The Portuguese Empire known as the Portuguese Overseas or the Portuguese Colonial Empire, was one of the largest and longest-lived empires in world history. It existed for six centuries, from the capture of Ceuta in 1415, to the handover of Portuguese Macau to China in 1999; the empire began in the 15th century, from the early 16th century it stretched across the globe, with bases in North and South America and various regions of Asia and Oceania. The Portuguese Empire has been described as the first global empire in history, a description given to the Spanish Empire; the Portuguese Empire originated at the beginning of the Age of Discovery, the power and influence of the Kingdom of Portugal would expand across the globe. In the wake of the Reconquista, Portuguese sailors began exploring the coast of Africa and the Atlantic archipelagos in 1418–19, using recent developments in navigation and maritime technology such as the caravel, with the aim of finding a sea route to the source of the lucrative spice-trade.
In 1488 Bartolomeu Dias rounded the Cape of Good Hope, in 1498 Vasco da Gama reached India. In 1500, either by an accidental landfall or by the crown's secret design, Pedro Álvares Cabral discovered Brazil on the South American coast. Over the following decades, Portuguese sailors continued to explore the coasts and islands of East Asia, establishing forts and factories as they went. By 1571 a string of naval outposts connected Lisbon to Nagasaki along the coasts of Africa, the Middle East and South Asia; this commercial network and the colonial trade had a substantial positive impact on Portuguese economic growth, when it accounted for about a fifth of Portugal's per-capita income. When King Philip II of Spain inherited the Portuguese crown in 1580 there began a 60-year union between Spain and Portugal known to subsequent historiography as the Iberian Union; the realms continued to have separate administrations. As the King of Spain was King of Portugal, Portuguese colonies became the subject of attacks by three rival European powers hostile to Spain: the Dutch Republic and France.
With its smaller population, Portugal found itself unable to defend its overstretched network of trading posts, the empire began a long and gradual decline. Brazil became the most valuable colony of the second era of empire, until, as part of the wave of independence movements that swept the Americas during the early 19th century, it broke away in 1822; the third era of empire covers the final stage of Portuguese colonialism after the independence of Brazil in the 1820s. By the colonial possessions had been reduced to forts and plantations along the African coastline, Portuguese Timor, enclaves in India and China; the 1890 British Ultimatum led to the contraction of Portuguese ambitions in Africa. Under António Salazar, the Second Portuguese Republic made some ill-fated attempts to cling on to its last remaining colonies. Under the ideology of Pluricontinentalism, the regime renamed its colonies "overseas provinces" while retaining the system of forced labour, from which only a small indigenous élite was exempt.
In 1961 India annexed Goa and Dahomey annexed Fort of São João Baptista de Ajudá. The Portuguese Colonial War in Africa lasted from 1961 until the final overthrow of the Estado Novo regime in 1974; the so-called Carnation Revolution of April 1974 in Lisbon led to the hasty decolonization of Portuguese Africa and to the 1975 annexation of Portuguese Timor by Indonesia. Decolonization prompted the exodus of nearly all the Portuguese colonial settlers and of many mixed-race people from the colonies. Portugal returned Macau to China in 1999; the only overseas possessions to remain under Portuguese rule, the Azores and Madeira, both had overwhelmingly Portuguese populations, Lisbon subsequently changed their constitutional status from "overseas provinces" to "autonomous regions". The origin of the Kingdom of Portugal lay in the reconquista, the gradual reconquest of the Iberian peninsula from the Moors. After establishing itself as a separate kingdom in 1139, Portugal completed its reconquest of Moorish territory by reaching Algarve in 1249, but its independence continued to be threatened by neighbouring Castile until the signing of the Treaty of Ayllón in 1411.
Free from threats to its existence and unchallenged by the wars fought by other European states, Portuguese attention turned overseas and towards a military expedition to the Muslim lands of North Africa. There were several probable motives for their first attack, on the Marinid Sultanate, it offered the opportunity to continue the Christian crusade against Islam. In 1415 an attack was made on Ceuta, a strategically located North African Muslim enclave along the Mediterranean Sea, one of the terminal ports of the trans-Saharan gold and slave trades; the conquest was a military success, marked one of the first steps in Portuguese expansion beyond the Iberian Peninsula, but it proved costly to defend against the Muslim forces that soon besieged it. The Portuguese were unable to use it as a base for further expansion into the hinterland, the trans-Saharan caravans shifted their routes to bypass Ceuta and/or used alternative Muslim ports. Although Ceuta proved to be a disappointment for the Portuguese
King of Dahomey
The King of Dahomey was the ruler of the Kingdom of Dahomey, in the southern part of present-day Benin, which lasted from 1600 until 1900 when the French abolished the political authority of the Kingdom. The rulers served a prominent position in Fon ancestor worship leading the Annual Customs and this important position caused the French to bring back the exiled king of Dahomey for ceremonial purposes in 1910. Since 2000, there have been rival claimants as king and there has so far been no political solution; the Palace and seat of government were in the town of Abomey. Early historiography of the King of Dahomey presented them as absolute rulers who formally owned all property and people of the kingdom. However, recent histories have emphasized that there was significant political contestation limiting the power of the king and that there was a female ruler of Dahomey, written out of early histories. Multiple lists of the Kings of Dahomey have been put together and many of them start at different points for the first King of Dahomey.
In various sources, Do-Aklin, Dakodonu, or Houegbadja are all considered the first king of Dahomey. Oral tradition contends that Do-Aklin moved from Allada to the Abomey plateau, Dakodonu created the first settlement and founded the kingdom, Houegbadja who settled the kingdom, built the palace and created much of the structure is considered the first king of Dahomey. Oral tradition contends that the kings were all of the Aladaxonou dynasty, a name claiming descent from the city of Allada which Dahomey conquered in the 1700s. Historians believe now that this connection was created to legitimate rule over the city of Allada and that connections to the royal family in Allada were of a limited nature. In oral tradition of most accounts, Houegbadja is considered the first king and recognition of him happened first in the Annual Customs of Dahomey. Sources: History of the Kingdom of Dahomey Royal Palaces of Abomey Benin Fon Fon states Rulers of the Fon state of Alada Rulers of the Fon state of Savi Hweda Lists of office-holders
Assassination is the act of killing a prominent person for either political, religious or monetary reasons. An assassination may be prompted by political or military motives, it is an act that may be done for financial gain, to avenge a grievance, from a desire to acquire fame or notoriety, or because of a military, insurgent or secret police group's command to carry out the homicide. Acts of assassination have been performed since ancient times; the word assassin is believed to derive from the word Hashshashin, shares its etymological roots with hashish. It referred to a group of Nizari Shia Muslims. Founded by Hassan-i Sabbah, the Assassins were active in the fortress of Alamut in Persia from the 8th to the 14th centuries, expanded by capturing forts in Syria; the group killed members of the Abbasid, Seljuq and Christian Crusader elite for political and religious reasons. Although it is believed that Assassins were under the influence of hashish during their killings or during their indoctrination, there is debate as to whether these claims have merit, with many Eastern writers and an increasing number of Western academics coming to believe that drug-taking was not the key feature behind the name.
The earliest known use of the verb "to assassinate" in printed English was by Matthew Sutcliffe in A Briefe Replie to a Certaine Odious and Slanderous Libel, Lately Published by a Seditious Jesuite, a pamphlet printed in 1600, five years before it was used in Macbeth by William Shakespeare. Assassination is one of the oldest tools of power politics, it dates back at least as far as recorded history. In the Old Testament, King Joash of Judah was recorded as being assassinated by his own servants. Chanakya wrote about assassinations in detail in his political treatise Arthashastra, his student Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Maurya Empire made use of assassinations against some of his enemies, including two of Alexander the Great's generals and Philip. Other famous victims are Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, Roman consul Julius Caesar. Emperors of Rome met their end in this way, as did many of the Muslim Shia Imams hundreds of years later; the practice was well known in ancient China, as in Jing Ke's failed assassination of Qin king Ying Zheng in 227 BC.
Whilst many assassinations were performed by individuals or small groups, there were specialized units who used a collective group of people to perform more than one assassination. The earliest were the sicarii in 6 A. D. who predated the Middle Eastern assassins and Japanese ninjas by centuries. In the Middle Ages, regicide was rare in Western Europe, but it was a recurring theme in the Eastern Roman Empire. Blinding and strangling in the bathtub were the most used procedures. With the Renaissance, tyrannicide—or assassination for personal or political reasons—became more common again in Western Europe. High medieval sources mention the assassination of King Demetrius Zvonimir, dying at the hands of his own people, who objected to a proposition by the Pope to go on a campaign to aid the Byzantines against the Seljuk Turks; this account is, contentious among historians, it being most asserted that he died of natural causes. The myth of the "Curse of King Zvonimir" is based on the legend of his assassination.
In 1192, Conrad of Montferrat, the de facto King of Jerusalem, was killed by an assassin. The reigns of King Przemysł II of Poland, William the Silent of the Netherlands, the French kings Henry III and Henry IV were all ended by assassins. In the modern world, the killing of important people began to become more than a tool in power struggles between rulers themselves and was used for political symbolism, such as in the propaganda of the deed. In Russia alone, two emperors, Paul I and his grandson Alexander II, were assassinated within 80 years. In the United Kingdom, only one Prime Minister has been assassinated—Spencer Perceval on May 11, 1812. In Japan, a group of assassins called the Four Hitokiri of the Bakumatsu killed a number of people, including Ii Naosuke, the head of administration for the Tokugawa shogunate, during the Boshin War. Most of the assassinations in Japan were committed with bladed weaponry, a trait, carried on into modern history. A video-record exists of the assassination of Inejiro Asanuma.
In the United States, within 100 years, four presidents—Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley and John F. Kennedy—died at the hands of assassins. There have been at least 20 known attempts on U. S. presidents' lives. Huey Long, a Senator, was assassinated on September 10, 1935. Robert F. Kennedy, a Senator and a presidential candidate, was assassinated on June 6, 1968 in the United States. In Austria, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, carried out by Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian national and a member of the Serbian nationalist insurgents, is blamed for igniting World War I after a succession of minor conflicts, while belligerents on both sides in World War II used operatives trained for assassination. Reinhard Heydrich died after an attack by British-trained Czechoslovak soldiers on behalf of the Czechoslovak government in exile in Operation Anthropoid, knowledge from decoded transmissions allowed the United States to carry out a targeted attack, killing Japanese Admiral
The British Empire comprised the dominions, protectorates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, 23% of the world population at the time, by 1920, it covered 35,500,000 km2, 24% of the Earth's total land area; as a result, its political, legal and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories. During the Age of Discovery in the 15th and 16th centuries and Spain pioneered European exploration of the globe, in the process established large overseas empires.
Envious of the great wealth these empires generated, England and the Netherlands began to establish colonies and trade networks of their own in the Americas and Asia. A series of wars in the 17th and 18th centuries with the Netherlands and France left England and following union between England and Scotland in 1707, Great Britain, the dominant colonial power in North America, it became the dominant power in the Indian subcontinent after the East India Company's conquest of Mughal Bengal at the Battle of Plassey in 1757. The independence of the Thirteen Colonies in North America in 1783 after the American War of Independence caused Britain to lose some of its oldest and most populous colonies. British attention soon turned towards Asia and the Pacific. After the defeat of France in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, Britain emerged as the principal naval and imperial power of the 19th century. Unchallenged at sea, British dominance was described as Pax Britannica, a period of relative peace in Europe and the world during which the British Empire became the global hegemon and adopted the role of global policeman.
In the early 19th century, the Industrial Revolution began to transform Britain. The British Empire expanded to include most of India, large parts of Africa and many other territories throughout the world. Alongside the formal control that Britain exerted over its own colonies, its dominance of much of world trade meant that it controlled the economies of many regions, such as Asia and Latin America. During the 19th century, Britain's population increased at a dramatic rate, accompanied by rapid urbanisation, which caused significant social and economic stresses. To seek new markets and sources of raw materials, the British government under Benjamin Disraeli initiated a period of imperial expansion in Egypt, South Africa, elsewhere. Canada and New Zealand became self-governing dominions. By the start of the 20th century and the United States had begun to challenge Britain's economic lead. Subsequent military and economic tensions between Britain and Germany were major causes of the First World War, during which Britain relied upon its empire.
The conflict placed enormous strain on the military and manpower resources of Britain. Although the British Empire achieved its largest territorial extent after World War I, Britain was no longer the world's pre-eminent industrial or military power. In the Second World War, Britain's colonies in East and Southeast Asia were occupied by Japan. Despite the final victory of Britain and its allies, the damage to British prestige helped to accelerate the decline of the empire. India, Britain's most valuable and populous possession, achieved independence as part of a larger decolonisation movement in which Britain granted independence to most territories of the empire; the Suez Crisis confirmed Britain's decline as a global power. The transfer of Hong Kong to China in 1997 marked for many the end of the British Empire. Fourteen overseas territories remain under British sovereignty. After independence, many former British colonies joined the Commonwealth of Nations, a free association of independent states.
The United Kingdom is now one of 16 Commonwealth nations, a grouping known informally as the Commonwealth realms, that share a monarch Queen Elizabeth II. The foundations of the British Empire were laid when Scotland were separate kingdoms. In 1496, King Henry VII of England, following the successes of Spain and Portugal in overseas exploration, commissioned John Cabot to lead a voyage to discover a route to Asia via the North Atlantic. Cabot sailed in 1497, five years after the European discovery of America, but he made landfall on the coast of Newfoundland, mistakenly believing that he had reached Asia, there was no attempt to found a colony. Cabot led another voyage to the Americas the following year but nothing was heard of his ships again. No further attempts to establish English colonies in the Americas were made until well into the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, during the last decades of the 16th century. In the meantime, the 1533 Statute in Restraint of Appeals had declared "that this realm of England is an Empire".
The subsequent Protestant Reformation turned Catholic Spain into implacable enemies. In 1562, the English Crown encouraged the privateers John Hawkins and Francis Drake to engage in slave-raiding attacks against Spanish and Portuguese ships off the coast of West Africa with the aim of breaking into the Atlantic slave tr
Grand-Popo is a town and commune in the Mono Department of south-western Benin. The commune covers an area of 289 square kilometres and as at the 2013 Census had a population of 57,490 people; the Finno-African culture center Villa Karo has been situated in Grand-Popo since 1999. The town grew around the slave trade; the town is now a centre for voodoo and home to Villa Karo. The town's main industry is fishing; the town inspired the name of the French electronic music duo Grand Popo Football Club, as well as the name of the iPad application creator Grand Popo LLC. The commercial relations of the region of Grand Popo with Europe were established in the 17th century, before the entry of Porto Novo. Thanks to its peninsula configuration taken between the sea and one of the arms of the Mono River, it was considered a safe harbour for the economy of trade; the buildings one-storey brick-fired houses with wooden floors were grouped together in the Gbekon district, next to the central market, facing the beach.
Coastal erosion, a phenomenon that appeared at the end of the 1950s and was marked in Grand-Popo, was the reason for this now abandoned architecture. The first missions and Protestant, built by the sea, as well as the first school, suffered the same fate. Grand Popo travel guide from Wikivoyage
Benin the Republic of Benin and Dahomey, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, Burkina Faso and Niger to the north; the majority of its population lives on the small southern coastline of the Bight of Benin, part of the Gulf of Guinea in the northernmost tropical portion of the Atlantic Ocean. The capital of Benin is Porto-Novo, but the seat of government is in Cotonou, the country's largest city and economic capital. Benin covers an area of 114,763 square kilometres and its population in 2016 was estimated to be 10.87 million. Benin is a tropical nation dependent on agriculture. Benin is a big exporter of palm oil; the substantial employment and income arise from subsistence farming. The official language of Benin is French. However, indigenous languages such as Fon and Yoruba are spoken; the largest religious group in Benin is Roman Catholicism, followed by Islam and Protestantism. Benin is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone, La Francophonie, the Community of Sahel-Saharan States, the African Petroleum Producers Association and the Niger Basin Authority.
From the 17th to the 19th century, the main political entities in the area were the Kingdom of Dahomey, along with the city-state of Porto-Novo, a large area with many different nations to the north. This region was referred to as the Slave Coast from as early as the 17th century due to the large number of enslaved people who were shipped to the New World during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. After enslavement was abolished, France renamed it French Dahomey. In 1960, Dahomey gained full independence from France; the sovereign state has had a tumultuous history since with many different democratic governments, military coups, military governments. A Marxist–Leninist state called the People's Republic of Benin existed between 1975 and 1990. In 1991, it was replaced by the current multi-party Republic of Benin. During the colonial period and at independence, the country was known as Dahomey. On 30 November 1975, it was renamed to Benin, after the body of water on which the country lies—the Bight of Benin.
This had been named by Europeans after the Benin Empire in present-day Nigeria. The country of Benin has no connection to Benin City in modern Nigeria, nor to the Benin bronzes; the form "Benin" is the result of a Portuguese corruption of the city of Ubinu. The new name, was chosen for its neutrality. Dahomey was the name of the former Fon Kingdom of Dahomey, limited to most of the southern third of the present country and therefore did not represent Porto-Novo, central Benin, the multi-ethnic northwestern sector Atakora, nor the Bariba Kingdom of Borgu, which covered the northeastern district; the current country of Benin combines three areas which had distinctly different political systems and ethnicities prior to French colonial control. Before 1700, there were a few important city-states along the coast and a mass of tribal regions inland; the Oyo Empire, located to the east of modern Benin, was the most significant large-scale military force in the region. It conducted raids and exacted tribute from the coastal kingdoms and the tribal regions.
The situation changed in the 1600s and early 1700s as the Kingdom of Dahomey, consisting of Fon people, was founded on the Abomey plateau and began taking over areas along the coast. By 1727, king Agaja of the Kingdom of Dahomey had conquered the coastal cities of Allada and Whydah, but it had become a tributary of the Oyo empire and did not directly attack the Oyo allied city-state of Porto-Novo; the rise of the kingdom of Dahomey, the rivalry between the kingdom and the city of Porto-Novo, the continued tribal politics of the northern region, persisted into the colonial and post-colonial periods. The Dahomey Kingdom was known for its culture and traditions. Young boys were apprenticed to older soldiers, taught the kingdom's military customs until they were old enough to join the army. Dahomey was famous for instituting an elite female soldier corps, called Ahosi, i.e. the king's wives, or Mino, "our mothers" in the Fon language Fongbe, known by many Europeans as the Dahomean Amazons. This emphasis on military preparation and achievement earned Dahomey the nickname of "black Sparta" from European observers and 19th-century explorers such as Sir Richard Burton.
The kings of Dahomey sold their war captives into transatlantic slavery. They had a practice of killing war captives in a ceremony known as the Annual Customs. By about 1750, the King of Dahomey was earning an estimated £250,000 per year by selling African captives to European slave-traders. Though the leaders of Dahomey appear to have resisted the slave trade, it flourished in the region of Dahomey for three hundred years, beginning in 1472 with a trade agreement with Portuguese merchants; the area was named the "Slave Coast" because of this flourishing trade. Court protocols, which demanded that a portion of war captives from the kingdom's many battles be decapitated, decreased the number of enslaved people exported from the area; the number went from 102,000 people per decade in the 1780s to 24,000 per decade by the 1860s. The decline was due to the Slave Trade Act 1807 banning the trans-Atlantic slave trade by Britain and the United States following in
The Kingdom of Dahomey was an African kingdom that existed from about 1600 until 1894, when the last king, Béhanzin, was defeated by the French, the country was annexed into the French colonial empire. Dahomey developed on the Abomey Plateau amongst the Fon people in the early 17th century and became a regional power in the 18th century by conquering key cities on the Atlantic coast. For much of the 18th and 19th centuries, the Kingdom of Dahomey was a key regional state ending tributary status to the Oyo Empire; the Kingdom of Dahomey was an important regional power that had an organized domestic economy built on conquest and slave labor, significant international trade with Europeans, a centralized administration, taxation systems, an organized military. Notable in the kingdom were significant artwork, an all-female military unit called the Dahomey Amazons by European observers, the elaborate religious practices of Vodun with the large festival of the Annual Customs of Dahomey, they traded prisoners, which they captured during wars and raids, exchanged them with Europeans for goods such as knives, firearms and spirits.
The Kingdom of Dahomey was referred to by many different names and has been written in a variety of ways, including Danxome and Fon. The name Fon relates to the dominant ethnic and language group, the Fon people, of the royal families of the kingdom and is how the kingdom first became known to Europeans; the names Dahomey and Danhome all have a similar origin story, which historian Edna Bay says may be a false etymology. The story goes that Dakodonu, considered the second king in modern kings lists, was granted permission by the Gedevi chiefs, the local rulers, to settle in the Abomey plateau. Dakodonu requested additional land from a prominent chief named Dan to which the chief responded sarcastically "Should I open up my belly and build you a house in it?" For this insult, Dakodonu began the construction of his palace on the spot. The name of the kingdom was derived from the incident: Dan=chief dan, xo=Belly, me=Inside of; the Kingdom of Dahomey was established around 1600 by the Fon people who had settled in the area.
The foundational king for Dahomey is considered to be Houegbadja, who built the Royal Palaces of Abomey and began raiding and taking over towns outside of the Abomey plateau. King Agaja, Houegbadja's grandson, came to the throne in 1708 and began significant expansion of the Kingdom of Dahomey; this expansion was made possible by the superior military force of King Agaja's Dahomey. In contrast to surrounding regions, Dahomey employed a professional standing army numbering around ten thousand. What the Dahomey lacked in numbers, they made up for in superior arms. In 1724, Agaja conquered Allada, the origin for the royal family according to oral tradition, in 1727 he conquered Whydah; this increased size of the kingdom along the Atlantic coast, increased power made Dahomey into a regional power. The result was near constant warfare with the main regional state, the Oyo Empire, from 1728 until 1740; the warfare with the Oyo empire resulted in Dahomey assuming a tributary status to the Oyo empire.
Tegbesu spelled as Tegbessou, was King of Dahomey, in present-day Benin, from 1740 until 1774. Tegbesu was not the oldest son of King Agaja, but was selected following his father's death after winning a succession struggle with a brother. King Agaja had expanded the Kingdom of Dahomey during his reign, notably conquering Whydah in 1727; this increased both domestic dissent and regional opposition. Tegbessou ruled over Dahomey at a point where it needed to increase its legitimacy over those who it had conquered; as a result, Tegbesu is credited with a number of administrative changes in the kingdom in order to establish the legitimacy of the kingdom. The slave trade increased during Tegbessou's reign and began to provide the largest part of the income for the king. In addition, Tegbesu's rule is the one with the first significant kpojito or mother of the leopard with Hwanjile in that role; the kpojito became a prominently important person in Dahomey royalty. Hwanjile, in particular, is said to have changed the religious practices of Dahomey by creating two new deities and more tying worship to that of the king.
According to one oral tradition, as part of the tribute owed by Dahomey to Oyo, Agaja had to give to Oyo one of his sons. The story claims that only Hwanjile, of all of Agaja's wives, was willing to allow her son to go to Oyo; this act of sacrifice, according to the oral tradition made Tegbesu, was favored by Agaja. Agaja told Tegbesu that he was the future king, but his brother Zinga was still the official heir; the kingdom fought Second Franco-Dahomean War with France. The kingdom was reduced and made a French protectorate in 1894. In 1904 the area became part of French Dahomey. In 1958 French Dahomey became the self-governing colony called the Republic of Dahomey and gained full independence in 1960, it was renamed in 1991 the Republic of Benin. The Dahomey kingship exists as a ceremonial role to this day. Early writings, predominantly written by European slave traders presented the kingdom as an absolute monarchy led by a despotic king. However, these depictions were deployed as arguments by different sides in the slave trade debates in the United Kingdom, as such were exaggerations.