Portuguese America and Southern Africa the Redux

As I had mentioned earlier in my Portuguese Southern Africa thread, I had failed to really consider any major butterflies from the effects of Portugal colonising the tip of Southern Africa in the early 16th century. I had created that TL in response to a thread without much forethought, meanwhile brushing up on the social and economic history of the region whilst a I wrote. I started to get bored with the TL for lack of creativity, so I started delving more into my collection of history books to see what I could come up with.

As I began to research more, I realised that the precedent for settler colonies began with the colonisation of Madeira, the Azores, and Cape Verde by the Portuguese during the 15th century. Colonisation in these islands was often the product of private initiative, rather than the crown. Religious orders, the Order of Christ in particular played a major role in the discoveries along with the subsequent settlement of the islands. Royal charters were granted, to members of the order with instructions to settle, defend, tax and govern new territories in a semi-feudal fashion.

Therefore, for a POD ITTL I have chosen 1452, the date upon which Diogo de Teive, a squire of the Order of Christ sailed on his second voyage to venture into the Western Sea in a search for the mythic "Seven Cities" and seeing Newfoundland. However, here de Teive and his João make landfall and return voyages will ensue. The crown takes interest in the exploration of "Terra Nova" or New Land as America is called, especially during the 1460s when the Portuguese begin to realize that the Gulf of Guinea is far longer than they expected. There is a hope to reach Asia by sailing westward, and be able to reach Cipango (Japan). However, they will eventually reach Hispaniola and find enough gold there to take interest in the new lands. Here is where the butterflies will begin flapping.

In addition, I have recreated a family tree of the various European royal houses using Family Tree Builder, however taking into account the butterflies here, I have altered some of the marriages and children, leading to Isabel of Castile marrying the fourteen-year old Prince João of Portugal (after 1481, King João II) in 1469, rather than Ferdinand of Aragon. Their youngest daughter, Infanta Leonor (later Queen-Consort Eleanor) will marry Prince Arthur of Wales, and later his brother King Henry VIII of England, giving him more than one male heir. Keen to keep the Anglo-Portuguese alliance, especially now that Portugal (now part of Spain) is reaping the rewards of mineral wealth of the New World.

Southern Africa will receive special attention, however I wanted to give a preview of other butterflies in this POD. These include dynastic ties between Naples, England and Milan being forged, along with a separate Habsburg-ruled Bohemia and Hungary, a longer surviving Kalmar Union and state ruled by the Teutonic Knights, in addition to a Scottish-French alliance against England.
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This should be interesting to see. Subscribed.

Also, not to nitpick, but wasn't Diogo de Teive's second voyage (which discovered Flores and Corvo) in 1452, not 1453?

You're correct, let me fix it, I should have proof read better.
It's back!

Diogo de Teive

As early as 1447, Prince Henry of Portugal as Grand Master of the Order of Christ, had sent exploratory voyages to sail westward of the Azores, and they had reportedly sighted land, but did not make landfall. This piqued the interest of the Prince who was interested in not only finding a route to the Indies, but also discovering new lands. According to ancient legend, bountiful islands full of untold riches lay acros the Western Sea.

In 1451, Diogo de Teive, a squire in the household of Prince Henry of Portugal and a member of the Order of Christ set out from the island of Faial with his son João in search of the lands west further west. What he discovered were the islands of Corvo and Flores, the westernmost islands of the Azores archipelago.

Hoping to find further lands, especially the mythic Seven Cities, he set out from Faial once again in 1453, this time accompanied by a Castilian, Pero Vázquez de la Frontera. A native of Palos de la Frontera in Huelva, he had joined Prince Henry at Sagres and made his way to the Azores. The men sailed northward, entering the opening between the Gulf Stream and the Labrador Current and made landfall in south-eastern Newfoundland, around Cabo Raso. There they made contact with the Beothuk, before sighting the Golfo Quadrado (Gulf of Saint Lawrence). From there they sailed southwards making landfall in Terra Nova (Nova Scotia). Here too they came into contact with the indigenous peoples, before sailing to Cape Cod. From there they sailed southwards making land fall on Long Island and finally sailing up the Delaware River where they encountered the Lenape, a friendly people with whom traded tools and knives for food and had their first taste of tobacco. Finally, their voyage brought them southwards, where they were able to catch the Gulf Stream around Cape Hatteras and from there sail back to Faial in 1454.

Once news of the voyage reached Prince Henry, the Order of Christ enthusiastically backed a larger voyage consisting of twelve caravels. Diogo de Teive was granted the title as Proprietor to not only the islands of Flores and Corvo, but also to the new lands discovered by a Carta Régia (Royal Edict). Therefore in 1456, the expedition set sail from Faial with Diogo de Teive, his son and Pero Vázquez. Still in search of the fabled Seven Cities, they were blown off course, forcing them to sail southwards along the North Equatorial Current. They eventually made their landfall at Porto Rico (Puerto Rico). It would be there that they took their first captives, to bring back to Portugal. From there they sailed along the north coast of Santo Domingo (Hispaniola), where they made their first discovery of new world gold. The natives trade gold nuggets and gold dust for iron tools that the Portuguese crew had brought to trade. They believed that they had reached the fabled island of Antillia. They soon began to refer to the islands as the Antilhas (Antilles).

Running low on provisions, the ships decide to sail further northwards where they stop at several islands in the Bahamas, and along the coast of what will be known as Florida. They eventually reach the vicinity of Cape Hatteras and once again return to Faial in 1458. The gold nuggets along with some of the natives reach Lisbon, and Afonso V decides to finance a voyage to conquer the gold mines of Antillia.
Woo, interesting. With Portugal's focus on the New World TTL being of a more northerly nature, perhaps their approach will differ too.

And I can sense that the Reformation TTL will take a very, VERY different path...
Map of Diogo de Teive's Voyages


A special thanks to Reagent for making this map for me, as some of you may recall from earlier threads, my map making skills are sub-par.

And I can sense that the Reformation TTL will take a very, VERY different path...

That may be butterflied away altogether, or at least defeated. The odds of England leaving the Church are now slim, and so Scotland would most likely not be able to do so, either, without triggering southern invasion by the ambitious Tudors. If the northern German princes are stopped in their rebellion, assuming that there is one still, the Scandinavian monarchs would likely remain Catholic, too. A reform of the Church, such as that of the Council of Trent, would most likely still follow from any large crisis of heresy in Christendom, however. The whole affair would certainly be far from bloodless, but it would likely be less bloody than the OTL centuries of war.
The captives from the New World were originally called "Indios" or Indians, and it was assumed that the way to the spices of India would soon be reached. The first three captives from the Antilles were brought to court in Lisbon and converted to Christianity. They were utilized to learn more about the new world, and informed the King of the abundance of gold in what would become Hispaniola.

To aid the Portuguese in their conquests, Pope Nicholas V published the Romanus Pontifex in 1455, an encyclical addressed to King Afonso V of Portugal. It not only authorized, but directed the Portuguese to conquer non-Christian lands, and reduce the non-Christians to "perpetual slavery". In addition, it granted the King of Portugal dominion over all lands south of Cape Bojador, in Guinea. In 1460, the pope extended this to the Terra Nova (New World). This would give the Portuguese conquistadores the excuse to commit some of the most heinous crimes of pillage, murder and rape upon the indigenous peoples of the land.

Meanwhile, Prince Henry was not entirely convinced that the western route was the quickest to India. To that end, the Order of Christ continued to sponsor voyages to Guinea. In addition, the gold from Guinea was too tempting to ignore. Voyages further south continued and by the time of his death in 1460 Sierra Leone had been reached. In addition, the Cape Verde Islands had been discovered in 1455 and the first steps at colonisation would commence there, soon thereafter. These islands too would prove important entrepots on the way to the New World.

With the death of Prince Henry on 13 November 1460, his vast wealth derived from being Grand-Master of the Order of Christ passed to his nephew, Infante Fernando, Duke of Viseu and Beja. He would undertake leadership of the Order and the Portuguese discoveries and conquests until his death on 18 September 1470.
I was so dissapointed when the thread ended because I thought it had died. Then I read the post date. Holy shit I love this. I'm down. #tagged
Cool thread! I have a couple of questions. If Spain in this timeline is Portugal+Castile, would the capital be in Madrid or Lisbon? Also, how long do you think it will be before other European countries start colonizing Terra Nova(The Americas)?
Conquest of Espanhola

The island that would eventually be called Ilha Espanhola (La Isla Española in Castilian), was referred to by the Portuguese as São Domingos early on. On 2 November 1460, Diogo de Teive returned as Proprietor Captain of the Island with his son, and an army of 1,600 men on the island. Under directions to convert the natives, the first chapel was erected in the new world at Assunção (Puerto Plata) on the North Coast of the island. Further inland, the fort of Santiago was erected to obtain control of the gold mines. However, to most of the men conversion of the natives was a secondary concern to the pursuit of wealth and fortune.

In their quest for gold, the Portuguese Conquistadores used brutal methods to extract gold from the natives. The indigenous Taino population was quickly decimanted by smallpox, typhus, measles and other diseases. In addition the indigenous inhabitants were forced to pay an annual tribute in the form of gold, and later cotton essentially forcing them to be slaves. Horses, pigs, and hunting dogs were introduced and allowed to grave freely on the island wreaking havoc on the ecosystem.

Also in the 1460s the first land grants were allocated to Captain-Proprietors as they had been in the Azores and Madeira. Diogo de Teive and his son both took the largest Captaincies. Others were reserved for the Order of Christ, and some were acquired by Flemish nobles. Settlers from Madeira soon brought sugarcane, which flourished on the island. In addition to Portuguese settlers, men from Castile, Aragon, Navarre, Flanders all arrived seeking treasure. By 1480, the first European women were brought to the island as well. However, the tropical climate soon took its toll on the Europeans, with around one-fifth of the settlers perishing within their first five years in the New World.

By 1472, Espanhola was shipping a ton or more of gold back to Portugal each year. News of the gold, attracted settlers and by 1480, between eight and ten-thousand Portuguese settled on the island. Meanwhile by 1470 the Taino population had been reduced to around sixty thousand, within ten years they would be reduced to eighteen-thousand. This led the Portuguese to begin raiding neighbouring "useless" islands such as the Bahamas for slaves. By 1486, these islands had been completely depopulated as well. The raiding soon turned to Florida and the Lesser Antilles.

By 1480, the islands of Cuba (named by a Portuguese captain from Cuba, Portugal), Porto Rico, and Santiago (Jamaica) all had settlements as gold fever spread from Espanhola. By that time though, the gold mines of Espanhola had been exhausted, causing many of the Europeans on the island to seek out new conquests on the mainland.
Royal Marriages

By the mid-1450s sugar from Madeira was being exported to Northern Europe and bringing in a considerable amount of revenue to the crown (as a tribute paid by the Order of Christ. However, it would be the gold from the new world would make Portuguese Infantas among the European princesses with the largest dowries.

In 1468, Infanta Joana, daughter of King Afonso V was married to Ferdinand of Aragon, later King Ferdinand II. However, none of the infanta's children would survive into adulthood and she would die in 1485. Ferdinand II would subsequently marry Queen Catherine of Navarre the following year, leading to union of the Aragon and Navarre in 1517 under their daughter Joan.

Afonso V's son and heir João (later João II) was bethrothed to Isabel of Castile in 1469, younger daughter of King Juan II, who was four years his senior. This double marriage prevented the threat of a civil war over the Castilian throne.

Meanwhile Afonso V took his niece Queen Juana I of Castile as his second wife in 1475. However, the union would remain childless as Juana was barren, leading the Castilian throne to be inherited by her cousin João III of Portugal in 1530 (son of João II and Isabel of Castile). João II meanwhile would marry Joan I of Aragon and Navarre (Queen of Aragon 1516-1526, Queen of Navarre 1517-1526), daughter of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Catherine of Navarre.

Below is a list of the rulers of the various Iberian Kingdoms, showing how the various thrones were united under King Afonso (VI of Aragon and Portugal, II of Navarre and XII of Castile) by 1541.

Kings of Portugal
Afonso V 1438-1481 (married to Isabel of Portugal with issue, later Juana I of Castile without issue)
João II 1481-1495 (married to Isabel of Castile, had issue)
João III 1495-1541 (married to Joan I of Aragon and Navarre)
Afonso VI of Portugal 1541-1578 (married Isabel of Viseu, great-granddaughter of Duarte I, bringing the lands of the Order of Christ under Crown Control)

Rulers of Castile
Juana I 1474-1530 (married to Afonso V of Portugal, no issue)
Alfonso XII (VI of Portugal) 1530-1578 of Portugal, Aragon, Navarre

Rulers of Aragon (Sicily & Sardinia)
Ferdinand II 1479-1516
Joan I 1516-1526
Alfonso VI of (also of Portugal, Castille & Leon, Navarre) 1526-1578

Rulers of Navarre
Catherine I 1483-1517
Joan I of (also of Aragon) 1517-1526
Alfonso II (also of Portugal, Castille & Leon, Aragon) 1526-1578
No Protestants

Since the Habsburgs are no longer distracted with Spain, it seems like it would be easier for them to suppress the Protestant movement in German lands -- assuming that there is a Protestant movement at all. After all, the discovery of the thought-to-be-unknown peoples of the New World had a profound effect on Renaissance humanist thinking, such that the textual critics like Erasmus and Lorenzo Valla had more influence on such persons as Martin Luther, for example. Compare the intellectual climate of the early XVIth century to the explosion of scholastic theology in the late XVIth century, specifically in Spain and Italy and amongst Jesuits and Dominicans.

Perhaps, with the discovery of the new lands being made two generations earlier, the scholastic philosophers and theologians would have been better able to absorb and assimilate the fact of the discovery, such that Luther -- who never read St Thomas Aquinas and was for the most part unfamiliar with Aristotle by extension -- would not have thrown himself down the pathway of rigorism and fideism. He would have access to a broader spectrum of ideas, as the change in the European psyche and economic balance would have caused ripples long before he reached manhood. Perhaps some other like him would rise up earlier, but it is highly improbably that the unique chain reaction that resulted in Europe being split on his account would occur twice. The Protestant movement ITTL might play out more like the affair with the Albigensians.

After all, there would be ample literature in Germany by this time that had to do with the discoveries. The ninety-five theses were nailed on Wittenberg Cathedral's door only twenty-five years after the discovery of America OTL. In this case, it would be almost seventy years between the discovery and 1517, which is more than enough time to fundamentally change the intellectual currents of the day. Likewise, the earlier trans-Atlantic trade could make the German princes' avaricious decisions to abandon the Holy See a moot point. They may instead see more opportunity in sending parties of knights overseas to the New World to harvest its seemingly endless resources. The Teutonic knights or the Hanseatic League may both see this as a profitable venture, if they aren't beaten by Catholic England.

Papal power at this time, however, may effectively restrain the Iberian Crown from having to face any competitors. The easiest way around this would be for the northern powers to perform some service for the Holy See such that they would be awarded an indult that allowed them a share of the New World. France comes to mind as the power that could obtain this most easily, or else any power that unites itself with the Teutonic knights' crusades. Otherwise, the Scandinavians might revisit their island-hopping route, or some settlement further north on what is called the North American continent IOTL may be permitted on the grounds of it being a new discovery. New France may still exist; ITTL, it may even be settled far earlier and with a more numerous population, even during the reign of Francis I, if he doesn't have Italy to keep him distracted due to more successful predecessors.

Also, regarding the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica in the Renaissance style, the Renaissance Popes wanted to strengthen the papal states and give it a grandeur that would maintain the Pope's mediaeval position as the universal arbiter of Christendom and of the Law of Nations. With a unified and fabulously wealthy Iberian monarchy, perhaps the Holy See could find funds for this project with relative ease compared to OTL.

However, it seems that the Portuguese, without the OTL links to the Habsburgs, would be less inclined to become involved in northern Italy ITTL, such that it would be absorbed by the Kingdom of France. And the Portuguese monarchs may not want to gild the lily, as it were, and try to focus on keeping the peace in Europe so to maintain their overseas monopoly, which is lucrative beyond any advantage that might be gained in Europe short of reunifying all of Christendom and the Mediterranean under their imperium. If France does conquer northwestern Italy, the long-anticipated crusade against the Turk may successfully launch before the middle of the XVIth century, perhaps even being called at this TL's equivalent to the Council of Trent -- to deal with the Protestant crisis or its equivalent, which could even occur somewhat earlier. France and Portugal could even see a strategic concurrence, with Portugal commanding the seas and having undisturbed global shipping while France secures Europe and brings the crusade to the Eastern Mediterranean.

England, however, now solidly Catholic for the indefinite future, may see an opportunity to force the issue of northern Italy as a reason to invade France. Iberia and England are natural allies against France, and this may therefore drag Iberia into Milan. That being said, unification of the Iberian crowns at such an early point could make the Portuguese royal house so powerful -- especially if Sicilians, Sardinians, Basques, Aragonese, Neapolitans, and others are allowed to settle overseas and in southern Africa -- that the era of national monarchies could be nipped in the bud altogether.

Instead, we might see Christendom repose in a conservative and Imperial age, with a restored Roman Empire and the re-unification of East and West, as missionaries and adventurers are sent out across the Indian Ocean, Central Asia, and the New World. Europe would evolve not into nation-states, but would become more like China.
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Flemish Settlement

In 1430, Infanta Isabel of Portugal, daughter of King João I of Portugal married Philip, Duke of Burgundy. The duchess consort would enjoy a particularly long life for the period, living until the age of seventy-four in 1471. During her period at the Burgundian Court, Flemish influence in Portugal increased. Bruges and later Antwerp would become vital to Portugal's trading empire, with the Flemish acting as middlemen. Through Flanders, the goods of the Baltic and northern Europe passed into Portugal. In addition, Flemish art, tapestries, and literature all had a profound influence Portuguese Court and upper classes during this period.

Flemish nobles such as Willem van der Haegen (called Guilerme da Silveira in Portuguese), Joss van Hurtere and Jacomé of Bruges were recruited in Flanders to undertake the settlement of the Azores. They recruited nearly two-thousand Flemish settlers to the islands by 1490. All three of these men were also responsible for colonising the region of the Val dos Flamengos, or the River of the Flemings (Delaware River) beginning in 1470.

Infante Fernando, Duke of Viseu, had ordered that a colony be established on the mainland of Terra Nova to search for silver and gold, with the provision that settlers be brought to the area as well. Van Hurtere arrived on the Delaware River valley in 1471 with over 100 settlers from around Bruges in Flanders. They were mostly young families from feudal estates, enticed to settle in this land by the lure of riches. However, many had originally thought they were going to the Antilles, only to find out they were being sent to a vast unknown wilderness.

Though Van Hurtere was granted the captaincy over the region by the Order of Christ, he chose to live in Faial and appointed an ombudsman (ouvidor) to govern in his absence. As captain, Van Hurtere received 10% of all agricultural production of the region, wielded almost absolute power over the settlement, being able titles to land and revoke lands not settled within five years, collect taxes and enjoy a monopoly over mills, salt, and bakeries. In addition, he could appoint magistrates, with power to dole out sentences (except death as these were the prerogative of the crown). The Captaincy of São Luís, as it would be called was in essence the transferral of the feudal system to the New World.

For the crown, the system of hereditary captaincies provided a large stream of income to the crown, without having to assume any of the burdens of costs of settlement, defence or administration. The system of captaincies would become the most common administrate unit of the Portuguese Atlantic (later Spanish) until the mid-16th century. The Order of Christ reaped the benefits of these settlements as much of the revenue from the New World allowed the Order to undertake the reconquest of Moorish lands in Africa, and to pursue eventually trade with the East Indies.

Although, populated largely by Flemish settlers, the settlement São Luís (Philadelphia) soon grew into a small prosperous port town with settlers or various origins. Portuguese from port cities, were followed by Castilians, New Christians and even some Genoese by 1500. The valley along the Flamengo River was able to grow corn in large quantities to be exported to the Antilles. The region was home to some 2,000 Europeans by 1500, as settlement had expanded to the North, South and Inland.

For the indigenous populations, the European settlement would destroy the Lenape as a culture within a generation. Though originally relations had been good between the two peoples, they deteriorated after a skirmish broke out between some settlers and the Lenape. In addition, the settlers soon began to take the indigenous peoples as slaves, sending raiding parties further inland, as they sought mineral riches in addition to captives. Finally, as in the Antilles, disease wiped out large numbers of people and by 1520, smallpox had swept the entire new world, even though Europeans had not yet penetrated the interior.