Salazar, just in case created an army unit, the Portuguese Legion that was totally dedicated to him and his longevity. The War years were reasonable kind to neutral Portugal except that their colony, Macao and Timor, were invaded and occupied by Japan. Portugal stayed loyal to the British and Americans and protested Hitler's march into Poland vociferously. He ultimately granted the United States and Britain facilities on various of Portugal's properties and they in turn guaranteed Portugal's non-alliance and independence for that was worth.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">He gave women the vote but also threw in the clinker that they had to pass a literacy test and own property. This disenfranchised almost all of them even before it became law, but it was a step in the right direction. Portugal remained mainly on the sidelines in World War II and although there were many people in the country that took sides, in 1945 Salazar pushed through and amnesty for almost everyone that was in jail for voicing a contrary opinion to that of the government.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">As time passed, election came and went and with Salazar ensconced in power controlling all of the facets of government he was hardly beatable. In addition there were load claims that Salazar did not play fair at election time and these claims were probably right. In one instance in 1945, a political party composed of../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  fascist, communists and democrats determined to drop out of the race rather than have the vote tallied as they felt that the ballot boxes would be stuffed against them. Once again in 1949, General Humberto Delgado was the official candidate of the opposition and he was so trounced when the ballots were counted that the laws were changed to give the opposition more of a chance. On the other hand the populace was not unhappy, the regime rain on the "fado, Fatima and football" ticket, --music, religion and sports which had mass appeal and Salazar was doing the job. Although the regime indulged in rallies and youth movements with the trappings of fascist salutes and paraphernalia, it was satisfied to direct public enthusiasm into "fado, Fátima, and football"--music, religion, and sports.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">On the other hand, nothing was really done to eliminate the low wages that we received by Portuguese workers, by far the lowest in Europe. Salazar didn't believe that he had enough resources at his disposal to rectify that and this did not want to raise expectations which he believed would in turn lead to bloodshed when it couldn't be delivered. He believed that if the regulations were in place, the wages low enough and the incentives properly constructed, that others would begin to invest in Portugal. In addition he established a pay as you go policy for the territories and forced them into economic equilibrium with the mainland.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Portugal jumped at the chance to become involved in NATO and in 1971 Lisbon became headquarters for the Iberian Atlantic Command that was part of it. Russia did not want any part of Portugal after the war and because of their siding with Spain during the Spanish Civil War, the Russians blackballed Portugal from admission into the United Nations until 1955.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">In 1961, India thought that Goa, which had been a Portuguese possession since 1510 looked better on the map as part of that country and unceremoniously took it over. The United Nations further attempted to dismantle Portugal's hard won empire and attempted to have them be a signatory on the United Nations Declaration on Colonialism in 1960. Portugal knew that this meant giving back its territories and would have not part in it. This was short lived and didn't matter much anyway as first Angola in 1961 and Mozambique and Guinea in 1964 determined to have their independence.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  On the other hand Portugal did not give in easily; almost its entire army was sent to subdue the insurgents and it was not long before everything had been once again neutralized. The colonies continued to produce and Portugal saw to it that a greater share of the output was left for internal consumption. While this played well with the colonists, it did not do the job on the global stage as people were no longer in favor of forced labor or slavery that was still being practiced.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  In the middle of this new threat to Portugal, Salazar who had been in power for over 35 years died form an accident. Next to Pombal, he left the most indelible mark on Portugal's history.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Marcello Jose das Neves Caetano was appointed to fill Salazar's shoes and he had many of the great ones characteristics. He was a teacher and a scholar of some renown who was not unknown to politics. He had been one of the drafters of the 1933 constitution but in many instances his positions had been diametrically opposed to those of Salazar's and he was not bashful about his opposing positions. Caetano was from the upper class, was extremely personable and enjoyed the company of others; all characteristics that Salazar shunned.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> The authoritarian state survived under Caetano, but just barely. Election became uncommonly legitimate, professionals were brought in to run the government and he made the police stop beating people with their sticks. He took the gamble on the good life for all and expanded the economy while pushing development and consumption. Sadly, he was not the economist that his predecessor was and the product was not keeping up with demand and inflation started to take hold especially in the staples that made up the peoples diet. The Presidency had taken on more power and Tomas who had assumed that job acted as a weight whenever Caetano wanted to go for broke. With the two men arguing about just about everything, in 1974, the Portuguese Armed Forces under General Antonio de Spinola threw them both out the window and he took charge personally.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">A constituent Assembly was convened in 1976 and a new constitution was approved which highlighted a path toward socialism. An election was held soon thereafter and after a series of fits and bumps, Maio Soares formed a minority government, which lasted a little over a year and failed when it could not enact any new legislation to speak of. One coalition government after another followed and failed in rapid succession until the Democratic Alliance (Alianca Democratica) gained power. They won on a popular mandate that included, reducing the powers of the president and abolishing the Council of the Revolution. The basic mandate gave the government back to the people, got Portugal into the queue for EC membership and started a privatization process in the economy.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">What looked like another new beginning did not last very long and in 1982, the alliance unraveled.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  The President, former General Antonio Ramalho Eanes called for elections in early 1983, which were won by Mario Soares, but the victory was shallow. They too had a series of things in their agenda, which included a modernization program for the country and continued preparation for admission to the EC. This coalition lasted all of a two years and at that, it was lucky to make it as bickering ruled the day. National strikes began in the transport and industrial sectors lead by the Communist Unions. New Elections were held in 1985 and Anibal Cavaco Silva from the Social Democratic party won a narrow victory on a free market platform.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">In spite of the government, changing so often that a scorecard couldn't even keep track of who was in and who was out, in 1986, Portugal was admitted to the European Community and Soares became the first civilian president in 60 years. In a sign of change, in 1987, Silva as Prime Minister won a clear majority of seats in the assembly and it appeared as though, at lest the next four years would bring some much needed continuity to a country in which politics was more like the game of musical chairs. Portugal's growth rate started moving up, constructive changes were made in the health, welfare and education arenas and the political stability brought increased civil liberties. Sure, there were still a lot of problems, but with a modicum of stability, Portugal could endure and hopefully regain its former station in global economics. ../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> ../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> ../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> 

../../_span style_.css"font-family: Arial">Today in Portugal

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Although Portugal has much to be optimistic about in the foreseeable future, there are problems on the horizon as well. On that is particularly scary is the fact that at the end of 1999, Macao reverts to Chinese domination. What makes the situation a lot different in Macao then it was in the rather mundane transfer between China and England is the fact that none of the people in the colony that were not already citizens got citizenship. In the case of Macao, Portugal is offering citizenship to no less than everyone that was born in that country before 1981is a citizen of Portugal.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">This creates a series of problems that the British didn't have to concern themselves with, the first is the fact that the is more lawlessness in Macao than there was in Hong Kong and there are Mafia groups operating in that country whose members will be getting Portuguese citizenship in the near future. It has been estimated that the number of criminals that will get a free ride into Europe will be as high as 3000. These folks are for the most part in the business of drug smuggling, people kidnapping and selling and money laundering. They come equipped with their own enforcement divisions who will be joining them during the millennium in downtown Lisbon.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">These folks are also too rich and too smart to stick around Macao and wait for the Chinese to throw them in jail. This also bodes poorly for Europe as well. With national borders coming down, both the criminals and their human booty can move across previously opaque borders without fear of being challenged. The Triads are already at work sending load upon load of illegals to Portugal from Macao in the holds of freighters. The Triad members known as 14K are smuggling goods as well as people and drugs and the Portuguese customs are becoming overloaded with the deluge. If that weren't bad enough, the Chinatown in Lisbon has been expanding at breakneck speed but cannot keep up with new residents both legal and illegal.../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes">  

Maybe an article in the from the Washington Post by Charles Trueheart can put things into perspective as we await the millennium:

../../_span style_.css"font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt">"As many Portuguese tell it, the looming challenge of membership in a European colossus may be less formidable to a people who are old hands at adapting to foreign cultures and making the best of them."

../../_span style_.css"font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt">"The Portuguese have had a nearly constant experience of invasion (by the Carthaginians, the Visigoths, the Moors, the Spanish), a rich history of seagoing, fishing and exploration, a heritage of global commerce and colonization (Brazil, Angola, Mozambique), and a language spoken today by 200 million people".

../../_span style_.css"font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt">"Their history has created a highly cosmopolitan and at times world-weary Portuguese nature that accepts Europe's closer embrace with varying amounts of apprehension, resignation, curiosity and equanimity."

../../_span style_.css"font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt">"Better times have come since Portugal joined the European Union in 1986. Its rapid recent development, economic growth and plummeting unemployment are thanks in large part to its EU membership. Portugal already benefits from the largess of the European Union's large and medium-sized economic powerhouses, such as Britain, France, Germany and the Netherlands."

../../_span style_.css"font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt">"Major infrastructure projects, highway and bridge construction, have been paid for in part with European funds, and this year a showpiece of infrastructure, the biggest public works project in Europe since the English Channel Tunnel, will open: the $1.1 billion, 11-mile Vasco da Gama Bridge spanning the Tagus River, which this balmy hillside city overlooks."

../../_span style_.css"font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt">"The trade-off for all this generosity from Brussels, where the EU is headquartered, is openness to construction bids by non-Portuguese companies. The bridge-building consortium is led by a Norwegian company. "They send us the money, they get the contracts," one businessman here grumbled."

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">In spite of the fact that it indeed will not be business as usual, we think that the Gods favor the Portuguese, at least for now. Since the Inquisition, Portugal has not been able to get their act straight, hopefully someone is watching the store. When you read headlines such as these: "LISBON, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Portugal 's unemployment fell to a near seven-year low of 4.5 percent in the second quarter of the year, according to figures released on Wednesday by the National Statistics Institute (INE).", you get a feeling that something big is about to happen, maybe too big to even be destroyed by bureaucrats that are more interested in hanging onto their jobs then seeing the country work.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Spain and Portugal have good relations but Spain recently announced that they were going to construct a few dams on their side of the two major rivers that the two countries share. The Portuguese went ballistic because this gave Spain an ability to control the water flow to Portugal and the people saw it as Deja Vue all over again. When all was said and done, the two countries met, made an agreement to expand their rail and highway links and worked out a super deal for both, ../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> the flow of both water and the price and quantities of electrical output to be supplied to Portugal ../../_span style_.css"font-size:7.5pt;color:#666666">

../../_span style_.css"mso-bidi-font-size: 7.5pt;font-family:Arial;color:#666666">An while everyone was out celebrating the negotiated settlement of the water problem, ../../_span style_.css"mso-bidi-font-size: 7.5pt;font-family:Arial;color:#444444">-- Portuguese fabulist Jose Saramago, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. An event that had not occurred in anyone's memory. Business Week joined in the enthusiasm; "../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Portugal, meanwhile, is positioning itself for monetary union by pushing aggressively into financial services. In the banking sector, growth has been fueled by privatization of all but one state-owned bank over the past few years. Their profitability is impressive. The top three private banks posted returns on equity of 19% to 25% in 1997. All are pushing retail services, particularly in fund management, to banking-starved Portuguese. Thanks in part to pension-fund reform, funds under management grew by 43% last year, to $25.4 billion." Business Week also pointed out that Portugal's growth lead the pack in Europe last year as well. ../../_span style_.css"mso-spacerun: yes"> 

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Meanwhile, the privatization boom has powered the Portuguese stock market, up 78% in 1997 and 43% year-to-date. For the newly privatized telecommunications, electricity, and cement giants, that has meant a pile of fresh capital to expand in emerging markets such as Brazil and Africa. Low interest rates have not hurt, either. ``I will pay for my expansion from cash flow,'' beams Miguel Horta e Costa, vice-chairman of Portugal Telecom, which intends to bid for a chunk of Brazil's Telebras.

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../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Nevertheless, there are lessons to be learned first, the common market does not discriminate cross border acquisition transactions and by charter to which Portugal is a signatory, just because a non-Portuguese company makes a pass at a domestic one is not reason enough to turn the deal down. Banco Santander Central Hispano SA purchased a controlling interest in Portugal's Champalimaud financial group in spite of the fact the Portuguese Government was dead set against it.

../../_span style_.css"font-family:Arial">Banco Santander took their problem to the European Commission for a ruling. This is the first time anyone has done that and the ruling against Portugal is the first ruling against a country. "National and strategic interests do not justify the prohibition," a commission official said. Apparently, Portugal did not think when they signed the papers allowing them into the EU that other would be taking pot shots at hallowed Portuguese institutions. Wrong!! . "No EU member state has ever used prudential rules as an excuse to do something it shouldn't before," said the commission official, we predict that the major companies in the Portuguese construction industry will be Spanish within the next two years as they have already started to take small bites of the industry. They will soon be increasing the size of the mouthful they are willing to swallow.

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