The Portugese – The Northwest Passage

The Northwest Passage. It is about the Portuguese expansion to the Terra Nova. Enjoy!

1)This document takes excerpts from a number of different people, discussing the Portuguese and their request to sail to North America, specifically Newfoundland and try to colonize. As well it gives a testimony from Manoel Corte Real who had his ship impounded by the Portuguese. The excerpts about the request for colonization are important because all attempts to colonize must be documented and accepted by the monarch or else they are considered invalid. As well they must state the person’s intentions with the land so that everyone is aware. These documents are also important because they provide written records from the time period instead of having to use oral documents or using archaeology to discover what occurred and where.  As well, it gives readers a better idea of where people were settling and what they were doing on the land.

2) The Portuguese landed in North America and explored the coast of Florida (what is now known as the Eastern Seaboard). They set up their colony on what is now known as Newfoundland and they referred to it as Terra Nova which means “new land” or “new earth”. The colony itself was often referred to as Terra Cortereal because the family played a big part in colonizing it.

3)  The settlers who tried to colonize were the Portuguese. Specifically, Manoel Corte Real, who was the Governor of Angra, chartered ships in 1567. He also had the help of his father and uncles. The head of the expedition was chosen by Gaspar Ferar, Corregidor of the Azores, at the request of King Sebastian. His son, Vasques Eanes Corte Real, went on a voyage to Labrador in 1574, and when his father passed away around 1578, he took over a charter for another journey.

4) A clear passage way to China and Moluccas was desired and a place in North America was a perfect spot. The Portuguese and the Spanish were both on route to colonize and fortify Florida and Terra Nova. The Portuguese settled and fortified both lands meaning that the Spanish would not be able to reach China and the Moluccas. This being said, the Spanish had no choice but to travel to Florida and Terra Nova to beat out the Portuguese to gain there route to China and Mollucas.

5) When they arrived in North America the Portuguese encountered the Huguenots a French Protestant group, they went to war with this group taking possession of their lands. The Spanish were also encountered as it was said that the Portuguese colony must removed because they are easily resupplied from the Azores. The Spanish and Portuguese were also competing to colonize Florida and Terra Nova which lead to battles and wars between the two groups.

6) It seems as though the Portuguese colonization effort died with Manoel Corte Real. His son Vasques Eanes Corte Real sought and was granted a reissue of the document granting the establishment of the colony. There is some evidence in the confirmation from the king of a Portuguese colonization having been launched in the form of two ships and a Caravel with the people and provisions to set up a colony. There is no information available regarding whether or not Vasques would carry on his fathers mission to colonize the new world but it is considered possible that he participated in the Newfoundland fishery. There is mention of an established Portuguese colony in Florida but its exact location is unknown and its fate is uncertain, but it is possible that given the competition with Spain that the colony was simply wiped out by the Spanish. This is supported by the statements made by Pedro Menendez de Aviles wherein he recommends that the Portuguese colony must be beaten out before it can completely fortify its position, as it poses a threat to the Spanish due to the fact that it is easily resupplied from the Azores.

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