Pub. Date:
Cambridge University Press
A History of Portugal and the Portuguese Empire: From Beginnings To 1807

A History of Portugal and the Portuguese Empire: From Beginnings To 1807

by A. R. Disney
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The Kingdom of Portugal was created as a by-product of the Christian Reconquest of Hispania. With no geographical raison d'être and no obvious roots in its Roman, Germanic, or Islamic pasts, it for long remained a small, struggling realm on Europe's outer fringe. Then, in the early fifteenth century, this unlikely springboard for Western expansion suddenly began to accumulate an empire of its own, eventually extending more than halfway around the globe. The History of Portugal and the Portuguese Empire, drawing particularly on historical scholarship postdating the 1974 Portuguese Revolution, offers readers a comprehensive overview and reinterpretation of how all this happened - the first such account to appear in English for more than a generation. Volume I concerns the history of Portugal itself from pre-Roman times to the climactic French invasion of 1807, and Volume II traces the history of the Portuguese overseas empire.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521738224
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 05/31/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 480
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

A. R. Disney was educated at the University of Oxford and Harvard University and has taught history at Melbourne and La Trobe Universities. His publications include Twilight of the Pepper Empire (1978) and numerous articles, papers, and essays, published variously in the Economic History Review, Studia, Indica, Mare Liberum, Anais de Historia de Alem-mar, and other journals and proceedings.

Table of Contents

1. North Africa; 2. Exploring the coasts of Atlantic Africa; 3. Engaging with Atlantic Africa; 4. The Atlantic islands and fisheries; 5. Breakthrough to maritime Asia; 6. Empire in the East; 7. Informal presence in the East; 8. Brazil: seizing and keeping possession; 9. Formation of colonial Brazil; 10. Late colonial Brazil; 11. Holding on in India: the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; 12. Eastern empire in the late colonial era: peripheries.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“This trenchant second volume sets a new standard for reflecting on the Portuguese world empire during the early modern period. Covering the Lusitanian presence on five continents, it pays attention simultaneously to political decisions of opposing court factions in Portugal, to the leading role of noble captains and agents working inside and outside formal colonial institutions, and to their involvement in a variety of local cultures. As a result, Anthony Disney is able to emphasize the centrality of Portuguese colonial situations as cultural hybrids.” -Diogo Ramada Curto, European University Institute, Florence and Universidade Nova de Lisboa

“Anthony Disney has provided in this impressive two-volume survey of the history of Portugal and its overseas empire to the beginning of the nineteenth century a work of synthesis that has long been needed. Up-to-date in its scholarship, lucid and coherent in its exposition, his account, skillfully blending narrative and analysis, will immediately take its place as the essential starting-point for all those interested in the origins and character of the first truly global empire in world history.” -Sir John Elliott, Regius Professor Emeritus of Modern History, University of Oxford

“The history of the Portuguese world is barnacled with accretions: traditional errors, apparently ineradicable myths, partisan controversies, irrational passions. Anthony Disney has scraped the bottom and set the ship to rights. His book is sober but engaging, meticulous but well paced, comprehensive but concise: a monument of scholarship and discernment, which everyone interested in the subject will want to hand.” -Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Tufts University

“This book provides a comprehensive and stimulating view of the history of the early modern Portuguese Empire. Without losing sight of chronology and geography, political projects and economic trends, Disney skillfully elaborates on key issues of the social history of Overseas Portugal, such as the nature of colonial societies or the relevance of informal settlements. The author masters an impressive range of primary sources and secondary materials and builds on them to offer a refreshing global history of the Portuguese Empire that will undoubtedly stand as reference in the field for many years to come.” -Jorge Flores, Brown University

“Disney's volume provides a full economic and political outline of a truly global maritime enterprise. It is the most accessible and up to date history of the Portuguese Empire available in English.” -Stuart Schwartz, Yale University

"This long-awaited volume by Anthony Disney possesses all the qualities we have come to expect of his scholarship. It is balanced, sober and written with clarity of vision and purpose. Four decades after Charles Boxer’s classic work on the Portuguese seaborne empire, we at last have another elegant synthesis that takes on the whole of the Portuguese overseas enterprise from 1400 to 1800 armed with the fruits of the latest research. Imperial historians of a comparative bent will be obliged to read this work, and students of European expansion and the Iberian world will certainly find it on their reading lists. It is unlikely to be replaced for another generation." -Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Professor of History, UCLA

"A remarkable achievement, combining rigour with lucidity and offering expert guidance across a complex and varied historical terrain." Times Literary Supplement

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