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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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">
mso-bidi-font-size:18.0pt;font-family:Arial">Portugal, In the Beginning
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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">
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.
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:
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.
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.
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)
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.
account of the expedition survives, written by Osbernus.
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."
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."
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."
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
"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."
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. . . ."
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..."
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...."
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.."
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."
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."
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
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."
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."
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.
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.
Arial">A Lover Maybe, a Fighter, Never
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.
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.
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:
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.
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">
Arial">The Set Up
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">
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.
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">
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
Arial">Who Did What For Whom?
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
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.
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.
Arial">The Pope Chimes In
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"> .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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">
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
Arial">The Plot Thickens
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.
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.
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.
mso-bidi-font-size:13.5pt;font-family:Arial;font-weight:normal">As if things werent
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.
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.
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;
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">
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.
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">
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.
Arial">A Deal, Of Sorts
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:
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.
Arial">Henry the Navigator
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.
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.
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:
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">
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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">
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
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.
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
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">
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.
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
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.
Arial">A Pause That Refreshes
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
Arial">In The Meantime, How is The Church Doing?
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">
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.
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.
Arial">In The Chips
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">
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."
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">
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.
Arial">The Double Cross
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.
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">
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.
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.
Arial">From Bad to Worse Yet!
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.
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.
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">
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.
Arial">What a Mess!
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.
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">
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">
Arial">Back At the Ranch
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Arial">One Tough Hombre'
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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">
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.
Arial">Who Is That Short Fellah On The Horse With His Arm In His Inside Coat Pocket?
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.
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
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.
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.
Arial">The Encyclopedic Viewpoint
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Arial">Like a Butterfly
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.
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.
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.
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.
Arial">One War After Another
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.
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">
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.
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. .
Arial">No Cards To Play
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.
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.
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.
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)
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)
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.
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.
Arial">Monarchy, What's Monarchy?
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.
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.
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.
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">
Arial">War Clouds All Over The Place
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Arial">Today in Portugal
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
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
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">
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
../../_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."
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.
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">
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">
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.
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.
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.