Rebirth of an Empire "O Renascimento de um Império" v2.0

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Lusitania, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. Thrudgelmir2333 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    I just want to make a quick interjection here for a new disclaimer; while this IOTL will focus a lot more on economic and market topics and they will be pivotal in some plot points, I do not claim to have perfect dominion over trade dynamics in any shape or form, only what you could call "a slightly educated guess". This is Alternate History, after all, and I do not want readers to think I utterly believe in the possibility of some of the events taking place in this thread's writing, especially regarding economics, in the same way I would not like to break your suspension of disbelief.

    That being said, and more onto the quoted question, market history will play out differently, yes, and there's really no realistic way it could not have. As it stands the Portuguese Government is undergoing a mercantilism phase that is only natural in countries undergoing competitive difficulties. The only real tweak this thread adds is the massive artificial injection of 'capital of ideas' and 'ruthlessness' into Portugal as of 1755, but as the country develops competitive skill and human capital it will outgrow its IOTL version and will follow the natural course that is liberating its market and allowing market history to play out naturally, rather than forcefully.

    What I mean to say is that there will be market history changes, but they won't be motivated by a certain character's stewardship but rather the natural forces of the commerce and the whims of the population, as well as I can replicate them in writing. As of now I am trying to improve ways to display this growth as I write the 1777-1782 phase, but I cannot guarantee full potential realization in what I write because, as my favorite philosophical line goes, "All I know is that I know nothing".
     
  2. Th3saint Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    Will the focus on multi tasking of so many feilds have a cultural impact?
     
  3. Lusitania Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Location:
    Winnipeg / Lusitania
    Yes it will, we have a whole section at end of the reign of Joseph I on the cultural advancements.

    The other important change we will post as the TL progresses will be the inter relationship of all the new ethnic groups in Portugal, Brazil and rest of empire. thrudgelmir2333 and I through several long conversations discussed that TL Portuguese empire will not resemble Portugal, Brazil or other Portuguese speaking country both culturaly and demographically. This will be a result of the different cultures, and ethnic groups that will make up the Portuguese empire and how they interacted with one another. A unique (or we think multi) cultures will over the decades develop in the different regions of the Empire.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
    crazyself00 and Rui like this.
  4. Unknown Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, TX
    I was just reading the first version and I must say that I like how you are expanding this TL...

    Waiting for more, of course...
     
  5. Lusitania Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Location:
    Winnipeg / Lusitania
    Yes with thrudgelmir2333 guidance we have greatly expanded our TL to provide readers a better understanding of the underlying issues facing Portugal but more importantly provide detailed explanations of the reforms and developments. This allows the reader to realize the growth and development presented later on was based on proper groundwork and realistic. As we have indicated in prior posts v1 1750-1777 grew from 60 pages to over 360 pages in v2.
     
    ruisramos and crazyself00 like this.
  6. Lusitania Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Location:
    Winnipeg / Lusitania
    Rebirth of Empire (Part 1 of 2) - Pombaline Cabinet (1762 -1777) - Minister of Navy & Colonial Affairs (3 of 6)
    Rebirth of the Empire (Part 1 of 2) (cont)

    Pombaline Cabinet (1762 - 1777) (Cont)

    Ministry of Navy & Colonial Affairs (3 of 6)

    Shipyard Industry, Merchant Navy & Stock Market

    The increase in commerce in Portugal and its overseas provinces started causing shortages in cargo space as the number of Portuguese ships was not enough to meet the demand. In 1765, the government along with private investors deposited large amounts of money to increase Portugal’s shipbuilding capacity along with the attendant trades and in 1764 the government eased the restrictions on shipping Portuguese products on foreign ships.

    The growth of the Portuguese shipyard industry, once the initial phases of war in South America and focus on army development were passed, accelerated a great deal due to a number of factors. For once, Castro’s naval architecture reforms had allowed the investments to focus on smaller, cheaper and more adequate shipyard facilities which could mushroom faster than the British ones due to not wasting resources on preparing the construction and reparation of first rate ships. Portuguese war shipyards became specialized in constructing third rate ships of the line, with only a singular second rate construction yard present amongst the major sea industry points such as Lisbon and Oporto.

    The strong syphoning of resources and investments into reasonable but strong ship models allowed investment attraction and construction speed to be increased while minimizing material waste. The several steps Castro took to reduce costs through design improvements allowed for a rapid expansion of the navy despite the limited growth of the shipyards, bringing prestige and accomplishment to the yet small sector. To maintain quality levels and supply, the National Shipyard Company, one of the very last Commercial Companies historically established, was created by Pombal to route naval supplies from national, Baltic and colonial markets and ensure ship building stuck to established design standards.

    It would take some time for the booming shipyard industry to reach the productivity level it became famous for, but even so the first few third rated ships of the line started being deployed by the start of the 1770s. This did not meet the demand at the time, however, as smaller ships were being neglected due to lack of productive capacity, so something had to be done to obtain a new source of ship construction.

    It was in response to the need of securing its trade relations that the Lisbon and Oporto Chambers of Commerce started appealing for their investors, members and employees to invest in ship construction and the establishment of their own forces. After obtaining permission and guidance from the National Shipyard Company, the Chambers of Commerce began constructing their own shipyards to issue small scale ships to protect the interests of the Portuguese plutocrats. Portuguese shipbuilding had relied on private investment since the early days of the empire, but each ship was often funded entirely by a single person or entity, which lead to inefficient risk handling. The Dutch, for example, had defeated the Portuguese Navy numerous times due to being able to fund their navy more effectively through partial owning and stocks.

    Better late than never, this was the birth of the Portuguese stock market; the first major circulation of bonds in the country, much like in Holland nearly two hundred years before, revolved around the need merchants faced to reduce the risk in ship investment. Owning only a tenth of a single ship meant that the merchant would not go bankrupt once a single cargo shipwrecked, not to mention the sheer risk-reduction factor had time-tested values of market traction boosting. The Chambers of Commerce became the seats of stock holding in Portugal’s major metropolitan markets, more specifically the Douro Valley and Lisbon, and helped advance financial thought in the country further.


    [​IMG]
    Modern Lisbon Stock Exchange logo
    Designed around the naval circumstances of its birth

    In 1770, Portugal concluded what would become known as the ‘Morbeia War’, a conflict with Morocco that would result in the confiscation of many Islamic vessels. Most of these ships were small frigates, sloops and brigs used for piracy and fast sailing, as Morocco had no officially organized Navy per se and had possessed only a few naval industries for a long time as a result of the two centuries of Luso-Hispanic assault on its coasts. Combined with the privately built vessels, a fleet of small ships of sorts was being formed with no stable attachment to the actual Portuguese Navy.

    In 1772 enough vessels were being put out by the Chambers of Commerce that Minister Castro found it necessary to finally make official the Portuguese Merchant Navy as a separate branch of the naval armed forces. Consisted primarily of small ships, such as brigs and corvettes built, funded and sometimes even fully owned by private investors, the new Merchant Navy became an important force of national naval expansion and, more importantly, political growth of the Chambers of Commerce in the kingdom and abroad.


    [​IMG]
    Portuguese Merchant Navy

    The Merchant Navy possessed its own naval schools, its own shipyards, its own salaries and its own sailor hierarchy. Portuguese law, however, evolved to prevent the semi-private organization from not only growing too independent, but also from developing more complex structure or building warships. Ultimately, the Portuguese Navy was given authority to dock its ships in Merchant Navy yards, lead operations involving merchant ships and even decide some of its major routes. The only things the Merchant Navy was absolutely free from interference was employee management and salaries.

    Eventually, the Portuguese Navy and the Portuguese Merchant Navy ended up aiding each other in the sense that they took their favorite ship designs off each other’s hands. The main navy was allowed to focus on building ships of the line in its shipyards and prepare for heavy ship to heavy ship combat while the merchant navy took over the fight against pirates, corsairs and privateers with its expanding force of small vessels and frigates.

    The promotion of specialized shipyards and the growth of the Merchant Navy infrastructure would allow Portugal to double its shipbuilding capacity by 1785. The capacity was further expanded by the expansion of shipbuilding enterprises and related industries in Rio de Janeiro, Bahia and Goa. The number of Portuguese ships including the large merchant ships sailing between Portugal and its overseas provinces grew tenfold during this time frame.


    The Letter Road Project – Brazilian Phase

    The success of the Letter Road project in continental Portugal allowed the establishment of a communication hierarchy based on topography and industrial gravitas that contributed to major administrative, military, legal and social improvements and reforms in the metropolitan territory. The possibility of exporting it to Brazil, of course, was tantalizing and something the Count of Oeiras had been considering ever since the establishment of the Colonial Profit Doctrine, which put Brazilian production and trade in Brazilian hands but secured the right Portugal had to investigate Brazilian entities. Accelerating and organizing communication in Brazil would theoretically allow much better oversight over the ‘Brazilian machine’, something that excited the government with the possibilities for colonial policy evolution.

    Unfortunately, the Letter Road Project, while vital to overcome land difficulties, could do little to close in sea distances. It was not like it was possible to streamline sea routes any more than what the Atlantic currents allowed and sailing ship speed was still limited to the grueling 12 knots no matter how fast the water pushed the boat.

    Navy Minister Castro, making use of his previous experience as Vice Roy and colonial company director, argued that it was possible to implement the Letter Road Project in Brazil effectively; the catch was in connecting its top echelon to the node in Lisbon. Based on distances and currents, Castro determined the best possible inter-continental link was between Rio Grande and Lisbon. Based on administrative importance, however, Rio de Janeiro overtook Rio Grande. In either case, there was little fine-tuning that could be done to the route, meaning the minimal communication delay between Portugal and Brazil was likely to stay the same.

    When it came to Brazil’s countryside, however, the story was different. The large number of rivers, significant land distances, sparse occupation and mountainous ranges that filled the colonized Brazil’s innermost sections all contributed to a sense of fog in those areas that prevented the Brazilian centers from fully knowing what was going on there right away. This also hindered colonization efforts, as it was increasingly different to watch over settlers the deeper they moved up the La Plata river or into the Amazon’s edges.


    The Ambassador successfully argued in cabinet that the profit of implanting the Letter Road project in Brazil was not in closing in distances, but by increasing the amount of information gathered about Brazil’s interior as well as the speed of said information and attacked orders. Should it be properly established, the Project held promise of granting the central state larger and faster control over inner Brazil, even if the minimal sea travel to Brazil’s top echelon remained the same.

    Starting as soon as 1764, Portuguese post offices began spreading their buildings to Brazil. After renovating offices in important coastal points, mainly Rio Grande, the Amazon estuary and Rio de Janeiro, new routes to the interior were planned where along lower and lower nodes were placed. The sheer size of Brazil and distances involved would lead the ensuing construction and bureaucracy to take more time to be implemented than it did in Portugal, but by 1772 the planned tree of communication was fully operational.


    [​IMG]
    19th Century recollection map of the major reformed offices by 1772
    Note Rio de Janeiro, and Bahia as major message hotspots

    As expected, the actual communication between Portugal and Brazil did not accelerate; the only significant difference was the volume of information made available about the Brazilian interior. This helped further settlement plants and military intentions, but failed in bridging the gap between Rio and Lisbon. Even so, the implementation of the Letter Road project allowed the efficiency of local Brazilian powers to increase significantly as, for them, travel times were actually shortened.

    Plans were made to do the same to African and Indian colonies but, unfortunately, they were too small and coastal based at the time to reap any real benefit, so implementing the Letter Road was delayed until military expansions in Africa and India were secured.

    Note:
    As stated before the Ministry of Navy and Colonial Affairs section deals with several important topics that were fundamental to the modernization of the Portuguese Navy and development of the Portuguese colonies or as they became developed overseas provinces, to that effect we are posting its chapters in six separate posts. This post provides a better understanding on the expansion and strengthening of not only the Portuguese Navy but just as important the Portuguese Merchant navy. Which in times of crises could be indistinguishable.
    Comments / questions???.

    Please return Sunday May 21 as we post the next chapters dealing with Portuguese overseas provinces and colonies: "The Archipelago Act" and the "The Overseas State Theory – First Edition".
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
    Rui, Archangel, Sceonn and 3 others like this.
  7. Sceonn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2014
    Where does the Portuguese Navy stands in relation to other European Navies by the 19th century?
     
  8. Unknown Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Good updates; like how you're focusing on the overseas provinces and colonies...
     
    Owen Moody likes this.
  9. Lusitania Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Location:
    Winnipeg / Lusitania
    In the 1760s the size of the navy was still comparable to iOTL which was very low (at bottom). We will provide detailed comparisons of Portuguese navy in the naval posts during reign king Joseph II. The reason being that all the changes/reforms outlined in last posts only really started having a impact from 1770 onward (tonnage and size).
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
    crazyself00 likes this.
  10. Lusitania Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Location:
    Winnipeg / Lusitania
    Thanks, this was the logical location to post the changes occurring in the overseas provinces.

    Note: the changes to the size and composition of overseas provinces will be dealt with in desperate posts (dealing with the wars and their outcomes).
     
    crazyself00 likes this.
  11. Johannes Parisiensis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2014
    Location:
    Lutetia
    With all these measures on navigation, coupled with their economic policies, is Portugal poised to become an "Iberian England", with an empire protected by a strong navy and powerful industries exporting its goods across its empire and the rest of the world?

    Because they sure seem to take this road.

    And speaking about being an Iberian England, will Portugal try to expend its colonial holdings?
     
    Archangel likes this.
  12. Lusitania Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Location:
    Winnipeg / Lusitania

    Oh boy these are very loaded questions. I am in a quandary on how to respond without revealing too much but at same time answering the question. So the short answer is yes and no.

    Yes Portugal will need to have a strong navy to protect itself but unlike England it has a need for a strong Army with a hostile neighbor next door. Industrialization happening in Portugal well before rest of continental Europe. Strong navy to protect it and its overseas provinces and a army in the midsts of major reorganization and rearmament.

    So all this will allow it to seize opportunities as they arise be they in Europe, Americas, Africa or Asia. So yes all it's colonial hildings will expand and new ones added.

    As for an Iberian England I think we are shorting ourselfs because we can be so much more. By that I mean Portugal could of become a smaller version of England and rule its colonial Empire similarly to GB and in the 20th century suffer the same fate as GB iOTL. But in reality the reforms of the 18th century mushroomed during the 19th century into a Portuguese empire that evolved into an truly global empire, the British could of only dreamed but were too afraid to embark on.

    I hope I have answered your questions and not seemed arrogant but please understand that there are specific things we cannot reveal at this time. Last point you are thinking in the right direction though.
     
  13. Thrudgelmir2333 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    I think they are perfectly fair.

    That's hardly advisable to any sane government in the current period considering Portugal is actually physically attached to the continent and depends a lot on diplomatic favor. Even if the policies are leaning that way, that is in virtue of being the most favorable path for Portugal under ideal diplomatic circumstances and not a set-in-stone indicator of its future priorities.

    Portugal is a small country with a small population and non-insurmountable borders; it will play the cards it was given.
     
  14. Lusitania Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Location:
    Winnipeg / Lusitania
    Yes the questions are fair but while I wanted to answer it I did not want to provide too much information of what happens in future in the answer. The answer below provides a much better Analysis.

    The biggest difference between Portugal and Britain is that British navy was primary defense for the British isles. While Portugal had to worry about its larger neighbor Spain next door as well as other countries such as France. So it could not antagonize or be arrogant as Britain at times seemed to be by other Europeans. Portugal had to rely on diplomatic approach above all else in dealing other european countries.

    When you ask if Portugal would be like England of iberian Peninsula i enterpret that as being industrial and trading with world. That yes but antagonist no as Thrudgelmir2333 stated Portugal did not have the geography or population base to do that. Plus there are advantages to not being perceived that way.
     
  15. Sceonn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2014
    One thing is for certain, Constitutional Monarchy should not have any significant opposition in Portugal once Napoleon comes knocking. Since Business, as oppose to land and titles, is fast becoming the real power.
     
  16. Lusitania Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Location:
    Winnipeg / Lusitania
    While it is true that constitutional monarchy will arrive in Portugal the issue will be the timing of implementation as circumstances will delay its implementation for being in the middle of war is not best time to start time consuming political changes. As for opposition unlike iOTL it will not be widespread but the real divisor will be the extent of the franchise to vote and hold office. There will be those who feel that illiterate and poor people are not worthy of such privilege, especially those not of right ethnic or cultural group.

    This was a common thought even in the US and Britain two pillars of democracy. IOTL these two democratic pioneers practiced what we would today view as very restrictive franchise eligibility in the early 19th century. They did not have universal voting franchise, GB for instance did not grant universal francise until the early 20th century and as for the US it was not till middle 20th century that all males were allowed to vote (consider blacks and Indians).

    (Note: for sake of francise discussion above we are not discussing women's eligibility to vote which is a separate issue. One that is as important but for comparison we only talking about males able to vote in the 19th century.)
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  17. Aishio Dark Traveler

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2016
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Just finished reading and this is brilliant! It was like reading an history book, but more fun! I really hope this continues to prosper and fill my eyes with joy each day! Congratulations on your excelent work and, althought you have a few very minor errors here and there ("Coats" in portuguese is "Casacas", não "Cazacas", minor english errors too) it is very pleasant to read. Amazingly enough this wasnt nominated (yet) for a Turtledove...
     
  18. Lusitania Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Location:
    Winnipeg / Lusitania
    Thank you, Thrudgelmir2333 has helped me kick up the TL up several high notches and I as well as all readers are enjoying his writing skills as he enhances (greatly) my own writings as well provide his extensive input and writings of new information and stories. The TL is actually written as a History book with information taken from a variety of reference books, websites both in Portuguese and English with a dabbing every so often of Spanish and French references to provide as complete historical novel as possible.

    As for "Coats" in Portuguese while the modern word is "casacas" during the late 18th century and even into early 19th century Portuguese referred to them as "Cazacas". For example in the book "Diario das cartes geraes e extraordinarias da nacão portugueza" which was published in 1822 the use of "s" in place of "z" had not occurred yet. If you do find some errors or areas we can improve please let us know be it English or Portuguese.

    As for nomination to turtledove award it was nominated by a few of the TL fan and being that we only started posting it in December of last year we had a very good response.

    Lastly we ask any budding writers who would love to add a narrative story to the TL to do so in the narrative story accompanying thread. Be it an ancestor or person of interest. See signature.
     
  19. mplustwerk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2015
    Is there a reason why this latest post doesn't have a threadmark?
     
  20. Lusitania Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Location:
    Winnipeg / Lusitania
    I had forgotten to add it. Fixed now.
     
    crazyself00 likes this.