|The Arrival of Vasco De Gama on the Shores of the Indian Sub-Continent|
The Portuguese had arrived in
India in 1498 in three ships under the command of Vasco De Gama, who had sailed
around the Cape of Good Hope and anchored on the Malbar coast. They soon entered
into negotiations with local ruler in an unsuccessful attempt to secure monopoly
trading privileges to their own nation state.
At that point, the
‘rights’ to explore and lay claim to unknown and unchristian parts of the
world were divided (with the blessings of the Pope) between Spain and Portugal;
while Spain had been awarded the new world, Asia had fallen to the adventurous
Portuguese. Despite their inability at once to exclude the Arab infidels, trade
with India increased and, by 1505, a viceroy was appointed who entered his
office with empire aforethought, and they soo established trading posts at
several places along the west coast.
To remedy the shortage of manpower with which to control the trade , as well as to further the cause of Christianizing the heathen, the Portuguese encouraged the marriage of sailors and servants to native women. By the sixteenth century, two other powers appeared on the scene and the Portuguese competition declined rapidly. These were the Dutch and the British, who both took advantage of the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 to venture abroad in defiance of the Papal Bull.