58

I can tell you why Spain was neutral. (Sorry, I don't know much about Portugal) Germany and Italy helped Franco during the Spanish Civil War. When the Second World War started, Germany of 1939 was not very interested in Spain. As you know in May 1940 Italy joined the Axis while France was being conquered. After defeat the Germans prepared themselves to ...


31

I mean if the people felt they were Portuguese how could they accept kings with Asturian origins? Because they didn't feel they were "Portuguese" until later on. Firstly, you are taking the modern approach of the nation-state which was absent at the time of the creation of Portugal. At that time, what counted was the relationships of loyalty between the ...


31

(Note that there are definitively many traces of Germanic influence on Spanish/Portuguese. For example, as @AlbertYago's pointed out, the Iberian vocabulary contains several Germanic imports; Wikipedia even has a section on this subject. Nonetheless, the underlying question is valid: the Germanic influence is obviously way, way weaker in Iberia than it is in ...


29

Actually, Portugal and England have the longest alliance in the world -- one signed in the Treaty of Windsor (1386). The Portuguese and English agreed that neutrality for Portugal was the most viable stance though Portugal helped the alliance in other ways like evacuating civilians from Gilbraltar to Madeira and allowing later in the war, bases in the Azores....


20

As mentioned in the comments, the Wikipedia entry on this subject does not adequately describe the situation and causes of the foundation of Portugal. The creation of Portugal was nothing short of a miracle which was accomplished by a single man, Alfonso Henrique (1109-1185), known as Alfonso Henry in English. His deeds are best known from the massive tomes ...


14

The question is a bit confusing. The way I read it, you're asking why something expensive has enough demand to sustain a profitable trade ("How did the high price of spices allow such high demand?"). The answer is that it wasn't that expensive. A pound of spices might cost several days' worth of wages for an average craftsman, but a pound of pepper is a lot ...


14

Macau was a Portuguese Colony right next door to Hong Kong. Why didn't Japan invade it during WW2? Because they didn't need to. The Portuguese were steadfastly neutral. They weren't a military threat. Macau had no real military value and the authorities there were cooperating. Why spend the resources to invade and occupy an already compliant port and risk ...


11

You're looking at few different questions. 1) Why did Franco not bring Spain into the war voluntarily in 1939-40? a) Popular war fatigue: the Spanish people had been put through three years of a bloody fratricidal war. Remember, aerial bombardment of non-military targets such as capital cities was a brand-new military technique, and it was terrifying. ...


10

While it would be hard to disprove an early Portuguese presence in New England, it seems unlikely. One could argue that 16th century fisherman don't often leave behind a wealth of evidence, but consider how much evidence survives linking the Portuguese to Newfoundland around the same time. According to Mark Kurlansky: A 1502 map identifies Newfoundland as ...


9

There isn't anything approaching annual time series data on these questions, so economic historians have to estimate them from other data. Kugler and Bernholz estimate that Spanish inflation averaged 1.1-1.4% per annum in the 16th century. This may sound low by modern standards, but it was quite high considering that early modern economies generally exhibit ...


9

The reactions to the Treaty by the other powers were far from swift. On one hand, communication was slow and untrustworthy, on the other hand the New World was much smaller (as mentioned in another answer). England (still Catholic) suffered from the consequences of the Wars of the Roses (1455 - 1485) and had not yet the resources. France was suffering from ...


9

They did, and certainly had quite a few, as an article cited in Wikipedia says: In mid-sixteenth-century Seville 7.4 percent of censused inhabitants were slaves and [...] between 1682 and 1729 the slave population of Cádiz was extremely large, making up perhaps as much as 15 percent of the total urban population. In other cities, such as Málaga, ...


9

The most significant contribution that Britain made to the Portuguese and Spanish military was in the form of cash. This allowed them to recruit & pay their soldiers and supply them with food & equipment. Between 1808 and 1814 Spain received a subsidy that averaged just over £1 million a year, considerably less than the Portuguese subsidy that was £...


9

By giving up Macau quietly, Portugal avoided an embarrassment similar to the one they experienced when India took Goa. More seriously, this was done as part of a treaty at a point in time where Portugal was carrying out a policy of de-colonization. Portugal basically offered to return Macao to China.


9

On the contrary. Portugal started building the (very expensive) Macau International Airport after the handover of Macau decision was already settled between Portugal and China (1987). Even more, Portugal offered to withdraw from Macau in late 1974, but China declined the offer in favour of a later time because it sought to preserve international and ...


8

I cannot give you a definitive answer, but I think some of the general ideas are flawed: Starting point: You should not understimate the differences at the beginning of the 20th century between Spain and Portugal in one side and France, the UK and Germany in the other. War is only destruction: Yes, there is a lot of destruction in a war. But it also gives ...


7

Maybe you are confusing situations: Currently, the idea of "Reconquista" is just held to talk about the chronological and geographical frame, but the idea of a "managed" process to take all of the Iberian Peninsula back from the Muslim rulers is generally discredited as a "post-facto" fabrication (giving a "national idea&...


7

Although the Portuguese had dozens of small forts and watering stations all along the coast at various times, none of these were developed as settlements because South Africa originally had no interesting or valuable trade goods to provide. South Africa has a dry climate and the aborigines were very primitive hunter/gatherers. There were no mines, spices or ...


7

I think you can talk about potential Moorish influences on Iberian nautical expansion in following three areas: Wealth By the 9th/10th Century, al-Andalus (Islamic Spain + Portugal) was by far the most advanced and wealthiest part of Western or Central Europe. When the northern Christian kingdoms expanded south, they were generally conquering places that ...


6

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 ...


6

Morocco has no sensible grounds to claim these islands. It might have some legitimacy to claim semi-enclaves like Ceuta and Melilla or the couple of tiny islands off of its shore that currently are in Iberian hands. But Morocco's claim on these territories are on the same order as Spain's not so strong claim on Gibraltar: they've been under Iberian control ...


6

The first flag of Portugal was the coat of arms of Henry of Burgundy, Count of Portugal and father of Afonso I (1109-1185), the first king of Portugal. It's an azure cross over a silver field. Crosses were popular motifs of the first coats of arms (perhaps because they were used in the First Crusade in 1099). According to the early heraldic rules of the ...


6

About the context of the bandeiras (unsponsored expeditions) from S. Paulo (formerly S. Vicente captaincy) In short: In much of the highlands, specially S. Paulo, outside of the sugar cane coastal regions, the dominant language was Tupi until the Portuguese intervened, and the Indians were a common race in the racial mix, up to the arrival of black slaves ...


6

A guess is that the 92nd was billeted at Gozundeira between 15 Oct and 15 Nov 1810. This tiny place is in the middle of the map on page 10 of the very informative modern essay The Lines of Torres Vedras by G.W.A. Napier. That map shows Gozundeira as being (to my untrained eyes) within the operational area of Division 1 (to which the 92nd was attached), ...


5

It depends who is talking. As @Alex pointed in his comment Serious historians do not use the words "good", "bad", "evil" etc. These notions depend on time and culture. So when talking about different time and different culture, a scientist should avoid them. What is important, the process of taking back Spain (and Portugal) is called not a "crusade", ...


5

The Order of the White Eagle was ordained by King Władysław (Vladistas) in 1325, instituted on the occasion of his son Casimir's marriage. Ensign: a white eagle, crowned. To this order belonged both noble Poles and Russians [Lexicon Tetraglotton (1660)]. In 1705, Augustus, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, revived the order. From 1705, many important ...


5

The great reason is that after Granada fell, France was the great danger. Spain needed alliances to defy the big European kingdom. France´s king wanted to conquer Italy. The Kingdom of Naples was sinking without an heir and the situation was desperate. Naples was considered also a strategic and important kingdom to face the Ottoman danger. The Portuguese ...


5

"Some people believe that Renaissance started in Toledo". Who are these people? I think the prevailing opinion is that Renaissance started in Italy. By the way, Columbus came from Italy too. And notice that his first voyage started in exactly the same year when the last Moorish kingdom fell, and Jews were expelled from Iberian peninsula. (As it is ...


5

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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