AFRICAN CONTACTS WITH EUROPE
The Portuguese invasion
Trading between Africa and Asia was disturbed by Portuguese invasion along the East Africa coast in the 16th C.
The Portuguese attempted to capture and control Indian Ocean trade, this lead to war between the Portuguese on one hand and the indigenous of East African coast.
During this contact the most important countries in western were Spain and Portugal.
These countries were included in trade through trading routes to India which passed off through Italy and the Muslims lands of the Middle East. The occurrence of wars in Muslims empire made the trade difficult and more expensive.
The Portuguese by finding routes of the sea wanted to establish trading empire in the East by controlling all trades in Europe. This was made possible by the invention of ships.
The Portuguese became interested in controlling the Indian Ocean trade in the 15th century due to the commercial capitalism in Europe.
Prince Henry the navigator son of King John of Portuguese supported the voyages. They searched routes as resulted into voyages by Bartholomew Diaz in 1487 and Vasco da Gama in 1498.
<> Vasco da Gama was the first Portuguese to reach East Africa
<> Vasco da Gama reached Africa in 1498 (A.D).
<> Bartholomew Diaz reached Africa in 1487.
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC MOTIVES/AIMS OF THE CONTACTS BETWEEN AFRICA AND THE PORTUGUESE
A: ECONOMIC MOTIVES OF THE CONTACTS
1. The need to defeat the Asian trades and rules in their monopoly of the India trade; as usually European countries admired the commodities founded in Africa,
So in order to get them they had to contact with African people. The commodities needed by them were Ivory, tortoise’s shells, cotton, gold and palms.
2. Controlling and Exploitation of Gold.
3 Need of creating Portuguese Empire in Africa so as to make Africa to be a producer.
4. To exploit different resources of Africa. Example gold, diamond.
5. They wanted to exploit African resources by selling small things to Africans for high price more than they had sold it to them.
B: SOCIAL MOTIVES/AIMS
1. To spread Christianity.
2. To exploit Africa especially East African coastal cities and states e.g. Kilwa, Mombasa, Bagamoyo and Mogadishu.
3. They desired to establish anti-Muslims alliances.
4. They search for Pastor John in Ethiopia.
THE PORTUGUESE EXPLOITATION RESULTED INTO DISCOVERIES OF POTENTIAL AREAS.
The Portuguese established trade with societies found in the coastal areas. They also created central point where ships could stop on the way to India.
After establishing trade the Portuguese obtained items such as ivory, gold, copper and silver; they exchange them with cloth, guns, gunpowder etc.
By 15th C Portuguese succeeded to establish their rule in East Africa. After that the Portuguese built the Fort Jesus in Mombasa which could strengthen their military power thus establishing the effective control over the East Africa coastal areas.
<> 1592 was the built of Fort Jesus.
<> 1698 was the broke down of Fort Jesus.
<> 1499 was the year when Vasco da Gama returned back to Portugal.
RESISTANCES AGAINST PORTUGUESE
There were source of resistance;
1) The displaced people joined the resistance, for example Zimba of Zambezi valley and Segeju of Somalia in the Northern Eastern Africa.
The constant attack and resistance against Portuguese rule lead to its decline and capture of Fort Jesus of Mombasa in 1698.
2) The reaction from the feudal lords and traders who counted to protect their social and economic interests.
THE ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF PORTUGUESE
a) Introduction of crops especially cash crops in Africa e.g. Sugarcane, yellow maize, cassava, rice, pineapples, potatoes etc.
b) Decline of trade; the trade between East Africa, Far East and Middle East was interrupted by the Portuguese.
c) Change of major trade routes.
d) Exposed Africa to the external world.
e) They built several forts, example; Fort Jesus.
f) They acted as the introducers of new arts to the indigenous of Africa continent.
The forts built by Portuguese were like;
Fort Jesus in 1592 in Mombasa.
Fort at Kilwa.
Sofala and eliminated caste present day Ghana built in 1482.
C: SOCIAL IMPACTS OF PORTUGUESE
1) Decline of cities and states.
2) Growth of Kiswahili language. Kiswahili adapted some new Portuguese words i.e. Mvinyo from word Vincho, Meza Etc.
3) Insecurity and loss of manpower.
THE REASONS FOR THE COLLAPSE OF PORTUGUESE
1) They suffered from tropical disease like malaria.
2) The climate conditions of East African coast were in healthy for the Portuguese.
3) Social, culture and religion differences i.e. Muslim against Christians.
4) Loss of trade due to Portuguese taxes and restrictions.
5) Harsh treatments and punishment practiced by Portuguese in their leadership.
6) Role played by Oman to the coastal city people. Hence that capture of fort Jesus marked the end of Portuguese in East Africa around 1700.