The Portuguese Pioneers

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Read Books, 2008 - History - 376 pages
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THE PIONEER H I SJT EDITED BY V. T. HARLOW, M. A., AND J. A. WILLIAMSON, D. LIT. THE PORTUGUESE PIONEERS THE PORTUGUESE PIONEERS BY EDGAR PRESTAGE M. A., D. LITT., F. R. H. S., F. R. O. S. CAMOEKS PROFESSOR OF PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE, LITERATURE AND HISTORY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF LONDON A. C. BLACK LTD 4, 5 6 SO HO SQUARE LONDON W. i 933 EDITORS PREFACE TO THE SERIES r HE Pioneer Histories are intended to provide J broad surveys of the great migrations of European peoples for purposes of trade, conquest and settle m ent into the non-European continents. They aim at describing a racial expansion which has created the complex world of to-day, so nationalistic in its instincts, so internationalised in its relationships. International affairs now claim the attention of every intelligent citizen, and prpblems of world-wide extent affect the security and livelihood of us all. He who would grasp their meaning and form sound judgements must look into the past for the foundations of the present, and, abandoning a local for a universal per spective, must take for his study the history of a world invaded by European ideas. It was less so in the days before the Great War, Then the emphasis was upon Europe itself upon such questions as that of Frances eastern frontier inherited from Richelieu and Louis XIV, the militarism of Germany derived from Frederick the Great, and the Balkan entanglement which originated with the medieval migrations of Slavonic peoples and with the Turkish conquests of the fourteenth century. Now the prospect is wider, for these ancient domestic difficulties in modern form cannot properly be estimated except by correlation with the problems of a Europeanised outer world. EDITORSPREFACE TO THE SERIES The Orient is in ferment and Asiatic difficulties com pel the attention of Geneva because long ago the Portu guese, followed by the Dutch and the English, rounded the Cape and came to India. For the same reason, Africa is no longer an unknown continent but a vast area in which civilised enterprise demands direction and control Knowledge of the process by which North America was discovered and gradually filled with Euro peans is the necessary basis for an understanding of the modern reactions upon each other of the new continent and the old. In South America the same process is to be seen at work, though incomplete while Nature is yet unsubdued. Similarly, it may be appreciated how the search for an unknown but credited continent lying about the South Pole has helped to shift the centre of gravity to the Pacific, and has created a white Australasia. The present series will show how the per manent factors in these great regions first presented themselves to European minds and how achievements were then effected which have governed all subsequent relationships. But if the subject has this interest for students of affairs, it has also its appeal to those who dwell most on individual character, courage and ingenuity. Movements are made by men, and in these stories of European expansion are to be met men worth knowing, whose deeds carry inspiration for this generation as for all others. Each volume takes for its subject the history of an important movement and, while related to others in the series, is thus complete in itself. The authors whose co-operation we have been fortunate to secure have all had experience of research in the original evidence pertaining to theirsubjects, and in their contributions VI EDITORS PREFACE TO THE SERIES to this series they give the results of that research in narratives which should appeal to the general reader. Each book is designed to embody the most recent in formation available, and some will be found to deal with subjects of which no full treatment has hitherto been accessible in English. v. T. HARLOW J. A. WILLIAMSON vn INTRODUCTION r JJ HE geographical position of Portugal invited her JL to become a maritime power, but with a popula tion of only one and a...

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About the author (2008)

Edgar Prestage was a Camoens Professor in the University of London.

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