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University of California - San Diego
Making of the Modern World
MMW 13
Edmond Chang

Outline Lecture Eleven—The Portuguese Intrusion Key Questions: 1) What geopolitical conditions allowed the Portuguese to become a key player in the Indian Ocean network? 2) How did they try to keep their tenuous hold in the 16 th century? Why did they fail? I) Contingent Global Factors Behind Portuguese Expansion --a) Withdrawal of Ming presence in Indian Ocean Network essential: there was a power vacuum in the Indian Ocean when the Portuguese arrived especially Gama in 1498 ----i) 1435 last Ming expedition Zhenghe expedition came to abrupt end in 1435 at a result: no strong maritime present in the region instead, network of small interdependent mercantile trade cities along the swaihila coastline like kiwa, monbasa, places along the indian, continue to play their essential role in the trade network. they were small, limited millitary resources. Little reason for them to have strong millitary power, no need for it because of the interdependent trade. as a result: the lack of strong millitary present in this area ----ii) Chinese vs. Portuguese “Networks” ------(1) Network-makers or “web-weavers” Chinese--not with ambition, better understand as network makers or web wavers, waving the web of interconnected trade, but not as monopolies, trying to established colonial ------(2) Portugal as an emerging expansionist and proselytizing maritime power proselytizing--intend on spreading christanity to the different regions they came across in order to realize commerical and cultural expansion, they thought it was necessary to establish some form of colony 1. intent on establishing colony through force 2. intent on esablishing monopoly on the trade route and ports 3. intent on spreading Christanity --b) African Gold Trade ----i) The lure of gold along the WestAfrican coastline it was a profit for Portuguese to accrual it was this large profit that ended up finding long expansion --c) Ottoman Hegemony in the Eastern Mediterranean ----i) Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in mid-15th century spice trade come through these region, Ottoman control the region, difficult for European, bypass the Ottoman ----ii) Ottoman-Safavid conflict ----iii) Perceived Threat of Dar al-Islam greater influence try to find Christan kings... --d) Portugal’s Limited Resources small and poor nation in Europe ----i) How could such a peripheral power contend to be a dominant player in the vast Indian Ocean network? II) Rogue Intervention at the “Crossroads of the World”? --a) Indian Ocean as the “crossroads” of world system swahilia coastline, gold, ivory were offered all need to go through the indian ocean location: middle east& Europe( the red sea and the persian gulf) Indian ocean was the most important transact for most important trade--spices, silk, textile.... whoever control this region, would have tremendous influence over the global trade at that time --b) Vasco da Gama in 1498 first European have direct access to the Indian ocean network ----i) Ominous beginnings--not a happy beginning ------(1) Atmosphere of mutual animosity and s
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