The Portuguese Atlantic World, <i>C.</i> 1650–<i>C.</i> 1760

A.J.R. Russell-Wood

in The Oxford Handbook of the Atlantic World

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199210879
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 The Portuguese Atlantic World, C. 1650–C. 1760

Show Summary Details


After sixty years of Spanish rule, Restoration in 1640 saw the accession to the Portuguese throne of the duke of Braganza as Dom João IV. This did not erase Portuguese guilt by association. Spain's enemies still harassed Portugal. The Dutch suspended trade with Portugal and sought spices, sugar, and slaves in their places of origin. In the Atlantic, the Dutch occupied the north-east of Brazil (1630–1654), major ports of Angola (1640–1648), and the archipelago of São Tomé and Príncipe. Portugal regained these. The only irrevocable Portuguese loss in the Atlantic was São Jorge da Mina on the Gold Coast. When considering maritime policies and practices, Portuguese kings weighed commercial benefits against political interests and diplomatic relations with European and other rulers. The Portuguese emigrated throughout the Atlantic. The period 1650–1760 saw a shift from emigrants who came principally from agricultural or artisanal backgrounds to emigrants with professional experience and more diverse skill sets. This article also looks at settlements, economies, and societies, as well as Angola and Brazil, exchanges between Brazil and Africa, and Portugal and its Atlantic colonies.

Keywords: Atlantic; Portugal; trade; maritime policies; diplomatic relations; emigrants; Angola; Brazil; Africa; colonies

Article.  8468 words. 

Subjects: History ; European History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.