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Thread: From the Tower of Belém: a Portuguese AAR

  1. #1
    Ammiratus ammiratorum Hastu Neon's Avatar
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    From the Tower of Belém: a Portuguese AAR

    If you need a quick chronology of the Grand Campaign plus some screenies:
    • in the '400s (the so-called "Atlantic Century"), go to posts 31-32
    • in the '500s (the "Indian Century"), go to posts 59-60
    • about the dramatic way Spain was subjugated in 1694, go to post 81
    • in the '600s (the so-called "Pacific Century")go to posts 87-89
    • about De Andrade's glorious campaign of Russia (1810-12), go to post 115
    • in the '700s-'820s (the so-called "Long Century")go to post 123




    Prologue: "1419 Anno Domini"


    The foundation of Portugal – by the hands of Dom Afonso Henriques, who designated himself King when the “Reconquista” had jet to be finished – dates back roughly 300 years and King Joao I of the House of Avis rules from the capital of Lisbon on a prosperous, unified and promising country.

    It is since the time when Roman legions stopped to bring everywhere into the known world the authority of the Empire upon their eagled insignia that Europeans do not project themselves beyond the waters encircling the continent. Since those times, the very first brave European sailor men who discovered and colonised the small Atlantic archipelagos of Azores and Capo Verde have been Portuguese. Thanks to new experimental profitable plantations of sugar the treasury of the crown is quite rich, seafaring traditions strengthen one year after the other and naval knowledge is among the most advanced in Europe. But Portuguese people, confined in the ports of Lisbon and Porto in the furthermost spot of Europe, only the ocean at their front, are hungry of new lands, gold and spices.

    Joao I sits on the throne since 1385, after he managed to defeat the other pretender to the Crown of Portugal, King Juan of Castile. His judicious efforts to make an alliance with the Kings of England, sanctioned by his royal marriage with Philippa of Lancaster, now Queen of Portugal, has secured 30 years of peace and prosperity to the Portuguese people, a long period devoted to strengthen the authority of a central administration. The King has funded with his own gold many trading enterprises with Northern European countries, establishing the province watered by Tago River as one of the richest centres of trade in the continent.

    Queen Philippa has given six sons to King Joao. One of them, the young Enrique, Crusader and Navigator, during his involvement under the command of General Pereira in the conflict against Morocco and Tlemcen for the conquest of Tangiers has listened about the great riches of Africa. The ambitious young, who is not insensitive neither to the dogma of the Crusades for the conversion of the infidels inhabiting the Northern coast of Africa nor to the gorgeous amount of gold amassed just on the other side of the Strait of Gibraltar, has founded the best European naval equipment manufactory in Algarve with the gold received by the King.

    Hence, this is Portugal in year 1419: a mercantilist, maritime country animated by a spirit of adventure, enterprise and ambition, guided by farseeing rulers, ready for the greatest collective history a so small people has ever written…



    Settings:

    GC 1.08 with AGCEEP, played at VH / Furious, with my house rules (absolutely no cheats & reloads, no Declarations Of War upon other countries without a valid Casus Belli, limitation on attacks to European countries - only badboys, nations at war with the Pope, and so on - I will send explorers to discover America before Columbus only and only if more than one is available at the moment).

    My goals are very simple:
    • Following as much historically as I can the expansion of Portugal during XV-XVI centuries,
    • Exploring and colonising as much land as possible,
    • Trying to force-vassalise the largest number of non-Christian overseas potentates,
    • Trying to write an enjoyable AAR. I will use different colours for different aspects of the story: white writing for foreign affairs & wars, green for economy & domestic affairs, blue for exploration & colonisation. Every end of century a chronology and a general overview about (known) world situation will hopefully enrich the history and help those latecomers to the AAR.

    Considering that Portuguese domination was “light” compared to the Spanish one, force-vassalisation will be quite customary, instead of province seizing (apart, obviously, “shielded” provinces). This behaviour will not solve the chronic Portuguese problem for low manpower, but some spicy flavour in the game is needed, isn’t it? That’s all; I hope you’ll enjoy my story…
    Last edited by Hastu Neon; 24-01-2005 at 16:24.
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  2. #2
    Ammiratus ammiratorum Hastu Neon's Avatar
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    For those who don't know it, the picture shows the Tower of Belem in Lisbon, which was built in early '500s. Thus, imaging its existence in 1419 is a small poetical licence...

    Hopefully, I'm going to upload the first chapter tomorrow.
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  3. #3
    Alternate Historian Machiavellian's Avatar
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    Sounds like some good ideas.
    Looking forward to the AARs start.
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  4. #4
    Ammiratus ammiratorum Hastu Neon's Avatar
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    King Joao I

    Chapter 1: "First Moroccan War" (1419-1425)


    In the first months of 1419, while Prince Enrique and General Pereira are still engaged in the siege of Tangiers with the bulk of Portuguese army, managing to repel the incessant attacks of the overwhelming Moroccan troops, King Joao I decides to send there also his valiant guard of 5.000 knights who, sited in Lisbon, represent the best fruit of Portuguese aristocracy. In the meantime, the good status of Portuguese relationships with the brother Christian kingdoms of Castile and Aragon enables Joao I to call them to a common Crusade against the Infidels of the North African coast.

    On the domestic side, the increased cost of the conflict convinces Joao to develop the fiscal authority of the Kingdom, promoting the bailiffs in the provinces of Tago, Oporto and Algarve into tax collectors. This measure permits to increase royal revenues avoiding the King to become too dependent on the financial assistance from aristocracy-controlled Cortes.

    In November 1419 the alliance arranged with the Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon seems temporarily to bring a positive outcome: Prince Enrique occupies Tangiers concomitantly with the surrender of the Sultanate of Tlemcen, weakened by the unremitting assaults of Iberian troops landing in Northern Africa. At some point, the war really seems to turn in favour of the Christian alliance, when Aragonese and Castilian soldiers manage to seize the Moroccan capital of Fez, while General Pereira and Enrique land in the Southern Morocco to siege the provinces of Sahara and Toubkal and open a path to the interior part of Africa. But the resistance of those Muslims proves to be really fierce, forcing the Christians to a stalemate: one after the other, Aragon and Castile settle for an ignominious peace paying a tribute to Morocco at the end of 1422, leaving Joao I alone against the Infidels, with an even more tough balance of the treasury, challenged by not only war expenses but also colonisation efforts in Azores archipelago.

    The unexpected treachery of the Aragonese is quickly explained few months later, when they revive their Italian front declaring war upon the Angevin Queen of Naples Giovanna II, taking advantage of the troubles of her masters in France, after that Henry, King of England, has reclaimed for himself the crown of Paris. In the meantime, Portuguese-Moroccan conflict apathetically goes on, despite the training of other Portuguese soldiers to balance the losses in those unfriendly lands and the occupation of Sahara in the middle of 1423.

    This apparently insignificant episode of the First Moroccan War marks the beginning of Portuguese exploration of Africa. In 1424, from the recently freed Sahara province Enrique sends to South his lieutenant Fernando de Castro, who in September with roughly 1600 knights discovers the slave-rich province of Tassaret, where Joao decides to establish the first Portuguese trading post in Africa just two months after.



    The expedition of Fernando de Castro proves to be an excellent business along the routes of slave and ivory trade: in the following years 1425-27 he discovers and completely annihilate local indigenous resistance in Nouakchott and Nouadibuh, carries on his way south as far as Guinea, makes contact with the native peoples of Mali and Ashanti and builds other thriving trading posts in Louga (this one destroyed by natives) and Senegal. Fernando’s march is stopped in Guinea where he dies in August 1427, leaving entrapped in that region the remnants of his expeditionary force, surrounded by an extreme environment and aggressive natives.
    Last edited by Hastu Neon; 16-09-2004 at 08:43.
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  5. #5
    Footnote of history angryclown's Avatar
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    Good start!

    Always like to see a Portuguese AAR

    The presentation is nice and clear, too - although the screenies dont appear to work

  6. #6
    Ammiratus ammiratorum Hastu Neon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by angryclown
    The presentation is nice and clear, too - although the screenies dont appear to work
    The maps work sometimes and sometimes don't (don't know why, but they show properly when I go directly to the thread from main forums). I'm hosting them on Webshots, is there any other good pics host around? Alternatively, I'll create a direct link to maps, rather than showing them in the posts
    Last edited by Hastu Neon; 08-09-2004 at 13:31.
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  7. #7
    Footnote of history angryclown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hastu Neon
    The maps work sometimes and sometimes don't (don't know why, but they show properly when I go directly to the thread from main forums). I'm hosting them on Webshots, is there any other good pics host around? Alternatively, I'll create a direct link to maps, rather than showing them in the posts
    Tried going to your Webshots urls and they didn't display then, either. Hmmm

    Don't know what would be a good place for hosting pics - i dont even have a computer at home on which to play EU2, so i gotta come to these AARs for my fix

    But don't let that worry you too much - the AAR is already looking great!
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  8. #8
    Lt. General merrick's Avatar
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    This is a polished AAR - the pictures/maps show fine for me.

    How did you managed to explore W. Africa - I didn't think the Portuguese got a conquistador that early?
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  9. #9
    Ammiratus ammiratorum Hastu Neon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merrick
    This is a polished AAR - the pictures/maps show fine for me.

    How did you managed to explore W. Africa - I didn't think the Portuguese got a conquistador that early?
    I don't remember in vanilla GC, but here in the AGCEEP world, Portuguese can "buy" a dozen of conqistadors (less) & explorers (more) before the greatest Diaz, Da Gama, Cabral etc.
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  10. #10
    Fighting the Boredom

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    Nice AAR - and i like the idea of using colours as well - always nice to see that.

  11. #11
    Footnote of history angryclown's Avatar
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    Yep, working now!

    Looking great!
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  12. #12
    Ammiratus ammiratorum Hastu Neon's Avatar
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    Enrique the Navigator

    Chapter 2: "The last years of Joao I" (1425-1433)


    After the end of the First Moroccan War, Joao I returns to his traditional policy of domestic development and monarchy corroboration. Whereas naval and land units come back in the mainland, Prince Enrique goes on training and funding his sailor men in the School of Navigation in Sagres. In a Lisbon still threatened by the rebellion of the masses which led to the end of the First Moroccan War (only in March 1427, a smaller number of regular troops directed by General Pereira would definitely extirpate the riots in Lisbon), the explorer Diego de Silves ends the construction of his small fleet of caravels and leaves the arsenal en route for Cape Verde, reached in September 1427. Apart the discovery of Gold Coast and the Gulf of Guinea, Diego de Silves manages to rescue in Guinea over 1.000 knights, the remnants of the Fernando de Castro’s expedition, transported back in Senegal.

    The quiet development of the Kingdom under the old King Joao I is not consistent with the troubles of Iberia and Western Europe. The quick War of the Pyrenees erupts in May 1428 between Navarra and Foix and ends in the subsequent year with the annexation of Foix by Navarra, which immediately pledges allegiance as vassal to the King of Castile. In those confused months, the fight for the predominance in France ends with the triumph of the Dolphin, restored to the throne of Paris thanks to the legendary adventure of Joan of Arc, the young woman that managed to throw the English off the Channel. In the meantime, after the capture of Naples by the Castilian leader Alvaro de Luna, Queen Giovanna II pays them a tribute of 104 ducats to retake control of her capital. Abandoned by Castile, the conflict, which has always disturbed King Joao I for the its senselessness, goes on for a while among Aragon and Portugal against Naples, before the Iberian allied feels the stupidity of increasing the hostility between the Aragonese and the Angevin dynasties, only for the continuous changes of field (and bed) of the lazy and vicious Queen, soon arranging a white peace.

    The huge amount of gold, needed to finance the colonists leaving the mainland to colonise the recently discovered Atlantic archipelagos and the rebuilt trading post in the coastal province of Louga, is partially ensured by the taxation on the thriving commerce of Portuguese merchants in the centres of trade in Tago and Genoa, where they redirect after the trade agreement signed with Francesco Maria Visconti, ruler of the Italian city. Then comes the exceptional year 1430, where increasing production and trade brings a general enhancement of the treasury (100 ducats higher), lower inflation by 5% and better conditions of life for the people).

    The last years of King Joao I pass by without clamour, in a prosaic succession of explorations, trades and businesses. The loyal General Pereira dies in 1432. Enrique’s expeditions to Africa come back with an increasing amount of ivory and slaves, the main resources found in those very first colonies of the Portoguese Crown, disembarked in Lisbon and rapidly sold with a profitable margin to the whole Europe. Other explorers add themselves to the payroll of the Prince Navigator, such as Gil Eannes. The costs of exploration and colonisation are going to become the main item in the national budget and, in periods of low income as 1433, may cause shortages of gold covered by a bank loan of 200 ducats at a rate of interest of 6%. Joao I, a warrior king converted to the principle of peace by the love for his people, dies on 15 August 1433, the same year during which Pope Eugenius IV rules in his favour in the dispute with Castile over the possession of the Canary Islands.


    ---
    Thanks to all the people reading and supporting this AAR. I must admit this game is becoming quite "realistic" (I'm years ahead with the playing vs. writing) and I'm enjoying it a lot. Thus, keep on reading!
    Last edited by Hastu Neon; 15-09-2004 at 14:49.
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  13. #13
    Ammiratus ammiratorum Hastu Neon's Avatar
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    King Duarte

    Chapter 3: "King Duarte’s interlude" (1434-1438)


    King Duarte does not compare to the greatness of his father Joao I, despite his honest efforts to improve internal trade in Oporto, settle a port in his southernmost possession in Dakar and fund with his brother Enrique the voyages of Gil Eannes, who would discover on 2 February 1434 the island of Fernando Po in Equatorial Africa.



    During King Duarte’s reign the dynastic crisis of the throne of Naples would cause again serious tensions between the pretenders: Rene de Anjou, because of his marriage with Queen Giovanna II of Naples inherits the title after her death in 1435, but soon the Aragonese dynasty, already controlling Sicily and always watchful observers about the “sister crown” of Naples, attacks the Angevins in September 1435. Due to the disparity of the forces on the field, the conflict comes to an end in less than two years, when Rene has to give up Apulia and pays 66 ducats to Aragon as peace tribute.

    Because of his involvement in the war over Naples, Duarte hires Avranches as new Lieutenant General and raises war taxes, addressing the extra revenues to repay the debt incurred by Prince Enrique to fund the exploration voyages and to send additional colonists to the town of Angra de Heroismo in the Azores, which soon exceeds 1.000 inhabitants. In 1436 Duarte launches his own programs of exploration settling a trading post in the island of Fernando Po just discovered by Gil Eannes and hiring Afonso Goncalves. The unfortunate explorer discovers Muni, near the delta of Congo River, but dies in those remote seas in 1437.

    When Duarte suddenly dies in 1438, he leaves to the young Afonso a nation with a stronger economy, with three metropolitan provinces flourishing on fish, wine and the commerce in Lisbon, three big colonial towns based on fish and sugar in Cape Verde, Azores and Canaries (when the Pope had reverted his diplomatic decree over the latter, King Duarte refused the compromise and did not give back them to Castile, saying once for all the archipelago is a lawful Portuguese province).

    At this moment of history, nobody at court would care for the distant rumours coming from the centre of the continent, where France has friendly taken over Savoy and the Austrian Hapsburgs are becoming stronger and stronger after Albrecht V has gained access to the crowns of Hungary and Bohemia, in addition to the title of Holy Roman Emperor and the effective control over his vassals in Tyrol.
    Last edited by Hastu Neon; 16-09-2004 at 08:46.
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  14. #14
    Ammiratus ammiratorum Hastu Neon's Avatar
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    King Afonso V and, below, his possessions



    Chapter 4: "A troubled regency" and "An odd idea" (together, 1438-1446)


    King Duarte is not even 50 years old when he dies of plague on 10 September 1438 in Tomar, leaving his six years old child Afonso V as legitimate heir to the throne of Lisbon, under the regency of his mother and Duarte's widow, soon disputed by Pedro Duke of Coimbra, the oldest uncle of the new King and the member of the royal family most appreciated by middle classes and peasants. His policy, oriented since 1439 to increase centralisation of the monarchic power against the will of local forces, would cause many domestic troubles to Pedro's regency when he refuses to grant higher benefits to the magnate dynasties of the country, in particular to the bastard line of Braganca, supported by the land aristocracy. Few years later, in 1441, also the pre-eminent cities demand old rights to be re-put in place, and Regent Pedro refuses again to arrange a compromise with all these centrifugal forces. Finally, in a turbulent spiral of rising instability, unhappiness among the peasants leads to further tormenting riots in Tago and the lowest stability in the annals of the Kingdom. The worst year of the regency is 1444 when in a such tense environment the introduction of a new tax on fishing provokes revolts in Oporto and Cape Verde. Even though the first one is easily suppressed by the troops of Lieutenant Avranches in November, colonial insurgents prove to be a quite unmanageable enemy, beating twice an expedition of 2.000 knights sent to retake control of the archipelago, which would be pacified only in April 1446.

    In a scenario of domestic troubles and slowing development, nobody seems to care about the declining brotherhood among Iberian countries. With Castile stumped in the civil war after the falling of Alvaro de Luna, Navarra puts an end to its status of vassalage to Toledo in 1439 and just two years after passes under control of the King of Aragon. Despite the royal marriage in January 1441 between Princess Leonor, Afonso V's sister, and one of the Aragonese princes (whereas another Portuguese princess would be married to an English prince three years later), the unexpected change of flag of Navarra would prove in the future its terribly destabilising effect on the relationships among Iberian countries.

    An odd idea


    Regent Pedro, representative of the emerging maritime groups against the interests of the land aristocracy supporting the Duke of Braganca, funds some of the most successful missions of the period, like the ones headed towards the mysterious West. With improved caravels and instruments, Portuguese sailor men become more capable to face Oceanic waters and a new age for discovery begins.

    Nuno Tristao is a quite strange seaman, someone simply call him a foul. By 1441 he has developed a strange design to uncover the unknown lands which he believe lay beyond the vast Atlantic Ocean, South-West of the outermost island of Cape Verde. His first expeditions, trapped near the Gold Coast by the lacking of re-supply lines from the only Portuguese port in Dakar, permits the settlement of first contacts with the country of Benin and the discovery of the Gulf of Congo in September 1442. But Nuno Tristao is not interested in Africa and so decides to go on with his original plan. This exaggerated explorer does not take care of his own life to pursue the utopia of Western Lands: again and again some ships would be sent from Cape Verde to rescue him and his crew stuck in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, until he dies in 1444 trying to get his dreamed Western Lands. But he has put the seeds his successors would grow…

    Successors not like Dinis Dias and Antao Goncalves, who do not follow Nuno Tristao theories and go back to the old ways of Africa. Dias sails down along the African coast, where he discovers Kribi province and Coast of Angola before suddenly dying in January 1446. Goncalves sails in the middle of Southern Atlantic, where he would spot a rocky island without exploring its interior (the future St. Helena), before targeting Walvis Bay and discovering in 1445 the region of Lobito in Austral Africa, the southernmost place a European man has ever reached, thousands miles away from Portuguese last trading post, the small island of Fernando Po.

    But when Alvaro Fernandez, one of Nuno Tristao's apprentices and an enthusiastic fan of the ideas of his master, puts out his caravels to sea from Lisbon to Cape Verde in 1445, time has come for a radical change in Portuguese explorations. On 10 May 1446, Fernandez would demonstrate the correctness of Nuno Tristao's theories, approaching a vast territory South West of Cape Verde. Despite he wouldn't be able to land there for the lacking of vital reserves, none can anymore refuse the idea of Western Lands…

    Last edited by Hastu Neon; 16-09-2004 at 08:50.
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  15. #15
    Everyone's Comrade th3freakie's Avatar
    For The Glory

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  16. #16
    Ammiratus ammiratorum Hastu Neon's Avatar
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    Well. it's very strange because I made the album public. I think I'm going to upload my pics on another image-host... btw, I'm happy you're enjoying my AAR, comments and feedbacks are always welcome.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hastu Neon
    Well. it's very strange because I made the album public. I think I'm going to upload my pics on another image-host... btw, I'm happy you're enjoying my AAR, comments and feedbacks are always welcome.
    Yep, I had that problem acessing the pictures on that host, too - even though it was working before. Strange...

    But now the pics are coming through fine. Good work
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  18. #18
    Ammiratus ammiratorum Hastu Neon's Avatar
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    Chapter 5: "End of Afonso's infancy and Second Moroccan War" (1446-1451)


    In 1446 Afonso V is 16 years old and ready to take his righteous authority of King, as would suggest the issue of his Ordinances, which grant the explorers huge privileges over the trades with the colonies they are discovering year after year. But the attention of this pugnacious King would be immediately diverted to war: few days after Alfons V of Aragon attacks the ruined Kingdom of Naples (that would be soon and decisively annexed), the treacherous Sultan of Morocco sends on 25 July 1446 his envoy to Lisbon with his sudden declaration of war. Afonso V, extremely angry with those Infidels, raises war taxes and put out gold from his treasury to fund the maintenance of the war forces during the conflict.

    The first skirmishes take place in Tassaret, where the trading post would be taken, burnt and rebuilt several times between 1446 and 1448, but the most outrageous fact would happen few months later, when Moroccan buccaneers unexpectedly land and sack the unprotected Canary archipelago. After the hasty assaults of Morocco, King Afonso V begins his counteroffensive, landing in Tangiers over 20 years after the seizure of the town by his uncle Enrique. Considering the scarce interest of Afonso V in exploration, the hostilities with Morocco almost totally halt the discoveries of the Atlantic Ocean: just the foundation of a colonial port in Fernando Po in 1446 shows some activity, in a troubled period when ships, men and gold are absorbed by the conflict and the loss of Canaries to Moroccan pirates threatens the free navigation of Portuguese ships to Southern Seas.

    The war seems to change course in March 1447 when a Portuguese fleet finds and destroy a smaller enemy squad sent in Gulf of Cadiz to break Christian predominance in that sea zone. Soon after, Castilian and Aragonese crusaders start landing in huge numbers in Africa. When in spring 1447, within less than a month Afonso V seizes Tangiers and Castilian troops take Fez, where the Sultan Ali Ybn Yusuf lives, the Infidels understand that the conflict is over. Despite the buzzes coming from the court in Lisbon, where noblemen are plotting against Pedro Duke of Coimbra, who manages to escape the trickery and strengthens even more the monarchic authority against the magnates, Afonso V swiftly leaves Tangiers and in those vibrant months between late 1447 and early 1449 frees Canary Islands, takes Sahara and Toubkal, even finds time for the foundation of two trading posts in Nouadibuh and Nouakchott, establishing in the end an uninterrupted belt of Portuguese possessions from Tassaret to Dakar, altogether called "Portuguese West Africa".

    Afonso's only concern is not being able to reduce into vassalage the Sultan of Morocco, held prisoner in his own palace by Castilian forces, and the King's unfortunate expedition in the unfriendly and harsh region of Antiatlas in July 1449 proves to be completely a waste of time and gold. Finally, on 20 January 1451 after more than four years of battles, King Afonso V has to give in his projects of full victory and arrange a compromise with Ali Ybn Yusuf: Tangiers, the Sunni town facing Gibraltar, becomes Portuguese and Morocco must grant military access to the Christian soldiers of Afonso V. A land foothold in Morocco has been established.


    The town of Tangiers and, below, a map of Portugal in 1451




    Last edited by Hastu Neon; 01-10-2004 at 08:49.
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  19. #19
    Ammiratus ammiratorum Hastu Neon's Avatar
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    Chapter 6: "Iberian concord comes to an end" (1451-1459)


    On 30 June 1451 the Kingdoms of Aragon and Navarra join together. This union between the closest Iberian Kingdoms is to become the reason of a long-lasting state of war in Iberia, which would begin just after the declaration of war of Alfons V of Aragon upon France, supported by his friends in Burgundy, Provence, Gelre and Friesen. After the gobbling of Naples and Navarra, the aggressive foreign policy of the Aragonese dynasty would not be tolerated anymore by King Juan II of Castile and Afonso V of Portugal, who soon recreate a smaller alliance. This pact, intended to defend Portugal and Castile against the expansionism of Aragon, engages a reluctant Afonso V when in January 1452 Castile attacks the former Aragonese allies. Afonso V's commitment the conflict is not so high, apart some minor naval victories against Aragonese vessels in friendly waters, but this first skirmish among Iberian countries does not last too much: when Castilian troops occupy Valencia, the Aragonese move rapidly to arrange a peace and pay a tribute of 174 ducats.

    During the war against Aragon, Afonso has been also quite bothered by the breakage of his sister Joana's conjugal links with the Aragonese house; the honour of the Princess is repaired on 15 January 1453, when she goes married to Enrique IV Heir Prince of Castile, and King himself in 1454; the marvellous event, which reinforces the good relationship among the allied houses, would produce unexpected events many years later…

    Differently form the Moroccan Wars, the conflict against Aragon, mainly fought in the Mediterranean Sea, has not hampered the colonial bonanza: a state gift received by enriched merchants, the heredity of a dead heirless nobleman and the first sugar refineries built in Azores fund the development of the town Dakar, chosen as capital of the vast possessions of Portuguese West Africa, whose need has been perceived since the Moroccan Wars. Discovery goes on with the one of the last great Portuguese explorers funded by Prince Enrique, the Venetian admiral Alvise Ca' da Mosto, author of the discovery of additional provinces in Austral Africa and the first Portuguese navigator to circumnavigate Cape of Good Hope on Christmas Day 1455. His voyages would permit the spreading of Portuguese affairs in the area, pioneered by the building of a trading post in Zaire.




    The riches coming from Africa and the fast-growing Atlantic archipelagos, like Azores where increasing fertile lands are claimed in 1458, not only work for paying all the pending loans issued to finance the expeditions, but also subsidize a stronger spending for the leisure of the court in Lisbon: painters start to grace with their activity the royal court since the marriage of King Afonso with Isabel of Coimbra. Alleviated by the interests on debt, the royal treasury gets bigger by about 80 ducats per years, without fostering any particular concerns on inflation.

    The fall of Constantinople to the Mehmed II's troops on 16 July 1454 would mark the end of an era, rewriting the geography of the Mediterranean and the Balkans. The former capital of the Roman Empire is to re-emerge as the centre of a Muslim power projected over Europe and a flourishing centre of trade in the Middle East in competition with Italian maritime republics, rapidly invaded by Portuguese merchants after the trade agreement signed with Mehmed II. An astonished Christianity, at the same time as is recording the fall of the Roman Empire, is experiencing the rise of other nations: France and Burgundy have kicked England out of the continent, the Milanese Viscontis are becoming the leading dynasty in Northern Italy, separated by the Papal States from the Aragonese dominions in Southern Italy, Austria and Cleves are emerging as leading South and North German states, whereas Lithuania and Hungary are gaining ground in respect of their big enemy, the Polish King, and Moscow is rising as the champion of the Orthodox Christians after the fall of Constantinople. Hereby a picture of the European scenario at the fall of Costantinople.



    The situation in Iberia is going to deteriorate again when Alfons V attacks the Moorish in Granada in 1457, theoretically a satellite of Castile. Thus, when the five years truce ends, the second war of Castile and Portugal against Aragon and its German minor allies blows up in March 1458, simultaneously with the Crusade against the Ottomans and their Bosnian vassals initiated by the Knights, Venice, Genoa, Milan after the Turk assault on Albania.

    Despite its brevity, the second war would show a more active role of King Afonso, returned the lion he was in Morocco. In July 1458 he embarks 6.000 soldiers in Lisbon, aiming to reach Aragonese possessions in Western Mediterranean Sea to seize them. After some unsuccessful attempts upon Balearic Islands and Sardinia, heavily garrisoned by the Aragonese, the King finally lands in Barcelona in February 1459, just when Castilian troops are defending Oporto from the attacks of Aragonese troops in dismal. He finds himself unable to lay siege to the capital with so small forces and has to wait other 5.000 men trained in Tangiers, coping with success the Aragonese counterattacks from neighbouring provinces. In August 1459 the reinforces finally arrive and the siege can start. Barcelona falls to Afonso V on 11 December 1459. When the Aragonese offer 200 ducats for the restitution of their capital, Afonso V accept the tribute and leave it, after having grabbed the precious geographic knowledge of Sahara routes to Nigeria from its libraries.


    Last edited by Hastu Neon; 01-10-2004 at 08:50.
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  20. #20
    Ammiratus ammiratorum Hastu Neon's Avatar
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    Chapter 7: "Vision of new lands" (1459-1473)

    King Afonso and an aged Prince Enrique finance a second set of explorers not inferior than their recognized predecessors Nuno Tristao, Antao Goncalves, Alvise Ca' da Mosto, and for first time introduce for their commanders the title of Admirals of Western and Eastern Ocean. Diogo Gomez and Pedro de Sintra are responsible for East and West Ocean, respectively. Diogo Gomez would be in command of the expedition sent in 1460 to land in Karroo, the province around Cape of Good Hope. This entrepreneurial navigator enriches his discoveries with the foundation of trading posts in Damara and Ovambo, the embryo of the "Portuguese Austral Africa", instituted as the second Dominion of the Crown in 1462, which would have its future capital just in Sao Borge, the colony settled in Karroo province, and produce a variety of goods for the mainland, including fish, grains, ivory and wine. Pedro de Sintra, admiral of the Western Ocean, receives by Enrique the engagement to explore the unknown lands West of Cape Verde spotted 14 years before by Alvaro Fernandez. The same year of the discovery of Karroo in Austral Africa and just few months before the death of his magnificent patron Enrique, Pedro de Sintra goes ashore in Recife and then in Para, which become the basis for further exploration of the surrounding Ocean.



    Initially, the unknown continent does not prove to be easily colonisable for the climate and the aggressiveness of the natives. But Pedro's second voyage (1462) would be even more promising than the first one: Pedro embarks an expedition of 2.000 men in Cape Verde and unload them in Para, where they eradicate any resistance of the indigenous people. The expedition establishes itself in Para and founds Belem, beginning the trade of the exsiccated leaves of a plant, producing strange symptoms on the breathing of the user, a luxury produce much wanted by European aristocracy, whereas Pedro goes on discovering other provinces to the West, before disappearing in 1463.

    After the death of Enrique the Navigator, the successors of Gomez and Pedro de Sintra in the titles of Eastern and Western Ocean Admirals are, respectively Fernando Po and Rui de Sequeira. Fernando Po, in charge of Portuguese Austral Africa, expands in 1469 and following years the knowledge of the seas laying beyond the Dominion. The regions washed by those waters are mainly inhospitable provinces populated by warring natives, but he finally reaches Zanzibar and comes across with an advanced civilisation, the Sultanate of Kilwa, a Muslim state which is the first organised state met after the discovery of the Gulf of Nigeria nations in the early stages of Portuguese expansion. Rui de Sequeira, sited in Para as Admiral of Western Ocean since 1471, during his voyages discovers the seas washing the coast of the new continent on both sides, reaching the Caribbean Islands (Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados discovered) on the West side and Rio de Janeiro on the South side. Rui de Sequeira is the man who develops the colonies in the region since then called Brazil and completes its administrative autonomy. Following the establishment of trading posts in Diamentina and Itaimas, the four scattered possessions (including also Para and Recife) would be detached in 1473 from the authority of Cape Verde and brought together into the third overseas Portuguese Dominion, Brazil.


    Despite the administrative autonomy of the dominions, their rich products like ivory, sugar and tobacco are still (and would be for a while) traded in Tago for the benefit of Portuguese merchants and European consumers. Mainland Portugal, interested by few events in these years, records the increasing commercial importance of Lisbon as the biggest European centre of trade of an empire stretching from the coasts of Brazil to those of South Africa: the status of the capital attracts an increasing number of citizens from the countryside, transforming the city into a modern centre for the administration of the vast overseas possessions, where the number of free intellectuals and philosopher grow uninterrupted by the tolerant Afonso V.


    An ancient view of Lisbon from the Ocean
    (the table in latin says "Lisbon, the flourishing Portuguese emporium)


    The thriving calmness of Portugal deeply conflicts with the crisis of its Iberian neighbours. In 1463 the war between Aragon and Castile has ended with a small tribute paid by Alfons V, just before the outburst of the civil war in Toledo caused by the ineptness of Henry IV and the manoeuvrings of the contestable Alvaro de Luna. The marriage between Henry IV (said the Impotent) and King Afonso's sister Joana has not given any fruits, apart the bastard daughter Juana. In 1469 Henry's sister Isabel flees and without his brother's consent marries Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Aragon. The situation is becoming quite confused and this stealthy marriage, while deteriorating absolutely the relationship among Castile and Portugal, would change in the future the course of Spanish history…
    Last edited by Hastu Neon; 01-10-2004 at 08:51.
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