by: savannah smith. the portuguese wanted to create a large trading network. one explorer,...

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Portugal in Africa, Asia, and the Indian Ocean By: Savannah Smith

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Portugal in Africa, Asia, and the Indian Ocean

Portugal in Africa, Asia, and the Indian OceanBy: Savannah SmithThe Portuguese wanted to create a large trading network.One explorer, Bartolomeu Dias, travelled around the tip of Africa and into the Indian Ocean.Another explorer, Vasco da Gama, also travelled around Africas tip and continued on to India.They were able to establish trade monopolies that created much profit for Portugal.Most of the Portuguese trade with Asia took place on the Indian Ocean trade cities and ports.


The Portuguese first visited the western coast of Africa in 1471.It was less expensive to get imported materials from the Portuguese than from the overland trade with the Mediterranean. This also gave the Africans a new places to trade their exports.

Portugul comes to Africa

In 1482, the Portuguese sent a representative to gain permission to place a trading fort on Africas western coast.In order to impress the African king, the Noble, as well as his officers, dressed in their best clothing, and used musicians to signal the beginning of the negotiations.The African king gave permission for the fort to be built, and the Noble pledged that their would be benefits for both Africa and Portugal. The king did warn the Noble that if the Portuguese acted violently, then the king would take away the food and trade business that the fort would be given, however, no aggressive actions took place during the negotiations.

Trade NegotiationsTrade later prospered for both Africa and Portugal.The Royals of Portuguese bought gold.They were able to buy 1/10 of the worlds gold.The Portuguese gave the Africans large amounts of trade items from other countries, like Asia and Europe, as well as other parts of Africa.

Trade Negotiations (Cont.)The Portuguese first came into contact with the people of Benin in 1486.After the contact, the king (oba) sent a representative to Portugal in order to learn about the people.He placed a monopoly on trade with the Portuguese.They exported ivory tusks, pepper, textiles, stone beads, and war prisoners in exchange for copper, brass, fine textiles, and glass beads.The Portuguese gave the Benin European firearms that were much better than spears.The Benin people allowed Portuguese missionaries and soldiers to help in battle as well.

Benin (The Niger Delta)

Much like the Benin, the Kongo king (manikongo) sent representatives to Portugal and put a royal monopoly on trade. The Kongo people were also intrigued by the Christian teachings of the Portuguese.The Manikongo named Catholicism the main religion of the Kongo people.Kongo was not able to offer many trade items.In order to receive Portuguese goods and missionaries, they had to acquire and sell more slaves for Portuguese sugar plantations.

The Kongo

The Muslim rulers of the coastal East African states were wary of the Portuguese.The doubts were confirmed a few years later when the Portuguese ransacked and pillaged many of the coastal cities.Malindi, a ruler who had believed that the Potuguese could help expand their trade, was spared by the fleet.Muslims and East AfricaThe Ethiopians were in desperate need of help from the Portuguese due to increasing problems with Muslim states.Queen Helena of Ethiopia sent a letter to the Portuguese king, as well as a gift (two small crucifixes), saying an alliance should be made between the two peoples. Helena died before any alliance could be made.Help finally arrived in 1539.The help of the Portuguese saved Ethiopia from crumbling, but a permanent alliance never took place due to the resistance of Ethiopia to become part of the Latin patriarch of the Romans. The Ethiopians

Portugals trade was rather poor compared to most Indian Ocean trade.The Portuguese king decided instead to add the Indian Ocean as part of Portuguese sea territory.The Portuguese ships had great power over the merchant dhows.These ships took the coastal cities of Swahili as well as the major Indian Ocean trading ports.They took many ports: Goa (Indias west coast), Gujarat, Calicut, other cities on the Malabar Coast, and Hormuz (Persian Gulf)One port, Aden, was able to effectively retaliate the Portuguese ships in 1515.Taking the port of Diu (Gujarat) solidified the authority of the Portuguese in the western Indian Ocean.

The Indian OceanThe city of Malacca became a focus point of Portuguese explorers.It had been a main storage and distribution place for trade items from China, India, Japan, Southeast Asia, and the Moluccas.The Portugueses control of many major ports allowed them to monopolize trading.China and India did not care for the Portuguese domination of the Indian Ocean, but the Ottomans and Egypt were against the Christian Empire taking over the trading system.Due to the resistance of some cities, Portugal did not take over the entire Indian Ocean trade, but major ports were controlled by the Portuguese due to their powerful naval fleet.This control allowed them to make much profit as well.Indian Ocean Cont.

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