Portugal Exploration Essay


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The Lusitanian Exploration highlighted the country’s dominance to economic growing and power. Explorations are ne’er easy enterprises. New lands will be discovered. wherein accomplishing success is so really unsure. Furthermore. the mere fact that the state needs to provide all the materials—from nutrient to transport fixs. are excessively expensive. However. although geographic expeditions are masked by uncertainty and hopeless skies. its result can take to tremendous wealth and benefits that will enable the state to see copiousness in wining old ages to come. When Portugal ne’er gave up its hopes and dreams sing land finds. such large determination resulted to positive consequences. At the oncoming of the 16Thursdaycentury. Portugal pioneered geographic expeditions in the whole class of Europe. therefore. detecting more and new paths to Africa. the Atlantic. Asia and even South America ( “Portugal” n. vitamin D ) .

In the beginning. cipher has expected Portugal to literally suppress the universe. The state was so torn with poorness and to a certain extent. economic impairment ( Arnold 2002. p. 22 ) . Given this state of affairs at manus. domination is wholly taken out of the image. If Portugal can non even feed its ain people. so it would be readily impossible for it to back up the demands of land geographic expeditions and finds. However. this did non forestall the state from prosecuting its dreams—from happening the purpose to do its name within the lacerate pages of history books.

It turned out that Portugal’s apparently hopeless instance is one of its greatest approvals. Since the state was in its terrible province. it has no other pick but to go on with the geographic expeditions. If success seems to be impossible within the sphere of land-based enlargement. so there is still hope when such is done abroad ( Arnold 2002. p. 22 ) . As Arnold ( 2002 ) explained. Portugal’s pilotage success fundamentally replaced the land-based orientation of wealth and power that was established by the germinating Spanish ( imperium ) ( p. 22 ) .

Factors finding Portugal’s geographic expedition success

There are different factors that are attributed to Portugal’s geographic expedition successes. These three are extremely characterized by maritime development every bit good as the deathless support given by the Lusitanian authorities. The first factor has something to make with Portugal’s geographic place ( “Portugal” n. vitamin D ) . Portugal can be seen along the west side of the Iberian Peninsula ( “Portugal” n. vitamin D ) . Livingstone implied ( 1993 ) that the state is readily blessed with its strategic location ( p. 41 ) . It possesses rivers that are long plenty to be navigated ( Livingstone 1993. p. 41 ) . It has “favorable air currents ( Livingstone 1993. p. 41 ) ” that can take ships into their planned journeys or finish. The last but non the least is the being of natural and organic seaports which creates a perfect and extremely suited puting for maritime development ( Livingstone 1993. p. 41 ) .

If one has to take a closer expression. this aspect entirely puts Portugal into a great advantage over its challengers or rivals. Once and for all. compassing the universe requires non merely human accomplishments. nature besides plays an of import function. Although. exceeding pilotage endowments are expected to originate. there is no uncertainty that if nature decides to step in. the class would be more hard and complicated as expected. It can be besides implied that Portugal’s geographical design enabled the latter to detect more efficient paths from any angle. The crew can easy research more unknown countries since they have good mention points that are indispensable in set uping maps.

On the other manus. the 2nd factor can be traced to Portugal’s developing “maritime economic system ( “Portugal. n. vitamin D ) . ” The ports of Lisbon and Oporto became the cente of commercialism and trade for the state ( “Portugal” n. vitamin D ) . Mostly of the fiscal agencies that were used to back up the ocean trips came from these trade territories ( “Portugal. ” n. vitamin D ) . However. aside from financing the pilotage programs. Maddision ( 2006 ) besides mentioned that the bays and seashore metropoliss of Portugal is abundant plenty to provide the demands and demands of the local occupants ( p. 22 ) . Aside from merchandising per Se. it can be seen that Portugal has other ways of deriving incomes. net incomes and grosss.

But so once more. possibly the greatest parts of the maritime industry are the huge cognition and information that Portuguese fisherman has learned due to their changeless and uninterrupted submergence with the Atlantic seas ( Maddison 2006. p. 22 ) . Their command of sea air currents. tides and conditions ( Maddison 2006. p. 22 ) . It allowed Lusitanian adventurers and sailing masters to carry on more research on pilotage. Yet. more than anything else. they were able to construct ships that can defy the force per unit areas and adversities brought Forth by unfathomable oceans ( Maddison 2006. p. 22 ) . They created “lateen sails” and in the long tally. they combined it with “square sails” which allowed them to sail through the South Atlantic and farther discover more ways or paths in the Cape country ( Maddison 2006. p. 22 ) .

Last. the 3rd determiner of the Portuguese exploration’s success stems from the fact that its monarchy readily showed support and encouragement for these programs ( “Portugal” n. vitamin D ) . The authorities ensured that “tax privileges” and insurances are available for both the ship proprietors and sailing masters ( “Portugal” n. vitamin D ) . As a affair of fact. it is non merely the male monarch that readily lent a assisting manus to do these projects possible. Even members of the nobility assured that they can be pillars of strength and encouragement ( “Portugal” n. vitamin D ) . Obviously. without the system’s support and permission. the ocean trips would non go on. As antecedently mentioned. even if there are adequate stuffs and supplies if the monarchy is non unfastened to the thought. so Portugal’s domination may non come into topographic point.

The indispensable function of the Lusitanian authorities. in this facet can be briefly understood in several points. Once and for all. the revenue enhancement ordinances enabled the state to fulfill the privileges of geographic expedition and at the same clip guarantee a healthy life style for its local citizens. Second. the monarchy served as a strong influence for both the adventurers and local occupants. If the male monarch refused such programs. so the populace would non be able to acknowledge its value and importance.

Since local occupants are the 1s who are chiefly involved in production plants. the adventurers would hold a difficult and hard clip converting these people about their dreams and visions. if the male monarch per Se. would demo uncertainties sing the affair. Furthermore. the monarchy is in charge of doing determinations on how they can possible benefit from the finds that they made—to be more specific. the Lusitanian authorities is in charge of inventing schemes on how they can possible derive net incomes and grosss on new paths and land countries. This is of import for unless the people know that they benefit from it. they would go on to back up such program.

A Brief History of Portugal Exploration

In order to farther grounds behind the success ad failure of the Lusitanian geographic expedition. it is best to hold a brief treatment or lineation of the nation’s pilotage history. As mentioned earlier. the parts of Portugal in the universe can neither be questioned non taken for granted. Even though it has finally declined in the long old ages to come. it can non be discounted that Portugal is one of the few states that have managed to keep and still command its settlements by the terminal of the 19Thursdaycentury ( Diffie & A ; Winius 1977. p. 4 ) . The mere fact that it was able to prolong such set-up exemplifies its power and strength.

Diffie and winius ( 1977 ) explained that Portugal was inspired by the achievements of the Han and Roman Empires ( p. 4 ) . However. since it can non to the full embarked on land-based conquerings and imperialism. detecting other lands became the last resort. and as discussed. nature’s approvals made a manner for the state embarked on long journeys and ocean trips.

The foundations of the Lusitanian geographic expedition can be traced to every bit far as 1415 ( Wiarda 200. p. 21 ) . In those times. Ceuta was so considered as the centre of spice trade in the West ( Wiarda 2000. p. 21 ) . Portugal has managed to set Ceuta under its control and therefore the impulse to command more lands became resistless. While Ceuta was so an of import investing for Portugal. Wiarda ( 2000 ) . nevertheless noted that Portugal’s chief end by that clip was to distribute Christianity to Morrocco ( p. 4 ) . Within the facet of colonialism. faith is an indespensbale tool. The Lusitanian readily used the affair to interact with the indigens. Due to linguistic communication barriers. it would be difficult for both the colonisers and the settlement to understand or pass on with each other. Therefore. the construct of holding a Supreme Being bridged the spread between the two races.

But on a closer scrutiny. the ruin of Morocco. inspired many of Lusitanian warriors and soldiers to convey more award. glorification and prestigiousness to their really own female parent state ( Wiarda 200. p. 187 ) . In add-on to that. Prince Henry who happened to be the really first protagonist of Lusitanian geographic expeditions have heard narratives from captives about lands and countries that were still undiscovered ( “Portugal” n. vitamin D ) . The gaining control of Morocco allowed Prince Henry to hold his first gustatory sensation of the African cost ( “Portugal” n. vitamin D ) . Having said this. so. his wonder was further heightened. The exhilaration and passion to suppress more lands became stronger than of all time.

Prince Henry “ The Navigator”

The success in Ceuta encouraged Prince Henry to demo his undying support to geographic expeditions. Prince Henry can be best described as person who knew how to transform his visions and ideals into realistic issues and concerns. The prince knows that geographic expeditions may non needfully give to positive consequences. But this did non deter him. Despite of the fact that there is a strong enthusiasm and exhilaration on Prince Henry’s portion. Wiarda ( 2000 ) stated that this does non intend that that the immature leader was already cognizant of explorations’ benefits and advantages ( p. 21 ) . Harmonizing to Wiarda ( 2000 ) Prince Henry’s primary concern by so was the budding market for alien and wild animate beings ( p. 21 ) . But in the long tally. explorations’ commercial benefit was easy embedded into the prince’s immature head.

On the other manus. the materialisation of Prince Henry’s dreams came into the image during the reign of Joao II ( Wiarda 2000. p. 21 ) . The foundations of an geographic expedition program have been successfully laid out. Gallagher ( 2003 ) noted that the first move was to detect a path from Africa that can easy take to India ( p. 5 ) . With all these enterprises. the monarchy assured that they will manage all the minutess and see to it that it profiteering activities would be expeditiously managed ( Gallagher 2003. p. 80 ) . The competition against Spain led Portugal to maintain its pilotage development in utmost secretiveness ( Gallagher 2003. p. 5 ) . Even the ocean trips per Se were kept confidential ( Gallagher 2003. p5 ) .

During those times. Cape Bojador was seen as the terminal of the universe ( Wiarda 2000. p. 187 ) . Since there is already a signal Pr permission from the monarchy to research more. Prince Henry in return. challenged his work forces to travel beyond the bounds of Cape Bojardor ( Wiarda 2000. p. 187 ) . The whole crew landed in Madeira in 1420 and seven old ages after. the Lusitanian adventurers made their first measure in Azores ( Keefee et. al 1977. p. 60 ) . This was besides the clip when Portugal eventually confirmed that Cape Bojador was non the world’s terminal point ( Keefe et. al 1977. p. 60 ) . This is merely the start of Portugal’s domination. Even though the alleged Navigator died in 1460 ( “Portugal. ” n. vitamin D ) . his bequests was continued and still promoted by the wining Portugal swayers.

Historians and members of the academia outlined several distinguishable grounds sing Prince Henry’s compulsions. One of this is the impulse to cognize more lands beyond Cape Bojador ( “Portugal” n. vitamin D ) . In an epoch wherein bigger settlements equate to more economic successes. traveling beyond Cape Bojador’s geographical restrictions is an straight-out advantage. Another ground is Portugal’s purpose to develop trade dealingss to other countries or counties ( “Portugal” n. vitamin D ) . There is besides the purpose to analyze the strength of their challengers and at the same clip. guarantee that conflicts will be waged against those who opposed Christianity and hence guarantee that the faith would proliferate ( “Portugal” n. vitamin D ) .

Reasons for Exploration

In general and non merely for Portugal. there are three determiners of why geographic expeditions happen or occur. The first 1 has something to make with the spice trade ( Roupp 2001. p. 236 ) . Spices such as Myristica fragrans. Mace. ginger. cinnamon and paper are pretty popular in the European parts trade ( Roupp 2001. p. 236 ) . The Ottomans were able to take control of the Eastern Mediterranean swap trade ( Roupp 2001. p. 236 ) Because of this. European minister plenipotentiary had no other pick but to look for alternate paths. Since spices are really much in demand. there is no uncertainty that to go a spice provider would so ensue to an addition in net incomes and grosss. The supply is low and the demands are high. Therefore. those who are able to fulfill the demand can besides inquire for a higher monetary value. This statement are besides supported by Kiple and Omelas ( 2000. p. 436 ) .

Kiple and Omelas ( 2000 ) mentioned that many European states. most particularly those which are engaged in geographic expedition are besides seeking for a new path to acquire a steady supply of spices ( p. 436 ) . This harmonizing to the two. prompted viing states to further better their pilotage tactics and accomplishments. The competition is stiff and they can non stay unagitated. However. as for this instance. since Portugal has already explored the countries beyond Cape Bojador. the challenge became an easy effort for the state.

During the initial stairss. it was the Arabs that has entire control over the affair ( Wolpert 1999. p. 45 ) . However. a little fleet. headed by Vasco de Gama made the Arabs resignation ( Wolpert 1999. p. 45 ) . Harmonizing to Wolpert ( 1999 ) . although De Gama’s success enabled Portugal to set up a monopoly over spice trade ( p. 45 ) . His victory and glorification is more than plenty to pay from all the disbursals that were spent during his journey ( Wolpert 1999. p. 45 ) .

Roupp ( 2001 ) besides noted that engineering can be besides considered as one of Portugal’s actuating force for geographic expeditions ( p. 236 ) . The technological facet means that as adult male continue to develop stuffs and tools to fulfill their demands. this brought them other chances. As for the instance of Portugal. since they are able to construct ships and canvass that are extremely capable or voyaging the Earth. shortly they found it that if they can foster heighten these stuffs and integrated several maps such as integrating military arms like the cannons. for illustration. they can easy get the better of their enemies and those who are making struggles and hinderances ( Roupp 2001. p. 236 ) .

Last. Roupp ( 2001 ) stressed that wonder degrees were readily high during the Renaissance period and therefore. it became a motivational force for many states to research more of the unknown universe ( p. 236 ) .

In the interim. if one has to critically measure it. it is evident that the end for net income and grosss best explains the strength of Lusitanian geographic expeditions. As readily discussed. the passing old ages allowed Portugal to diversify its economic clasp and control. Prince Henry’s focal point on the alien animate being market shifted into another kingdom since the monarchy has besides recognized the other benefits of ocean trips and expeditions. It can be besides remembered that Portugal is besides one of the innovators of the slave trade in Africa.

Since they have discovered more lands in the said continent. colonisation was reshaped. From goods that are bartered. human trade became popular excessively. The inexpensive labour rendered by captured slaves and captives were seen as a good beginning of net income and income. Furthermore. there is besides the spice trade which farther strengthened Portugal’s domination. Since they fundamentally spearheaded the geographic expedition pursuits and engineering. they have readily capitalized on it. The return of investings was more than what they have expected.

Portugal’s Failure

Although Portugal was fundamentally at the vertex of its geographic expedition successes the state failed to see certain events that would finally take to its acrimonious ruin. Possibly this can be best explained by the country’s inability to pull off all its settlements ( “Portugal” n. vitamin D ) . It has been carefully discussed in this paper that Portugal was able to detect more lands. This readily means that one time they have settled in those countries. they have to expeditiously oversee all the activities that occur in it. This state of affairs should non come as a surprise or it is instead expected.

First of all. it is pretty impossible for Portugal to straight pull off its settlements since they are stat mis off from each other. The imperium has to direct its people to those countries in order to guarantee that everything falls in their proper topographic points. But distant lands prohibit coincident coordination and interaction among the leaders. For the monarchy. it is pretty hard for it to set up appropriate solutions and ordinances for their settlements unless they have existent experience of the job that is being manifested in a peculiar country. It would take months and old ages before updates and studies can be handed to the King. The minute that actions are ratified and certain Torahs are promulgated. there is a strong inclination that the job has already become worse or the attacks used are no longer applicable.

In add-on to that. vicereines and appointed leaders have to be financially supported by the monarchy. This is done to guarantee that country swayers have adequate supply of nutrient and other stuffs to prolong their mundane lives and activities. But of class. the fiscal support came from the local residents’ revenue enhancements and hard-earned money. In the long tally. there are besides cases wherein the monarchy can no longer back-up and back up these demands. This is most particularly true if Lusitanian leaders have already built their households in their several settlements. As a consequence. the net incomes and grosss that they have collected from their settlements are hardly plenty for them to widen their corsets and pull off their specific spheres.

It is besides of import to observe that distance issues are besides prone to illegal activities. Appointed leaders could be tempted by the apparently moneymaking activities that are present in their settlements. When monitoring. coordinating and interacting are seldom practiced. so there is no uncertainty that Portuguese found itself on the losing terminal.

The last but decidedly non the least is the decease of King Sebastian ( “Portugal” n. vitamin D ) . This sad event proved to be a aureate chance for Spain. King Philip II. who was the Spain’s swayers and King Sebastian’s uncle took over the latter’s place. What happened to Portugal so was that. it became Spain’s state ( “Portugal” n. vitamin D ) . Relatively. the techniques and schemes that Portugal created and developed were exploited by Spain. Therefore all the extroverted success was now done in the name of Spain alternatively of Portugal.


Portugal is fundamentally engulfed with the sweet promises of geographic expeditions and land finds. Although Roupp ( 2001 ) suggested that wonder plays an of import function. this facet is outlasted by the demand for net income and grosss ( p. 236 ) . Once and for all. since Portugal has captured Ceuta. they have already recognized that if they can detect more lands. they can utilize the domain’s working force to their ain advantage. They can inquire the indigens to bring forth goods that are widely popular in the European market. Furthermore. it is reasonably impossible to reason that Portugal merely tried to cognize new paths for curiosity’s interest entirely. The spice trade for illustration and the country’s domination and domination on the said country are manifestations of the grim thrust for both economic and geographic enlargement.

However. since seaward direction was non expeditiously executed. such led to the ruin of what was one time considered as the globe’s world power.


Arnold. D. 2002.The Age of Discovery. 1400-1600. Routledge: United states

Diffie. B and Winius. D. ( 1977 ) .Foundations of the Portuguese Empire. Minnesota. USA: University of Minnesota Press

Gallagher. A. ( 2003 ) .Prince Henry the Navigator: Pioneer of Modern Exploration. New York: Rosen Publishing Group Inc

Keefe. E. et. Al ( 1977 ) .Area Handbook for Portugal. Washington. DC: U. S. Government Printing Office

Kiple. K and Omelas. K. 2000.The Cambridge World History of Food. Cambridge University Press: Edinburgh

Livingstone. D. 1993.The Geographic Tradition: Episodes in the History of A Contested Enterprise. Blackwell Publishing: United states

Maddisson. A. 2006.The World Economy. OECD: France

“Portugal” n. vitamin D.University of Calgary. Retrieved 18 March 2008 from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. ucalgary. ca/applied_history/tutor/eurvoya/portuguese. hypertext markup language

Roupp. H. 2001.How to Fix for SAT II. Barron’s: New York

Wiarda. I. ( 2000 ) .Handbook of Portuguese Surveies. United statess: Xlibris Corporation

Wolpert. S. 1999.India. University of California Press: Berkeley


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