Empire with short breathing: how Portugal tasted the short glory of the Great Power

The Portuguese for 100 years conquered the ocean, while they opened the way to India, for another 15 years they needed to seize all the key positions in the Indian Ocean, and only a century, to lose almost all this

Empire with short breathing: how Portugal tasted the short glory of the Great Power

Seuta tragedy

Great expansion began in 1415. King Zhuan I (rules in 1385-1433), who fought with Castile for 28 years, dreaming of taking Portugal to his hands, it was necessary to occupy his 30,000th army, which, having expelled the Spaniards, remained idle without work.

And he decided to capture the Arab Seutu located on the African coast of the Gibraltar Strait. It was a rich trading city, the final point of the caravan routes crossing North Africa, according to which, in addition to fabrics, leather and weapons, they brought gold from Sudan and Timbuktu (Mali). In addition, Seutu was used as a pirate base that devastated the southern coast of Spain and Portugal.

July 25, 1415, two huge flotillas left the port and Lisbon – only 220 ships. The preparation of the campaign was engaged in the fifth son of Juan I – Infant Enriki, who went down in history as Henry the navigator. Assault began on August 21.

“Residents of the city,” writes Portuguese historian Oliveira Martinsh, “were not able to resist the huge army. The plunder of Seuta was an amazing spectacle … Soldiers with crossbows, village guys taken from the mountains of Track-Uzh-Montish and Beyra, there were no idea about the values of the things that they destroyed … In their barbaric practicalism, they greedily only longed for gold and silver.

They scoured their homes, went down to the wells, packed, pursued, killed, destroyed-all because of the thirst for possession of gold … The streets were littered with furniture, fabrics, covered with cinnamon and pepper, poured from piles, which soldiers chopped to see to see, is it not hidden there gold or silver, jewelry, rings, earrings, bracelets and other jewelry, and if they saw them on someone, they often cut them off with the ears and fingers of the unfortunate … ”

On Sunday, on Sunday, in a cathedral mosque, hastily turned into a Christian temple, a solemn dinner was served, and Juan I, who arrived in a captured city, dedicated his sons – Henry and his brothers – into knights in knights.

In the Sete, Henry talked a lot with the prisoners of the Moorish merchants who told him about distant African countries, where spices grow in abundance, full -flowing rivers flow, the bottom of which is dotted with precious stones, and the palaces of the rulers are lined with gold and silver. And the prince literally fell ill with a dream of opening these fabulous lands. The ways there were reported by merchants, two: by land, through the rocky desert, and by sea, south along the African coast. The first was blocked by Arabs. The second remained.

Returning to his homeland, Henry settled on Cape Sagrish. Here, as it appears from the inscription on the memorial stele, “he erected the royal palace at his own expense – the famous cosmography school, the astronomical observatory and the naval arsenal and, until the end of his life with worthy of surprise and endurance, contained, encouraged and expanded to the greatest good of science,religions and the whole human race “. Ships were built in Sagrish, new cards were drawn up, information about the overseas countries flocked here.

In 1416, Henry sends his first expedition in the search for Riu de Roro (Golden River), which was also mentioned by ancient authors. However, the sailors could not look further than the already investigated areas of the African coast. Over the next 18 years, the Portuguese opened the Azores and “Retrained” to Madeira (who was the first to reach it, it is definitely unknown, but the first Spanish map on which the island is present dates from 1339).

The reason for such a slow advance to the south was by and large the psychological account: it was believed that behind Cape Buzhdur (or Bohador, from the Arabic Abu Chatar, which means the “father of the danger”) begins the “curled” sea, which, like a swamp, pulls the ships to the bottom.

They talked about the “magnetic mountains” tearing all the iron details of the ship, so he simply fell apart, about the terrible heat that scorches the sail and people. Indeed, in the area of Cape the north-eastern winds are rampant and the bottom is dotted with reefs, but this did not interfere with the fifteenth expedition, which was headed by Eanish, the squire Heinrich, to advance 275 km south of Buzha. In the report, he wrote: “Sailing under sails here is as easy as in our house, and this country is rich, and everything is in abundance in it”. Now things have gone more fun. By 1460, the Portuguese reached the coast of Guinea, opened the islands of the Green Cape and entered the Gulf of Guinea.

Empire with short breathing: how Portugal tasted the short glory of the Great Power

Whether Henry was looking for the path to India? Most researchers believe that no. Not a single document was found in his archive, which would indicate to this. In general, with regard to geography, the almost half -century activity of Henry the sailor gave relatively modest results. The Portuguese were able to achieve only the coast of the modern cat-d’Ivoire, while the Carthaginian Gannon was back in 530 BC. e. For one swimming, I got to the lying a lot south of Gabon.

But thanks to the infant, who, despite the financial difficulties (despite the fact that Henry received help from his father and older brother – King Duart I, as well as income from the powerful order of Christ, whose master he was), he sent and sent expeditions to the south, in PortuguesProfessionals of the highest level appeared – captains, pilots, cartographers, under the leadership of which caravels with the red crosses of the Order of Christ ultimately reached India and China.

Without competitors

The names that the Portuguese gave open lands are said for themselves: the golden shore, the coast of Cardamon, the coast of the ivory, the slave shore … For the first time, Portuguese merchants got the opportunity to trade overseas goods without intermediaries, which brought them a fantastic profit – up to 800%! Slaves were also exported by masses – by the beginning of the 16th century, their total number exceeded 150,000 (most were in service with aristocrats throughout Europe or in farm laborers with Portuguese nobles).

At that time, the Portuguese had almost no competitors: England and Holland were still very far behind in marine business. As for Spain, then, firstly, the reconquist that took a lot of energy has not yet ended and, secondly, she had no move to Africa, since the far-sighted Henry received in 1456 from Pope Calikst III Bull, according to which all African lands behind the capeBuzhdur was transferred to the possession of the Order of Christ. Thus, everyone who encroached on them encroached on the church and was worthy of burning. With the Spanish captain de Prad, whose ship, stuffed with slaves, was detained near Guinea, that was what they did.

In addition to the lack of competition for expansion, Portugal also pushed the political situation, which had prevailed by then in the Mediterranean. In 1453, the Turks capture the capital of Byzantium Constantinople and block the way to India by land. They threaten Egypt through which another path lies – along the red sea.

Under these conditions, the search for another, purely sea path to South Asia, gain special relevance. The great -grandson of Juan I – Zhuan II (rules in 1477, 1481-1495) is actively taken up for this). The fact that Africa can be circulated from the south, then there was no longer a secret – this was reported by Arab merchants. It was this knowledge that was guided by the king, abandoning in 1484 to reach India by West through the Atlantic from the proposal of Columbus. Instead, in 1487, he sends the expedition to Bartolomeu Diash to the south, who first curled the cape of the storms (later renamed the Cape of Good Hope) and left the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean.

In the same year, Juan II organizes another expedition, land. He sends to India to Peru and Covilian – his best spy, expert on the Arabic language and oriental traditions. Under the guise of a Levantian merchant, da Kovilian visited Kalikut and Goa, as well as on the East African coast and made sure that it was quite possible to achieve South Asia in the Indian Ocean.

Zhuan’s case continued his cousin – Manuel I (rules in 1495-1521). The Vasco (Vaska) and Gama expedition he sent all the way around Africa to the Malabar (Western) coast of India in 1497, established contacts with local rulers and returned with the load of spices.

Keep India

Now the Portuguese faced the task of gaining a foothold in South Asia. In 1500, a flotilla of 13 ships under the command of Pedru Alvarish Kabral was sent there (on the way to India, the flotilla was too much dodged west and accidentally opened Brazil), who was instructed to conclude trade agreements with local Rajs. But, like most Portuguese conquistadors, Kabral knew only guns diplomacy. Arriving in Kalikut (the main trading port in the west of India, now the leather -on), he began by putting the guns to the city and demanded to provide hostages. Only when the latter were on board the Caravel, the Portuguese went ashore.

However, their trade went badly. India is not a wild shore of ivory: the quality of local products was much higher than the Portuguese (later the Portuguese will begin to purchase goods of the right quality in Holland and thereby greatly contribute to the strengthening of their future competitors). As a result, annoyed overseas guests a couple of times forced the Indians to take the goods at the appointed price. In response, the inhabitants of Kalikut defeated the Portuguese warehouse.

Then Kabral hung hostages, burned all Indian and Arab ships standing in the harbor, and fired at the city, killing more than 600 people. Then he took the squadron to the cities of Kochin and Cannur, whose rulers were at enmity with Kalikut. Booking there spices (borrowed under the threat of sinking ships in the harbor), Kabral moved on the way back. On the way, he plundered several Arab ports in Mozambique and in the summer of 1501 returned to Lisbon. In the same spirit, the second “diplomatic” expedition, which was led by Vasco da Gama, was also a year later than a year later.

The “Glory” of the Portuguese quickly spread throughout the Malabar coast. Now Lisbon could only establish himself in India by force. In 1505, Manuel I established the position of vice-king of Portuguese India. The first to take this post Franciska Almeid. He was guided by the principle set out by him in a letter to the king. To strive, in his opinion, it was necessary to “so that all our power was at sea, because if we are strong there, India will be ours … And if we are not strong at sea, there will be little use from the fortresses on land”.

Almeida won the battle of DIU with the united fleet of Kalikut and Egypt, which did not want to part with the actual monopoly on trading with India. However, the farther, the more obvious it became that without the creation of powerful naval bases the Portuguese fleet could not successfully act.

Empire with short breathing: how Portugal tasted the short glory of the Great Power

The second Indian Vice-Korol, Duke of Athos d’albucker, set this task for himself and set. In 1506, on the way from Portugal to India, he captured the island of Sokotra, which covers the entrance to the Red Sea, and a year later force the ruler of the Iranian city of Ormuz, who controlled the entrance to the Persian Gulf, recognize himself as a vassal of the Portuguese king (the Persians tried to resist, but albukementsHe threatened that on the site of the destroyed city, a fort with walls of “bones of Mohammedan would build, will kill their ears to the gate and erect its flag on the mountain composed of their skulls”).

The Ormuz was followed by the city of Goa on the Malabar coast. Having captured it in 1510, the Vice-Korol interrupted almost the entire population there, including women and children, and founded the fortress that became the capital of Portuguese India. Fortresses were also erected in Muscat, Kochin and Cannura.

“South barbarians”

Portuguese are the first of the Europeans to arrive by sea to China (1513) and Japan (1542). China was then completely isolated from the outside world, therefore, with the Embassy of Tom Pirish in Beijing, they did not conclude any agreements. But merchants of adventurers by explicitly justified on the shores or islands off the coast of China. One of these islands was Macau where the Portuguese factor arose.

In Japan, the appearance of the Portuguese gave the name to the whole era – Namban, or “Trade with southern barbarians”. It was a time of the struggle of powerful clans for power, so it was important to become an import of firearm, called “Tanegasima” – on behalf of the island, where the Portuguese was first coined.

Many works of the fine art of the Namban era have been preserved, which depict exotic “barbarians”. In Japanese cuisine you will find vegetables fried in batter – tampur (from Portug. têmpora – “fasting time”) and Ledes Comoto (from Portug. Confeito – “candy”). The port of Nagasaki founded by the Portuguese Jesuits for a long time remained for Japan the only window to the west.

The alluring east

However, the albukerack ambitions did not at all come down to the statement of the power of Portugal in India, especially since many spices did not grow in it – they were brought from the east. Vice-Korol set out to find and take control of the shopping centers of Southeast Asia, as well as monopolize trade with China. The key to solving both problems was the Malacca Strait connecting the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

The first Portuguese expedition to Malacca (1509) under the leadership of Dyogu Lopisha Di Octera was unsuccessful. Conquistadors were captured by the local sultan.

Albuqueriki was prepared for a new campaign thoroughly: in 1511 he led to the city of 18 ships. July 26, the army met on the battlefield. 1600 Portuguese were opposed by 20,000 subjects of the Sultan and many combat elephants. But the Malays were poorly trained, their units interacted poorly, so Christians, who had a lot of combat experience behind them, without much difficulty receded all the attacks of the enemy.

Elephants did not help the Malays – the Portuguese, using long peaks, did not let them close to their rows and showered them with crossbow arrivals. The wounded animals began to trample the Malay infantry, which finally upset its ranks. The elephant on which the Sultan was also wounded. Fragrant, he grabbed the drummer with his trunk and planted on his tusks. Sultan somehow managed to go down to the ground and left the battlefield.

The Portuguese, having won, approached urban fortifications. Before the onset of darkness, they managed to capture the bridge across the river separating the city from the outskirts. All night they bombarded the central part of the malacca. In the morning, the assault resumed, the soldiers of the albuquerk broke into the city, but met stubborn resistance there. A particularly bloody battle flared up near the Cathedral Mosque, which was defended by the Sultan himself, who made his way to his soldiers at night.

At some point, the natives began to squeeze the enemy, and then the albuqueriki threw into battle the last hundred fighters, who had previously been in the reserve, which decided the outcome of the battle. “As soon as the Moors were expelled from Malacca,” writes the English historian Charles Danvers, “Albuquerki gave permission to plunder the city … He ordered all the Malays and Mavrov (Arabs) to betray deaths”.

Now the Portuguese owned the “gates to the east”. The stones from which the mosques and tombs of the sultans of the Malacca were composed were to build one of the best Portuguese fortresses, the named Famoz (“glorious”, its remnants – the gates of Santiago – can be seen today). Using this strategic base, the Portuguese by 1520 managed to advance further east, to Indonesia, capturing the Molucca Islands and Timor.

As a result, Portuguese India turned into a chain of fortresses, a factor, small colonies and vassal states, stretching from Mozambique, where the first colonies still founded Almeida, to the Pacific Ocean.

The sunset of the empire

However, the century of Portuguese power turned out to be short. A small country with a population of only one million (in Spain at that time there were six million, and in England-four) could not provide East India with the necessary number of sailors and soldiers.

The captains complained that the teams have to be recruited from peasants who do not know how to distinguish the right from the left. You have to tie garlic to one hand, and to the other onion and command: “The steering wheel is on the bow! Garlic steering wheel!”

There was not enough money either. The income received from the colonies did not turn into capital, did not invest on the farm, did not go to the modernization of the army and navy, but were spent by aristocrats on luxury objects. As a result, Portuguese gold settled in the pockets of English and Dutch merchants, who only dreamed of depriving Portugal of its overseas possessions.

In 1578, the Portuguese king Sebastian I died in the battle of El Csar-El-Kubir (Morocco). The Avis dynasty that ruled since 1385 was stopped, and the grandson of Manuel I, the Spanish king Philip II Gabsburg, presented the rights to the thr1. In 1580, his troops occupied Lisbon, and Portugal for 60 years became a Spanish province.

During this time, the country managed to come to an extremely deplorable state. Spain pulled her first into the war with the former faithful ally – England. So, as part of an invincible armada, defeated in 1588 by the British fleet, there were many Portuguese ships.

Later Portugal was forced to fight for her lord in the thirty -year war. All this was poured into exorbitant expenses, which was primarily reflected in the Portuguese colonies, which the farther, the more they came to desolation. In addition, although the administration remained Portuguese in them, they formally belonged to Spain and therefore were constantly attacked by its enemies – the Dutch and the British.

By the way, they studied the same Portuguese seafarer. So, British James Lancaster, who headed the first English expedition to South Asia (1591), lived in Lisbon for a long time and received a seafarer there. In Portugal for several years, the Dutchman Cornelius Khautmann also spent for several years, sent in 1595 to rob East India. Both Lancaster and Houtmann used cards compiled by the Dutchman Jan van Linshoten, who spent several years in Goa.

In the first half of the 17th century, a piece of Portuguese possessions was bitten by a piece of a piece: Ormuz, Bahrain, Cannur, Kochin, Ceylon, Molucca Islands and Malacca were lost. Here is what Governor Goa Antoniu Telish Di Menezish wrote to the commandant of Malacca Manuel Di Souza Coutinho in 1640, shortly before the fortress was captured by the Dutch: “When I arrived in Goa, I found the Galions by half -rotten, the treasury without a single real50,000 reais “.

The Dutch fleet approached Malacca July 5, 1640. The city was bombarded, but the walls of the famous Famoz calmly withstood 24-pound nuclei. Only three months later, the Dutch felt a weak place of fortifications-Bastion San Doming.

After a two -month shelling in it, it was possible to break through a large gap. The Dutch were in a hurry: dysentery and malaria mowed a good half of their soldiers. True, the besieged due to hunger in the ranks had no more than 200 people. At dawn on January 14, 1641, 300 Dutch rushed into a break, and another 350 stairs began to climb the walls.

Empire with short breathing: how Portugal tasted the short glory of the Great Power

By nine in the morning, the city was already in the hands of the Dutch, while the besieged, led by the commandant of the Malacca Di Souza, locked in the central fort. They lasted almost five hours, but the situation was hopeless and the Portuguese had to give up, however, on honorary conditions. Di Souza met at the gates of the fortress of the besiegers, captain Minne Cartke, gave the Dutchman a sword, which immediately, according to the ritual of honorary delivery, received back. After that, the Portuguese took off the heavy gold chain of the commandant of the city and put it on the neck of the Dutch captain ..

Portuguese ships

Empire with short breathing: how Portugal tasted the short glory of the Great PowerEmpire with short breathing: how Portugal tasted the short glory of the Great Power


A small vessel up to 20 m long, armed with a pair of guns, with a team up to 20 people. At first it was used for river and coastal shipping. Eanish lived on the barke, Cape Buzher passed.

Empire with short breathing: how Portugal tasted the short glory of the Great Power


Portuguese means “ship”. Cauls were built earlier, significantly exceeded their size and at first they were exclusively cargo. But with the increase in the significance of ship artillery, became the courts of the expeditions of the conquistadors, as they could bear more guns (up to 40). Pedru Kabral conquered Brazil on caravels and.

An advanced science, which embodied the best achievements of the Venetian and Dutch shipbuilders, was called “Karakka”. The compound masts of Karakk allowed to set different sails, and rounded sides improved aerodynamic qualities and made it difficult to board. Karakki became the main shock force of the Portuguese flotillas in the Indian Ocean.

Empire with short breathing: how Portugal tasted the short glory of the Great Power


Partially retained the oblique sails, combining them with straight lines (in Portuguese a straight sail-“redonda”). It was more speedy (its speed reached 12 knots), and better armed (up to 12 guns), which is why it was also called military caravel.

Empire with short breathing: how Portugal tasted the short glory of the Great Power


It is called so because in all masts carried oblique, “Latin”, sails. It was also called Portuguese Karavolla, since even under Henry the sailor became the most massive ship in the Portuguese fleet.

It was such caravels that began to export “living goods” from Africa, on them Bartolomeu Diash reached the cape of good hope. The slanting sails took too little wind, and when they were completely bloated in the low wind, the ship was very fucked. Only experienced sailors could cope with the Portuguese caravels, which is why these ships gradually gave way to redongs.

Empire with short breathing: how Portugal tasted the short glory of the Great Power


Simultaneously a cargo and a warship, a hybrid of Caravel and Karakki. Appeared around 1510 for the export of colonial goods. In 1534, the Portuguese built the world’s largest Galion “San Juan Batista”. He was armed with 366 bronze guns and acted against the Turkish fleet in the Red Sea.

Empire with short breathing: how Portugal tasted the short glory of the Great Power


The Portuguese adopted this type from the Venetians, supplementing the weapons of these rowing ships with guns. The number of rowers reached 400, oblique sails became an additional movement. Galers launched during large sea battles as the fastest and most maneuverable vessels, independent of the direction of the wind.

Photo: Corbis/Foto S.A. (X6)

Greatness remains in the past

Portugal twice tried to rebuild her colonial empire. As the country was losing possession in the East, the role of Brazil found more and more increased. It is interesting that Portugal got it six years before it was open, in connection with which many historians doubt that the navigator deviated so far west from the course by chance.

As early as 1494 (two years after the discovery of America) Spain and Portugal, in order to avoid the inevitable war for the spheres of influence, entered into an agreement in Torsilyas. According to it, the border between the countries was set along the meridian passing in 370 leagues (2035 km) to the west of the islands of the Green Cape. Everything that easts went to Portugal, west – Spain.

Initially, the conversation was about a hundred leagues (550 km), but the Spaniards, in any case, received all the lands opened by that time in a new light, did not particularly artil when Juan II demanded to take the border further to the West – they were sure that the competitor was nothingexcept for the barren ocean, thus will not acquire. However, the border cut off a huge piece of land, and much indicates that the Portuguese at the time of the conclusion of the contract already knew about the existence of the continent South America.

Brazil was of the greatest value for the metropolis in the XVIII century, when gold and diamonds began to extract there. The king and government who fled there even equalized the colony by status with the metropolis. But in 1822, Brazil proclaims independence.

In the second half of the 19th century, the Portuguese government decided to create a “new Brazil in Africa”. The coastal possessions there (both in the east and in the west of the continent), which served mainly by the strongholds through which trade was carried out, it was decided to connect in order to form a continuous strip of Portuguese possessions from Angola to Mozambique.

The main character of this African colonial expansion was the infantry officer of the Portuguese Army Aleshandry di Serpa Pintu. He performed several expeditions deep into the African continent, outlining the railway tracking track connecting the eastern and western coasts north of the British cap. But if Germany and France had nothing against the Portuguese plans, then England resolutely opposed them: the strip that Lisbon claimed was cutting a colony chain built by the British from Egypt to South Africa.

On January 11, 1890, England presented to Portugal the ultimatum, and she was forced to accept him, since the news came that the British Navy, having left Zanzibar, was moving towards Mozambique. This surrender caused an explosion of indignation in the country.

Cortes refused to ratify the Anglo-Portuguese agreement. The collection of donations for the purchase of a cruiser that could protect Mozambique, and the record of volunteers in the African expeditionary corps began. The case almost reached the war with England. But still, the pragmatists prevailed, and on June 11, 1891, Lisbon and London signed an agreement under which Portugal abandoned her colonial ambitions.

Angola and Mozambique remained Portuguese possessions until 1975, that is, they received freedom much later than the colonies of other countries. The authoritarian regime of Salazar fed high -power moods in every possible way, and therefore, death for him meant death: why is a solid hand if it could not save the empire? Colonial troops waged a long and exhausting war in Africa with the rebels, which completely bleed the metropolis. The “Carnation of the Carnation” flared up in it led to the fall of Salazar and the cessation of a meaningless massacre in the colonies.

In the second half of the 20th century, the last possessions in Asia were lost. In 1961, the Indian troops entered the Goa, Dau and Diu. East Timor in 1975 was occupied by Indonesia. The last in 1999, Portugal lost Macau.

What remains of the first colonial empire in the history? Nostalgic longing (Saudi), which is imbued with folk songs of the FADA, the unique architecture of Manuelin (the style that combines Gothic with the sea and oriental motifs, born in the Golden era of Manuel I), the great epic of the Lucians Camoens. In the countries of the East, its traces can be found in art, colonial architecture, many Portuguese words entered local languages. This is the past in the blood of local residents – descendants of the Portuguese settlers, in Christianity, which many people profess here, in the widespread use of the Portuguese language – one of the most common in the world.

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