1. Area inhabited/ruled [if members of your group emigrated, immigrated, or established settlement (colonies) outside of their home country you should include an explanation of that travel or settlement in this section; include places traveled and reasons for leaving home country]- Hannah
  2. Everyday Life- Nidhi
  3. Social and Political Organization- Hannah
  4. Religion- Nidhi
  5. Arts/Technology/Developed Culture- Hannah
  6. Political- Nidhi

Religion played a hugely important role in the lives of the Portuguese. The Portuguese people were Christians and they desired to spread their religion to foreign lands. To do , they organized large sea voyages to go to Africa and to try to persuade the people there to convert to Christianity. In Africa, they colonized and built trading posts to get to know the local people and to teach them about Christianity. Through their valiant efforts, the Portuguese people succeeded in converting a fair number of people to Christianity.

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Symbols of Portuguese religion and a Portuguese church near Lisbon.

Political/ Social Organization
The Portuguese had quite a complex political system in which foreign trade played a huge role. In fact, the Portuguese mainly colonized Africa for this purpose. They set up factories and commercial trading posts, where they traded pots, pans, and hardware, for slaves,gold, ivory, pepper,and gum. Slaves were especially important, as they were used for harsh toil in the Portuguese sugar plantations. The slaves would be shipped out of Africa, through the Middle Passage ( where many died), and finally to Europe or Brazil. Once there, they would be treated harshly and abused by their masters, who had complete control of them. These slaves worked very hard to keep the trade going and were a very part of the political system of Portugal.

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Depiction of the slave transport through the "middle passage" and map of Portuguese colonization of the world.

The Portuguese considered it very important to have relationships with foreign peoples across the world.They wanted to take part in many of the trades and political happenings at the time, like being the middlemen in the trade between Asia and Europe. They also wanted to contribute to the Trans- Saharan trade( which included gold, slaves and ivory) and obtain grain and gold through these trades. Another reason for having these political relationships, was to have allies to back them. They succeeded in obtaining Spain as an ally and Spain helped them in their struggle against Muslims in the Mediterranean (Muslim people had seized control of the land routes of trade and travel) .Because of this, the Portuguese people found new sea routes to the east. The Portuguese's political relations truly helped them in many ways.

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Map of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and a picture of a Portuguese commercial trading post.

Portuguese Daily Life And Culture
An extremely important part of Portuguese culture was the interest of the people in marine expeditions. These expeditions were also supported by the Portuguese kings and noblemen. They encouraged the the expeditions for many reasons. The Portuguese depended on the sea for trade, so it was necessary for them to find new sea routes through marine expeditions. European food was very bland. This created much demand for spices in their daily life to add flavor to their food. Because the spices were expensive in Europe, people supported exploring sea routes to the east to find foreign spices for their food. Henry the Navigator was the royal prince who showed enthusiasm for exploration and voyages. He even established a school for navigators so they could learn to sail with skill. Thus the daily life and the culture of the Portuguese people set the foundations for marine expeditions.

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Vasco da Gama and Prince Henry the Navigator, two of the most influencial people to marine expeditions.

Through their marine expeditions, the Portuguese found and decided to colonize Africa. Their main priority was to form a stable relationship with the people there. They based themselves off of small islands off of the continent. The Portuguese captains married the local women of Africa and had biracial (mixed race) children, who were considered to be Portuguese citizens. The men worked in the Portuguese’s factories and grew sugar. They opened up commercial trading posts, where they taught the local people about Christianity and introduced them to new crops that could be grown in Africa. All these daily routines allowed the Portuguese to develop a strong and stable relationship with Africa and eventually were even able to control a portion of West Africa.

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A portuguese trading factory and a map of some of the sea routes discovered by the Portuguese sea explorers

Azulejo is a popular type of art in the Portuguese art and culture. Azulejo was popular not only in Portugal but also Brazil, India, and Africa. Even though azulejo was popular in Portugal it was actually introduced to the Portuguese by the Spanish. “Azulejo” means polished stone in Arabic and like the meaning, azulejo is a tile made of dry string called cuerda seca. These tiles are used to cover the walls and floors outside and inside buildings in Portugal. What makes the tiles so unique is that some of them have mudejar.

Mudejar is a simple glazed tile that is decorated with a pattern. An example of a Mudejar tile is a tile that is glazed and may have a geometric or floral pattern. Azulejo were always decorated in a different design. Some designs include looping, bending, lace-like, and interlocking. The designs were important because the designs were what really expressed the Portugal arts and culture. But these designs are only on one side of the tile and that is the side that is glazed and the side that everyone will see. So as you have learned azulejo was a popular part of Portuguese art because azulejo was a way the Portuguese could expressed their country and their countries art.

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(floral pattern) (geometric pattern)

Exploring, expeditions, and trading were all important to the Portugal society. When exploring, the Portuguese sailors would mainly explore the Atlantic. Exploring was important because it caused discoveries and finding of new land. In 1487 one of the Portuguese sailors sailed around the Cape of Good Hope. 1497-1499 Another Portuguese sailor went to India and opened a new trade route. These two events in history are two of many events that exploring led to. Another important part of the Portugal society was expeditions. Expeditions were journeys or voyages used to find land and new trading routes. The reaching of the coast of Guinea was an expedition. When there the Portuguese imminently set up forts and trading stations. This is an example of how expeditions were important.

The Portugal society was not only made up of exploring and expeditions, but also trading. Trading was very important because the Portugal relied on trading to bring their country wealth and economic power. The Portuguese set goal for their trading system and one of the goals was to have complete and total control over ivory, gold, and slave trade. In the age of exploration Portugal depended on trading with Northern Europe to have a powerful economy. So the Portuguese not only depended on trade, exploration, and expeditions but all the things that made up the society depended on each other.

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(Portugal Voyage Ships) (Slave and Trading Routes. Slave Trading= green)

Portugal was divided into four parts due to three rivers. Minho, Douro, Tejo were the names of these three rivers. The Minho River was located by the northern border of Portugal and goes through a mountainous area. South of the Minho is the Douro River. Mountain slopes and plains are to the south of Douro River, and then to the south of that is the Tejo River. The area around the Tajo River includes mountain slopes and plains. The fourth part of Portugal is Alentejo. Alentejo is the southern part of Portugal and stretches over 5547 kilometers in the Atlantic Ocean. So the Minho, Douro, Tejo Rivers and Alentejo all make up the four parts of the country Portugal.

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(Image of Portugal. On the map you can see the Douro River)