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"I've concluded that we must take action regarding these rogue pirates. If these blackguards continue to plunder and menace merchant shipping, it won't be long before England, France, Spain and probably Portugal will dispatch their navies to hunt down all pirate ships they find. They won't distinguish between those of us that keep to the Code, and these rogue pirates...these Code breakers."
Edward Teague to assembled pirates at Shipwreck Cove[src]

Portugal was a country located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal was the westernmost country of Europe, and was bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south and by Spain to the north and east. Its capital was Lisbon.


In 1492 Columbus discovered the West Indies. Since the new lands were south of the Canaries the Portuguese king claimed they were his. However the argument with the Spanish was ended by the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494. Portugal and Spain agreed that all new land west of a line 370 degrees west of the Cape Verde Islands would belong to Spain. Any land east of the line belonged to Portugal.

Following the treaty in 1498 an expedition led by Vasco da Gama sailed around Africa and reached India. Asia was the source of spices, which were very expensive in Europe. At first the Portuguese dominated the spice trade. In 1510 the Portuguese annexed Goa in India. In 1511 they took Malacca in Indonesia. In 1514 they reached China and in 1557 they established a trading post at Macao. The Portuguese also colonised Brazil in South America.

In 1576 King Sebastião led an expedition to Morocco which ended in complete disaster. Thousands of Portuguese were killed including the king and most of the nobility. Sebastião was succeeded by Henrique, who died childless. Afterwards King Philip II of Spain claimed the throne of Portugal on the grounds that he was King Sebastião's nephew. The Spaniards won the battle of Alcantara and Philip II of Spain became Philip I of Portugal.

The Portuguese Empire in the 17th century.

From then until 1640 Spain and Portugal shared a monarch. However the union grew gradually less and less popular. In 1640 Portuguese nobles staged a coup in Lisbon. They deposed the governor of Portugal. The Duke of Braganza was made King João IV. Spain did not recognize Portuguese independence until 1668 when the treaty of Lisbon was signed.

Meanwhile Portugal was declining in the 17th century. In 1600 the Portuguese dominated the spice trade with Asia. However in the 17th century they lost their position to the Dutch. In the late 17th century gold was discovered in Brazil. In 1730 diamonds were discovered there. Taxes on both helped the Portuguese treasury.

In the 1720s, a pirate known as James made port at Oporto in Portugal.[1] During the Quest for the Shadow Gold, Portuguese slave ships were allowed to make port in the pirate port of Libertalia, thanks to the deal of the Portuguese slave traders with the corrupt Pirate Lord of the Atlantic Ocean, King Samuel.[2]

Behind the scenes[]

"Attack authorizations? I thought pirate activity was at an ebb."
"They're lying low for the moment. But the Brethren will gather soon enough, and then one final strike..."
"A Portuguese merchant vessel? This one is for ships of the French Royal Navy! You intend to use the
Flying Dutchman to wage war on other nations?"
Weatherby Swann and Cutler Beckett[src] (original screenplay)


External links[]

Notes and references[]

Locations in Pirates of the Caribbean
Barbary CoastCalabarEgyptKermaSlave CoastTripoli

The Americas
BostonFloridaLouisianaMexicoNew OrleansNorth Carolina
PanamaPeruSavannahVirginiaYucatán Peninsula

BombayChinaHong KongIndiaNipponShanghaiSingapore

The Bahamas
AndrosNassauNew AvalonNew Providence

The Caribbean
AntiguaBlack rock islandCubaDevil's TriangleHangman's BayHispaniola
Ile d'Etable de PorcIsla De La AvariciaIsla CrucesIsla de MuertaIsla de Pelegostos
MartiniquePadres Del FuegoPort RoyalPoseidon's Tomb
Puerto RicoSaint MartinShipwreck IslandTortugaUnnamed Island

CádizFranceGibraltarGreat BritainHolland

Other locations
Davy Jones' LockerFarthest GateIce PassageIsla Sirena