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England had won its big battles against France in the Hundred Years' War (Crecy, Poitiers, Agincourt etc.), typically outnumbered 2 to 1 or even 3 to 1. Likewise, Portugal had a lower population than Spain and was "always" outnumbered by Spain. This was particularly true in this battle because some of the Portuguese had defected to the Spanish side. In ...


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Spices were what we would nowadays call mass luxuries. These are luxury goods that the masses can afford in small quantities. They are desired because they are out of the ordinary, and offer a "change of pace." They are expensive on a per-unit basis, but it is the "smallness" of use that makes them affordable. Spices had both these qualities at the time. So ...



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