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The Portugese Empire in Asia 1500 - 1700

Portugal, a tiny nation with around a million inhabitants, created a world empire between the 15th and 17th centuries which left vestiges in Africa and Asia as late as the 1970s. To illuminate the Asian dimension of this empire - to show how it came into being and how it changed over time - Dr Subrahmanyam explores the interaction of international and local factors in Europe, Asia and Africa alike. This is a contribution to the early modern history of Asia; as well as to the study of European expansion. The author takes into account a vast literature of recent research by European and Asian historians, in English, Portuguese and French and sets the Portuguese in their wider Iberian, European and global contexts. It should be accessible to a wide readership, assumes little or no previous knowledge of the subject. It is aimed at undergraduate students, historians and the informed general reader and is suitable for courses covering the history of Asia, Hispanic studies, the political and economic roots of imperialism, and the rise of the modern west.
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Table of Contents

Early modern Asia - geo-politics and economic change; 15th- and 16th-century states; the circulation of elites; towards a taxonomy; long-term trends; Portuguese state and society, 1200-1500; crdown and nobility; in search of a bourgeoisie; mercantilism and messianism; summing up; two patterns adn their logic - creating an empire, 1498-1540; the early expeditions; from Almeida to Albuquerque - defining the first pattern; the second pattern - East of Cape Comorin; the logic at work - Portuguese Asia, 1525-1540; towards the "Crisis"; the mid-16th century "Crisis"; the dilemmas of Joanine policy; Sas, Sousas and Castros - Portuguese Asian officialdom in the crisis; the mid-century debate; the Far Eastern solution; the Estado in 1570; between land-bound and sea-borne - reorientations, 1570-1610; trade and conquest - the Spanish view; Spain, Portugal and the Atlantic turning; girdling the globe; the "Land" question; the maritime challenge; concessions and captains-major; the beginnings of decline?; empire in retreat, 1610-1665; political reconsolidation in Asia, 1570-1610; Syriam and Hurmuz - the beginnings of retreat; reform and its consequences; the decade of disasters - Portuguese Asia in the 1630s; restoration, truce and failure, 1640-1652; the retreat completed, 1652-1665; Asians, Europeans and the retreat; niches and networks - staying on, 1665-1700; the cape route and the Bahia trade; the vicissitudes of the estado - the view from Goa; Mozambique, Munhumutapa and prazo creation; the Portuguese of the Bay of Bengal; survival in the Far East - MAcau and Timor; the Portuguese, Dutch and English - a comparison; Portuguese Asian society 1 - the official realm; the problem of numbers; teh world of the cassado; networks, fortunes and patronage; "Portuguese" and "Foreigner"; rise of the solteiro; the impact on Portugal; Portuguese Asian society 2 - the frontier and beyond; renegades and rebels; mercenaries, firearms and fifth columnists; converts and client communities; a luso-Asian diaspora?.


' be welcomed as a much-needed synthesis and an indispensable teaching aid for undergraduate courses on the Portuguese presence in the Orient.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

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