Modern History Simplified: Advent of the Portuguese in India in 16th century

In 1497, under the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494), the rulers of Portugal and Spain divided the non-Christian world between them by an imaginary line in the Atlantic. Portugal could claim and occupy everything to the east of the line while Spain could claim everything to the west. The situation was thus prepared for the Portuguese incursions into the waters around India.
Advent of Portuguese in India
  1. Vasco-da-de-Gama reached Calicut via the cape of good hope in 1498 and was warmly welcomed by Zamorin (Ruler of Calicut).
  2. By 1502, Vasco-Da-De-Gama’s second visit led to the establishment of trading stations at Calicut, Cochin and Cannanore and fortification of the same.
  3. Pedro Alvarez Cabral established first factory at Calicut, in 1500 which marks the era of European rule on Indian subcontinent.
  4. Francis – De – Almeida (1505-1509)
    1. 1st Portuguese governor in India
    2. Initiated “Blue Water Policy”: which involved being powerful at the sea instead of building fortresses on Indian land.
    3. Initiated Cartaze system: Included Naval trade license or pass issued by Portuguese in the Indian ocean.
  5. Alfonso de Albuquerque (1509- 1515)
    1. Founder of the Portuguese power in India because he made Portuguese the strongest Naval power in India.
    2. Captured Goa from Bijapur and captured Bhatkal from Sri Krishna Deva Rai (1510) of Vijayanagara.
    3. Initiated the policy of marrying with the natives of India.
    4. Banned the practice of sati in his area of influence.
  6. Nino da Cunha (1529-1538)
    1. Shifted the capital from Cochin to Goa in 1530. 
    2. Goa became the capital of Portuguese settlements in India.
Decline of Portuguese power in India
  1. Rise of the English and Dutch commercial ambitions challenging the Portuguese supremacy;
  2. Rampant corruption, greed and selfishness along with piracy.
  3. Clandestine trade practices of the Portuguese administration in India.
  4. Diversion of Portuguese colonising ambitions towards the West due to the discovery of Brazil.

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