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Portugal -- Spearheading the Western Expansion




By Michael Johnathan McDonald

Also Spain's relevance below.

Largest Empires in order: Spain, Mongolian, 1st Islamic wave tied with Roman Empire, and in a lesser but still significant sense, England, French, Persian and many Chinese dynasties. 

Portugal's chivalric proclivities to dethrone the Islamic dominance of the Mediterranean produces new thought on shipping technology which facilitates exploration to a semi-global spice trade. In the east, China had already fostered a great sea faring technology that fitted their purposes for an eastern hemisphere global-trade network. Together with Islamic, Mughāls, Hindu and many other prime movers, all will bring about a international shipping empire tying the world together and setting a chain of events that will eventually lead to a mass colonization, which will complete the fragmentation of world separation.

Most western schools long have played down the significance of Iberia's role in modern thought, modern civil administration and global thinking. Let alone, most have not understood the relationship this demographic had on Northern Europeans' understanding of conduct for reestablishing the ancien régime of Rome, a new refashioning of interconnectedness, which for all sakes and purposes outshines the projects of the Enlightenment that many in western schools believed brought about the new fashioning of modernism as we know today. Long before the proto-renaissance, Iberia had a close relationship with Rome and Italy, connecting communications of fighting for freedom from Islamic hegemony, taking a  stand against land occupied, land forsaken and land of their ancestors brining about the quest to rebuild the once and powerful Roman Empire, a pride for Iberia and a long remember sweet success and contribution to European interconnectiveness. People argue that sectarian's roots lay in common law facilitated and long suffered from England, however, an establishment of unity doesn't belong to secularism alone. Faith, strength to courage, to religion united a force behind the people to begin a long rode to redemption and resurrection of the past ways of interconnectiveness in the Iberian peoples that believed, fought and died to rid the invaders, the suppressors, the incompatibles. Sectarian law doesn't have the passion, the Rousseaun feeling of self-worth, the dislogic needed to mount incredible inner strength so evident in the chivalric enterprise the Iberians' mounted in 13th century concurring with the emblematic era of common sensible English laws. The force of passion, resolve and self-worth tied to a faith so evident in religion helped, begun and fostered the training that would reach fruition by mid-15th century garnering the Iberians to explode over the English and quickly dominate the known world. Before it was all over the Portuguese would transfer a significant military technology that helped Hideyoshi's forces consolidate to implement the Tokugawa era and to Spain's colonization of the New World. The Iberians touched so many lives that it cannot be downplayed in western schools any longer. The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment focusing on the German and English players are not what brought about European dominance the world over we all were, or at least most, taught in school in the 20th century, but the conscientious drive to reestablish l'ancien régime by the Iberians led to a powerful shift in the world that speared-on the northern Europeans to catch up and play mimica, replicating that passion by just changing typology that refashioned modernism in the 21st Century. (mjm intro)

Western Globalizm, of the Oceanic Mastery in the 16th Century



  1. Portugal, and the Mediterranean advancement to an trade Empire

  2. Spain and the inner workings toward consolidation to the external proclivities of the largest of all Empires.

Peter Russell, Prince Henry ‘The Navigator’ A life (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000).

Prince Henry of Portugal, Knight of the Gater and universally but somewhat misleadingly known as ‘the Navigator.’

  • Two older brothers, Duarte and Pedro, joined the Order of Avis ( knights) and worked as translators and political moralists. Younger brother, Fernando, is involved with the church.
  • Henry’s formative years are not recorded, but he mostly likely learnt astronomy, navigation ( Maritime cartography), mathematics and liturgical.
  • Henry’s mother made her son’s proud of their Plantagenet ancestral heritage.
  • Henry chose the motto talant de bien fere which, in the English court language of those times, meant ‘a hunger to perform worthy deeds’.
  • 1411, given patrimony lands.
  • 1415, at the age of 21 years-old he takes command of position of public person – concerns of crusades for Christendom.
  • 1415, July 26, Friday the largest fleet ( about 100 ships) and perhaps the largest army ever assembled ( in Lisbon)  by a Portuguese king said out of the Tagus on a southerly tack. They new not where they were going. It was secret kept from Europeans in general.  Contradiction – Portugal was in a financial crisis. (19,000 men in all, source; Ruy Diaz de Vega, a Castilian in service of Fernando).
  • Project first floated after the peace with Castile in 1411, by 1413 Henry been engaged in talks with John’s veteran general about a crusade against Islam.
  • Morocco had been the Visagothic province of Mauretania Tingitana, ruled from Toledo. Christians wanted it back.
  • Ceuta, in Morocco was the destination, despite the huge effort of disinformation to keep it secret. In 1415 Ceuta was a strong fortress city and commercial center. Claimed to control the entrance to the Mediterranean.
  • 1437, Henry is the Commander and Chief of the Portuguese army sent to capture Tangier.
  • Like elegant displays of pageantry, and dressed up in fine clothes.

Henry was claimed in 1625 by geographer Samuel Purchas to have been the first person to demonstrate the English genius for maritime exploration. Purchas wrote that Henry was’ The true foundation of the greatnesses, not of Portugal alone, but of the whole Christian World, in Marine Affairs, and especially these Heroike endeavor of the English ( whose flesh and bone he was)…”1

1385: the House of Avis, Pedro I.

4 March 1394 ( Wednesday), Prince Henry was born, the third surviving son of John I and Philippa of Lancaster, in the northern Portuguese city of Oporto on Ash Wednesday.


Henry believed that the science of Astrology ( Considered scientific in medieval times) provided a fixed destiny for him with emphasis on Saturn’s natal position and mars. Saturn’s position was to reveal secrets to mankind. Henrican horoscope, probably drawn up in 1394, or at least a copy of it, put Mars in the 11th house ( According to this information), “the House of Secrets.” 2 Henry’s horoscope became a chronically, making others nobility aware of his chart. Historians mostly have ignored the horoscope’s social importance and usually do not mention the matter at all. 3 If mentioned it comes from the Chronicle of Guinea. Henry was linked to mathematics and could have had a deep interest in the stars, but according to most historians he didn’t give much thought to his chart. He could have been interested in prediction which leads him to take the path he took – but this most likely the people who were around him that took astrology seriously. The mention of revealing secrets not known to man yet could have played heavily on his consciousness, when his court astrology enthusiasts made mention. As I chronicled the great intellectual astronomers and scientists in late medieval period and early renaissance of Europe, all taught astrology and knew it as a scientific medieval functionary of society. Only recently have these revelations in historiography have been revealed as a possibly social aspect, for whatever it is worth. The question remains not how much it influenced these great visionaries or how much they used it in their personal life, but in that they in fact, were using it as was much of society in these later periods before the dawning of modern times. It is better to reveal what is known, than only reveal what you like and leave out what you do not like. Most historians see no use for Astrology today, so they project their own views onto history’s stage and re-write history as they saw these great figures.


There is no definitive proof that Henry took astrology seriously or not at all. His inconsistent planning between his crusading against the Moors in Africa and his explorations could suggest he utilized elective astrology. However, it also could have been his character. No one could foresee that between his birth and forty-years that Portugal would raise to an international maritime civilization, except possibly the astrologers.


De regimine principum, a princely educational book in this period, called for nobles and princes to study astrology. In the book it calls astrology a science ( as it was the first scientific method of the medieval period: see science of middle ages section) and for nobles and princes to study the work for a great concern. “Astrology prediction was certainly used routinely at the Portuguese court as in other European courts.” 4 The chief astrologer of Henry’s father’s declining years was a Jewish Doctor, Mestre Abraham Guedelha – who called some important astrological decisions in policy in the Duarte I’s court. 5  Duarte I was asked to be reigned in on a better day than he established, on the Feast of the Assumption – the planets were not well favored, and he refused to take the astrologer’s advice and so court nobles cite his early demise for his hasty decision. The official channels tell us there was no direct correlation.




1415 Henry proclaimed himself the defender of the rights of all ranks of the Portuguese nobility form great lords to squires, his mother charged him on her deathbed. 6


Hesitation of Portugal’s capturing Ceuta, would actually help their enemy Castile conquer Grenada. Joao Alfonso, was principle guardian of the royal finances. Portugal didn’t have enough manpower to occupy Ceuta, or enough ships; they needed to borrow or rent ships for the conquest; thus the first conquest of the Portuguese Empire.

  1. The Royal councils opposed the operation.
  2. The royal councils had vested interests with their constituents, merchants, who had business dealings with the Moors, Genoese, Valencians, and many traders in the Mediterranean.
  3. Prince Henry overcame the council’s objections to attack.
  4. The capture of Ceuta wound up costing 280,000 gold dobras ( 33,600,000 Florentine florins, or the New Portuguese money of 33,600,000 reais broncos) These figures do not factor in debts. Henry becomes indebted.
  5. The kingdom at the time of the decision, was in a financial straits.  
  6. A pestilence broke out during the time the expedition was to take-off, but was delayed, and Queen Philippe, died from the pestilence, and her funeral played a political investment in time management, actually delaying the exposition for one month, with other factors including final preparations. Within this month man men became sick as well, and the decision to leave then was decided.
  7. Friday 26, July 1415 the Portuguese with banners, flags and sailed off in the Tagus River toward the Atlantic. It actually took until August to reach the destination for the rendezvous. However, half the ships were blown-off course and the attack was delayed, which ended up alerting the Salah bin Salah, the Kadi and Emir of the fortress city, and commercial center, to call for help.
  8. Many problems almost ruined the attack.
  9. 12 August, 1415, after 13 hours the Portuguese took Ceuta.
  10. First historical account in Crónicà do Condestabre.
  11. Letter from John I to Fernando of Aragon, asked to let Castile, Portugal and Aragon fight the Nasirid kingdom( Grenada) as a proposal of a tripartite Crusade, but Fernando was fighting illness and soon died.
  12. A new House of Trastámaran was getting into the swing of things. The new rulers could not mount a major decision.
  13. the Council of Constance 1416 called Ceuta “ The gateway and key to all of Africa.” But soon it became apparent that no profits from the city came.
  14. All the trading vessels and nations ceased to do business with Portugal. In order for the soldiers to survive they ransomed Muslim soldiers, and seized contrabanned ships, according to their beliefs.
  15. Also, this was the time that Aragon had good relationships with the Moors, in trading from Valencia and Granada.
  16. Soon Mirind Muslims and Grenada planned an attack upon Ceuta to free it.
  17. Soldiers in Ceuta didn’t like their stations, often asked to stay-on pass their terms of service; also, they were mocked by other nations, being called prisoners who could only eat millet and vinegar. Shortages of food plague the new city. Pirates on the open seas, only allowed small-fast ships to bring emergency food and supplies. This created a need in which Prince Henry asked the Monarchy and set up the Casa de Ceuta, which would in turn into a major commercial enterprise for Portugal. It was a provision storehouse for Ceuta which then in-turn created many jobs.
  18. The Portuguese used the caravel a small, fast, and highly maneuverable vessel to move food to Ceuta and to out-run and maneuver the pirate ships in the Mediterranean. This proved successful but usually only two ships per year made the trip from Lisbon to Ceuta.
  19. During the time that Ceuta was starving, they were cut-off from Food supplies from the Mirind Muslims, and the local farms – the Pope issued a three-month reprisal to allow muslins to sell food to the 2,500 soldiers, but this was in reality not likely as the Muslims were planning an attack at the same time.
  20. Soon as years passed fame of Ceuta fall to the Christian Portuguese declined as it was a drain on the financial coffers of the monarchy. Problems deprived it from the hinterlands, trade and Moorish population, and Ceuta fell into steep decline.
  21. By 1419 there were two attempts to oust the Portuguese from Ceuta by Grenada and Morocco. Attacks came by sea. Some historian believed these attacks lead Henry to learn about the land-roads of Africa and navigation, but this seems impossible. He possible didn’t have contacts with Moorish experts as they were enemies.
  22. In the years to come, the only financial conditions for Ceuta governors seize cargo from both Christian ships they believed were trading with the Muslims, and Muslim ships. 
  23. Henry is voted in by the Curia, and approved by the pope to the Order of Christ ( military order, initially belonged to the templar’s) . He cites this order as one of the main institutions that helps him fund his explorations. The order founded in 1319 inherited lands and other properties that it could use to raise funds from. Henry didn’t have to abide by the celibate laws of the freires ( Friars), who each were assigned lands for incomes. He became the lay governor of this order.
  24. 1418, the Curia voted in D. Joao, who became the lay governor of the Order of Santiago.
  25. 1424, Henry tries to conquer the grand Canary island, but is pushed out by the natives, and is seen as a failure.
  26. The Portuguese crown took over the controls of these orders preceded a similar decision by the Catholic Monarchs ( Ferdinand and Isabella) by some sixty years.
  27. Henry opened trade with Guinea and the remarkable prosperity on the new island of Maderia, but he seemed not to pay his debts he owed others, even when the crown gave him a large sum for operating coasts in which he had plenty of extra money.
  28. Henry often used Ceuta’s garrison’s crown-expenditures to be used for provisioning the caravels that sailed to Guinea. He even in 1450 used a large sum of 2, 250,000 reais braoncos ( 16,804 gold escudos) for personal use when it was supposed to go to the Ceuta garrison. When his debtors found out they ask for some of their money and the prince made some excuse to use to for other necessities. Large-scale and small indebtedness would plague Henry for the rest of his life.
  29. Rumor had it he generally wore a hair shirt, hardly drank wine and generally practiced asceticism in his personal life.7
  30. Both administrating a large-powerful semi-religious institution and supervising Casa de Ceuta kept him in good stead when he turned into organizing his exploration and trade into hitherto  unknown regions of the African Atlantic.
  31. Wherever Henry went he tried to toss out the Castilian element wherever he found it.
  32. The stories of the unsuccessful wars in the Canary islands where Henry fought extended over some thirty-years.
  33. Henry’s efforts also brought in the Azores into Portuguese possession.
  34. Castile and Portugal would bicker and fight over the property of these islets and Islands, which made Henry concentrate more on colonizing the Canaries than to exploring the Guinea coastline.
  35. Zurara states that Maderia and Porto Santo were first discovered in the 1420s by two of Henry’s squires, João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz, who were blown off course by a storm. However it was a rediscovery as Maderia,  Porto Santo and Deserta were already on maps and seamen’s charts as early as 1351 onwards.
  36. In 1425 both squires reported the ‘[re]discoveries’ to John I and stated that the islands looked good enough to colonize. John sent the supplies to colonize, but didn’t ask for a title like he did for Ceuta. He didn’t treat the island like a new conquest.



Global Empire


  1. Questioned lingered in the late 15th Century and early 16th Century of what to do now. The largest fleet of treasury ships belonged to China who explored the Indian coast and made trade contact with East Africa. However, after shortly returning the Chinese court no-longer thought outside contact was prudent and burnt half the fleet. These were the largest built ships on the earth and the western seafaring nations could have had some great technology if they only knew. In contrast Columbus’s ships were puny in comparison.
  2. Two factors appeared at these time phases.
  3. First, 1419-1520, or called phase one, was Prince Henry the Navigators life and contributions to the Portuguese. He set up at Sagre (Toward the south of Portugal) an academy of scientists of navigation, cartography, and sailors.
  4. Henry’s interest lie in bring together the best and seeing what could be explored. It was by divine providence that his brother became king to free up his time for this agenda.
  5. Taking Ceuta taught the Portuguese a lot about navigating the local waters. No one at the time believed that Africa had a place that could be rounded en route to India.
  6. Most people believed that the further one went south on the African coast the hotter the sea and climate would get and one would burn up. A sea of fire was to be believed the culprit. As the Portuguese fared further and further south, it did get hotter, but the sailors didn’t die.
  7. In addition, Portugal could not go into Africa by land and control it. They just didn’t have the manpower.
  8. The Germans at the time were crafting the highest technology weaponry of the earth. These precision made cannons, were the weapons of choice for the Portuguese and the reason they faired well with whomever they met when setting up trade –fortresses once they began to explore, then conquer.
  9. The first phase was the knowledge phase, per say.
  10. Second,  was the beginning of the fortress-trade centers along the coasts of African, and later within the nations they landed on in the eastern hemisphere, after Bartolomeu Dias (February 1488) rounded south Africa ( later discovering the Cape of Good Hope on his return), then ten-years later  Vasco de Gama forged passed the Cape of Good Hope, with Dias’ help and went to the lands of the east.
  11. The usage of the cannons and advanced technological weaponry, small contingents of soldiers could stay-off large foreign populations. They built high-walls and used their guns. These were rough-and-tumble men who were raised and the notion the world was theirs. They were not too concerned with the finer pacifistic of Christianity.
  12. Monetarism was their calling and not Christian proselytizing of the likes that Spanish claimed in history.
  13. They had plenty of gunpowder, rifles and cannons to forge ahead. At first they didn’t set up any sugar plantations, using African slaves, in which they will do on the island of Madeira, where sugarcane grew exceptionally well, and became a great commodity as Europe only had honey as a major social sweetener. The Portuguese believed the Africans could handle the growing of Sugar better then they could. Growing sugar was a hard-labor and many Africans died before their time, as this was back breaking work.
  14. The hardened battle soldier of the Portuguese raised men was the number one reason they accomplished what they did. These were not scholars or learned men, but conquistadors rose to fight for their existence and to understand they owned the world.
  15. the Portuguese cannons even beat up  on the Ottoman Fleet where the losers received a reward by their officials a beheading for the loss.
  16. Getting to India and making the sugar trade take-off was a major goal for the Portuguese. Other nations will become jealous and then began to cut-in on the action, but for now the Portuguese reigned supreme as the first to begin to navigate the unknown oceans.
  17. 1580 the Spanish Monarchy take over the Portuguese Empire by Dynastic measures.
  18. The Discovery of the west is now in the Spanish’s hands as Columbus gets financial backing from Genoese merchant companies and others – not Isabella who gave only a little, but in part gave the permission.
  19. Henry waited until after his father’s death, John , to ask for lordship of Madeira, Porto Santo and Deserta. He was not allowed to temper the rights and privileges to the first colonists in the original royal charter.
  20. 14th Century Madeira was named by Italian and Majorcan cartographers as “ timber Island.” Portuguese Madeira means ‘ wood.’ Notoriously scare in Portugal was timber. However, the islands produced timber initially so building in Portugal became a novelty, in which multi-story buildings were constructed.
  21. Canary and Porto Santo had valuable red-resin,  “ Called dragon’s blood,” which dyeing trade became a money and investment operation. Also, this resin was used in pharmaceuticals.
  22. The islands were known by maps prior to Henry’s rediscovering missions. Why people didn’t inhabit Madeira may be seen because there were not indigenous people to use as slaves. So not slave trade.
  23. Henry introduced rabbits onto Porto Santo, which then saw a proliferation because there were no natural predators; the rabbits ate the agriculture, which was a problem.
  24. Father in law Bartolome Pallastrelli was in charge to colonizer Porto Santo.
  25. Madeira grew cereals, including wheat and was first settle probably by Zarco. At first there was much lumber, but when claiming land reclamation, a fire actually burnt most of the forest.
  26. Royal charters were called Foro.
  27. Henry ordered vineulture, and wine became marketable by 1455.
  28. Tiber taken off the islands were not subject to biomass replacement, but by 1515, Manual I prohibited lumber felling , with penalties of public flogging, and two years of exile in Africa and a fine of twenty cruzado.
  29. João Gonçalves Zarco ( historian recorder also) got considerable power from John I – all islands after  were molded like Madeira’s charter.
    1. Land must be cultivated within 10 years.
    2. The use of the sesmaria system of land-tenure. Introduced in the late-medieval era of Portugal. Money for land grants must be used to produce agriculture and food production in order for a permanent ownership of land in the future.
    3. No Private acquisition of land, forest, pastures, springs, streams or the foreshore – these were to be held in common.
  30. Soon after John I died, Madeira territory fell de jour [ de is used in this era, in place of later usage of ‘du’] as well as de facto into Prince Henry’s hands.
  31. This meant that Henry could grant land, administer criminals, but could not order mutilations, or executions, as these were authorities only for the king of Portugal.
  32. Soon there were no more direct postural crown control, but territories were called donatories ( Donatory) as the Roman Curia became involved in Portuguese politics. These were semi-feudal-fiefs ( Hereditary), and colonist eventually disliked donatories – these rules became identified with these territories, and identification to an identity of its own, and not a national identity of Portugal. These new autonomous identities, disfavored loyalty to varying degrees.
  33. Tristáo Vas Teixeira.
  34. Ideology: Overall Madeira brought Prince Henry fame, power and wealth. After this he decides to further expand Portugal. People now saw him not as a Muslim Crusader, but in a different light. He will begin to think about future crusades, and it will play a major aspect in Portuguese politics, and events. The ideology of Henry established a method to sell to the papacy the notion that settling lands by further settling the archipelagos, was to Christianity’s favor, in that they were conquering territory that initially belonged it Islam – which was not the case at all. Islam was in Africa, and not on the islands. Did the Papacy really know what was out there? No.  However, This ideology crept into the mainland voyages and Henry, who continued to ask for money from the Roman Curia to continue these so-called crusades was in fact functioning as a Portuguese expansionist, and some historians say for his own gain, and some don’t but for Christian Portugal. The Catholic Church would continue to finance him regardless of truth, which in all acted as the same results. The Iberians were establishing their presence in previously uncharted isles in that contemporary period.
  35. Policies of tenure: Henry’s tenure for the de facto leader of these archipelagoes  was only for a lifetime, but he wanted to create these positions for ever, making them hereditary. His brother would compose letters and speeches that stated the hereditary appointments would damage Portuguese’s authority in the long-term, which he was correct. But for the meantime, this meant Henry had strong and stable supporters who believed he could get them permanent rights to these new territories. It was always a Heneric policy to garner more land and power for himself away from the crown. Possible understanding he would never become king, this was a form of innocent rebellion.
  36. Courts on Islands: Legal issues between the islands were directly associated with the main courts in Lisbon ( Casa de Civel). So law was quickly established as a means of justice for its colonists’ rights.
  37. 1433 Deviding Madeira: Eventually Henry with his hereditary ideology for the islands, separated two territories (bandas) for political control, each having its own government; one side for Tristáo and the other side for João.
  38. 1434 Zura’s Chronicles of Guinea.
  39. 1435 Council of Basel: The discussion led to the sovereignty of Castile’s claims to the Canary islands, and other islands, claiming since long ago, as proved on maps, the known islands were cited by their retinue, even eyeing the Azores. Infante, D. João, Henry’s younger brother and lay governor of the Order of Santiago, argued well for Portugal disclaiming their rights to the islands. One this Henry was doing, besides setting up charters and courts on these islands was fine-detailing the coasts of Africa and the islands. This included dangerous mapping of sandbars, rough-sea on beachfronts, and reefs. Usually a squire of his house would spend over year out at sea collecting data and logging these coasts and islands. No one else was doing it so well, it had to come into the argument aspect, because it benefited all European countries. This was one the legitimate things Henry was doing on the behalf of Portugal, besides crusading as he keeps telling the Roman Curia.  Henry barely cared about the Muslim religion of the lands he administered. This was a part of his complex personality. Usually the Council of Basel was associated with Andrea Bianco’s Atlantic Chart  [arguments up till 1436]. However, one should note that even thought there is a truce between Castile and Portugal, the underlying motive of Castile still lay in overtaking Portugal politically some day (Which of course would happen).
  40. 1444 no-more dizima: Henry asked for a pardon the crown-tax, as things worsened for the colonists, as the sesmaira system produced little results as the cultivation lagged behind its initial hopes. Most notables colonized the lands, and there were no many slaves to run the farms, usually didn’t want to work hard, but only for themselves. This meant no large surplus for taxation. Also the populations were not large as some would suspect for large cultivating operations. .Therefore trade dwindled and monopolies grew – this was all capped-off by Henry’s political rhetoric of hereditary – autonomous settlements – meaning the crown would be left out of the money-fold.  
  41. 1493 July: Prince Henry obtained permission from the crown to start planting settlers” on the seven Islands of Azores.”
  42. D. Fernando donatory: When Henry died Alfonso V gives D. Fernando donatory to all the Prince Henry’s lands.
  43. Cape Verde Islands: the last islands to be discovered by Prince Henry were made by his orders,, but he died first.
  44. Santiago Slave Ports: D. Fernando’s  island Santiago was the staging post for much of Guinea’s trade and slave trade in particular.
  45. 1434: Cape Bajodor, maeked the furthermost southernly point on the coast of west Africa as far as which was safe to navigate, 1413, Zurua’s Chronicles of Guinea claimed. Henry demolished the myth by sending a house squire in search of the place. The myth was that no one knew what to expect the further one went down the coast of Africa. Although, Henry was looking for the end of Muslim controlled lands, the myth claimed that one would burn up with heat and eventually the further one traveled fire would enveloped the sea and sailors would burn to death. This placed was dubbed the “point of no return. ”The reality is that Henry knew that one could go further, and that earlier maps showed that this was possible. The latitude was 26 degrees, and 7 minuets North, some 130 miles south of the Canary Islands.
  46. A French Document: Is probably what Henry was using as it claimed two years prior that French took captives, and they staged their landing form the Fuerteuertora island, and went to Cape Bojador, cited in the book  Le Canarien.
  47. 1443: Brother, regent,  D. Pedro granted Henry Guinea trading rights.
  48. The first accurate map of Cape Bojador was made by Henry’s squires, but all credits go, of course, to the prince.
  49. La Canarien, spoke of crusades in the Sub-Saharan parts of Africa, below Cape Bajodor in 1402. the French conquest of Guinea, for Christ and exploration of France from the Canaries, pre-1402-07.
  50. 1320s cartographers recorded gold-trade in Guinea, called Black-West-Africa, of the trans-Saharan camel caravans.
  51. 14th Century maps lead Henry to know about the inner Africa and to understand that sailing below 26˚ 09’ was possible, and people actually lived there. The terms golden west Nile also sparked the imagination of the Prince, which of course was below Cape Bajodor, in the famed peninsula Polola and for its gold. Furthermore, Price Henry fancied to hook up with Pastor John’s forces, a legend in his time.
  52. Henry’s brother in-law, Alfonso V of Aragon, from 1428 onwards was involved with diplomatic relations with Zar’a Yâqob, the real life Prestor John in east Africa.
  53. 1441 Prestor John asked the Portuguese to find routs to India. Henry only knew of Indian as black-Christians living in Africa.
  54. Christian Publicists transferred the Christian Empire names from Asia to Africa in the early 14th Century – the area of the African Continent lying east of the Nile and south of the Egypt, which had been known to cartographers as “ India Tertia.” It is black-Christian inhabitants of Africa that was called Indians, in which Henry understood the word to mean.
  55. 1441,  Prestor’s people were at Florence and in Castile, but other European nations were trying to figure out how to sail up rivers to get to his fabled civilization, not knowing his contacts were in the courts of Europe.
  56. 1437 August the 23d, Lisbon to Ceuta – Henry will become a commander to fight in north Africa in an attempt to take Tangiers. Henry wanted a viceroy position of Morocco, and he wanted to campaign as long as 2 – 5 years for this, but the court and nobles was not to fast to decided and thought it was unwise. There remains over 4000 letters addressing argument to either go to Tangiers or start a joint-campaign with Castile against Granada.
  57. João’s arguments appear in letters which he states that “Prudence is contrary to chivalry”  and that the Pope didn’t have any authority to conquer by force, but did have the authority to proselytize. This might have been deemed at Henry’s insistence to get more power and land. However, people’s attitudes were changing about how far to go against Islam.
  58. Morocco, the “Kingdom of Fez.”
  59. Council of Basel argued the question of whether Christian princes had the right 9 Any intrinsic right) to make war on infidels or pagans simply because they were not Christians. Stating this, to note that Portuguese kings always secured papal approval so to cover their legal backs.
  60. At this time Italian cannons and lawyers questioned these principles. D. Duarte asked Pope Eugenius IV to let him have authority for the Morocco campaign.
  61. 15th century, people in general asked the questin if the pope had temporal power, and this was much different attitude from the 12 Cnetury.
  62. Parecers, letter of opinions circulated during this decision process for the Morocco campaign. Over 4000 of these were noted and Pedro’s response in one parecer was recorded by Rui de Pina in his Crónica de D. Duarte.
  63. consultum: the Pope gives preliminary decisions to cannons and lawyers to present to him their findings, on various issues.

100.    João’s parecer produced an argument against war, and Henry threatened the new King that he would make his younger brother D. Fernando emigrate to England, or join the pope, of knights of France.

101.    Duarte secured from the Pope Fernando’s take over of the administration of the military Order of Avis.

102.    1433 by pressure of Henry he made direct approaches to the Pope to ask for –permission to fight the Moroccan war (tried to do it in person). Portuguese princes had a custom or law that allowed all royal princes to exercise their own rights.

103.    Henry formed Santa Maria de Africa in Ceuta , so that the church had a place to send financing so the prince could have full control.

104.    Pedro’s parecer had among its complaints that of total lack of secrecy surrounding the proposal to invade Morocco – in contrast to the remarkable secrecy that had marked the plan to attack Ceuta in 1415.8

105.    Prince Henry’s ideology of Honor: Henry’s paracer begins with what he believes are the objectives of a man’s life. This foremost is honor. But to have honor, his name, his lineage and his nation (Patriotism)  must be passed on from generation to generation and so concerns  the very essence of worldly existence. Henry believes man must think about his [ her] name being remembered for the remainder of the history of the world. His deep pessimism about such indulgences necessary to make life more tolerable, was probably a ploy to win Duarte’s religious emotional feelings rather than to his reason. Henry wrote against richness as an indulgence, but he was not about to give up wealth or power form wealth. Henry went on to say that people who went after wealth for their own sake were entirely condemned.

106.    1436 march, a memorandum of D. Pedro’s indicates the Prince had already secured the King’s provisional consent to the enterprise. Henry would command the expeditionary army and that he should take his younger brother Fernando with him.

107.    Jaohn’s last words according to Daurte’s spokesman urged his sons to continue the war against Morocco. Filial Piety, meant it was necessary to not lose the warrior mentality gained under their father’s reign.

108.    1436 Eugenium IV issued “crusading bull” Rex Regum.

109.    The said any land conquered by Portugal is Portugal’s forever. So in Guinea, Henry believed he had rights to all the land.

110.    The initial plans were to have an army (regular army) totally 14,000 men.

111.    two consultum[s] by two jurist accompany the pope’s bull. One was asked by Henry, for the legality on invading laws.

112.    Antonio de Rosellis, a Bologna professor and jurist, and Antonio Minucci da Pratovecchio, a professor of civil law at Bologna, both had argued that Morocco once known as Tingitania had belonged to the Visigothic provinces whose successors were the  kings of Castile. Therefore, it was the rights of the Portuguese to recover these lands.

113.    It was permissible for the Pope to authorize punishment of infidel rulers if they refused to allow Christian to enter their lands ( or begin missionaries) to preach to the people. Morocco had its bishops and Christian minorities which made the decision difficult.

114.    Council of Basel, the big political question of where Christian princes had the right ( any intrinsic right ) to make war on infidels or pagans simply because they were not Christians. Portugal kings always secured papal approval, so to be careful of their crusading purposes. By definition the justification was by Rosellis: It was the duty of the ( Holy Roman) Empire to concern himself with the recovery of the lost lands of the once subjects of Rome. If the emperors proved negligent about performing this duty, then the  pope  could , according to some authority, authorize other Christians princes to undertake the task. However, overall, Antonio de Rosellis’ consultum deprived Portugal of its right. This ruling was about questions concerning pre-emptive strikes.

115.    International Crisis: the Council of Basel becomes a nasty affair as accusations fly. Castile fights back against Portugal’s claims of have sole rights to the Canaries.

116.    Pope initially favors the Portuguese, but changes his mind after the Castilians show some type of evidence they were in the region of  the Canaries islands a long time ago.

117.    For the Portuguese try to get rights over the canaries, the Castilians fight back with outrageous demands:

    1. Give up Ceuta.
    2. Give up archipelagos of Canaries.
    3. Castile orders Portuguese to undertake the Moroccan war
    4. Ecclesiastical jurisdiction in dispute
    5. Demand Orders of Avis and the Portuguese branch of Santiago, to  control by the Castilians.

118.    Duarte and Henry were upset; Portuguese said any of these demands are met we cancel the Morocco campaign and we will fight you.

119.    All these problems were caused by Henry’s insistence that the Canaries were his.

120.    Henry’s patent letter ( Alvará) not a will, he composed before the campaign, and said that he had no son , nor would he, and that all possession would go to his younger brother Fernando.

121.    Shortage of men: Ships promised by both England and Basques didn’t all arrive. This meant not all the men could travel at once to the war-zone.

122.    Possible only 7,000 (true number unknown) left Lisbon with the other forces form other places making up a figure less than what was suspected.

123.    Rui de Pina said, 8.000 men were missing or didn’t show up.

124.    João Álvares said 7,000 men did show up ( not the 14,000).

125.    Much of the blame was upon the shortage of shipping vessels. These included the vessels to ship wheat, carry livestock, horses and other things needed in the desert.

126.    Objective of Henry was to conquer Tangier, Kgar-es-Seghr and Asilah. What came to a surprise to him after he got there was his old Ceuta ( governor) enemy was now one of the heads of the Kingdom of Fez, Salah ben Salah.

127.    Campaign Proper, September 9, 1437. As the forces arrive they quickly found out that Henry’s arrogance that this would be an easy battler were all wrong. The Granadians had showed up, during the Council of Basel and the consultums, the campaign was not a secret like the attack upon Ceuta about twenty years earlier.

128.    Henry doesn’t listen to Duarte’s commands: Henry was ordered by Duarte, the bookish leader) to take military books with him, but most importantly to build a protective blockage between he shore were the beachhead camp and the small ships were placed so to have protection going to and fro. But Henry didn’t listen and the Moroccans had excellent sallies and bowmen. Duarte had provided the wood to build this, but Henry was often to haughty and arrogant, and emotion, when he was in his chivalric mode, outdid his reason capabilities which were evident when he was in his exploration mode. So the beach was left open which became a disaster.

129.    Henry put the conquest of Fez at one week. If not then the army would retreat to Ceuta for the winter and make a new siege for the cities in the spring. He believed three assaults on the walls in one week were good enough. Duarte gave orders for Prince to try for three-weeks. Henry disobeyed many of the king’s orders.

130.    No one bothered to make a reconnaissance of Morocco to figure out what armaments and necessities were needed. Therefore, the cannons were not strong enough to breach the walls, the latter were to short and many other impracticalities dogged the army, who were not considering retreating and leaving the Prince and his younger brother there alone.

131.    Henry’s boasting not bit him in the behind. Moroccans were not weak as he bragged at court. Instead of the Portuguese being the besiegers, then became the besieged. Portuguese soldiers and even his own house members abandoned him.

132.    Henry didn’t build a strong blockage, of the one he built and the men had to fight their way to their boats to take them to their ships ( out at ports in the sea).

133.    Henry had to surrender. This was bitter because Salah ben Salah was the negotiator, and Henry had to give up Ceuta or the men would fight their ways to the ships and most likely die.

134.    Henry gives Fernando as a guarantor to Salah ben Salah. This was normal procedure for someone to keep their word in the Middle Ages (end even then). Other demands made by Salah and the Moroccans in order to allow the men to leave in peace would be a promises for no more campaigns on North Africa and sign a promissory contract for a 100 years of peace between the Moors and the Portuguese with the promise to free trading by land and sea.  One of the last and important measures were the med would leave with only the clothes on their backs and leave their arms, cattle, livestock, and accoutrements behind.

135.    These were conditions for the Portuguese Embarkation. The embarkation most possible took place a day after the capitulation, while on the beach order of the governor Salah ben Salah attacked the Portuguese ( As Henry would claim) as they were getting into their ships. Henry possible said after the attack “ all bets are off.”

136.    The truth was that the men tried to take their arms and Christian ornaments ( Church paraphernalia and eventually everything else they could transmit)  with them, breaking the agreement which started the skirmish that killed many knights and squires. Some scholars say this was a minor act.

137.    Henry goes to Ceuta to calm down. Since Henry disobeyed his brother and lost Ceuta he couldn’t face them at court so he decided to take to bed in Ceuta for several  months. The anti-Moroccan pontificators said “ see I told you so.” And Henry was now in his low point of his life. He knew then but would not tell anyone he would not arrange to give Ceuta to the Moroccans meaning he would leave his younger brother to die a martyr’s death, and suffer immensely. Many people in Portugal said just why not give back Ceuta because it is a drain on Portugal and has not made any profit for many years. But, Ceuta was Henry’s first conquest and a sense of pride to him.

138.    Hard Choice: What to do. The court was mocking Henry, and his enemies were laughing at him. The position that he left his brother in was a real issue with all. Things would by Fortuna change as the attention was taken off this embarrassing subject when Duarte would sonly die of piles. Even though Henry was the head commander of the expedition, it was Duarte’s order that have the overall authority of the operation (royal prerogative) – thus making him legally fully responsible. If Henry broke the agreement he would be breaking international relations which would not garner him trust by other nations in the future, which is against the words of that nation. He also saw that in the Hero of his father’s lineage, the Plantagenet’s (connected to his view on honor) military successes and heroism were not his now – he was a loser. So Henry keeps his thoughts about leaving his younger brother to a miserable fate. “ It must have looked to him as if the warnings of his astrologer, Mestre Guedela, about the ill-omened hour he had chosen for his proclamation as king were proving to be fully justified” 9

139.    Henry telling fibs: In order to keep from facing the truth of his faults, Henry keeps a low profile  ( not going to Portugal to face his enemies) and tells fibs to prolong the inevitable. The court eventually learns by understanding Henry was telling fibs that he had intended to never give Ceuta to the Moroccans. So Duarte, tried to arrange a large ransom and all the Moroccan captives in Spanish territory for the return of Henry’s younger brother. But, Salah ben Salah, after six-months became impatient and moved Fernando into a jail at Fez and began to slowly starve him to death.

140.    Henry summoned to court became an embarrassment when he refused to show up.  The Cortes court saw this as  a serious matter. Henry eventfully met Duarte half way to Lisbon, and nothing came form the meeting.

141.    Fortuna for Henry: Duarte possible raked with so much pressure of infighting ( I told you so) and for the gossip of the King’s brother sitting in a Muslim prison suffering to death and not one was turning over Ceuta to free Fernando caused the king’s health to fail and he died prematurely.

142.    The Count of Arraiolos, Henry enemies actually changed side on the issue to give up Ceuta. Ceuta was polled within the municipalities and many said do not return the City for the release of one prisoner, yet others said get rid of this financial burden. The Count also argued that Henry’s signatory was not legal and only the signature of the king was obligatory.

143.    Duarte, said for the time being let’s do nothing. He summoned again Henry, who was now becoming an embarrassment to the crown. Henry’s testament to his power made the king meet him half way. Henry suggested a new Morocco campaign of 24,000 men (where to get them?) and to ask Castile to join them. Duarte just suggested getting money to ransom him and free the entire Moroccan captives in all Spanish lands. This was all just words, and was too expensive.

144.    Abu Zakariya after six months moves Fernando to a cell in Fez and he

145.    Surprise of Fortuna for the king. Duarte fell ill and died August 1438 at the age of forty-seven. Henry and his apologists re-wrote history by saying the Moroccan debacle was not his, but Duarte, and this was all because of his guilt, because he didn’t follow the practical orders of Duarte, and was generally boastful, and arrogant.

146.    Duarte left his will which appointed six-year of Afonso and nominated his Argonese queen ( much disliked)  to be regent of Portugal during Afonso’s minority. This was a big political crisis.

147.    Close to civil war: the kingdom came close to civil war because the queen was pro-Castilian and all the feelings of being losers – which meant being laughed at by Castile because they were friendly traders with the Moroccans. D. Pedro, as John I’s eldest surviving son was elected by the Cortes of Lisbon as the sole regent for the period of Afonso V’s minority.

148.    D. Pedro never supported Henry’s African conquests or dreams of other expansionist quests, so Henry would abandoned him as well just like he did to Fernando.

149.    Lies of accepting martyrdom: Henry told everyone he met that his younger brother wrote to him and asked to be martyred for the city of Ceuta. By 1441 Fernando knew his brother had betrayed him, and so he just wanted to die. This was RealPolitiks ( of that era). It was not Christian of what Henry did.  But the death of Duarte had taken this problem off the attention of the people. This gave Henry the room to resurrect himself in politics. He tried to play the mediator between the two rival camps vowing for regency of Afonso V. Henry forced is biographer João Álvares to revise history saying his little brother promoted the idea for his own accepted martyrdom. Henry was arrogant and dishonest. By this time everyone accepted the fate of the young prince and understood that keeping Ceuta was possible the best resolve for the disaster at Tangiers.

150.    Henry turns his attention to navigation again.

151.    Caravels ships accredited to Portuguese master, had the preferred wood of cork-tree and holm oak for the rudders and ribs. Pine was used but a special kind. Other pine only lasted for a few round trips of s ship before the wood began to rot, or take on worms, barnacles and deteriorate.

152.    Caravels were outfitted with Flanders and German bombards, made smaller for the caravels, and natives found these to be of little consequence.

153.    In 1470s, Spain and Portugal fought a war over Portuguese trade monopolies in Guinea.

154.    Slave trade 1444:

155.    Henry’s supposed school of navigation on Cape Sagres is now entirely discredited. Henry’s navigational techniques up until the mid-fifteenth century were common and ancient techniques, like everyone else used in the past. Uses were the compass, the mariner’s chart ( When this was available), the lead ( to take soundings) and on estimated latitudes. Much of his navigation was intuition. Also, used were master astrologers and they were taken on Portuguese ships which tells us that sailors were not trained in astronomical sky-gazing.

156.    Diogo Gomes claims to have used a quadrant in West African waters c. 1460. Portuguese would later employ the use of this instrument.10

157.    The Chronicles of Guinea by Zurara describe the beginning of the slave trade ran by the Portuguese. This was the beginning of the institutional slavery. Zurara gives a date of August 6, 1444 when six caravels reached Lagos form Cape Blanco with their human cargo. 11

158.    Black-Africans were traded for horses.

159.    Horses were the desired barter for human beings. This was because horses were desired for military purposes and other domestic uses.

160.    Caravels carried horses which then were bartered for slaves sold by other tribes, or groups in West Africa.

161.    Many of these facts come from letters preserved of the African coast navigation era of Portugal.

162.    Henry set up customs, and cargo-administrators, who rode on the caravels but certainly were not liked by the crew. These were possibly men of his household. He always demanded one-fifth of the booty.

163.    Henry’s was proud that he made Portugal a slave-trade empire, and his own letters and documents show this.

164.    In the late Middle ages, slave trades were also a part of Genoese tradition that “ With scant regard for any legal or ethical prohibitions, they had long before set about enslaving members of the Orthodox Christian Church as well as those from the pagan peoples of south-eastern Europe.” (Russell 247) . “ By the fifteenth century, most of the white slaves` sold by the Genoese at Chios were disposed of to Muslim purchasers in Turkey [ Anatolia, the Ottoman Empire at that time] , Syria, Egypt and North Africa [by 1515 the all these areas will belong to the  Ottoman Empire]. 12

165.    In 1456 for several months Henry was in the Portuguese capital where Afonso V was engaged in military preparation in response to a demand from Calixtus III that Portugual should join the grand alliance the curia was trying to organize against the onrush west of the Turks who had taken Constantinople in 1453. Guinea commercial voyages didn’t cease. 13

166.    In many letters for the work with the Order of Christ, Prince Henry was concerned about vintena (a tax nominally equal to one-twentieth, which was to be levied on all articles of value brought from Guinea.

167.    The Papal Crusade of 1457, a number of Italian states, the Crown of Aragon and Portugal had committed themselves to battle Turkish Armies ( the Muslims). The Muslims were now threatening Hungary and the rest of the other Christian states of Europe.  Afonso was 25 years-old and wanted to convince people that he was a battle-warrior like his famous grandfather and his as nearly famous uncle. 14  

168.    A fleet of some ninety-ships, large and small, finally set sail form Setubal on 30 September 1458. On October 3 it reached Sagres, where the 64 year-old prince Henry, ready for what could well be his last military campaign, was waiting to embark with his retainers. 15

169.    An attack on Alcácer-Ceguer, was a change of plans. This place between the Nasrid Kingdome of Granada and Morocco took on the traffic gape left by Portugal’s Ceuta conquest in 1415. It had assumed the same importance. This was a minor port and Portugal brought a big army. The fight was not easy, and Afonsa was there with sword, but credit for success when to the Prince. Henry saw that men could not breach the walls, so to save lives he brought in a large bombard, and blasted the wall’s fortifications. Once the walls were breached by the cannon-balls, the Muslims gave up and asked Afonso V for safe passage of the people and they could have the port.

170.    Pina wrote that Henry longed to take on Constantinople, because people would see this victory as a minor one compared to Ceuta, and thus remembering his tragedy at Tangiers. 16

171.    Before leaving Alcácer, Henry made Afonso V make the place an ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Order of Christ.

172.    A few months before the Prince’s death he wrote against another war against Morocco. Afonso wanted to take on the Muslims, he Henry strongly opposed it.

173.    Henry died in 1460.

174.    What was accredited to Henry back then after his death? The Portuguese people were indebted to him for their new economic lively hoods.

175.    Ivory, gold, slaves, fine cotton cloth, and many other things Henry is accredited with bring the Portuguese people.

176.    Henry’s navigation voyages ended after his death with about forty toponyms, and two famous names of Cadamosto and Pedro de Sintra. They helped finish the mapping of what Henry set out to do in hid final years.

177.    27 years earlier, since the rounding of Cape Bojador, the caravels had explored about 2,000 miles of coastlines and countless rivers like the Senegal and Gambia, which made it about a coverage of about 2,500 miles of exploration.

178.    We must think of Henry’s explorations as sporadic. He surely concentrated on the Chivalric Christian conquests, which was a part of his desire for fame and his patriotic duty.

179.    Henry’s captains and pilots gained invaluable knowledge of navigation of west Africa. This also allowed the Portuguese to build trade-fortresses and move further along in the eventual discovery of the passage to the Indies from the rounding of the bottom of the Continent of Africa. After this they shortly established a trading empire that in 1470 even reached Tokugawa Japan’s leaders. The fall of the trade empire rests upon their small numbers of men to regulate a large-vast-distance of control over their forts. However, their significance is not lost to history.

1Peter Russell, Prince Henry ‘ the Navigator’ A life (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000)1 .

2 Ibid, 15.

3 Ibid, 16.

4 Ibid, 17.

5 Ibid.

6 Ibid, 26.

7 Ibid, 79.

8 Ibid, 155.

9 Ibid, 186.

10 Ibid, 237.

11 Ibid, 240 .

12 Ibid, 248.

13 Ibid, 317.

14 Ibid,  319.

15 Ibid, 321.

16 Ibid, 323.


Major Discovery Period 1488-1520

  1. New Migrations of people, new commerce in Europe and historians begin to call this the new age of Globalism.
  2. In case of Portugal and Prince Henry the Navigator, this title was an honor, and very unique. Most people receive honorific titles bearing other common distinctions, but this is a historical designation that underlines the importance of this Portuguese and world era.
  3. Things would not happen this way if it wasn’t for the new technologies and science arising in Europe at this time.
  4. More specifically it was Portugal then Spain that ceased upon these new things and exploited them quickly and efficiently.
  5. One of the reasons for this was the reconquests.
  6. Why? The reconquests gave the Iberians much needed practice in setting up quick administrations once they reconquered their lands, and or began to set up trading forts on new European uncharted islands. 
  7. Iberia became the first because of these factors, and thus they dominated the first rows of colonization for the Europeans.
  8. One factor was the new slave labor imported from Africa.
  9. 1551 Slavery impacted 10% of the Lisbon populous.
  10. The first slaves were brought in year 1440 which had changed the nature of the city and eventually turned them into metropolis. In 1441 there were 800 slaves recorded.
  11. By the 1550s there were recorded 7,000 to 10,000 in Iberia.
  12. In 1500 Cabral discovered Brazil, he had no idea of the landmass, he thought it as an island and in the next twenty-years the Portuguese understood it was a continent and established major sugarcane plantations that also would became colonies. This was the start of Spanish mercantilism, where raw materials flowed out of Brazil, then to Iberia to be processed, refined and then re-sold to colonies in Brazil.
  13. Spanish were the first to impose Caribbean colonial systems that mimicked Hispanic cities. They quickly set up judicial systems, political structures and commerce sections, including churches wherever they went. The first major effort was Santo Domingo, on the island of Hispaniola, becoming the first major urban center modeled after Hispanic cities. By 1511 the first court in Santo Domingo began to open its doors.
  14. Santo Domingo, a little piece of Spain, and soon construction began on a Gothic Cathedral with became the first Christian landmark in the new world.
  15. By 1503, only eleven-years after Columbus’ first voyage, the first administration opened in the new world. This was because of the centuries of warfare and quick decision-making when re-inhabitation the once lands of their Visagothic ancestors. They took this experience with them to the new world.
  16. Spanish cities in the new world were the real objectives of the expansion - a hispanization carried out by the Catholic Monarchs.
  17. Spain issued their monopoly rights from Seville.
  18. Seville the first major imperial metroport.
  19. Portugal operated their monopoly rights from Lisbon.
  20. The experience of the  reconquests played the key role in the game plan and its track-record was a natural outcome and outgrowth for the ideology of colonization, meaning it was a naturalité and they felt comfortable as the new world leaders.


 The Spanish Miracle 1492


  • The (Re) Conquest of Granada, the Discovery of the western Hemisphere ( known as the Indies to them) and the fact that Iberia was mostly Spain’s now, 1492 appeared as a miraculous year.
  • There was, however, an internal paradox. Columbiums symbolized an outward reach to expand new horizons – new people, new things, but the Spain was in essence closing itself inwardly – to make itself a homogenous entity.
  • 1492, was not all that celebratory and everyone did not relaxed as a result. What to do with all the people left over that ran Granada?
  • Many conversos were in the Granada administration that now fell de facto into the Catholic Monarch court (administration). Many were rich or well to do, and many soldiers, commoner became jealous of their positions.
  • A latent anti-Jewish sentiment erupted to higher reaches then before.
  • A unique Dominican named Tojeda, convinced the monarchy that these conversos were in fact, fabricating their conversions and practicing their religions behind closed doors. There is not factual case evidence for Tojeda’s claims, however, his smear campaign seemed to be agreeable with the many anti-Semitic resonance connected to a national feeling of Hispaniola unity.
  • Tojeda managed to get a papal bull that established the inquisition, which was only to function for less than five-years. However, Ferdinand got the pope to extend it in 1483 as he made this his special police force.
  • At the same time old Jewish false-myths began to enter the gossip alleys. Blood rituals, the sacrificial infant ceremonies and all the horror literature made up of macabre Black-Sabbath paranoia began to influence people’s feelings toward the Jews in general. Even a bogus , albeit, notorious false case, was tried and it falsely convicted three persons to death which facilitated the myths. This was called “the Childcase of Guardia.”
  • The inquisition could seize one’s house and belongings while one was in their jails being interrogated. This was a rough political scene in Spain, and eventually and soon the inquisition would be set up in the new world and caused paranoia among even its own citizens. The factor that its own administration required it remained predominantly in the big cities where ever it was located and ninety-percent of the Spanish population were in the suburbs or countryside. Many of those people didn’t know that the institution existed.
  • This institution was an entity unto itself. It brought along with it its own buildings, administrations and jail cells, and officers.
  • The inquisition was established in Santiago in 1561.
  • Growing imperial Iberia implemented tax collectories, the major administration unit.


Mediterranean Strategy


  • Argonese Empire existed in Sicily with a loose control from 1282, Peter of Aragon, to 1480 when Fernando went over to battle the French.


  • From  1282 – 1480  Sicily was basically feudal zones, ruled by strong feudal lords in the areas of Palermo and Messina. Ferdinand decided to impose more monarchal control so he suggested to the pope that he place the inquisition over into Italy. It was an effective arm of control. It also focused on resident jews living in Spanish southern regions. The Pope did give Diaspora Jews from Spanish lands a place in Rome to take refuge. Aragon also has the economic control of Naples, which was second to that of Castile in annual federal income. It brought in one million ducats per annum, during the 16th century (Castile 14,000,000 ducats per annum) , so economic production mattered to the Spanish.
  • Ferdinand established a viceroy, a position that would become a leading office in the new world. A viceroy is just a stand-in king, which full powers appointed by the king.
  • In Italy Ferdinand established Spanish judges for his desire of hispanization policy in Italy.
  • He sent soldiers to protect the raiders that took slaves from southern Mediterranean areas, including Italy. This was one reason the Pope allowed the Spanish of their presence in southern Italy. This ties into the reason of the Spanish having the military dominance at this point in time in the world. The Ottomans were supporting Barbarous pirates and Tunics to raid the coasts of Italy at take prisoners for ransom and for slavery. The Ottoman encourage this behavior  and the Spanish won victories against them, demonstrating to Rome they were a valuable tool in the region.
  • Gonsalvo de Cordoba, created the most effective army of Europe of this time. Even the French with Napoleon would utilize his infantry tactics. His revolutionary ground warfare was established by attending the wars against France in Italy.


100 years of Spanish Military World Dominance.


Navel and Tercio


  • The only reason the Spanish could continue as a world dominance for this long was the money from the Mexican mines of silver and gold, because to field an army of 25,000 men that became their norm cost one-half a million ducats per month.
  • 1540s, the mines were discovered, and soon gold and silver poured into the Iberian coffers.


  • The Tercio was a formation, type of a box of 3000 men, with the perimeter consisting of javelin soldiers, and the inside consisting of soldiers with firearms.



  • Cordoba became the lead military leader and then viceroy of Naples.
  • Tercio tactics used piked-men to form the perimeter of a square battalion which sallies in the middle. When a cavalry approached the piked-men with their long-sharp lances subdued the horses long enough for the riflemen to shoot them dead. The French then everyone feared them.
  • Naples was an important breadbasket, and was three-times more economically sufficient then Sicily. It was Spain’s second most important economic source.
  • Bishops were established in Italy by Ferdinand’s  Patrone Real, the right to appoint bishops.












Alfonso X (November 23, 1221 – April 4, 1284) was a Spanish monarch who ruled as the King of Galicia, Castile and León from 1252 until his death. He was elected Rex Romanorum in 1254. His nicknames were "el Sabio" ("the Wise", more accurately translated "the Learned") and "el Astrólogo" ("the Astronomer").


ID: Charles the  ruler of the Burgundian territories (1506-1555), King of Castile (1516-1556), King of Aragon (1516-1556), King of Naples and Sicily (1516-1554), Archduke of Austria (1519-1521), German King (1519-1530) and Holy Roman Emperor (1530-1556). In Spain, he ruled officially as Carlos I





Consolidation of Iberia


Three major territories/zones of Iberia (outlooks of 1450 onward)

·       (Portugal Castile - Leon and Aragon

·       Demograghics

·       Castile-Leon ⅔ of population, ⅔ of zone of Iberia.

·       A healthy population means a healthy man-force for an Army.

·       Castile-Leon, a landlocked position can only eye southern Iberia as a frontier for conquest. Granada is what is left to conquer after the Muslim / Arab invasions of the 8th Century.

·       Portugal, established its first set of boarders in 1240, boosts ¼ of the population.

·       Portugal’s Long period of stability creates a stable political power by 1450.

·       Portugal eyes the western waters ( as a marine-frontier) of trade expansion with England.

·       Aragon, not as large as the other two and less population, boosts the political possession of Sicily, Majorca, Monarch and soon Naples, taken over by Alfonso V of Aragon (He then leaves it to his brother John). By 1504, Ferdinand will claim it and give it to his cousin. So Aragon population sees its nation eyeing the Mediterranean (as a marine-frontier) trade possibilities and future dominance. 


Portugal and Castile –Leon sign peace treaty.

  • Iberians begin to learn about dynastic intermingling and the benefits from it. European nations have in general used it for many centuries. Spain comes into the fold. About the beginning of the peace treaty, the Spanish aristocracy are seen by the world as a third-rate tier in amounts of political continental importance.
  • With dynastic intermingling, there is a dark-side. If a line dies out then there becomes fights to see which nation or country appoints the next ruler.
  • By 1450 all three zones are in relative peace and political sensibilities persist. Before this political bickering and constant jocking for petty power created an unstable atmosphere for unity in Iberia.


Change: Unification of Castile and Aragon.

  • 1450s, Iberians kings change from static conflict to warrior conquistadors.
  • A number of inheritances need deciding. This is important.
  • Castile’s king, Jaun II has two children, Henry II and Isabella. Juan dies. ??
  • Isabella's half-brother, Henry IV, became king of Castile when their father, John II, died in 1454. Isabella was only three years old, and her younger brother Alfonso was the expected heir. Isabella was raised by her mother, Isabella of Portugal, until 1457, when the two children were brought to court by Henry IV to keep them from being used by opposition nobles.
  • 1460-70 ( mostly after ’65) a number of generational inheritances sees Heneric Iv, and his daughter Isabella.
  • Isabella of Castile
  • Isabella’s Father: Juan II (March 6, 1405 – July 20, 1454) was King of Castile from 1406 to 1454. Juan seemed amiable, weak, and dependent on those about him. His marriage to Isabella of Portugal (1428-96) who was Queen consort of Castile and Leon had a child the called Isabella
  • Offspring:
  • Isabella of Castile, only a young girl, was wiser than her brother who was seen as inept upon a possible thrown of a great nation.
  • Gossip and speculation drive politics. 
  • Henry's first marriage ended without children and in a divorce. When his second wife bore a daughter, Juana, in 1462, soon the opposition nobles claimed that Juana was actually the daughter of Beltran de la Cueva, duke of Albuquerque. (Thus, she's known in history as Juana la Beltraneja.)“
  • When Isabella married Ferdinand of Portugal in October 1469 without Henry's approval, Henry withdrew his recognition and again named Juana as his heir. At Henry's death in 1474, a war of succession ensued, with Alfonso V of Portugal, prospective husband of Isabella's rival Juana, supporting Juana's claims. The war was settled in 1479, with Isabella recognized as Queen of Castile. Juana retired to a convent rather than marry the son of Ferdinand and Isabella, Juan. She died in 1530.


Lineage Specifics

  • Isabella was born in Madrigal de las Altas Torres on April 22, 1451.
  •  Her brother Alfonso was born three years later. When her father, John II, died in 1454, her much older half-brother Henry IV became king.
  • Isabella was great-great-granddaughter of both Henry II of Castile and his half-brother Peter I of Castile and their respective wives (Joan of Villena and Maria de Padilla). She was also great-great-granddaughter of Peter IV of Aragon and his wife Leonor of Portugal, daughter of King Afonso IV of Portugal,
  • Her paternal grandparents were King Henry III of Castile and Catherine Plantagenet of the House of Lancaster, a half sister of King Henry IV of England.
  • Her parents were King John II of Castile and his second wife Queen Isabella of Portugal.
  • She was the last monarch of the Trastámara dynasty established by Henry II of Castile.
  • Ferdinand II of Aragon and she, laid the foundation for the political unification of Spain under their grandson, Carlos I of Spain (Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor).



  • 1474, when a civil war erupts over who will take the thrown, the Princess Isabella’s camp wins and clears the way for her – she becomes a queen.
  • Ferdinand becomes a king in 1479.
  • Opposition to the marriage by Portugal, and Aragon nobility.
  • Each had a motive either economic or otherwise for apprehensions to the union.
  • Isabella has advisors and she is young.
  • She is smart about who she chooses for marriage.
  • People didn’t like Henry IV, and this lead to the promotion of Isabella to the thrown of Castile. For the marriage, a peninsula significance, she had a choice to marry a 50 year-old King, Alfonso V of Portugal, and she was 18 years-old. He thought she was pretty, but his eyes were kept on the Castile power of the unity.  Another possibility was to marry Ferdinand who was one year difference from her.
  • Aragonese Prince Ferdinand get the Princesses’ nod and Alfonso didn’t like it at all so he got mad. Castilian nobles thought it also well to do that their possible Portugal alliance by an Alfonso marriage would bring them economic privilege with England by way of the Portugal marriage. The Castilian nobles thought a Argonese Mediterranean  economic was not as productive for them.
  • The marriage was contested in 1469, but both married, she 19 and he 18 years-old.  The couldn’t afford the marriage costs of a ceremony, so they had to barrow. They were poor.
  • They eloped on horseback to escape intrigue. Isabella married Ferdinand of Portugal in October 1469, and had to escape on horseback through an alley to consummate the marriage.
  • No one thought that this marriage would turn out the way it did. They will become the most powerful monarchs in Spanish history, and gain a first tier respectability from the rest of the monarchs of Europe.
  • This marriage signified a new rising power to rival Portugal.
  • Succession of the son of Portugal’s king Alfonso, named Joao, in 1481 will become a new type of monarch.
  • This consolidation of Spain was not seen since the Roman times or the Visigoth times.
  • 1474-1500 the two states grow close, and before they were living side to side (they never fully integrate to absolve national identity – even unto today).



Castile-Leon-Aragon Apparatus of Power

·       Ferdinand and Isabella coming from poor backgrounds understand one key concept  - to hold power one must find out how to retrieve funds, hold on to them, and take control of all aspects of society to ensure their survival from rivals. They were conscious of their poverty.

·       Both came from good political educations. For example, the archbishop of Toledo, was an advisor to Isabella.

·       They understand to expand their power beyond their frontiers they must appease the institutions at home and appeal to businesses.

·       Military orders controlled over 100,000 powerful men, and so they take control of institutions by way of calling themselves the top general/ commanders of these military orders. They took control of corporations of military orders to control the men that could rise with insurrection against them. This could be seen as a source of unrest to their political reigns.

·       Santa Hermadad ( holy brotherhood of police), they consolidated this social order in 1476 – the formalized it. They saw problems with frontier robbers, like in the wild-west of America, where people could assemble in the planes and begin a crime spree. Brigandage -  crime spree types of problems. This policy creates a modern police force.

·       Next control of towns, Restore the state orders.; establish a structure for the state. The previous councils were agrarian councils, but this seemed to modernize a system, not to the modern era standards, but to early-modern era standards. This was the period of the rise of administration. No actual big building projects saw excessive projects undergo massive development, but council of orders formed councils, like the Council of Argon, the Council of Italy and the Royal Council. This established more royal control of towns.

·       Theses cities of Castile and Aragon usually made up of between 10,000-13,000 residents. These were considered large cities.

·       The cities were to provide citizens for war, but in the heritage, they would ask if their side won the civil war( or war) they were granted autonomous decision making, and or economic autonomy – no taxes. Isabella and Ferdinand understood this would not make a nation work. So they ended this privileged city-dealing with the monarchy.

·       Patronato real, the monarchy envied with an eye. This papal policy stood for the rights of monarchs to delay appoints of church personal after the office was vacant by a deceased appointee, which meant the monarch could take up to five years to re-fill the vacancy meaning they could collect the income of the lands or position. This was an economic objective which the Monarch received permission to control.

·       Also, The patronato real (an agreement between the Catholic Church and the Spanish crown) gave the Spanish throne and, by extension, the colonial authorities significant powers in church affairs. Appointments of clergy and bishops to frontier lands. This also helped in that appointing the monarchy’s person they were in agreement and controlled.

·       1494, the Monarchy got the Church to agree to Tercia, church land was taxed and went into the monarchy’s coffers.

·       Cruzadai, an indulgence tax was also issue to the Monarchy, and these were profits of indulgences directly paid to the Monarchy sanctioned by the Catholic Church. This policy was long lasting ending in 1933.

·       1478 the Catholic Church grants Spain rights to the use of the institution called The Inquisition was a temporal relief institution set up in France and mainly Europe in the 13th Century, which saw a quick demise when a problem was solved. The Monarchy sought to make it a political stable institution that would not be absolved and used for control.

·       A Dominican monk named Hojeda told Isabella that the Jews were secretly practicing their religion behind closed doors.

·       1483 , new powers and agendas to see about taking back Grenada from the Muslims. From 1280 onward Granada was a isolated Islamic state that paid its dues for existence in Spain, and the rival Spanish factions were too busy fighting each other to finish-off what Isabella and Ferdinand decided to do after they unified much of Spain.

·       The Muslims called for help from North Africa and the Ottomans, but after heavy fighting in 1492 the overthrow was complete and the couple moved into the  famous Alhambra Castle.

·       1492 was called the “ Miraculous Year” because it was the same year that Columbus found the Spice Rout, and the exile of the remnants of Islam were abolished in all of Spain, and the consolidation of Spain was complete. They also will get the title of Catholic Kings ( also implying Queen for Isabelle’s sake) of the likes of titles of past national monarchies such as French’s Christian Kings, first given to Charlemagne, and Holy Roman Emperor to the German kings. This was a bid deal because it put Spain on an equal respectful field in politics with the rest of Europeans’’ big players.

·       Now Spain became the talk of the continent, and most of the world.

·       The Prophecies of the 12-13th Centuries of the Bat, were now attributed to Ferdinand, claiming he had arrived, and a focus upon the conquest of Palestine, as the prophesy goes, took note. People of Iberia actually thought the monarch was going to go after Jerusalem, and this turned out to be a polemic thing in Spain.

·       Surmise: they beat Alfonso, consolidated power, took Grenada, and discovered a new world. Spain became in overnight international sensation in the year 1492.

     Age of Charles I or V depending of which Kingdom one refers too.

Historians try to ease the confusion by just calling him Charles V. (Carlos V)

Charles V (Born at Ghent 24 February 1500 – died at Yuste, in Spain 21 September 1558). Charles was the son of Philip, Duke of Burgundy, by Joanna, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella. He becomes heir to Castile after Isabella dies, and Ferdinand becomes demoted but de facto ruler until he reaches the age to rule. The four inherences of Charles make him one of the most important young rulers in Europe. While young he is raised in a pan-European environment - his aunt, Margaret of Austria, undertook the regency for him, and he was schooled in Flanders.

Adrian of Utrecht, the Humanist and professor of theology at Louvain, who was an Erasmus champion, tutored him making him one of the most well rounded educated princes in this time period. The Dutch humanist, Erasmus, was a superstar of his day, and Utrecht schooled the prince in the new renaissance fashion, entitling the young Charles to undertake five different languages – even more schooled then Isabelle or most other kings of Spain before him.

His rise was a complicated story. He did not live in Iberia, and thus was removed from the inner politicking of that time. He would inherit five kingdoms without ever raising a sword, conquering a land, or ordering an army to do it for him. Charles is critical for the rise of the Spanish Empire, and even though historians involuntarily miss-represent Ferdinand and Isabella, he was the first to think of Spain as an imperial agent. Ferdinand and Isabella only understood unifying their own sphere of influence which was Castile, Aragon and the Italian protectorates (Naples, Sicily and Sardinia).

As son Juana and Philip the Handsome, Juana the daughter of Isabella and Ferdinand, who could achieve a healthy baby boy, was not seen as mentally capable to rule Castile after Isabella’s death in 1504, for she was placed in a nunnery but this didn’t stop the Juana supporters from trying to rescue her and place her rightfully on the throne. She didn’t help much because she had a peculiar habit of hauling around her dead husband where ever she went, but this was not for a few months, but for years. Her supporters were the Spanish citizens who sought not to get involved in pan-European politics. In fact, a movement arose to isolate Iberia form its present course of colonizing localities without its local borders. With an induction of Charles to the throne, they believed local (or home) issues of Spain would be overshadowed by an international policy of meddling in other state’s businesses. However, the pro-Charles’s group, were basically nobles and business men who say a distinct opportunity to make a lot of money quickly by having Charles’s connections controlled so close to Spanish court. They saw job opportunities of military positions, governorships; viceroy placements, appointments to bishop and abbot positions and many other new job opportunities.  With this said, there was for sure an episode where this became a heated topic leading to a battle of succession.

Some of the arguments were related to the old myth discussed. The bat boy, the one that was prophesized that would unit the old Roman lands under the Christian dominion. This of course, played well into the hands of the pro-Charles supporters who understood that if Charles were to succeed to the throne, he would inherit the most land since the times of the Roman Empire and this all would be under Spanish Control. The stakes were high and a battle lines formed and Charles won out.

When he came to court he could barely speak Spanish well. He brought Dutch, French and German advisors. This didn’t look too well for his supporters. But one this is for sure, he was steeped in knowledge of the Roman ancient texts, a renaissance man in the making, and he surely received on the best educations that anyone could receive. When Ferdinand dies in 1516, factionalizaton occurs, as stated above. Juana’s group wants a local concerned monarch not an imperial man and wanted their king to focus upon local issues. Why the deep sign of reluctance to Spainish at this time? Many wanted isolation form the world an liked that the Pyrenees  mountains offered a natural boundary of relative seclusion from the rest of Europe.

The battle of Comunero revolt (1520 –’21) settled the deal. However, this showed the deep factionalism still existed within the boundaries of Spain itself.


Imagine yourself about 20 years of and you just inherited four massive lands that make you the top-tier player on the world political scene. Charles inherited Castile, Aragon and the Italian lands under Aragon’s control. From his maternal grandfather, Ferdinand II of Aragon, he inherited, the Kingdom of Aragon,  The Kingdom of Naples, the control of Sicily, and Sardinia. From his maternal grandmother, Isabella of Castile, he controlled all of Spain’s boundaries which included Granada, south to the Mediterranean Sea. From his paternal grandfather Maximilian of Austria, he inherited the Kingdom of Austria, including Vienna and lands bordering or spotting the later known or modern German boundaries, and he soon he would become the Holy Roman Emperor, a title that enthusiastically unified the Juana’s  supporters for his side as they saw Spain come out of nowhere to become the most dominate hybrid- kingdom in Europe. Alfonso ‘el Sabio’ X,  13th Century,  tried to become Holy Roman Emperor, the very important position, and to inherit the old Maximilian lands of Rome but could not achieve it. This new pride skyrocketed Spain to a new found glory and prestige.


Not to only mention this good fortune for the young monarch, but when he is just getting started there appears a massive shipment of gold and silver to his throne that came form a place he never heard of – Mexico. Cortez, who had burned his ships, disobeyed a cleric in Cuba and went about with a do or die attitude to conquer whatever was out in this new world, sent back a massive amount of Aztec and collected gold and silver to the young king and said place help me with support and men, I want to conquer this new massive land. People could not believe the new luck of their new king, and gone was the old, he not our boy mentality anymore.


Cortex was an example of this hybrid Spanish mentality. We do not know the whole inner psychology of how the attained this do or die mentality but we know for sure he was not just a conquistador in the El Cid model of Catholic orthodoxy, or just a Prince Henry explorer, or a renaissance man, but he as a hybrid of all of these characteristics which happened to be the right time and right place in history.


According to Aztec legend, a prophet of the utmost significance was due on the mainland of South America ( then not named as such), by the name Quetzalcoatl. When Cortez showed up with cannons, men with armor, and firepower, the prophecy seemed to match.


To make a complicated story short, or you could read my South American history of the Aztecs, Cortex faces off with the Aztecs and kills many of them on June 30, 1520, and conquers Montezuma’s lands; often called the “Sad Night of the Revolt of the Aztecs.” 400 of Cortez’s men and a number of anti-Aztec forces who fought on the Spanish side made this a dramatic scene. There is now evidence that Cortez didn’t walk into Tenochitian and just take control as many earlier historians have stated. Archeology findings of recent show Spanish bones in pits associated with Aztec ceremony lands where when they conquered an invader they scarified them and ate them. This showed there was much resistance to his to his march to Tenochitian.


How will this affect the Spanish later on fifty-years later? Cortez was trained a layer, who when he showed up on the Souther American continent showed a falsified document giving him rights to rule the land. Regardless that the indigenous people could read Spanish, nevertheless, Cortez tried to make it seem he was on official business. He managed to get indigenous tribes to help him first find out where any civilization was and if or where they had priceless commodities. For the indigenous’ share they would also get rewards for helping in any conquests campaigns. The 500 men that came with Cortez didn’t know what he was going to do, and so they planned to escape, but Cortex ordered all the ships burnt in the harbor, and they were then forced to go with him or leave on their own, which would not be prudent.


After the Sad Night of the Revolt of the Aztecs, he understood he needed to make contract with Spain and he sent much of the gold and silver he found at the Aztec capital as there were plenty of treasure to be found. The Spanish, after receiving the gold, said “this must be manifest destiny”.  The world did fall into Charles V’s lap. However, the silver and gold mines of Zacatecas, in Mexico, and Francesco Pizarro’s mines in Peru, would not be discovered for decades later.


In 1535 Cortex was kicked out of Mexico, and forced back to Spain, where Charles, by the consulting of his advisors saw the danger of Cortez making his own state of Mexico breaking of from the Spanish crown. After the gold was presented to Charles, Cortex was made viceroy of Mexico. However, he started calling it the New Spain right away, and eventually he understood that he could start an entire lineage of Cortex rules as him as a founder of a new state. Instead his is given titles, and a huge estate back home, and dies peacefully a few years later. Cortex was a hidalgo, like Pizarro. Hidalgos were the lowest ranking nobles, and to get into a noble class one had to be a soldier and fight in a war to become one.


Pizarro was born in Trujillo, (Extremadura), Spain. Many conquerors after Columbus came from Extremadura.  Charles didn’t want to leave Mexico in a conquistador’s hands. In 1532 Pizarro received the title of governor of Peru, before he plays a trick on Indian prince Atahuallpa ( Inca) kills his retainers, and ransoms him for enough gold to fill the room (22 by 17 feet) Gold to the amount of 4,605,670 ducats (15,000,000 pesos), according to Garcilaso de la Vega. After Pizarro received the ransom, he goes ahead and kills the leader anyway. This will come back to haunt the Spanish, as we will see shortly.


1545-6 Potosi, in Peru is discovered, a mine for imaginable wealth. And in Zacatecas, Mexico, mines were discovered. This will all be Charles V’s inheritance and this will held fund Cordoba’s army and make them the most powerful nation on the earth for 100 years. The effects of the mines are felt as deep as Istanbul and the provinces of the Ottoman Empire, and all the way eventually to the filter-out in the regions of the east. The Europeans will see monetary fluxations never witnesses before.


What did the Spanish Do to manage all of this? In 1524 the Council of the Indies if formed. Italian settings of state were used to manage these new lands. Form courts, (audiencians sp?) to appointed officials. First viceroy of Aragon in the Italian lands sees its migrations to the new lands. In 1561 the inquisition comes to the New Spain ( the new world). There were no Italian models of feudalism in Spain. There were no beginnings of hereditary right to land and destiny. In Italy the Spaniards were privileged commoners, they were not the majority of the populous so they didn’t mimic all the Italian institutions.


The New World raked in the coinage, so to speak. 8,9 or 10 million ducats per year, compared to the 16th Century annum total of the Kingdom of Naples of 1 million ducats. 2-3 million ducats went directly coffered to the crown and the rest went to special interests and businesses of Charles’ empire.



The Spanish Empire          WEST /IBERIA/EAST


·       Charles V must manage all these regions.


East Management:


Francis I and the Ottoman Empire sandwich in the main foreign breadbasket for Spain, Naples. This becomes a concern not only for Spain but for the Italians, who look for protection from within and without of forces doing them harm. At this time early modern bureaucracy forms, in Spain and in the Italian states, and old dukes and rulers weaken now and monarchal interest descend upon Italy for control. Alfonso Sabio X tried to be the Holy Roman Emperor, and be the person to hold the old Maximilian lands. Spain will once again look to Charles V to fulfill this role as great conqueror. Because Charles inherited serious territorial clout, he becomes a ruler of a hybrid Empire. His first job is to consolidate his position in Spain, as the Comunero revolt (1520 –’21), showed that not everyone was on his side. His critics feared that his European connections would force Castile to foot bills, and provide soldiers for lands they were not concerned with. This undoubtedly happens, but views change among many as he leads the charge against Tunis. Another headache that Charles will encounter his first decade is the Martin Luther question. Martin came on the scene in 1517, and Charles was one of the people asked to go to Diet of Worms (1521). Charles was a Catholic Prince, and the eventual rise of the Protestant Princes would depress him for the rest of his life. They would keep on attacking his positions and influence in the German areas. The Protestant Princes gave headaches to most Catholics Princes in the northern Europe regions at this time.


The German part of Charles V Empire was a distraction for him, financially and attention wise. It was a dark space of Charles’ life. When he was closing his cycle of life on earth, he had commented to someone about his preferences to each of the five languages he spoke. All other four  languages were garnered worthy honor in international relations; but the point is, as Charles said, he only spoke German to his horse. This was significance of how he felt toward the whole German Protestant area he (once) controlled.



Another Aspect Begins Under Charles V’s Period


The Spanish Renaissance movement that begun under Ferdinand and Isabella, takes on further shape under Charles V, and later his son Phillip II. It was an important foundation and created a cultural confidence which promoted their imperial drive.


The renaissance begun with the proto-renaissance (1350-1500) in Italy with the excavation of old Roman and Greek texts which facilitated a rebirths of sort to the lost knowledge’s of the ancient Roman and Greek periods. However, Spain was not interested in Roman republic government. This was a Florentine novelty. Of course, Isabella truly believed monarchy was the superior form of human rule and in the teleologics of history actually came after the foundation of Republican rule ( Karl Marx would believe  the opposite). Prince Henry ‘ the Navigator ‘ believed the same, and both were avid followers of the Italian renaissance, Henry with the compilation of ancient maps, investigation of texts of ancient navigational techniques and forming schools for the instruction of sailors in the with this ancient knowledge to form a new thought and knowledge. With out a doubt, Isabella with her husband, Ferdinand, would typify the archetype of renaissance prince in which Machiavelli used them as models for his masterpiece book “the Prince.”


What had the Spaniards done so far to qualify for such a prestigious role alongside the Italians for a part in the Northern Renaissance?


In 1499, La Celestina, by Fernando de Rojas founds a new type of satirical novelty not seen sense the Roman Times. ( I Guess). This resembles something based upon Greek tragedy plays. Often comical, but serious, these plot circumstances doom the lovers in search for happiness. Since this piece was not a common chivalric literature, ( i.e. no heroes or happy endings)  and the very fact that comedy was frowned upon in the late midlevel ages, as far as public literature goes, there were pressures not to write contrariness to chivalric narratives. Therefore, these first editions were published anonymously. Anything that would obscure the ethics of nobles was perceived to be non-constructive to the society. This play rang in El Cid meets Monte Python a likable menagerie of which allowed people to take-on a different view of the world from whence they came. This dawning signified of a new epoch in Spanish literature.


Architecturally Charles V loved the old Roman styles. He could have lived in Alhambra ( the red castle), but decided to build down the street, so to speak, a new place.  He never would even decorate the inside, but was his passion: His Roman Castle. Alhambra provided the Catholic Monarchs with their southern home, and they actually like it there. It was spacious, and decorated. But Charles didn’t like the Muslim fittings and decorations so he decided to build something more too his conformability. One must remember that the Catholic Monarchs were always on the go, they had no capital, and so the Alhambra matter really didn’t concern them at that time. They actually employed Italian artists and architects to various spots around Castile and Aragon, as well. They were fond of the Muslim mosque architecture. The Italian influence would also color Spanish politics.


Charles wanted to create or revitalize the past to energize the future for Hispania or for the modern term of Spain. To do this he hired the renaissance scholars, the best he could get and he looked to the east in Italy’s direction. Florián de Ocampo, the most important writer to the patronage of Charles V, wrote the “history of Spain.” This was not scribing the Catholic Monarch period, but he focused upon Hispaniola’s famed period under Roman rule, and the prestige it once had. This enflamed Charles’ heart as Ocampo begun from the ancient times of Iberia, even before Roman occupation when in 209 BC Rome annexed, during the Second Punic, under Augustus after two centuries of war with the tenacious Celtic and Iberian tribes, then divided it into two provinces: Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior. The happened to copy the short sword known as falcate which also took into account the prestige of the old Iberian history.


Charles V established the historiography for one reason, to tie high-Roman culture to the now Spanish Renaissance. This historical identifier tied the comparison of the old Roman soldier to the Chivalric Spanish soldier, albeit, by his syncretism spin-misters. Also, he tied old Roman high-officials to Spanish lineage. Eventually the an issue of Spanish superiority to the Roman culture becomes an issue after the Tunisian and Naples campaigns.  Charles V was commonly called Caesar by his men. He led the attack upon Tunisia, a very contested argument by his followers and court by the dangers involved of Barbarossa’s military, and he determined through hard campaigning to prove to the Pope and papal states that they should back Spain and never ally again with the French.


The Understanding that Spain was the new Roman Empire reverberated even with Cortez over in Mexico. “We are the new Romans.” What in fact Spain now had showed the world they had arrived to a new plateau of respectability. They had Cordoba’s Tercio, the world dominating military tactic; they had navigation expertise via Portugal’s role, their neighbors, and new historical identity, new literature, new architecture, and a new bureaucracy that Machiavelli used as his model. Above all they had the conquests. Next they created the argument that Spanish founded Rome, and it was not Romulus and Remiss. By the 1560s, the breaking point from the Italian- Spanish renaissance emerge to a full-fudged Spanish renaissance structured fully dressed under a Hispaniola accouterment, but fully encompassing all facets of society.


First Ten Years of Charles V’s reign in Spain


Between 1517-’27 Charles dealt with consolidating his throne. He stayed mostly in Spain, absent a few trips, and addressed various issues. Portugal was a big question. In 1480 Portugal agreed to offer a peace agreement with Castile. In 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas solidified deal that would separate the new world into pieces, one side for Castile & Aragon and one side for King John II’s Portugal. However, at that time no one knew what was out there in the Pacific. Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile not knowing what was out there got the better of the deal. There would be a modification to the demarcation line allowing Brazil to go to the Portuguese. But to make the emphasis that Portugal was not warring with Spain at this time usually is credited to Charles V’s marriage to a Portuguese Princess.


These aspects of peace with Portugal calm the Argonese and Castilians fears that Charles will be the wrong monarch for them. To further tie the thresholds of power, Charles places his son not in Flanders to be schooled but puts him smack into the Spanish realm. This moved appeased the cry for a monarch to be reared and raised  as a resident monarch. Charles’ quit success keeps Spain and Portugal at peace.


What are Charles’ spheres of interest?


Italy was central to the Spanish at this time. Italy provided sailors, from Genoa; soldiers form Naples, which provided Spain with its second largest annual income and opportunities of new alliances with the papal states.


Francis I, early in the 1520s was at war with Charles. The Duchy of Milan, had

devolutionized and the dukes had become weakened. Milan provided a road access to Venice, to the southern Papal States to the northern access of Charles’ land in Austria. Both Francis and Charles claim that Milan is under their control. Venice, the Medici dukes, the Pope, Charles and Francis all get involved with this issue.  The papacy aligns initially with the French, a mistake,  and Charles’ forces force out the French form Milan.  In 1526, Spain focuses on the Papal States, and a leader is killed and leaves the men to fend for themselves. The army instead of waiting for a new leader, sack Rome in 1527. The Pope goes into hiding. Many back in Spain, being Catholic, fear for the worst. The sack lasted for six months, and many people either fled or were killed, and many things were smashed.  How will this reflect on the Spanish? It was a dilemma; Charles V was supposed to be a protector of the Church. Humanists wrote against him. Juan de Valdes, who worked for Charles writes a story about the sack of Rome, explaining the Church was corrupt. The sack of Rome set a Spanish precedence. Spain demanded no more pope allegiance with France. Spain demanded a tribute form the Pope, who told them no. the Pope then allied himself with various allies and the wars were not conclusive.


The significance of the Rome episode made the Pope succumb to their wishes, according to Spanish sources, and it increased Spanish influence on Italy. The began to control the Duchy of Florence. Charles manages to install Cosomo, a compliant Medici. In the 1530s, the Spanish began to build forts to show the pope they were serious. Urbino ( a city in the Marche in Italy ) falls to the control of the Spanish. Early in the 1520s, when Francis was claiming protectorate of Naples, the Genoese (Andrea Doria (Dorias et al.))  understanding the tides of political affairs switch their allegiance to the Spanish. Something that Francesco Guicciardini saw a fortuna casual. These political winds of change provided the important roles of the Genoese bankers, merchants and sailors that now were sources for the Spanish. This was just another piece of the puzzle.

Milan part III

In 1535 the French and Spanish take up the third role in the war to control Milan. The Spanish win, and the duchy of Sforza dies-off leading Charles to place his thirteen year-old son in the position of Duke of Milan. France still claims protectorate in 1536, but in 1540 Spain take complete control. France begins to receive Ottoman envoys, and in 1542 they ally with the Ottoman Sultan Süleyman to put pressure on Charles V. In order to do this, France allows the notorious pirate Barbarossa to resupply, including munitions in the port of Marseille. Venice, not in anyway a friend to the Spanish, sign a neutral diplomatic treaty in 1536 with Charles V.

So what are the significances of the conquests in the Spanish Eastern Empire?

·       Sicily, Naples and the duchy of Milan stay in Spanish control up till the 1800s.


·       Genoa, Urbino, Florence and Papal States stay in the hands of Spanish control up till around 1700s.

Pirates and the Ottomans

In 1598 Charles V gets from Venice the famous renaissance painter Titian (Tiziano Vecelli) who represents the aesthetics of Spain with his commissions. Charles appoints him the court painter, most notably because of his Roman style and Charles fixation on ancient Rome’s heritage with Hispaniola. He paints Charles V on Horseback, and Pievedi Cadore. Charles chooses the Italian style of artistry which became the dominate expression in Spain. The entire Italian connection to Spain continues with why did Italy like Spain?

Italy was sandwiched in between France and the Ottomans. The most feared, however, were the Ottoman’s support of Tunisian pirates, particularly of Barbarossa.  He was a Turkish governor of Tunis who also was a pirate and was funded by the Ottoman Empire and in the Barbary Coast where he operated his hostage raids. To the Italians he was the nastiest pirate who killed off the population of an entire Italian island ( 11,000 estimated) . The people that he didn’t kill he took and offered them as ransom. He would even boldly send his men into the streets of places like Medina, in Sicily, to spread the word of ransom recuperations. Charles’ significance is that he provided coastguard ships to portal the coastal waters around Italy’s coastlines. There were 250 documented Turkish attacks on Italian villages. In effect, the Italians needed something to be done.

Francis I had allied with Sultan Süleyman who made Barbarossa a key player in the Mediterranean to fight the Spanish. In the 1530s, the rights to Barbarossa to harbor in Marseille really upset Charles. He asked to fight a war against Barbarossa. After 1535, Charles said he had enough and launched a war against Tunis and Barbarossa. His valiancy won his acclaim, charging into battle at the dismay of his men and operation charges. He put his life into danger. He took 15-20,000 military people with him. In 1535 Charles won an important victory at Tunis.  The Spanish people said, look he really is like a Caesar, and he is doing well for us. After the heroic effort, he set about parading around Italy, first in Sicily, and then Italy in a style of the ancient Roman Empire. These types of events made Charles look invincible to the Spanish and his Italian subjects. So this is part of the reason why the pope falls into the influence of Spain at this time.


Flemish problems with Luther’s arrival on the scene in 1517, created a disconnection eventually with Charles. Charles had to go to Augsburg in the 1520s and address the protestant question. New Protestant princes arose which made Charles, already overreaching complex life and little more difficult. In the 1520s he had many intermittent battles with the Protestants. Castilian critics had remembered the warning of a European entanglements, and later in Charles V’s life he would retire to a monastery while giving the throne to his son, possibly exhausted form all the increasing problems in Germany and also including his journeys and campaigns. On e factor is that the Holy Roman Empire Diet usually voted against Charles’ funding programs for wars against the Turks ( be it Ottoman or the Barbary coasts units). A non too happy fact was the protestants’ hatred of the Catholics often saw many important Protestant figures ( note not a general statement) side or hoping for Ottoman victories against he Spanish and the Catholics in general. The reason Charles claims in the northern regions he had govern fell to the Protestants was that there were no inquisition outlets. This was of course, was the main reason Spain itself did not follow in the northern European shoes, so to speak.

These problems which many were late in Charles life, made him tire and leave the throne to his son, and he instead of going back to where he grew up in northern European is decided to seek solitude in the safety net of Spain. Yet, a new headache will arise with the morality of the Spanish circa 1550s..

Tuesday Oct10

International Polemics

Moral Crisis makes Headache for the New Monarch, Charles V

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