Talk:Portuguese Empire

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Former good article nominee Portuguese Empire was a History good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.

The direction this article is heading in[edit]

There is way too much information now in the Age of Discovery section (just look at the size of the text under each heading - it is enormous). This article is an overview about the Portuguese Empire, not a list of every single discovery and event that happened. Detail should go into sub-articles. If we are ever going to get this to be a Featured Article, there needs to be a lot of trimming of this section and fleshing out of other sections. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 13:15, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

I have moved the Age of Discovery text into Portuguese discoveries. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 13:27, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

surely the British empire lasted longer - invasion of ireland in 1169 until, well, they still have Gibraltar,Malvinas,Sandwich islands, diego garcia - where they deported the locals a few years back... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.151.111.19 (talk) 20:42, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

The Map, again.[edit]

Considering the recurring and polemic (but productive) discussions over the Spanish Empire anachronous map, I would suggest that the existing depiction of the Portuguese Empire map should undergo an upgrade. I don't know about many actual details of the Empire history, but -to exemplify- it is certainly anti-historical to transpose the actual map of Brazil (with its XXth century recognized borders) to the Empire map. Back in 1822 there were not even Portuguese claims over such a territory, not to mention the actual extent of State sovereignity. Salut, --IANVS (talk) 03:49, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Well... in fact you are wrong! The present map depicts the exact borders of Brazil up to 1822, and does not present subsequent territorial changes in Brazil. Furthermore, those territories that were Brazil's in 1822 were much more than just Portuguese claims, they were de facto and de jure recognized as under Portuguese sovereignity. Cheers! The Ogre (talk) 14:04, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Oh, by the way, I'm refering to this map...
Portugal Império total.png
and not this one...
The Portuguese Empire.png
which one did you mean? The Ogre (talk) 14:08, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Of course, I meant the first one. Can you show me any documents from where I can learn that extent of land was recognized potuguese territory, please? As for the actual occupation of most of Amazonia and Matto Grosso by 1822, I seriously doubt it, anyway. Salut, --IANVS (talk) 19:53, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Regarding the second one, I don't know what to say. If it is meant to represent the Portuguese Empire it is definitely flawed. If not, I'm not sure what does it represents.
BTW, this other map representing the empire in 1810 has another significant flaw: nor Cisplatina, nor Misiones were part of the Empire at that moment, not to mention the amazonian region et al. already mentioned.
Portuguese empire 1800.png

Maybe you have some documents there. Salut, --IANVS (talk) 21:06, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Yes, the othe two maps you mention have severe flaws. But regarding the 1st one, you would be suprised by the rates of actual occupation, not to mention international recognition. For sources you may want to check Boxer's books, namely "Salvador de Sá and the Struggle for Brazil and Angola, 1602-1686 (1952)", "The Dutch in Brazil (1957)", "The Golden Age of Brazil, 1695-1750 (1962)", and first of all "The Portuguese Seaborne Empire (1969)". Meanwhile notice that, as it is said in Brazil#Portuguese colonization and territorial expansion (my bold):

The land now called Brazil (the origin of whose name is disputed), was claimed by Portugal in April 1500, on the arrival of the Portuguese fleet commanded by Pedro Álvares Cabral.[1] The Portuguese encountered stone age natives divided into several tribes, most of whom shared the same Tupi-Guarani linguistic family,[1] and fought among themselves.[2]

Colonization was effectively begun in 1534, when Dom João III divided the territory into twelve hereditary captaincies,[3][4] but this arrangement proved problematic and in 1549 the king assigned a Governor-General to administer the entire colony.[4][5] The Portuguese assimilated some of the native tribes[6] while others were enslaved or exterminated in long wars or by European diseases to which they had no immunity.[7][8] By the mid 16th century, sugar had become Brazil's most important export[2][9] and the Portuguese imported African slaves[10][11] to cope with the increasing international demand.[7][12]

The first Christian mass in Brazil, 1500.

Through wars against the French, the Portuguese slowly expanded their territory to the southeast, taking Rio de Janeiro in 1567, and to the northwest, taking São Luís in 1615.[13] They sent military expeditions to the Amazon rainforest and conquered British and Dutch strongholds, founding villages and forts from 1669.[14] In 1680 they reached the far south and founded Sacramento on the bank of the Rio de la Plata, in the Eastern Strip region (present-day Uruguay).[15]

At the end of the 17th century sugar exports started to decline[16] but the discovery of gold by explorers in the region that would later be called Minas Gerais (General Mines) around 1693, and in the following decades in current Mato Grosso and Goiás, saved the colony from imminent collapse.[17] From all over Brazil, as well as from Portugal, thousands of immigrants came to the mines.[18]

The Spanish tried to prevent Portuguese expansion into the territory that belonged to them according to the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, and succeeded in conquering the Eastern Strip in 1777. However, this was in vain as the Treaty of San Ildefonso, signed in the same year, confirmed Portuguese sovereignty over all lands proceeding from its territorial expansion, thus creating most of the current Brazilian borders.[19]

In 1808, the Portuguese royal family, fleeing the troops of the French Emperor Napoleon I that were invading Portugal and most of Central Europe, established themselves in the city of Rio de Janeiro, which thus became the seat of the entire Portuguese Empire.[20] In 1815 Dom João VI, then regent on behalf of his incapacitated mother, elevated Brazil from colony to sovereign Kingdom united with Portugal.[20] In 1809 the Portuguese invaded French Guiana (which was returned to France in 1817)[21] and in 1816 the Eastern Strip, subsequently renamed Cisplatina.[22]

  1. ^ a b Boxer, p.98.
  2. ^ a b Boxer, p.100.
  3. ^ Boxer, pp.100-101.
  4. ^ a b Skidmore, p.27.
  5. ^ Boxer, p.101.
  6. ^ Boxer, p.108
  7. ^ a b Boxer, p.102.
  8. ^ Skidmore, pp. 30, 32.
  9. ^ Skidmore, p.36.
  10. ^ Boxer, p.110
  11. ^ Skidmore, p.34.
  12. ^ Skidmore, pp. 32-33.
  13. ^ Bueno, pp. 80-81.
  14. ^ Calmon, p.294.
  15. ^ Bueno, p.86.
  16. ^ Boxer, p.164.
  17. ^ Boxer, pp. 168, 170.
  18. ^ Boxer, p.169.
  19. ^ Boxer, p.207.
  20. ^ a b Boxer, p.213.
  21. ^ Bueno, p.145.
  22. ^ Calmon (2002), p.191.
Furthermore, I made the map after making sure that the following maps (upon which I based this one) were correct:
Territorial evolution of colonial Brazil
Does all this reply to some of your concerns? Hope so. Cheers! The Ogre (talk) 16:24, 17 February 2010 (UTC)


I'm really sorry I do not have any actual chances to access not one of those sources. Moreover, there is not a single one of them on-line, as it seems. So I hope you won't mind, but I just have to rely on your good will to learn on this subjbect.

Actually, I'd like to see just one or two quotes from where I can learn that the -certainly impressive- inland expansion of the XVIth century did actually went that far, and that it involved more than mere exploration (i.e.: actual de facto dominion and/or coextensive veritable undisputed claims over the whole of those territories).

As well (and I hope I'm not really asking you too much), it would be important to me to learn that such extensive dominion/claim actually continued to exist as such for some continous period of time, or that at least it was veritably reassumed in the early XIXth century.

Thank you very much for your kind attention. I enjoy learning this kind of counterintuitive facts. Salut, --IANVS (talk) 12:19, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

My pleasure! But you must give some time... LIfe is not limited to wikipedia! See you soon. The Ogre (talk) 13:28, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

These maps are always a little guesswork anyway. Please do not remove the map because of a minor technicality. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 01:49, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

was as if the world of all Albanians as would be —Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.210.138.254 (talk) 14:37, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

They are de facto Portuguese territories, but dispute only ended at the Treaty of Madrid, with some minor details fixed on treaties of El Pardo, Utrecht, etc. Some external sources:

Leonardo Piccioni de Almeida 01:32, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

Brazil's current territory was in fact established by law since the mid-XVIII century, there were only some future disputes like the Cisplatina's territory that would later evolve into Uruguay in the XIX century. So that is right indeed. The problem with that map is that this The overseas interests and areas of the world that at one time were territories of the Portuguese Empire. should have a better understanding, because that map is clearly anachronic (the Empire never was like that in any moment in History) and diachronic (The Map depicts the territories that were in different times in History part of the Empire). The latter is correctly noted on the Portuguese and Spanish wikipedia articles about the Portuguese Empire, but not in the French one, which even writes L'Empire portugais à son apogée, which of course is an awful mistake. --Good Hope Phanta (talk) 13:01, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

Longest lived?[edit]

Is Portugal really the longest-lived colonial empire? France, after all, still owns French Guiana to this day. Kennercat (talk) 05:47, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

By that token, Portugal still has the Açores and the Madeira. Just like French Guiana, they elect parliamentarians to the National Assembly and are considered an integral part of the national territory, rather than colonies. --Wtrmute (talk) 18:46, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

File:Portugal kingdom braganza.gif Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Dozens of citations added[edit]

It seemed to me that the only significant problem this article had was the citations needed to get this article up to GA status. I've added a at least a few dozen of them myself that I could find. The few that I couldn't find was probably done explicitly in some other language (I've encountered Portuguese and French sources), but am not well-versed in either language for transferring in those. Is it possible that anyone can find the last few citations needed so this article can get a GA renomination. I would like to see one of the significant colonial European Empires (I believe the British Empire is the only one with either a FA or GA) acquire that status. Thanks for reading! LeftAire (talk) 16:30, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

Regarding recent edits[edit]

Don't worry about the lack of adding where exactly I got the sources from on the colonization of the Americas section. I cannot pull them up right now, due to lack of sleep. As soon as I get back on Wikipedia on Monday, I will add those book sources, and continue trying to get this article to up to par for at least a GA status. LeftAire (talk) 08:17, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Portuguese vs the Ottomans[edit]

In this article it acts like the Ottoman had totally given up on the Indias after the Second Battle of Diu, but if you go to the Ottoman naval expeditions in the Indian Ocean page it says that the Portuguese were fighting battles in the Indian Ocean all the way into 1580s. I am asking if someone who knows more about this works to fix things. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 161.6.3.33 (talk) 05:19, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Splitting[edit]

I propose splitting this article into three, but leaving a slimmed-down broad-concept article in summary style at this title. The three new articles would be:

Many works in English use this schema, including two that use it in their titles: Malyn D. Newitt, ed., The First Portuguese Colonial Empire (University of Exeter Press, 1986) and W. G. Clarence-Smith, The Third Portuguese Empire, 1825–1975: A Study in Economic Imperialism (Manchester University Press, 1985).

According to WP:TOOBIG, a page of this size (>100 kB) almost certainly should be divided. Srnec (talk) 00:18, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

I agree the article is too big. There's way too much irrelevant (to an overview article) detail such as statements like "The price for one girl or boy from China was 15 or 20 ducats." I'm not entirely sure about splitting it up though. What will happen is that noone will edit (or look at) the 1st/2nd/3rd articles, and stuff will start creeping into the main article. That said, some people get revert-y if they feel stuff is being deleted from the encyclo (especially if it's stuff they added themselves). So being able to say that it's not being deleted, it's just being moved to another article can assuage those concerns. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 00:31, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Why are you so afraid about big articles? German articles are much bigger than English. No problem. --J. Patrick Fischer (talk) 20:15, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Whose afraid? Srnec (talk) 23:32, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

it is also slightly silly to claim the "Portuguese Empire" somehow lasted "1415-2002" (pt-wiki does this, apparently out of misguided patriotism). Yes, so Portugal handed over East Timor, but owning one single island hardly makes a country an "empire". The actual empire lasted from the 1400s to the 1700s. If the remaining colonies of the 19th to early 20th century make for a "Third Empire", so be it. If this "Third Empire" can be argued to have crept on until it was finally dismantled in the decolonisation of 1950ff, fine. But it is futile to pretend that we are here looking at any sort of identifiable political or territorial entity with a lifetime of six centuries. The kingdom of Portugal collapsed in 1910 along with its overseas empire, and whatever came after 1910 was at best some sort of afterglow.

Also, even if we do not split, coverage of 20th century events is completely overblown. This is the article about the Portuguese Empire, 1415-1974. Yet it has obsessively detailed coverage of events in Angola in 1916,

Throughout the year, Portugal dispatched contingents of troops to the Allied front in France. Midway in the year, Portugal suffered its first WWI casualty. Meanwhile, in Portuguese Africa, Portugal and the British fought numerous battles against the Germans in both Mozambique and Angola. Later in the year, U-boats entered Portuguese waters again and, once more, attacked Madeira, and sunk multiple Portuguese ships. Through the beginning of 1918, Portugal continued to fight along the Allied front against Germany, including participation in the infamous Battle of La Lys. As autumn approached, Germany found success in both Portuguese Africa, and against Portuguese vessels, sinking multiple ships. The Portuguese contingents grow discernibly weary of battle, and so their involvement becomes limited. Then, after nearly three years of fighting (from a Portuguese perspective), WWI ends, with an armistice being signed by Germany.

I would suggest that stuff like this would be more at home at German campaign in Angola or Portugal during World War I, and not here. --dab (𒁳) 13:35, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

The Portuguese colonial empire remained very real down to 1974. It was hardly an afterglow. It would be far better to describe the preceding centuries—when Portuguese control remained minimal outside of coastal factories and trading posts—as a "pre-glow", and describe the last years of the monarchy and the first half-century of the republic as an era of colonial expansion and consolidation, resulting in a real overseas empire ruled by Portugal.
We should probably dispense with any dates (or even an infobox) at all, since the phenomenon of the colonial empire underwent many changes during the period of 1415–2002. Srnec (talk) 00:02, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

I can accept that the "Portuguese Empire" was "real" 1910-1974 (but hardly to 2002... I think imperial ambition was entirely a thing of the past after the Carnation Revolution). The "Portuguese Empire" is still about 1415-1660 or so. If you want to consider this a "pre-glow" to the "Third Empire", that's fine. Which would return us to the question if it would not be better to treat Third Portuguese Empire as a standalone topic. I agree that the infobox doesn't really help here. I note that this article is far better developed than the kingdom of Portugal on. The latter page should probably be developed into a summary page on the history 1139 to 1910. But then we already have well-developed articles History of Portugal (1139–1279), History of Portugal (1279–1415), History of Portugal (1415–1578), History of Portugal (1640–1777), History of Portugal (1834–1910), so this might mostly be an effort in content duplication. Its a topic comparable to Roman Empire, and I do think it will make sense to work towards splitting it up. --dab (𒁳) 12:28, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Can people please tell everyone what they are doing?[edit]

At least in edit summaries?

I am certainly no expert in this area, and I am sure the article can be improved, but edits such as this are simply not helpful.

  • no edit summary. It isn't clear what was the point of the edits
  • renewed focus on the modern period. Why must the infobox on the Portuguese Empire (1415-1910) note what the national anthem of Portugal was during 1911-2011? Why is it an improvement to have the infobox sport the coat of arms with heraldic supporters introduced in 1640 rather than the plain coat of arms as used during the entire period of 1481-1910? Maybe you have a smart rationale I didn't see, but how am I supposed to second-guess your intentions if you don't give as much as an edit summary? And let's be honest, on the surface of things, this change is counter-intuitive.
  • restoration of a rambling tale on selected periods of Portuguese history in the WP:LEAD. This is supposed to be a WP:SS article with the job of the lead simply to lay out in front of the reader the rough organisation of content. If we begin to burden the lead with lengthy prose, where will it end? It's 500 years of history, and every editor will find yet another paragraph important enough to add to the existing lead, until we have a full standalone history of Portugal just as the article's "introductory paragraph".
  • complete loss of the distinction of "First", "Second" and "Third" Empire. Look, I don't know how common this division is, but we have established that the terms are in use, and the problem is that the titles First Portuguese Empire, Second Portuguese Empire and Third Portuguese Empire all redirect here. And now these titles redirect to a page where the terms aren't even mentioned. This will not do. I am not trying to impose organisation along this division on the article if there are coherent reasons not to, but then your job will be to lay out these reasons, and then fix the incoming links to become short articles about the respective terms.

I hope the above makes clear that I am not trying to WP:OWN the article and I'm perfectly happy to let people with special knowledge on the topic take over, but the above changes were clearly ill-advised not necessarily on grounds of content but simply as editorial decisions. --dab (𒁳) 05:29, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

    • I'm here! Sorry for such the delay! I didn't even realize that you had replied to the message that I sent you around 7-9 days ago. I sort of like the setup of it so far, I just need to figure out what aspects of the page need to be trimmed down. Hopefully I'll be able to go to the library this weekend to acquire some of the books that I used to originally cite articles on the Brazil and the Americas page. I'm also going to start doing some re-reading of the Iberian Union period and begin re-editing that section regarding the Protestant Powers. The section about Jan Huyghen van Linschoten is probably entirely unnecessary excluding a sentence reference. I just need see if I can find the sources at my University library in town to properly add it along with the section talking about the Dutch-Portuguese War. Thanks for fixing up the titles and the flag! If you want, I can send you some of the links from Google Books to particular sources you don't mind making edits to. I'll try to help where I can in that matter if necessary, I'm just trying not to get bogged down by my upcoming errands to much to the point that I forget to offer assistance. Thanks for reading! LeftAire (talk) 19:44, 29 May 2014 (UTC)