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Portugal: A Lusitanian Story

Format

The story will take the format of a historical document. Some events will be made up by me to justify a certain course of action but all will be told via the medium of an account of history.

Rules

1. Not allowed to take more than one loan, unless forced to for whatever reason. This means that I can knowingly take one loan.

2. No offensive military action can take place without a general or admiral (conquistador or explorer) in command of the fleet. I can however defend myself with no commander, if attacked by another nation. This extends to the fact that my army may not go onto foreign lands without a general in command of the army and therefore should my general be killed during a battle they will have to return to home lands to receive a new general or defend themselves from an approaching hostile army. In the case of sea warfare. I will not knowingly go into war without an Admiral in charge of the particular fleet but obviously if I am attacked without an admiral this is allowed. (NB: I may have to change this when I have many small armies as may be required. What I will make sure is that I have a general in charge of at least the largest regiment in an assault. And will try and have the generals in charge of other regiments. It may be impossible when I have very small armies detachments)

3. I will ensure that I am a good Christian and be an enemy of all Muslim, Pagan and Non believer countries. I am not allowed to ally to non Christian countries.

Prologue – Portugal before 1453: A History of Portugal through the men that ruled her





AFONSO HENRIQUES (1139 – 1185)

At the end of the 11th century, the Iberian Peninsula political agenda was mostly concerned with the Reconquista, the driving out of the Muslim successor-states to the Caliphate of Cordoba after its collapse. With European military aristocracies focused on the Crusades, Alfonso VI called for the help of the French nobility to deal with the Moors. In exchange, he was to give the hands of his daughters in wedlock to the leaders of the expedition and bestow royal privileges to the others. Thus, the royal heiress Urraca of Castile wedded Raymond of Burgundy, younger son of the Count of Burgundy, and her half-sister, princess Teresa of León, wedded his cousin, another French crusader, Henry of Burgundy, younger brother of the Duke of Burgundy. Henry was made Count of Portugal, a burdensome county south of Galicia, where Moorish incursions and attacks were to be expected. With his wife Teresa as co-ruler of Portugal, Henry withstood the ordeal and held the lands for his father-in-law.

From this wedlock several sons were born, but only one, Afonso Henriques (meaning "Afonso son of Henry") thrived. The boy, probably born around 1109, followed his father as Count of Portugal in 1112, under the tutelage of his mother. The relations between Teresa and her son Afonso proved difficult. Only eleven years old, Afonso already had his own political ideas, greatly different from his mother's. In 1120, the young prince took the side of the archbishop of Braga, a political foe of Teresa, and both were exiled by her orders. Afonso spent the next years away from his own county, under the watch of the bishop. In 1122 Afonso became fourteen, the adult age in the 12th century. He made himself a knight on his own account in the Cathedral of Zamora, raised an army, and proceeded to take control of his lands. Near Guimarães, at the Battle of São Mamede (1128) he overcame the troops under his mother's lover and ally Count Fernando Peres de Trava of Galicia, making her his prisoner and exiling her forever to a monastery in León. Thus the possibility of incorporating Portugal into a Kingdom of Galicia was eliminated and Afonso become sole ruler (Duke of Portugal) after demands for independence from the county's people, church and nobles. He also vanquished Alfonso VII of Castile and León, another of his mother's allies, and thus freed the county from political dependence on the crown of León and Castile. On April 6, 1129, Afonso Henriques dictated the writ in which he proclaimed himself Prince of Portugal.

Afonso then turned his arms against the persistent problem of the Moors in the south. His campaigns were successful and, on July 26, 1139, he obtained an overwhelming victory in the Battle of Ourique, and straight after was unanimously proclaimed King of Portugal by his soldiers. This meant that Portugal was no longer a vassal county of León-Castile, but an independent kingdom in its own right. That he then convened the first assembly of the estates-general at Lamego (wherein he would have been given the crown from the Archbishop of Braga, to confirm the independence) is likely to be a 17th century embellishment of Portuguese history.

Independence, however, was not a thing a land could choose on its own. Portugal still had to be acknowledged by the neighbouring lands and, most importantly, by the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope. Afonso wed Mafalda of Savoy, daughter of Count Amadeo III of Savoy, and sent Ambassadors to Rome to negotiate with the Pope. In Portugal, he built several monasteries and convents and bestowed important privileges to religious orders. In 1143, he wrote to Pope Innocent II to declare himself and the kingdom servants of the Church, swearing to pursue driving the Moors out of the Iberian Peninsula. Bypassing any king of Castile or León, Afonso declared himself the direct liegeman of the Papacy. Thus, Afonso continued to distinguish himself by his exploits against the Moors, from whom he wrested Santarém and Lisbon in 1147. He also conquered an important part of the land south of the Tagus River, although this was lost again to the Moors in the following years.

Meanwhile, King Alfonso VII of Castile (Afonso's cousin) regarded the independent ruler of Portugal as nothing but a rebel. Conflict between the two was constant and bitter in the following years. Afonso became involved in a war, taking the side of the Aragonese king, an enemy of Castile. To ensure the alliance, his son Sancho was engaged to Dulce Berenguer, sister of the Count of Barcelona, and princess of Aragon. Finally, in 1143, the Treaty of Zamora established peace between the cousins and the recognition by the Kingdom of Castile and León that Portugal was an independent kingdom.
In 1169, Afonso was disabled in an engagement near Badajoz by a fall from his horse, and made prisoner by the soldiers of the king of León. Portugal was obliged to surrender as his ransom almost all the conquests Afonso had made in Galicia in the previous years.

In 1179 the privileges and favours given to the Roman Catholic Church were compensated. In the papal bull Manifestis Probatum, Pope Alexander III acknowledged Afonso as King and Portugal as an independent land with the right to conquer lands from the Moors. With this papal blessing, Portugal was at last secured as a country and safe from any Castilian attempts at annexation.

In 1184, in spite of his great age, he still had sufficient energy to relieve his son Sancho, who was besieged in Santarém by the Moors. He died shortly after, on December 6, 1185.



SANCHO I (REIGN 1185 – 1211)​

With the death of Afonso I in 1185, Sancho I became the second king of Portugal. Coimbra was the centre of his kingdom; Sancho terminated the exhausting and generally pointless wars against his neighbours for control of the Galician borderlands. Instead, he turned all his attentions to the south, towards the Moorish small kingdoms (called taifas) that still thrived. With Crusader help he took Silves in 1191. Silves was an important city of the South, an administrative and commercial town with population estimates around 20,000 people. Sancho ordered the fortification of the city and built a castle. However, military attention soon had to be turned again to the North, where León and Castile threatened again the Portuguese borders. Silves was again lost to the Moors. It should be noted that the global Muslim population had climbed to about 6 per cent as against the Christian population of 12 per cent by 1200.

Sancho I dedicated much of his reign to political and administrative organization of the new kingdom. He accumulated a national treasure, supported new industries and the middle class of merchants. Moreover, he created several new towns and villages (like Guarda in 1199) and took great care in populating remote areas in the northern Christian regions of Portugal, notably with Flemings and Burgundians – hence the nickname "the Populator". The king was also known for his love of knowledge and literature. Sancho I wrote several books of poems and used the royal treasure to send Portuguese students to European universities.



AFONSO II (REIGN 1212-1223)

As a king, Afonso II set a different approach of government. Hitherto, his father Sancho I and his grandfather Afonso I, were mostly concerned with military issues either against the neighbouring Kingdom of Castile or against the Moorish lands in the south. Afonso did not pursue territory enlargement policies and managed to insure peace with Castile during his reign. Despite this, some towns, like Alcácer do Sal in 1217, were conquered from the Moors by the private initiative of noblemen. This does not mean that he was a weak or somehow a cowardly man. The first years of his reign were marked instead by internal disturbances between Afonso and his brothers and sisters. The king managed to keep security within Portuguese borders only by outlawing and exiling his kin.

Since military issues were not a government priority, Afonso established the state's administration and centralized power on himself. He designed the first set of Portuguese written laws. These were mainly concerned with private property, civil justice, and minting. Afonso also sent ambassadors to European kingdoms outside the Iberian Peninsula and began amiable commercial relations with most of them.

Other reforms included the always delicate matters with the pope. In order to get the independence of Portugal recognized by Rome, his grandfather, Afonso I, had to legislate an enormous amount of privileges to the Church. These eventually created a state within the state. With Portugal's position as a country firmly established, Afonso II endeavoured to weaken the power of the clergy and to apply a portion of the enormous revenues of the Roman Catholic Church to purposes of national utility. These actions led to a serious diplomatic conflict between the pope and Portugal. After being excommunicated for his audacities by Pope Honorius III, Afonso II promised to make amends to the church, but he died in 1223 before making any serious attempts to do so.


SANCHO II (1223 – 1247)​

By the time of his accession to the throne, in 1223, Portugal was embroiled in a difficult diplomatic conflict with the Catholic Church. His father, Afonso II, had been excommunicated by Pope Honorius III, for his attempts at reducing the Church's power within the country. A treaty of 10 articles was signed between the Pope and Sancho II, but the king paid little attention to its fulfilment. His priority was the Reconquista, the reconquest of the southern Iberian Peninsula from the Moors. From 1236 onwards, Sancho II conquered several cities in the Algarve and Alentejo, securing the Portuguese position in the region.

Sancho II proved a capable commander but, with regard to equally important administrative issues, he was less competent. With his total attention focused on military campaigns, the ground was open for internal disputes. The nobility was displeased by the king's conduct and started to conspire against him. Moreover, the middle class of merchants quarrelled frequently with the clergy, without any intervention from the king. As a result, the Archbishop of Porto made a formal complaint to the Pope about this state of affairs. Since the Church was the super power of the 13th century, the Pope felt free to issue a Bull ordering the Portuguese to choose a new king to replace the so-called heretic.

In 1246 recalcitrant nobles invited Sancho's brother Afonso, then living in France as Consort Count of Boulogne, to take the throne. Afonso immediately abdicated from his French possessions and marched into Portugal. Sancho II was removed from the throne in 1247 and fled in exile to Toledo where he died on January 4, 1248.


AFONSO III (1247 – 1279)​

As the second son of King Afonso II of Portugal, Afonso was not expected to inherit the throne, which was destined to go to his elder brother Sancho. He lived mostly in France, where he married Matilda, the heiress of Boulogne, in 1238, thereby becoming Count of Boulogne. In 1246, conflicts between his brother, the king, and the church became unbearable. Pope Innocent IV then ordered Sancho II to be removed from the throne and be replaced by the Count of Boulogne. Afonso, of course, did not refuse the papal order and marched to Portugal. Since Sancho was not a popular king, the order was not hard to enforce; he was exiled to Castile and Afonso III became king in 1248 after his brother's death. To ascend the throne, he abdicated from the county of Boulogne and later (1253) divorced Matilda.

Determined not to commit the same mistakes as his brother, Afonso III paid special attention to what the middle class, composed of merchants and small land owners, had to say. In 1254, in the city of Leiria, he held the first session of the Cortes, a general assembly comprising the nobility, the middle class and representatives of all municipalities. He also made laws intended to restrain the upper classes from abusing the least favoured part of the population. Remembered as a notable administrator, Afonso III founded several towns, granted the title of city to many others and reorganized public administration.

Secure on the throne, Afonso III then proceeded to make war with the Muslim communities that still thrived in the south. In his reign the Algarve became part of the kingdom, following the capture of Faro—Portugal thus becoming the first Iberian kingdom to complete its Reconquista.

Following his success against the Moors, Afonso III had to deal with a political situation arising from the borders with Castile. The neighbouring kingdom considered that the newly acquired lands of the Algarve should be Castilian, not Portuguese, which led to a series of wars between the two kingdoms. Finally, in 1267, a treaty was signed in Badajoz, determining that the southern border between Castile and Portugal should be the River Guadiana.


DINIS (1279 – 1325)​

As heir to the throne Infante Dinis was summoned by his father (Afonso III) to share government responsibilities. At the time of his accession to the throne, Portugal was again in diplomatic conflicts with the Catholic Church. Dinis signed a favouring agreement with the pope and swore to protect the Church's interests in Portugal. Due to this, he granted asylum to the Templar knights persecuted in France and created the Order of Christ, designed to be a continuation of the Order of the Temple.

With the Reconquista completed and the Portuguese territory freed from Moorish occupation, Dinis was essentially an administrative king, not a military one. However, a short war between Castile and Portugal broke during his reign, for the possession of the town of Serpa and Moura. After this, Dinis avoided war: he was a notably peace-loving monarch during a tempestuous time in European history. With Portugal finally recognized as an independent country by his neighbours, Dinis signed a border pact with Ferdinand IV of Castile (1297).

Dinis' main priority of government was the organization of the country. He pursued his father's policies on legislation and centralization of power. Dinis promulgated the nucleus of a Portuguese civil and criminal law code, protecting the lower classes from abuse and extortion. As king, he travelled around the country, correcting unjust situations and resolving problems. He ordered the construction of numerous castles, created new towns, and granted privileges due cities to several others. With his wife, Infanta Isabella of Aragon, Dinis worked to improve the life of the poor and founded several social institutions.

Always concerned with the country's infrastructure, Dinis ordered the exploration of mines of copper, silver, tin and iron and organized the export of excess production to other European countries. The first Portuguese commercial agreement was signed with England in 1308. Dinis effectively founded the Portuguese navy under command of a Genoese admiral and ordered the construction of several docks.

His main concern was the redevelopment and promotion of rural infrastructure, hence the nickname of "the Farmer". Dinis redistributed the land, promoted agriculture, organized communities of farmers and took personal interest in the development of exports. He instituted regular markets in a number of towns and regulated their activities. One of his main achievements was the protection of agricultural lands from advancing coastal sands, by ordering the planting of a pine forest near Leiria.

Culture was another interest of King Dinis. He had a fondness for literature and wrote several books himself, with topics ranging from administration to hunting, science and poetry. In his days, Lisbon was one of Europe's centers of culture and knowledge. The University of Lisbon (today's University of Coimbra) was founded by his decree Magna Charta Priveligiorum. He was also a great poet and troubadour.

The latest part of his peaceful reign was nevertheless marked by internal conflicts. The contenders were his two sons: Afonso the legitimate heir, and Afonso Sanches his natural son, who quarrelled frequently among themselves for royal favour. At the time of Dinis death in 1325 he had placed Portugal on an equal footing with the other Iberian Kingdoms.


AFONSO IV (1325 – 1357)​

Afonso, born in Lisbon, was his father's only legitimate son and the rightful heir to the Portuguese throne. However, he was not, according to several sources, Dinis' favourite son; his half-brother, the illegitimate Afonso Sanches, enjoyed full royal favour. From early in life, the notorious rivalry led to several outbreaks of civil war. On January 7, 1325, Afonso's father died and he became king, taking full revenge on his brother. His rival was sentenced to exile in Castile, and stripped of all the lands and fiefdoms donated by their common father. Afonso Sanches, however, did not sit still. From Castile, he orchestrated a series of attempts to usurp the crown for himself. After a few failed attempts at invasion, both brothers signed a peace treaty, arranged by the Afonso's mother Queen Elizabeth.

In 1309, Afonso IV married Infanta Beatrice of Castile, daughter of King Sancho IV of Castile by his wife Maria de Molina. The first-born of this union, Infanta Maria of Portugal, married King Alfonso XI of Castile in 1328, at the same time that Afonso IV's heir, Peter I of Portugal, was promised to another Castilian infanta, Constance of Penafiel. These arrangements were imperilled by the ill will of Alfonso XI of Castile, who was, at the time, publicly mistreating his wife. Afonso IV was not happy to see his daughter abused, and started a war against Castile. Peace arrived four years later, with the intervention of Infanta Maria herself. A peace treaty was signed in Seville in 1339 and, in the next year, Portuguese troops played an important role in the victory of the Battle of Rio Salado over the Marinid Moors in October 1340.
The last part of Afonso IV's reign is marked not by open warfare against Castile, but by political intrigue. Civil war between King Pedro of Castile and his half-brother Henry of Trastamara led to the exile of many Castilian nobles to Portugal. These immigrants immediately created a faction among the Portuguese court, aiming at privileges and power that, somehow, could compensate what they lost at home. The faction grew in power, especially after Inês de Castro, daughter of an important nobleman and maid of the Crown Princess Constance, became the lover of her lady's husband: Peter, the heir of Portugal. Afonso IV was displeased with his son's choice of lovers, and hoped that the relationship would be a futile one. Unfortunately for internal politics, it was not. Peter was openly in love with Ines, recognized all the children she bore, and, worst of all, favoured the Castilians that surrounded her. Moreover, after his wife's death in 1349, Peter refused the idea of marrying anyone other than Ines herself.

The situation became worse as the years passed and the aging Afonso lost control over his court. Peter's only male heir, future king Fernando of Portugal, was a sickly child, while the illegitimate children sired with Ines thrived. Worried about his legitimate grandson's life, and the growing power of Castile within Portugal's borders, Afonso ordered the murder of Inês de Castro in 1355. He expected his son to give in, but the heir was not able to forgive him for the act. Enraged at the barbaric act, Peter put himself at the head of an army and devastated the country between the Douro and the Minho rivers before he was reconciled to his father in early 1357. Afonso died almost immediately after, in Lisbon in May.

As king, Afonso IV is remembered as a soldier and a valiant general, hence the nickname the Brave. But perhaps his most important contribution was the importance he gave to the Portuguese navy. Afonso IV granted public funding to raise a proper commercial fleet and ordered the first maritime explorations. The Canary Islands were discovered during his reign.
 
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PEDRO I (1357 – 1367)​

Fernão Lopes labels Pedro as "the Just" and said that Pedro loved justice, especially the dispensing of it, something which he enjoyed doing himself. Inês' assassins were the recipients of his harshest punishment. The three had escaped to Castile, but Pedro arranged for them to be exchanged with Castilian fugitives residing in Portugal with his nephew, the Castilian Pedro I. One man escaped, but the other two were brought to justice, and Lopes said that Pedro ripped their hearts out with his own bare hands. There is a possibility that Pedro of Portugal has been confused with Pedro I of Castile: they are both Pedro I, they both lived at the same time, the two were closely related, and are both credited with committing violent acts towards their subjects. Despite his gruesome legacy, Pedro of Portugal did have a peaceful reign and managed to install a system of justice which was relatively fair for the times. He attempted this with his Beneplácito Régio in 1361, which forbade any Papal Bulls to be published without his prior consent. This was a result of the number of fake papal documents that had been entering the country. He also began the "nationalization" of the military orders by placing his youngest son João (the illegitimate son born after the death of Inês) as the Master of the Order of Avis. He did attempt to claim that he and Inês had been married and therefore their four children were legitimate, but nothing ever came of this, and Inês' children went to live in Castile.

Legend holds that Pedro later had Inês' body exhumed and placed on a throne, dressed in rich robes and jewels, and required all of his vassals to kiss the hand of the deceased "queen". This has never been proven, but what is known is that Pedro did have Inês' body exhumed from her resting place in Coimbra and taken to Alcobaça where her body was laid to rest in the monastery. Pedro had two tombs commissioned for the monastery, one for each of them. The tombs still exist today; they are images of Pedro and Inês facing each other, and inscribed on the marble is "Até o fim do mundo..." or "Until the end of the world..."

Pedro was also the father of Fernando I and João I. João was the Master of the military order of Avis, and he would become the founder of the Avis dynasty in 1385 after defeating an attempt by Juan I to usurp the Portuguese throne.


FERNANDO I (1367 – 1383)​

On the death of Pedro of Castile in 1369, Ferdinand, as great grandson of Sancho IV by the female line, laid claim to the vacant throne, for which the kings of Aragon and Navarre, and afterwards John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster (married in 1370 to Constance, the eldest daughter of Pedro), also became competitors.

Meanwhile Henry of Trastamara, the brother (illegitimate) and conqueror of Pedro, had assumed the crown and taken the field. After one or two indecisive campaigns, all parties were ready to accept the mediation of Pope Gregory XI. The conditions of the treaty, ratified in 1371, included a marriage between Ferdinand and Leonora of Castile. But before the union could take place the former had become passionately attached to Leonor Telles de Menezes, the wife of one of his own courtiers, and having procured a dissolution of her previous marriage, he lost no time in making her his queen.
This strange conduct, although it raised a serious insurrection in Portugal, did not at once result in a war with Henry; but the outward concord was soon disturbed by the intrigues of the duke of Lancaster, who prevailed on Ferdinand to enter into a secret treaty for the expulsion of Henry from his throne. The war which followed was unsuccessful; and peace was again made in 1373. On the death of Henry in 1379, the duke of Lancaster once more put forward his claims, and again found an ally in Portugal; but, according to the Continental analysts, the English proved as offensive to their companions in arms as to their enemies in the field; and Ferdinand made a peace for himself at Badajoz in 1382, its being stipulated that Beatrice, the heiress of Ferdinand, should marry King John I of Castile, and thus secure the ultimate union of the crowns.

Ferdinand left no male heir when he died on October 22, 1383, and the direct Burgundian line, which had been in possession of the throne since the days of Count Henry (about 1112), became extinct. The stipulations of the treaty of Badajoz were set aside, and João, Grand Master of the order of Aviz, Ferdinand's illegitimate brother, claimed the throne. This led to a period of war and political indefinition known as the 1383-1385 Crisis. João became the first king of the House of Aviz in 1385.


JOAO I (1385 – 1433)​

On the death of his lawful brother Fernando I in October 1383, without a male heir, strenuous efforts were made to secure the succession for Princess Beatrice, his only daughter. As heiress-apparent Beatrice had been married to king Juan I of Castile, but the popular voice declared against an arrangement by which Portugal would virtually have become united with Castile. The 1383–1385 Crisis followed as a period of political anarchy, when no king ruled the country.

On April 6, 1385, the council of the kingdom (Cortes in Portuguese) met in Coimbra and declared João, then Master of Aviz, king of Portugal. This was in effect a declaration of war against Castile and its claims to the Portuguese throne. Soon after, the king of Castile invaded Portugal, with the purpose of conquering Lisbon and removing João I from the throne. Juan I was accompanied by French allied cavalry as English troops and generals took the side of João. João I then named Nuno Álvares Pereira, his loyal and talented supporter, general and protector of the Kingdom. The invasion was repelled during the summer after the Battle of Atoleiros, but especially after the decisive battle of Aljubarrota (August 14, 1385), where the Castilian army was virtually annihilated. Juan I of Castile then retreated and the stability of João I's throne was permanently secured.

On 11 February 1387, João I married Philippa of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt who had proved to be a worthy ally, consolidating the union of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance that endures beyond 1453.

After the death of Juan of Castile in 1390, without leaving issue by Beatrice, João I ruled in peace and pursued the economic development of the country. The only significant military action was the siege and conquest of the city of Ceuta in 1415. By this step he aimed to control navigation of the African coast.

Contemporaneous writers describe him as a man of wit, very keen on concentrating the power on himself, but at the same time with a benevolent and kind personality. His youth education as master of a religious order made him an unusually learned king in the Middle Ages. His love for knowledge and culture was passed to his sons: Duarte, the future king, was a poet and a writer, Pedro, the duke of Coimbra, was one of the most learned princes of his time and Prince Henry the Navigator, the duke of Viseu, started a school of navigation and invested heavily in science and development of nautical topics. In 1430, his only surviving daughter, Isabella, married Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy and enjoyed an extremely refined court in his lands; she was the mother of Charles the Bold.


DUARTE I (1433 – 1438)​

As an infante, Duarte always followed his father, King João I, in the affairs of the kingdom. He was knighted in 1415, after the Portuguese capture of the city of Ceuta in North Africa, across from Gibraltar. He became king in 1433 when his father died of the plague and he soon showed interest in internal consensus. During his short reign of five years, Duarte called the Cortes (the national assembly) no less than five times to discuss internal affairs and politics. He also followed the politics of his father concerning the maritime exploration of Africa. He encouraged and financed his famous brother, Henry the Navigator who founded a "school" of maritime navigation at Sagres and who initiated many expeditions. Among these, that of Gil Eanes in 1434 first rounded Cape Bojador on the north-western coast of Africa.

The colony at Ceuta rapidly became a drain on the Portuguese treasury and it was realised that without the city of Tangier, possession of Ceuta was worthless. When Ceuta was lost to the Portuguese, the camel caravans that were part of the overland trade routes began to use Tangier as their new destination. This deprived Ceuta of the materials and goods that made it an attractive market and a vibrant trading locale, and it became an isolated community.

In 1437, his brothers, Henry (Henrique) and Fernando, persuaded Duarte to launch an attack on Morocco in order to get a better African base for future Atlantic exploration. The expedition was not unanimously supported: Infante Pedro, Duke of Coimbra and Infante João were both against the initiative; they preferred to avoid conflict with the king of Morocco. They proved to be right. The resulting attack on Tangier was successful, but at a great cost of men. Duarte's youngest brother, Fernando, the Saint Prince was captured, kept as a hostage, and he died later in captivity in Fez. Duarte died soon after the Tangier attack of the plague, like his father and mother (and her mother) before him.



AFONSO V (1438 – PRESENT)

He was born in Sintra, the eldest son of King Duarte of Portugal by his wife, Infanta Eleanor of Aragon. Afonso V was only six years old when he succeeded his father in 1438.

During his minority, Afonso V was placed under the regency of his mother, according to a late will of his father. As both a foreigner and a woman, the queen was not a popular choice for regent. Opposition rose and the queen's only ally was Afonso, Count of Barcelos, the illegitimate half brother of Duarte I and count of Barcelos. In the following year, the Cortes (assembly of the kingdom) decided to replace the queen with Infante Pedro, Duke of Coimbra, the young king's oldest uncle. His main policies were concerned with avoiding the development of great noble houses, kingdoms inside the kingdom, and concentrating power in the person of the king. The country prospered under his rule, but not peacefully, as his laws interfered with the ambition of powerful nobles. The count of Barcelos, a personal enemy of the Duke of Coimbra (despite being half-brothers) eventually became the king's favourite uncle and began a constant struggle for power. In 1442, the king made Afonso the first Duke of Braganza. With this title and its lands, he became the most powerful man in Portugal and one of the richest men in Europe . To secure his position as regent, in 1445 Pedro married his daughter, Isabel of Coimbra, Infanta of Portugal, to Afonso V.

But in June 9, 1448, when the king came of age, Pedro had to surrender his power to Afonso V. The years of conspiracy by the Duke of Braganza finally came to a head. In September 15 of the same year, Afonso V nullified all the laws and edicts approved under the regency. The situation became unstable and, in the following year, being led by what he afterwards discovered to be false representations, Afonso declared Pedro a rebel and defeated his army in the Battle of Alfarrobeira, in which both his uncle and father in law was killed. After this battle and the loss of one of Portugal's most remarkable infantes, the Duke of Braganza became the de facto ruler of the country.

In 1452, Pope Nicholas V issued the papal bull Dum Diversas, granting Afonso V the right to reduce any "Saracens, pagans and any other unbelievers" to hereditary slavery.

King Afonso V lives beyond the year 1453

(A lot of this information has been edited and verified from Wikipedia. This should stand to all those who do not know the history of Portugal before this AAR begins. I believe it is crucial to understand what has happened before this year to understand the affairs of the time.)
 

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Afonso V of Portugal was now 21 years of age and the young King was very much beginning to express himself at court. At the end of May 1453 he set a precedent of reforms that increased the ability to trade freely within Portuguese ports, markets and cities. This was not a popular move with the existing merchant class but made the country a much more attractive area for investment. The free trade movement also opened the opportunity for more state sponsored merchants to be sent across the world.

In early June, Afonso V was presented with the opportunity to hire two new advisors to his court in the form of Dinis de Meneses and Miguel da Sousa. Dinis was born in Guimaraes and now at the age of 42, he was a master of builder and genius scientist. His efforts would greatly help the Production process within the country and scientific movement to improving production efficiency.

Miguel da Sousa, was born in Santarem and was now 35 years old. He had spent the good majority of his life fighting as a mercenary in the Italian Wars. When he returned to Portugal at the tender age of 32 he has earned himself a powerful reputation having lead men to many victories. The last few years he spent working with the standing Portuguese army, which brought him to the attention of the King.

On the 9th of June, King Juan II of Castille declared war on the Emirate of Cordoba. The reconquista still continued for Castille. Following periods of peace between the two nations, an eruption of hostilities was always on the horizon. The Portuguese’s courts view was that the war had nothing to do with them despite the infidel being involved. Afonso V considered his reconquista over when the final remnants of Muslim resistance were ousted from the Alentejo and Algarve regions of Portugal many years before.



On the 16th of June, Afonso V took command of the small Portuguese military and renamed them the Guarda Real meaning “Royal Guard”. The troops would be stationed in the Lisbon area and were standing at all times, meaning that if an invasion occurred, these men would be ready to do battle.

One of the main stay advisors of Afonso V was his Uncle the Duke of Viseu, Henrique “O Navegador” (The Navigator). He earnt the name through his mastery of seafaring, and had been integral to great advancements in the Portuguese Navy. In the Algarve he used his time to work on improving the sailors and admirals of the Portuguese fleet. He was now advancing in years, at the age of 59, and was looking to impressing on the King the need to invest further in the navy and looking to the seas to make the nation a great power. Henrique travelled to Lisbon on the 23rd of June and met with the King, after a meeting, they agreed that colonists would leave from Portugal to the Azores to increase the population on the important strategic island.

Henrique discussed with the King the importance of the island, for future sea voyages into the unknown. Henrique knew that The Azores were the last known island west of Europe, and he held beliefs that there was land to the west of the Azores.



Henrique asked the King to prepare to fund a Portuguese exploration fleet west to claim land for Afonso V. Afonso at first was not too keen. His meetings with his nobles had generally been about capturing North Africa from the Morocco and thus doing God’s work. Afonso also wanted the glory of victory. At first he said to Henrique that he would not do as he asked, but in time and following another meeting with many stories of the glory possible from voyages west, Afonso agreed that perhaps a small voyage to the west could be funded.

Henrique returned to Sagres to continue his work, he knew that potentially it would be several years before all was completed to complete his life’s dream.
On the 1st of August Maria de Aviz is married to an Aragonese Prince Felipe son to Alfons V of Aragon. The marriage would help to improve relations between the two nations and Afonso IV of Portugal wanted to secure a close all, in case Castille were to turn her attention upon Portugal in the future.

In early August, the news reached Afonso that the colonists sent to the Azores arrived safe and sound. The total number were about a hundred, an average number for a colonist ship and therefore, Azores was slowly and steadily getting towards being a major region of Portugal. Afonso V saw having a sustainable population in place in the Azores as a good way of maintaining the strategic island and also a good way of maintaining his fleet when they travelled the edges of the known world. Ships needed repairs and the more people in the Azores the more could help rehabilitate any ailing ships coming into port.

Late August saw the fruition of Afonso’s mercantile policy. He had the majority of trade within Lisbon which was a very profitable city. This mercantile policy seemed to be working for the Portuguese.



September 5th, saw Afonso V received the news from an emissary that his offer of an alliance with Aragon had been rejected. The young king was outraged by the Aragonese response and the relations between the two nations were noticeably slightly damages. King Afonso V did not have his ally. As a response he sent emissaries to Evora, in the Alentejo and demanded that they recruit a small cavalry.

On the 13th of September, another shipload of colonists are sent with the orders of populating The Azores. If successful, the colony will almost certainly be able to sustain itself going into the future and knowing the importance of this Afonso hoped and prayed that they would make the voyage to The Azores safe and sound.

Of the coast of the Algarve on the 23rd of September, the ongoing war between Castille and the Emirate of Granada comes knocking on the coasts of Faro. The Castillians ships meet with the Granadan ships and the battle is long and hard. Henrique “O Navegador” witnesses’ the events and says the famous words “Now we shall where the heart of these Castillians is, for I fear they like the water none too much”.

On the 29th of September after a long battle the Granadan fleet is defeated and begins to retreat after several of its ships have been sunk. Castille wins the battle off the coast of the Algarve. It is said that Henrique stayed out on the cliffs of the Algarve with a spyglass watching the battle. He was not impressed by neither the Castillan forces nor those of the Granadan, but praised the day that the infidels had been defeated.



It would be the 2nd of November before word got back to Afonso that the colonists had reached The Azores safely and well. The colony now in the Azores had over one thousand inhabitants making it much more sustainable and Afonso announced it as a full region of Portugal.

On the 8th of November the new regiment in Evora announced itself ready for action. They would be known as the Cavalaria Regimental de Evora (Regimental Cavalry of Evora). They had a thousand men and horse.



Henrique in the Algarve sent word to the King, that he was preparing to hire troops for the crossing across the oceans. This division would be made up of some of the hardest troops from the area. Many had very little to lose, to take such a daring mission across the seas. They would be trained in combat and seafaring by Henrique and he began this process officially on the 12th of December.


Iberia at the end 1453

Central Europe at the end 1453

South East Europe and Middle East at the end of 1453

The wars that were ongoing at the start of 1454
 

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Really nice. :cool: Lot's of info and very precise about many of the game points. I love the way you embedded the pictures with a slight fade. Looks great. And I am excited to see the seafaring adventures pf your Portugal.

I assume you'll be a colonizer, though there is a hint of conquerer in those last few paragraphs. ;)
 

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22nd of January, saw the news reach Portugal that Juan II of Castille had died. During his time on earth he had not been able to father a son and so after turmoil in Castille for a few weeks Queen Isabel I was coronated as Queen of all Castille. Afonso V waited to see what kind of Queen Isabel would be. Afonso had not been on bad terms with Juan and so his death once again brought uncertainty over the freedom of Portugal. The timing of Juan’s death came at a bad time for Castille as the war raged on with Granada. The Queen of Castille now had a daunting task early in her reign to wage war against a foe that had lasted well over five hundred years resisting the ever long reconquista.

On the 8th of February, Henrique finished recruiting his first unit of men to travel west. They had been trained and the orders were delivered to them that they would travel north to Evora from the Algarve to meet up with the newly formed Cavalaria Regimental de Evora. Henrique pressed on the king in a number of letters that the expedition would need several thousand men to accompany the ships to the west, in case land was found, a capture could be made. The King had not yet agreed to Henrique’s requests but nevertheless the wily old master admiral took matters into his hands and had the men marching north on the 9th of February.



On the 4th of March Afonso V buoyed by last year’s improvements in trade ability of the Portuguese merchants was willing to fund two more merchant companies to be sent, this to time to the profitable region of Andalusia, more specifically the Castillian city of Sevilla. It was a place where Portuguese merchants already had a foothold, Afonso now wanted an increase in the amount of Portuguese merchants plying their trade in Sevilla, and lining the Portuguese coffers with Castillian gold.

The 8th of March saw Afonso agree to what Henrique had set out a month before. He thought he would travel to Evora himself and meet the men personally. He arrives on the 17th of March and dissolved the two separate units found in Evora and forming a new unit that he called Regimento Expeditorio de Portugal. This important date is really the first time that Afonso first recognises the men that will leave Portugal to travel the dangerous mission to the west. It is said that Afonso promised each man a good portion of what they brought back. Afonso did not expect to see many of them again. He did not believe Henrique, but was curious to see whether his old Uncle had some reasoning to his words. Afonso knew that Henrique was a great sailor and admiral. He knew also that Henrique was the foremost authority on all affairs to do with the seafaring within Europe, so he trusted him.

The 12th of March saw Isabel of Aviz marry the Duke of Medina Sidonia, Juan Alfonso de Guzman El Bueno, a prominent member of the Castillian court and a relation of Isabel I of Castille. This marriage was a godsend to Afonso V of Portugal and he felt that this marriage safeguarded his kingdom from any potential attack from Isabel I of Castille.

The 10th April saw the confirmation that the merchants sent to Sevilla had been successful in setting up business and this had sky-rocketed the Portuguese holdings in the city, all money that would make its way back to Portugal.



On the 4th of July, Portuguese emissaries returned to Lisbon with the news that Isabela I of Castille had refused a military alliance between Portugal and Castille. Afonso V was not happy but accepted it. He put in plan a strategy to increase the military strength of the country whilst still funding the expedition to the west as Henrique had requested.

On the 10th of July he sent word Duke of Porto that he was to begin recruit a unit of cavalry to join the Guarda Real. The Duke of Porto of course obliged and officially began his recruitment on the 14th of July. Afonso V saw this as the beginning of what he planned to be an expansion of the Portuguese military to cope with any possible attack.

During this period it is remembered that Afonso V spent a lot of money and effort in trying to convince the nobles and clergy that a voyage west was worth the bother. At first there was a lot of unrest, both the clergy and the nobility agreed that Portugal should focus on gaining North Africa from the infidel but as time went on Afonso was able to convince many of the nobility that it was a good idea. With certain prominent members of the nobility changing their allegiances the King was able to force the clergy into liking the decision. However it had cost Afonso a lot of ducats to make the nobility take his side. During this time there is very little advancement in trade technology and techniques, army reformation, and production efficiency improvement.

On the 25th of Septmeber the Duke of Porto sent one thousand men and horse south to Lisbon to be added to the Guarda Real, Afonso own personal division of the Portuguese army.



On the eve of 1455 on the 29th of December and emissary from England came to Lisbon to meet with Afonso. He asked that Portugal help the English in an defensive war against the Scots. Afonso V wanted to keep England as an ally but was not convinced for their reasoning for starting this war. Afonso also knew that plunging the country into a foreign war would damage the profitability of the country as well as the stability of his governance. He also knew that Scotland was allied to the very powerful French who now having the upper hand in the Hundred Years War would look to impose themselves on the hated English. Afonso V had no choice but to deny the English his support in this war. It was a decision that he wished he did not have to make but it was out of his control.




Iberia at the start of 1455

Central and Northern Europe at the start of 1455

South East Europe and the Middle East at the start of 1455

Wars taking place going into 1455 (Note: Granada and Castille have now been at war for a year and 6 months)
 
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ubik said:
Impressive Intro!


You should be using MMG, you know? ;)

I have downloaded and enjoyed MMG a lot, but I decided to stick to the default version because I like the fact that anything can happen. Maybe in the future I may do an AAR using MMG!

To all before those who posted before, I thank you for your kind words. I am glad the general consensus has been that the AAR is generally good so far. I would like to ask my audience whether they would like to see anything changed? Or whether everything is fine as I am proceeding.

Please continue to leave comments, it gives me the strength to keep writing!
 

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Wow nice AAR!

And I must say, things you can do nowadays with technology!
 

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On the 3rd of January seemingly on the same day two people arrived at Afonso’s court that were most unexpected. They were an emissary from Navarra a small Iberian kingdom bordering Castille, France and Aragorn and an emissary from the small County of Tyrone in Ireland. Both asked for the same request. They offered a military alliance between their nations and Portugal. Afonso was not impressed by either emissaries views and without seeming too rude, declined to join any alliance and dispatched the emissary back from where they came. Afonso found the approach a bit of quandary. He was not surprised that Navarra asked for an alliance their position with Iberia was perhaps a little compromised with their inability to raise a large enough to resist any of their neighbours. Naturally for Navarra an alliance with Portugal would be advantageous to leverage against any of the powers that may threaten them. Afonso found Tyrone’s approach quite perplexing; perhaps it was that Tyrone having seen Portugal break with England from a long alliance now thought that Lusitania now wished to wage war with England. Afonso knew that neither one of these alliances would have any advantages to Portugal because both countries were small and did not have the ability to support a decent army. Naturally neither Tyrone nor Navarra were impressed with the refusal but had neither the funds nor the men to make Portugal pay.



Portugal was on the 12th of February and the 13th of February visited by suitors for an alliance. It perhaps showed the quickening perceived strength of Portugal as a nation, or at least Afonso thought. Perhaps at this time it was more than small nations around the world were looking for one slightly bigger to provide them with a blanket of security. The nations in questions were that of the Kingdom of Denmark and the Kingdom of Cyprus. Afonso dismissed Cyprus relatively quickly on the grounds that they did not currently want to involve themselves in affairs that did not concern them, and particularly not for a small nation in the middle of the Adriatic, many miles away from Portugal. Denmark was a more powerful suitor but was far to the north of Europe. Portugal wondered whether they were being lured into fighting a war in the far north needlessly. Afonso also questioned how quickly, if at all Denmark would respond to Portugal’s called should they require their help. Afonso once again was forced to send both emissaries away with a refusal. A similar refusal was given to an emissary of Modena when he arrived in Lisbon looking for a similar deal.

On the 22nd of March, the Quest for the New World began officially. The Duke of Viseu, had managed to find to men to take charge of the mission to the west. In charge of the small navy would be Antionio de Brito, and in charge of the expeditionary army would be an experienced commander Jorge de Braganca, a member of Duke of Braganca’s family.



The navy would consist of five ships specifically the flagship Nossa Senhora das Ondas, Sao Francisco Xavier, Sao Paulo, Sao Lourenco, and Nossa Senhora da Atalaia. They were all transport class but had been developed to be able to fend off a small assault at sea. Afonso did expect to see the ships again as he arrived in Lisbon to wish the men luck as they departed.


Pictured is the flagship Nossa Senhora das Ondas

The two men in charge of the expeditionary force would have to face a very difficult task. The possibility of mutinies, stories of monsters in the depths of the ocean, the possibility of being lost out at sea or even some feared falling off the edge of the world. Antonio de Brito and Jorge de Braganca would have a lot to contend with but were ready to take on the unknown as they set off from the port of Lisbon.


Antonio de Brito and Jorge de Braganca respectively

The 30th of March saw another refusal from Afonso V to an alliance from Cleves.

The 2nd of April was a good day for Portugal as a whole. The stability problems created by Afonso’s reforms to trade system had been nullified as more and more merchants accepted the new rules and became accustomed to it. Portuguese merchants were still able to compete with foreign merchants and the merchant class slowly welcomed the reforms. With the stability of the government further assured, Afonso was at liberty to tax the merchant class fully for what they earned as he had done before the reforms had been put in place.



The expeditionary force led by Antonio de Brito arrived in port in The Azores on the 11th of April. A month of repair and replenishment of food and water would take place before the brave Portuguese men took their first steps into the unknown further west

On the 19th of April having appeased the merchant class, Afonso sent out two more merchants to Sevilla to try and compete for business.


PART 2 COMING

 
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On the 4th May news came back from Sevilla that the Portuguese market share in Sevilla had increased once again, now matching the Castillian share. The saturation of Portuguese goods meant that the two merchants sent by the Portuguese to Sevilla eventually worked together to sustain each other. The news was good and Afonso was happy.

In the Azores, de Brito delayed his departure from The Azores due to rough seas for almost a month, and decided that he would have to head in a south westerly direction as opposed to westerly to avoid very rough sea that had been spotted by fishermen several tens of miles off the coast of The Azores. His heading was now set. The dilemma was how far should he go? It was a question he could not answer. The truth was he did not know, he also did not know whether when he got far into the great expanse of ocean whether he would be able to come back. De Brito met with Braganca and both agreed that God would help the Portuguese people to their new lands.



On the 10th of June exactly two years a day later than it began the Castilian – Grandan war ended. The Castilians had been truly victorious and had defeated The Emirate of Granada almost completely. Some handy negotiating and the return of several Castilian nobles captured in previous battles was the only thing that allowed Granada to keep a hold of their capital city Granada and the surrounding lands. To Castille went Gibraltar and Almeria as well as nine ducats in war indemnities. Isabel I of Castille had finished what her father had started and had cemented her place on the royal throne.

On the 20th of June, Afonso received dignitaries from Scotland asking for an alliance to the Portuguese Kingdom, again this was not a move that Afonso liked, he did not want to put himself in a position of having to fight his once allies England. He declined and thought about retiring to his summer house in Bucaco near Coimbra.



Afonso was glad he did not go through with his plans for the very next day an emissary from Castille arrived in Lisbon wanting to speak the King personally. At first Afonso thought that they were here to formally announce their intentions to go to war with Portugal something which Afonso did not relish. In fact the emissaries apologised for the refusal to a military alliance before, they blamed it on the war against the infidel, and the fact that the Queen did not have time to consider the offer properly. Isabel now wanted to secure an alliance with Portugal so that Iberia would be strong against their enemies. Afonso was relieved and agreed to a military alliance with his neighbours Castille. Many people would say that the reason that Castille wanted an alliance with Portugal was that they knew that Portugal had plans to explore the globe to the west, something which was also was in the mind of the Castillian Queen. The problem Castille had was that the voyage was costing them many ships because in one crossing Castillian ships would have to travel straight from Cadiz across the Atlantic Ocean. This meant that the ships had very little leeway to arrive late in port or face destruction and starvation. A military alliance meant that Castille could make use of The Azores, which no doubt would give them a better platform from which to launch their ships from. This alliance on the hand gave Portugal the perfect shield in Europe. Portugal no longer had to worry much about protecting its mainland holdings because Castille, a powerful ally would help her in her European wars.

Early in the morning on the 18th of August, Antonio de Brito stumbled across land, he had maintained his south westerly line, and after being drifting offline in the many months at sea finally he could lush forest in front of him. Antonio de Brito knew that he had found land just in time, another month and he would have to head home. In fact Brito already feared that the return voyage may destroy the vast majority of his fleet. He now had to leave Jorge de Braganca to explore this land that he had found. Jorge also feared the unknown. He did not know what he would find in this land that seemed so strange. His intention was to find lush resources that he could send back to Portugal. After a short embrace with Antonio and his men, he wished him luck and set out with his men and horse to the new land. Brito would have to remain in the shallow waters for a few days while his men searched for some food resources that would boister the dwindling reserves aboard the ship.

On the 13th of October Jorge de Braganca arrived in the Maranhao region, where he was met by 1,500 natives. They fought like devils but were poorly armoured. Jorge’s men had losses on the ships travelling to the new world to a bout of scurvy and when they arrived they were not in a mood to fight. It shows testament to Jorge de Braganca that he was able to defeat the Maranhao natives. Jorge lost 36 men but managed to kill 136 of the natives.



A search around the Maranhao region found nothing of great substance. There was grain available in abundance but this resource was not what would make Portugal a great nation. It did however provide enough food for Jorge de Braganca to feed his army allowing him to march beyond the region. His decision was to head east, because the natives fled to the west. Jorge did not wish to meet the rest of the native population on the field of battle. East he headed, but it would be several weeks before he made any great ground in the dense jungle. Behind in Maranhao he left a small fort with only fifty men to garrison it. It was meant to be an outpost and specifically to direct Antonio de Brito whenever he would return, if he would return.

On the 11th of November Antonio de Brito lost four of his ships including his flagship the Nossa Senhora das Ondas. In fact the only ship he was able to salvage was the Sao Paulo and that ship was badly damaged. De Brito feared he would not return to the Azores



On the 19th of November a beleaguered and demoralised crew finally saw a ray of light from God. The small little island of The Azores as the Sao Paulo flopped into port. De Brito had done a wonderful job to return the ships. He blamed the time lost on the first leg of the journey and time lost when the ships were lost in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. With de Brito returned the news that they had found land and that Jorge de Braganca had made onto terra firma spread across The Azores to Portugal.

By the 8th of December, Jorge de Braganca had been able to make some friendly ties with some of the local tribes in the eastern Maranhao province, some of which joined his force, which replenished his army back to the original 2,000 that he had started with.


Above we can see a diagram of the discovery of Brazil by Antonio de Braganca in 1455.


Iberia at the start of 1456

Central and Northern Europe at the start of 1456

Southern Europe/Middle East in 1456

Current wars at the start of 1456
 

unmerged(68583)

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@ spl: Yeah I like to show the gameplay elements as well as add in some story elements. I don't particularly like massive narrative plots but then again some are great and you can't help but read them. I think Sforza: A Milanese AAR is a big influence for my AAR. It is so well done and really balances well gameplay aspects with extra story bits

@ Coomagoosie: Thanks for the vote of confidence, hope you continue to enjoy it. I use Photoshop to get the outcomes you see. Nothing too advanced really but yeah technology does move eh?...If only my Naval Technology in game would move as quickly. :rofl:

@ Qorten: Glad to see your enjoying it! Well I tried to get Castille on my side earlier, but as you can see in the most recent update it seems Isabel of Castille wants to be friendly. I think for a while this alliance with them will be profitable. Certainly take them off my back! And no real risk of invasion by the sneaky Castillians! I hope! :p
 

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Good update and nice map!

So it seems that you are going to colonise south america first. All and all it looks like you are doing good.
 

unmerged(68583)

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comagoosie said:
Good update and nice map!

So it seems that you are going to colonise south america first. All and all it looks like you are doing good.

Yeah not going to badly at the moment. I think the alliance with Castille will prove very useful. I chose to start my colonization efforts in Brazil because it has a good load of resources and good access to the Caribbean. Unfortunately I already see many Castillian colony ship travelling west, no doubt they are already building their empire somewhere.

Anyway glad your still enjoying it. Stay tuned!
 

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:eek: How could I not have seen this for two days? I've been missing possibly the best new AAR in this forum. It looks great, and I will be following.