Portugal History: The House of Avis

John I (1385–1433) won the decisive victory against Castile on August 14, 1385 at Aljubarrota (near Batalha) with English support. The alliance with England was reinforced in 1386 by the so-called Windsor Treaty. The goods and titles of the nobles who fled after the battle were distributed to a newly emerging class of aristocracy of bourgeois origin on the basis of their merit; they could only be passed on to the oldest legitimate son and had to be confirmed when a new king took office. The bourgeoisie became more involved in the administration of the state and the largest cities. Under Johann I. the simplification, standardization and publication of all applicable laws began, which appeared as “Ordenações Alfonsinas”. Connected with the renewed expansion of the merchant fleet, Lisbon’s rise to one of the most important trading centers in Europe was. In 1415 the conquest of the rich Moroccan trading center and pirate base of Ceuta paved the way for African coastal trips and thus laid the foundation for Portugal’s expansion outside of Europe.

After the conquest of Ceuta, Johann’s youngest son, Henry the Navigator, built up a fleet with the resources of the Order of Christ, hired Italian and Portuguese navigators, and had Sagres’s geographers, cartographers, astronomers and mathematicians systematically evaluate and analyze the reports of Portuguese navigators and Arab informants On this basis, initiated regular exploratory trips into the Atlantic and along the African coast. Madeira, the Azores and the Cape Verde Islands were discovered between 1419 and 1457.

With Henry’s death, Alfonso V’s involvement in Morocco increased again: in 1471 he conquered Tangier. John II (1481–95) took vigorous action against the conspiracy of the regained nobility and had Duke Ferdinand II of Bragança beheaded in 1483. Even more planned than Henry the Navigator, he promoted voyages of discovery with the aim of finding the sea route to India. In 1488 B. Diaz was the first to sail around the southern tip of Africa. The discoveries were used for trading.

Fort Elmina, built by D. Cão on the coast of Guinea in 1482, gave the Portuguese access to the gold from the Sudanese mines. The beginnings of the Portuguese-African slave trade, which was only abolished in 1850, go back to this time. In the Treaties of Tordesillas (1494) and Saragossa (1529), Portugal and Castile agreed to divide the world into a Portuguese and a Castilian (Spanish) sphere of interest. During the reign of Emanuel I (1495–1521) Vasco da Gama succeeded in 1498 as the first to reach India by sea. The conquerors F. de Almeida and A. de Albuquerque, appointed viceroys in India, established in rapid succession Commercial branches and occupied strategically important places. This is how the profitable spice trade came under Portuguese control. In 1507 the island of Socotra was taken, which dominated the exit of the Red Sea. In 1510 Goa fell in India, in 1511 Malacca, which opened the way to the Moluccas, the Spice Islands.

In the middle of the 16th century, according to allcitycodes.com, the Portuguese founded the first European branch in China in Macau. Portugal controlled the west and east of Africa through bases (Luanda, Mozambique, Mombasa). In 1500 P. Á. Cabral Discovered Brazil, which 70 years later, when the Portuguese East Asia trade declined, became Portugal’s most important possession through sugar cane processing. The overseas possessions were crown property and trade in them was a royal monopoly. So the crown flowed very great riches. Portugal, whose population had declined from 2 million to 1 million in the course of these efforts, was not able to maintain all its conquests against the competition of the Spanish, Dutch, English and French. The Age of Discovery was accompanied internally by an artistic and literary flowering, in which the Portuguese peculiarities mixed with the influences of European humanism and the Reformation. By introducing the Inquisition However, in 1536 and the establishment of the Jesuit University Évora in 1559 (existed until 1759), the Counter Reformation achieved a quick victory.

Under King Sebastian (1557–78), the plans for conquest in Morocco, which he had resumed, encouraged by the Pope, failed: on August 4, 1578, the fight against the Muslims under Sultan Abd el-Malik (1576–78) when Ksar el-Kebir came, the king and the Portuguese nobility suffered a crushing defeat. The death of the king in battle was not believed by the people, his return was the subject of legends for a long time. After the death of his successor, Cardinal Heinrichs (King 1578-80), Philip II of Spain ran for election, a grandson of Emanuel I through his mother ., and occupied the whole of Portugal in a short campaign (the solemn proclamation as king by the Cortes of Tomar did not take place until April 1581).

Portugal History - The House of Avis