History Of Portugal Essay

681 Words 3 Pages

Under King Emanuel, Portuguese power reached its height. From 1497 to 1499 Vasco da Gama made the first voyage to India following the route discovered by Dias, and inaugurated a lucrative trade in spices and other luxuries between Europe and South Asia. Led by Afonso de Albuquerque, the Portuguese occupied Goa, India, in 1510, Malacca (now Melaka, Malaysia) in 1511, the Moluccas (in present-day Indonesia) in 1512-14, and Hormuz Island in the Persian Gulf in 1515. During the same period they opened up trade with China and established relations with Ethiopia. As other Portuguese kings had done, Emanuel dreamed of uniting Portugal and Spain under his rule and successively married two daughters of King Ferdinand V and Queen Isabella I. Under
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After 1600, Portuguese domination of trade with the East Indies was lost to the Dutch and the English. Under Philip I, Portugal enjoyed considerable autonomy, but his successors, Philip II (Philip III of Spain) and Philip III (Philip IV of Spain), treated it as a Spanish province, provoking widespread discontent. After unsuccessful revolts in 1634 and 1637, Portuguese conspirators with the support of France won independence for their kingdom in 1640. John, duke of Braganza, was elected John IV, first king of the house of Braganza, which ruled Portugal as long as the monarchy endured.
John IV and His Successors (1640-1816) King John expelled the Dutch from Brazil, which they had occupied in 1630, and renewed the traditional tie with England. Although further weakened by conflicts with Spain in the second half of the 17th century, Portugal recovered a measure of prosperity in the 18th century, after gold and diamonds were discovered in Brazil. Between 1683 and 1750, during the reigns of Pedro II and John V, British merchants came to dominate Portuguese trade; the monarchy became more despotic and the Cortes fell into disuse. During the reign (1750-77) of Joseph Emanuel, the kingdom was controlled by the chief-minister, Sebastião José de Carvalho e Mello, marquês de Pombal, considered one of the greatest statesmen in modern Portuguese history. Although a ruthless