Book Review - Forero 1 The Portuguese Seaborne Empire:...

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Forero 1 The Portuguese Seaborne Empire: 1415-1825 Rachel Forero Maritime History of the World November 10, 2006
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Forero 2 The Portuguese Seaborne Empire: 1415-1825 C. R. Boxer’s The Portuguese Seaborne Empire: 1415-1825 chronicles the influence of Portugal in exploration and other aspects of the maritime industry from the age of discovery through the middle of the industrial revolution, during which Portugal fails to rapidly procure the new technologies that were necessary for maritime success. The book is divided into two parts. The first, “Vicissitudes of Empire,” looks at the variations in circumstances that resulted in Portugal’s initial prominence in the maritime sphere and Portugal’s eventual decline. The second part, “Characteristics of Empire,” looks at the things and ideas that came with a presence in the maritime industry. Certain characteristics initial set Portugal up as a viable candidate for successful maritime expansion during the age of discovery. Her location on the Iberian Peninsula gave her a geographically superior location for maritime expansion; she had access to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Furthermore, the land was not very fertile and crops grew poorly were the soil was such that they could grow with much success at all; thus, the Portuguese people were littoral by necessity. Only along waterways could they flourish. Like Spain, Portugal had been controlled by the Moors, but Portugal was more successful in dealing with the Moors. Portugal expelled the Moors before Spain, and had fewer problems with them following their expulsion. To a great extent, the Moors were not expelled, but the balance of power shifted away from their favor. Portugal drove into maritime prominence in the age of discovery because of Prince Henry the Navigator. Despite many failed attempts to circumnavigate the coast of Africa, he never failed to fund or encourage the expeditions. His patience and perseverance towards the expedition allowed it the opportunity for success. Portugal’s motivations during the Age of Discovery were very much in accordance with the ideas of “god, glory and gold.” Prince
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Forero 3 Henry was a particularly devout catholic and the Catholic Church backed Portuguese expansion through passing bulls prohibiting the hindrance of Portuguese expansion. Aside from Guinea Gold, Portugal was on an expedition for Prester John, a rumored priest-king in the orient. It was through rounding the Cape of Good Hope with Vasco de Gama that worked to establish Portugal
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course HIS 315 taught by Professor Lynch during the Spring '07 term at California Maritime Academy.

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Book Review - Forero 1 The Portuguese Seaborne Empire:...

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