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John
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11/01/2002
13:11:17
Subject: Why Portugal is a poor country in Europe?
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Why Portugal is a poor country in Europe?
If you consider how much gold, diamonds and semi precious stones the Portugal kingdom took out of Brazil and the Africa colonies. It is hard to believe that Portugal is one of the most poor countries of Europe.


Otavio
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11/01/2002
17:31:04
RE: Why Portugal is a poor country in Europe?
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Let me try to explain. The gold that Portugal took from Brazil was used to pay debts that Portugal had with England. And when Napoleon tried to impose The Continental System(that was Napoleon's attempt to stop Britain's export and re-export trade with Europe) to Portugal, the portuguese rejected it and Portugal was invaded in 1807 by the french, this caused an economic crisis and the move of the royal court to Brazil.
But in my personal opinion Portugal, besides all this facts, should be in a better economic situation.



John
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11/01/2002
19:16:03
RE: Why Portugal is a poor country in Europe?
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Hello Otavio,

It is interesting your message, but this happened in 1807. More than 200 years ago. The Portuguese navigators were the best in the world and brought many wealth to Portugal. For example: Angola is a rich territory of diamonds until today and went a colony of Portugal until 1975.


USCIT
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11/01/2002
20:27:34
RE: Why Portugal is a poor country in Europe?
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Keep in mind that while a country might be 'controlled' by Portugal, the King or the country only get a percentage of the value of goods shipped.

An example is the first distribution of the gold and silver the Spanish took from the Inca in Peru. It is recorded that in the first collection Pizzaro gathered up $6,850,440.00 worth of gold and silver. (Calculated in 1969 English Pounds) But only One Fifth of that belonged to the King. (I use that merely as a handy reference of which I have the data at hand.)

So to say that a country, such as Portugal, owns a diamond mine, it is more to say that a Portuguese citizen owns a diamond mine in Portuguese held territory, and 'maybe' pays a tax on the profits. Depending on how good he is at evading taxes.



Guest


11/02/2002
00:57:37
RE: Why Portugal is a poor country in Europe?
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The problem with Portugal, is that it is a small country, with a tiny population, and comfortable enough for its population that they do not need to work that hard to live well.


John
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11/02/2002
18:06:53
RE: Why Portugal is a poor country in Europe?
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Zé,

But, Belgiun is also a small country and with a tiny population and the wealth of the Belgiun is much more bigger in relation of Portugal, and the Belgiun had only a colony in Africa called " Belgiun Congo" and rich in minerals and diamonds.

If you compare the Portuguese history and the many conquests in all the world you could understand better my question. Portugal had rich possesions in India, Macau, China and until in East Timor and only became a country independent this year! Phillipines was discovered by the Portuguese navigators, Taiwan comes from " Taipé " and " Formosa " , whose island the Portuguese navigators also explored, as well as many others places in all the world. The first contact with an ocidental man in Japan was made by the Portuguese navigators! The Portuguese navigators were in all the world in the 1500 and 1600 and look what is Portugal today. One of the most poor country of ocidental Europe and the currency is the EURO and the country is part of the ECE.



Guest


11/03/2002
06:01:06
RE: Why Portugal is a poor country in Europe?
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Well then, they invested their capital in exploration, and lost it because it involved to many risks. You may note that the germans had almost no colonies, and that the only exploration colony that the english had was the south of the USA. You see, it is far more profitable for you to make someone pay you for everything that they consume, than to use slave like workers which rebel and have a bad quality production.


USCIT
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11/03/2002
08:20:38
RE: Why Portugal is a poor country in Europe?
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The scope of this is almost too large for this forum, I'll try to be brief, and will therefore leave a great deal out, but some information is as follows:

First of all, England did have colonies. 84 total in fact, which includes the original 13 colonies of the U.S., and which covered the entire globe. 32 in the America's (N & S) 18 in Africa, 15 in the Pacific, 9 in Asia -- the most notable of which was their complete control of India -- 6 in Europe (including the British Isles) and 4 in the Antarctic region such as the Falkland Islands. (I can list them all by name should anyone like. <g>)

The initial big wealth for England came from the actions of Sir Francis Drake, and those like him, who preyed mainly upon the 'Black Ships' or 'Manilla Galleons' which were the greatest treasure ships of all time. In other words, piracy.

King Leopold II of Belgium had Henry Stanley work as his agent and trick the tribal chiefs of the Congo area into signing away their territories. They had been familiar with signing peace treaties, and thought they were signing one more. That one however cededed the entire Congo to the PERSONAL control of King Leopold as his private company. (Not Belgium, but he as a person) Later, as he tried to establish his company he ran into financial difficulties and had to borrow from the country of Belgium. In exchange he ceded 'all untilled land' of the Congo for Belgium to hold as collateral. An area about 4 times the size of Belgium, so they thought they were getting a great deal.

He used extreme slave tactics however in his efforts to wring a massive fortune out of the Congo, such as cutting the hands off natives (starvation, murder, intimidation) who didn't deliver what he (his company) wanted. Which was gold, rubber and most especially at the time, Ivory.

Roger Casement worked for him for a while, [before changing employment to the British Counsol Service] (the same Roger Casement who later wrote the official report exposing Julio Arana's Rubber Company tactics in Peru along the Putumayo) and ended up writing a report that exposed Leopold and the actions in the Congo, which caused Leopold to cede the entire Congo to Belgium just before he died.

The point there is that the revenue of the Congo was not tax dollars where all they got was a percentage, it was money actually made by the Country, after they gained control. They got it all up until independance was declared. (June 30, 1960) Or at least complete control of which companies operated within the Congo area.

A Portuguese navigator - Diogo Căo - was actually the first European to find the Congo (river) and establish a trading post there. He lost it when he backed the wrong tribal Chieftan in a local war.

Which makes both of them different than Portugal which relied on tax dollars from its citizens for its own revenue. Of which there should certainly have been enough. And which kind of leads me to believe that there was a lot of tax evasion going on, but I have no proof of that whatever.

Portugal did indeed have excellent navigators and intrepid seamen, (although Cabral was supposedly lost when he found Brazil <g> -- albeit that's a debated factor due to the treaty of Tordesillas) and they found a great many harbors in many countries. However, they didn't seem to hold on to a country very well. Perhaps due to their method of colonization which was to slowly move settlers in and attempt to integrate the locals into their own society. Whereas others came in with a force of arms and 'took' control. Other countries also seemed to collect the richer countries in gold, silver and trade goods. Though that gets back to the area where I said this was too broad a scope for this forum.


Jonhn
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11/03/2002
09:33:53
RE: Why Portugal is a poor country in Europe?
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USCIT,

I´m impressed about your knowlegment about the world history. Congratulations! Other thing besides of tax evasion also should be the big corruption in the Portuguese Kingdom, no?



USCIT
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11/03/2002
11:22:48
RE: Why Portugal is a poor country in Europe?
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Yes Jonhn,

Corruption is sure to figure heavily into it. However that is something I can't prove or currently have documentation to back up. I just let it go that 'maybe' there was tax evasion.



Guest


11/03/2002
14:48:46
RE: Why Portugal is a poor country in Europe?
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Please, do a little research and try to find out why did Cabral set sail, it may prove to be usefull.


USCIT
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11/03/2002
15:37:32
RE: Why Portugal is a poor country in Europe?
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Zé, working from memory, he was on his way to India for spices. If you want it exact, I will look it up but do believe I'm correct in the above.


USCIT
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11/03/2002
16:59:10
RE: Why Portugal is a poor country in Europe?
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Ok, my personna I guess. I can't leave it at a fragmented statement. (This information is available in greater detail by the way in Sir John Hemmings book 'Red Gold' about Brazil.)

On April 22, 1500, Admiral Pero Alvares Cabral commanding a fleet of 13 ships landed on the coast of what is now Brazil near Mount Pascoal. (Easter Mountain) enroute to India to trade for spices.

Cabral and fleet stayed in the area 9 days and enticed the Indians to load one of the ships called the Lemos with a load of Brazil wood which he sent back to Portugal to report to King Manoel I and deliver a detailed chronical of the landing as written by Pero Vaz de Caminha [later killed at Calicut] (Calcutta).

Cabral's own report indicated that other than the wood there seemed little to trade for.

Shortly after arriving Admiral Cabral had a very large cross erected on the beach and named the new area 'The Land of The True Cross'. (Although by 1530 the popular name was already Brazil, after the wood.)

The question then arises whether or not Cabral was really lost as indicated. He was supposed to be sailing from Portugal down to the Cape of Good Hope then up to India. If he were lost, he was lost by almost the full width of the Atlantic ocean. (Keeping the respective bulges of Africa and South America in mind) Some question that.

On June 7, 1494, 6 years previously, the Pope and the Kings of Portugal and Spain negotiated the 'Treaty of Tordesillas'. A line of longitude that gave the Portuguese the uncivilized (non-Catholic) land to the east, and Spain the land to the west. Some believe that the King of Portugal already knew about the existence of Brazil before negotiating the treaty, but waited until after it was signed before making claims of finding anything. In which case, Cabral could easily have been operating under secret orders from the King to 'discover' the new land and make it public.

After 9 days Cabral and fleet continued on to India. He lost 'some' ships to storms off the Cape of Good Hope, but ended up with a commercial success.

I hope that better answers your question.



Guest


11/04/2002
15:41:40
RE: Why Portugal is a poor country in Europe?
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He was officialy on his way with an armada, to "Open to friendly trade" the ports of India. Extra officialy, I'm sure that he was supposed to formalize portuguese possession of "america" on his way. Do not say that the portuguese did not use force.


Pork_Chop_1
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11/04/2002
16:13:50
RE: Why Portugal is a poor country in Europe?
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Hmmmm.... this post seems to be by a Troll wanting to stir up trouble.

First of all, all these history lessons are really, really interesting (really!), but utterly irrelevent to the topic at hand. What do explorations that took place 500 years ago, and old, old colonies have to do with anything? FYI, sometime after Portugal established a colony in Goa, India, the spice trade with the Indies did indeed make it the wealthiest nation in Europe at that time. But this is beside the point. We are talking about Portugal in the 21st century.

The African colonies were divested in 1975. Angola was and is very rich in minerals. But Portugal was fighting colonial wars on four fronts(Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, East Timor). These wars utterly drained the treasury of Portugal, wich had a small population (aprox. 9 million). Approx 55,000 soldiers died in these colonial wars over 15 years; this is about the same as the US lost in Vietnam. But for a population of 9 million, this was HUGE. There was very little left over for the people, especially in education, which ultimately would have provided the greatest benefit to their standard of living. Add to that, they were ruled by a miserely dictator (Antonio Salazar), who cared not a wit about the ordinary folk, and you have a recipe for long-term misery.

Currently, the averge wage in Portugal is about $8,000 US. This is slightly better that Saudi Arabia with all its oil wealth. You see, the thing is, nowadays real wealth is generated by knowledge and technical skills. Abundance of natural resources does not contribute much by comparison; the exception being if you are oil-rich with a small population and use it wisely.

Yes, Belgium does have a higher standard of living than Portugal, for now. But Portugal is catching up quick. Belgium has the advantage of having a better educated and more skilled workforce for a much longer time. That is changing. And although Belgians enjoy larger paychecks, the differnce is not that HUGE. Don't kid yourselves. Add the (generally) lower costs of most things in Portugal, and the actual STANDARD OF LIVING is not that much different.

I am living in Canada, a first generation Portuguese-Canadian. When my parents immigrated here, most Portuguese would have immigrated here, or most anywhere else for that matter at a drop of a hat. Not any more. I don't see any new Portuguese immigrants in my city, unless it's really old folks joining their children. Not may people want to come anymore. In fact, I seem to sence that the Portuguese community is actually shrinking. By contrast, I see more and more Brazilians on the streets and shopping malls year after year. At first, when I hear them speak, I sense something familiar, then when I listen carefully, I detect that they are speaking Brazilian accented Portuguese.


USCIT
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11/04/2002
16:57:09
RE: Why Portugal is a poor country in Europe?
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Zé,

I'm not sure I fully understand what you mean in your last post. About the use of force.

Confining my statement ONLY to the 9 days that Cabral and his fleet was anchored off of the coast, there was no force whatever used in the contact of the Indians.

The Indians were sighted immediatly as some were walking on the beach. The first contact was made by a Nicolau Coelho, in charge of a longboat testing the waters of a nearby river, where he gave a red (four-cornered) hat he was wearing to an Indian and received a head-dress of feathers and some seed pearls from another Indian in return.

The Natives appeared to be facinated by the construction of the cross Cabral had his carpenters put up on the beach. (Per Pero Vaz de Caminha's report) but the Portuguese were sure they were more facinated by the use of metal tools than the cross itself. That was their first sight of the cutting power of metal.

The Portuguese were facinated to see that all of the Indians were naked, including the women. In fact, Caminha evidently waxed eloquently on the subject of the women in his report to the King, commenting on size, shape and beauty. Claiming that some would put Portuguese women to shame. And even went so far as to mention some of the sexual encounters.

Some of the Indians were invited on board the ships to see things. And, some of the crew spent time with the Indians at their village. One taking a set of bagpipes which he played while others of the crew danced. To the delight of the Indians.

The Indians were enticed to help load the ship with Brazil wood, although that was with trade goods, not force. It is stated that the Indians helped willingly.

There is no indication of the use of force at any time DURING THE FIRST ENCOUNTER.

When Cabral and fleet left, they did leave two things per the report. Two convicts who had been slated to be dropped off 'somewhere' in route. Which established settlement. And, a taste for Portuguese whiskey.

Other expeditions soon followed Cabral's first contact however, and some of them used extreme force. In fact the first ship to go up the Amazon several miles almost got the second ship in great trouble. The first one took several slaves from Marajó Island by force, and when the second ship landed not long after, the Natives were a little upset. As might be expected. That was several years after Cabral 'discovered' Brazil however.

The actual use of force in Brazil didn't really get started until after 1530 when the first settlements were being established.

There was no occasion of it however in that first encounter.


USCIT
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11/04/2002
17:03:09
RE: Why Portugal is a poor country in Europe?
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Enjoyed your post Pork_Chop_1. An intelligent assessment with good information. Happy you entered it.



Guest


11/04/2002
17:29:04
RE: Why Portugal is a poor country in Europe?
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Not the western India, the eastern USCIT. By the way, thank you Pork_Chop_1, I was running out of highschool swiss cheesed knowledge to combat rethoric. I hope that I didn't offend you or our ancestors in any way.


USCIT
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11/04/2002
23:36:44
RE: Why Portugal is a poor country in Europe?
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Zé.

Just a note about English usage of the word India. Whenever 'India' is used, it always refers to the India of the East. That on the far side of Africa.

The West Indies are called either the West Indies, the Caribbean (more commonly) or each island by name. But they are never referred to as India.



Guest


11/05/2002
03:15:24
RE: Why Portugal is a poor country in Europe?
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Well, why didn't you understand what I said in the first place? By the way, western India was a therm used for the whole new world, and not a specific part of it.


USCIT
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11/05/2002
09:46:33
RE: Why Portugal is a poor country in Europe?
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I was referring to the part of your statement that said: <<Do not say that the portuguese did not use force.>> as the part I did not understand for sure.



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