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Newcastle Numismatic Society Inc 

Notice Board

Notice Board

Portuguese Colonies

Posted on October 15, 2017 at 3:30 AM

Portuguese Colonies

The Portuguese Republic is located in the western part of the Iberian Peninsular and has an area of 92080sq. km, its Capital is Lisbon.


After centuries of domination by Romans, Visigoths and Moors, Portugal emerged in the 12th century as an independent Kingdom ready to conquer the world.

Portugal’s Golden Age of colonialism

1394-1460 - Prince Henry the Navigator supported exploration, mapmaking, navigation and shipbuilding

1419-41 – Conti explored India, Burma, Annam and Java

1433 – Eannes explored West coast of Africa and claimed the Azores, Canaries, Madeiras

1455 – D Gomes Cape Verde Islands for Portugal

1470 – F Gomes

1482-6 – Cao discovered Congo and reached Namibia

1487-93 – Diaz reached the east coast of South Africa

1492 – Columbus reached America which started a dispute between Spain and Portugal over rights to trade and colonization in the Western Atlantic

1493 – A papal bull set a demarcation line but was not satisfactory so after further negotiations the Treaty of Tordesillas established a dividing line 370 leagues (2250km) west of the Cape Verde Islands with Portugal granted all east of the line (Africa and Asia) and Spain, west of the line granting it most of the Americas.

1498 – da Gama reached Abyssinia

1497-9 – da Gama reached Goa India by sea

1500 – Cabral claimed Brazil while reprovisioning on way to India. En route discovered Madagascar

1506 – Secotra occupied and Ceylon visited

1507 – Mauritius discovered

1507-15 – Alberquerque established the Empire of the East in nearly 13 years of voyaging and fighting. 1507 – Captured Ormuz 1510 – Goa 1511 Malacca Abreu and Serrao added Java, Ambon and Moluccas, Macau and Nagasaki were added. Alberquerque governed India from 1509 to 1515.

1521 – Magellan discovered and claimed the Philippines for Spain and reigniting negotiations which in 1529 the treaty of Zaragoza gave Portugal most of Asia and Spain most of the Pacific region.

The Colonies claimed were Brazil, Azores, Canaries, Madeiras, Cape Verde Islands, Congo, Portuguese Guinea, Mozambique, Angola, St Thomas & Prince Is, India – Goa (451years), Calicut, Cannanore, Co-Chin, Quilon, Bombay, Malaccas (Spice Islands), Macau (1557-_and Nagasaki (Japan). The Portuguese Overseas Territory was the largest and longest-lived empire in World History and the 10th largest by maximum land area of 10.4 million km sq. Portugal is only 92080 km sq. and the population was too small to colonize the vast territory so in less than a century after Portugal had laid claim to half the world, English, French and Dutch trading companies and Spanish, German, Italian and Communist powers had seized the lion’s share of the world’s colonies and commerce. Today Portugal only can lay claim to the territory of Macau covering 6 sq. miles at the tip of the Macau peninsula

By A.M


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