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58 votes
Accepted

Why didn't Portugal found universities in its colonies like Spain?

SHORT ANSWER Spanish policy was rooted in the tradition of setting up universities in conquered territories, accompanied by the aim of converting the local people to Catholicism in order to bind them ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
28 votes

When the Portuguese began the exploration of the West African Coast, did they believe the Indian Ocean was an enclosed sea?

What a wonderful question! Dom Henrique is one of the chief characters of this story, and that means we need to explore him more than the general Portuguese knowledge. These explorations as a whole ...
gktscrk's user avatar
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18 votes
Accepted

Was the British Empire bigger than the combined empires of the Iberian Union in terms of claimed land area?

This question is a little more involved than it might appear, and has a few layers we need to tear through to solve. The basis is obvious, if the Spanish Empire was huge, and the Portuguese Empire at ...
justCal's user avatar
  • 40.6k
18 votes

What is the first recorded contact with Taiwan by Europeans?

From [1] These rutters ... allude to Formosa, sometimes under the sobriquet of Lequeo Pequeno (Little Luchu), since the distinction between the Ryukyu Islands and Formosa was not always clear to the ...
Luiz's user avatar
  • 4,458
16 votes
Accepted

Why did the Portuguese permit an Italian commercial agent to accompany Vasco da Gama on the 4th Portuguese India Armada?

This expedition was financed by the Affaitadi family (they were bankers), of which Matteo de Bergamo was a clerk. It is natural that the investors would ask the da Gama brothers to take one of their ...
José Carlos Santos's user avatar
14 votes

In WW2, why didn't Japan invade Macau?

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 ...
Schwern's user avatar
  • 55.4k
12 votes

How can a diamond shape be a reference to Napoleon?

The book A História dos Símbolos Nacionais, published by the Brazilian Senate, states that indeed, [The flag] was conceived by Jean-Baptiste Debret, French painter and founder of our Academy of ...
JMVanPelt's user avatar
  • 2,266
11 votes

What is the first recorded contact with Taiwan by Europeans?

A book chapter by Rui Manuel Loureiro, in the book Taiwan - A Bridge between the East and South China Seas, Angela Schottenhammer (ed.), 2011, addresses these questions in detail. It's difficult to ...
Brian Z's user avatar
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9 votes
Accepted

Why wasn’t Japan colonized by the European empires?

Japan was in fact vulnerable in the 16th century when the Portuguese and later the Spanish arrived. But Japan had, despite the civil war, an educated and competent elite as well as an effective ...
João Schmidt's user avatar
9 votes

Did the Portuguese get anything in return when they handed back Macau?

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, ...
LuisTavares's user avatar
9 votes

Did the Portuguese get anything in return when they handed back Macau?

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 ...
Clint Eastwood's user avatar
8 votes

When the Portuguese began the exploration of the West African Coast, did they believe the Indian Ocean was an enclosed sea?

gktscrk answers the question directly but, although it is true that there were legends and fears, and simple minded sailors, it is absolutely false that the elite did not expect to find anything ...
Luiz's user avatar
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8 votes
Accepted

How can a diamond shape be a reference to Napoleon?

The flag design most closely associated with Napoleon would be his personal command flag. If he had one. Pending the discovery of the design of any personal flag of Napoleon, the flag design most ...
MAGolding's user avatar
  • 19.3k
6 votes

Did the Portuguese Crown sponsor Brazilian gold-seeking expeditions (bandeiras) in the 17th century?

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 ...
Luiz's user avatar
  • 4,458
5 votes

How possible was it for colonizers to sail up the Paraná River to today's states of Paraná and São Paulo?

Colonizers heading for the gold mines at Cuiabá in the early 18th century used the Panará River. They also used the Tietê River for part of their journey, but not between Sao Paolo and Porto Feliz. ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
5 votes

Why didn't Portugal found universities in its colonies like Spain?

Note that Brazil did not have a native population as large as the Spanish colonies did. Brazil had only tribes and neither empires nor large cities before colonization. Thus, I doubt there would have ...
Luiz's user avatar
  • 4,458
4 votes

When did the Portuguese decide to extend their West African exploration to finding a sea passage to India?

I think there are serious problems with this question. Yet, I've decided to draft an answer, though not as detailed as I did to the related question here. The real problem here lies in defining what ...
gktscrk's user avatar
  • 10.8k
3 votes

Why wasn’t Japan colonized by the European empires?

Besides the accepted answer's focus on obstacle of a complex society and (semi-)centralized government to a quick takeover, it probably wouldn't have been obviously worthwhile. European colonization ...
Italian Philosophers 4 Monica's user avatar
3 votes

When did the Portuguese decide to extend their West African exploration to finding a sea passage to India?

gktsck answer shows that the general intent to reach India was already there. But to understand how the general intent become a tangible aim, note that the path to India did not go through today's ...
Luiz's user avatar
  • 4,458
3 votes

Spain's tributary empire vs. Portugal's seaborne empire

I think the difference between the Spanish and the Portuguese empires was that Portugal's strength was its navy while Spain's strength was its army. Spain did not have a good navy compared to Portugal'...
Basque_Spaniards's user avatar
3 votes

Why did the Chinese not use military power to force out early Portuguese, Dutch and English trade encroachments?

  Chinese were technologically inferior but did drive Dutch back using superior numbers and acquired European technology It could be said that main Chinese ship type at the time was junk, ...
rs.29's user avatar
  • 11.3k
3 votes

Were the islands/countries discovered by Hispanic explorers named after Mozarabic feast days?

Were the islands/countries discovered by Hispanic explorers named after Mozarabic feast days? The short answer is no. But that no has to be clarified. It could be yes or no, according to which Rite ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
  • 1,900
3 votes

Were the islands/countries discovered by Hispanic explorers named after Mozarabic feast days?

First, the Mozarabic Rite was also Catholic, the correct terms would be Mozarabic versus Roman Rites. I have heard a Mozarabic Mass (and I keep the printed missal), and (personal opinion) I did not ...
Luiz's user avatar
  • 4,458
2 votes

Were the islands/countries discovered by Hispanic explorers named after Mozarabic feast days?

You don't specify which discoveries are of interest, but the specific days on which islands were encountered is definitely recorded in ships' log books. For example, a log survives of Magellan and ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
  • 27.6k
2 votes

Was the British Empire bigger than the combined empires of the Iberian Union in terms of claimed land area?

We are forgetting that in times of the Iberian Union, not only lands were claimed, but also oceans and seas according to the "Mare Clausum" policy (closed seas belonging to a certain power and with ...
Chuck's user avatar
  • 45
1 vote

Do maps dating back to 1489/90 show Ascension and St Helena even though these islands were supposedly only discovered in 1501 and 1502 respectively?

Not an answer, just a reference which may open other questions, but too long for comment. I have a book on old maps, and was intrigued about Columbus map, which as you say in the question, shows ...
Luiz's user avatar
  • 4,458
1 vote

Do maps dating back to 1489/90 show Ascension and St Helena even though these islands were supposedly only discovered in 1501 and 1502 respectively?

Partial answer, focus on Martellus map and its meaining: First, the legend seemingly attached to the islands in the Martellus map is not for them but for the continent: The world map is of particular ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.9k
1 vote

When the Portuguese began the exploration of the West African Coast, did they believe the Indian Ocean was an enclosed sea?

Definitely not a straight answer but relevant nonetheless: There is (arguably weak or solid, depending on what certain cultural priors you adopt) circumstantial evidence for an historical lighthouse ...
lurscher's user avatar
  • 111
1 vote

Did the Portuguese Crown sponsor Brazilian gold-seeking expeditions (bandeiras) in the 17th century?

After a fashion, yes. The {Brazilian gold rush began at the end of the 17th century in the mountainous province of Minas Gerais (General Mines in English), a rich ore-producing region to this day. ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 104k

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