How could a small nation have been so decisive in the history of humanity? With great ingenuity. The 15 moments in which Portugal changed the world.
Few will be the countries that throughout the history of Humanity will have had actions that changed the world as many times as the Portuguese. Although we are a relatively small country today, our history is full of moments when Portugal has changed the world. The best known moment will be the Discoveries, but it is far from the only one. This is a list of small or large actions, involuntary acts that have changed the course of history or, in some cases, acts of great bravery and courage, almost incomprehensible in the eyes of people today. Discover the 15 moments in which Portugal has changed the world.
1. The gold of the Romans
It was in ancient Lusitania that the Romans managed to raise enough gold to finance their war campaigns in Britania (present-day UK) and Gaul (present-day France). The historical consequences are known: the Romans dominated and shaped Europe in such a way that the consequences of this dominance are still felt today.
2. The bankruptcy of Venice
For many centuries, before Portugal began its maritime expansion, it was the merchants of Venice who ruled the seas and commerce. Portugal’s entry into the nautical adventures led Venice to bankruptcy.
3. The strong coup in the Mongol Empire
With the domination of the maritime trade with the East, Portugal gave the final blow to the land route of this trade, the Silk Road. The decline of this trade route led to the end of the Mongol Empire (one of the largest ever) and the rise of other civilizations.
4. The arrival of weapons in Japan
Portugal arrives in Japan at a time when the country of the Far East was full of civil wars between various clans. Portugal introduced the weapons in Japan and, the clan that obtained these weapons, ended up to beat all the others and to maintain in the power until the present day. In addition, Portugal also introduced many words of Portuguese origin in Japan.
5. The national symbol of India
Those who know India associate the country with curry. In fact, this culinary relic was only created thanks to trade with the Portuguese, who introduced in that country some of the necessary ingredients to make it.
6. The national symbol of England
Guess it’s tea. And who introduced him to the lands of his majesty were the Portuguese. She was also Portuguese, but Queen of England, the first to institute the 5 o’clock tea in that country.
7. The national symbol of the Netherlands
When you talk about Holland, you’ll soon think of tulips, right? Did you know that it was the Portuguese who introduced the tulips in Holland? The tradition of tulip cultivation was common in Arab countries. Portugal took the tulips of the Arabs to Flanders, a region that is now northern Belgium. From Flanders, the tulips quickly won the fascination of the Dutch.
8. The other national symbol of the Netherlands
Beyond the tulips, are the diamonds. The Netherlands is known as the world’s largest diamond trading center. A trade that began when Portugal took diamonds from its colonies to Flanders and thence to Holland.
9. The national symbol of Switzerland
If you thought about chocolate, you hit it right. And how does Portugal enter into history? It was the Spaniards who brought the chocolate to Europe. The Portuguese, as good merchants they were, took this delicacy to the Netherlands (which at the time became the world reference in the production of chocolate) and from there migrated to Switzerland. Portuguese influence may seem a little forced seen since the present day , But not quite. Before Portugal brought chocolate to the rest of Europe, Spain and France had a market monopoly, preventing other countries from accessing the product. Portugal broke this monopoly.
10. The genesis of the greatest jewel of the English empire
India was considered, for a long time, as the jewel of the British Empire. The English managed to conquer this immense country only because they had the most strategic of places: Bombay. It turns out that Bombay was a donation from Portugal to England. That’s right: a donation. The city was included in the dowry of Catherine of Braganza when she married Charles II of England. If England was able to build an empire, much owes it to this “small gift”.
11. Not everything is good
Slavery was the greatest of the atrocities committed by the Portuguese. There is no excuse for such an atrocity and we will not be forgiven for the simple fact that we were one of the first countries to abolish slavery. But the slave trade universalized the world. For better or for worse, Portugal has forever changed the history of many African countries and all the countries of the American continent.
12. The expulsion of Muslims from Europe
Europe asserted itself with a Christian continent and, through successive wars, expelled the Muslims from its territory. Portugal was one of the first countries to be able to do so. And after having succeeded, he still went to help Spain and also some countries of the Balkans in their fight against the Muslims of the Ottoman Empire.
13. The expansion of Christianity
Portugal was one of the great responsible for the expansion of the Christian faith. At the time of the Discoveries, besides merchants and adventurers, there were also priests aboard the ships. This expansion was not at all peaceful and the cruelties were many, but the impact in many countries was immense.
14. The beginning of the Industrial Age
It was thanks to a bad management of the Brazilian gold that England began the Industrial Era and thus changed the world forever. As? The answer is complex, but simplifying: Portugal managed very badly its debts and the much gold that arrived from Brazil and, instead of investing in national territory, used the gold to buy English products. And with this gold England gave birth to one of the greatest transformations in world history.
15. 32 languages were created by the Portuguese
Yes, the number is correct. There are 32 languages that originated in the Portuguese language and these languages spread from South America, through Africa and going to Southwest Asia. An immense treasure allied to an immense community of Portuguese speakers that, in the end, was the best thing that Portugal gave to the world.
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