Thursday, March 1, 2007

MOTW #67

Snobs like me who order loose tea from catalogs get newsletters like the Upton Tea Quarterly. They have articles about the history of tea. This history mirrors the history of empires controlling trade. The current issue has this map on the cover showing the eastern Portuguese Empire.

Some quotes from the article:

"Portugal was the fist country to establish an empire upon which the sun never set"

Vasco da Gama set the tone of "hatred and vengeance which would characterize Portuguese-Muslim relations for the future. By 1504 the Pope received a threat that Christian holy places would be destroyed unless something was done to curb the Portuguese".

The empire started modestly with the claiming of unoccupied islands such as Madiera and Porto Santo. Prince Henry "The Navigator" claimed to have liberated these places from Muslim rule.