Angola the Republic of Angola, is a west-coast country of south-central Africa. It is the seventh-largest country in Africa, bordered by Namibia to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Zambia to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Angola has an exclave province, the province of Cabinda that borders the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo; the capital and largest city of Angola is Luanda. Although inhabited since the Paleolithic Era, what is now Angola was molded by Portuguese colonisation, it began with, was for centuries limited to, coastal settlements and trading posts established starting in the 16th century. In the 19th century, European settlers and hesitantly began to establish themselves in the interior; the Portuguese colony that became Angola did not have its present borders until the early 20th century because of resistance by groups such as the Cuamato, the Kwanyama and the Mbunda. After a protracted anti-colonial struggle, independence was achieved in 1975 as the Marxist–Leninist People's Republic of Angola, a one-party state supported by the Soviet Union and Cuba.
The civil war between the ruling People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola and the insurgent anti-communist National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, supported by the United States and South Africa, lasted until 2002. The sovereign state has since become a stable unitary, presidential constitutional republic. Angola has vast mineral and petroleum reserves, its economy is among the fastest-growing in the world since the end of the civil war. Angola's economic growth is uneven, with most of the nation's wealth concentrated in a disproportionately small sector of the population. Angola is a member state of the United Nations, OPEC, African Union, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the Southern African Development Community. A multiethnic country, Angola's 25.8 million people span tribal groups and traditions. Angolan culture reflects centuries of Portuguese rule, in the predominance of the Portuguese language and of the Catholic Church; the name Angola comes from the Portuguese colonial name Reino de Angola, which appeared as early as Dias de Novais's 1571 charter.
The toponym was derived by the Portuguese from the title ngola held by the kings of Ndongo. Ndongo in the highlands, between the Kwanza and Lukala Rivers, was nominally a possession of the Kingdom of Kongo, but was seeking greater independence in the 16th century. Modern Angola was populated predominantly by nomadic Khoi and San prior to the first Bantu migrations; the Khoi and San peoples hunter-gatherers. They were displaced by Bantu peoples arriving from the north, most of whom originated in what is today northwestern Nigeria and southern Niger. Bantu speakers introduced the cultivation of bananas and taro, as well as large cattle herds, to Angola's central highlands and the Luanda plain. Hendese Bantu established a number of political entities, it established trade routes with other city-states and civilisations up and down the coast of southwestern and western Africa and with Great Zimbabwe and the Mutapa Empire, although it engaged in little or no transoceanic trade. To its south lay the Kingdom of Ndongo, from which the area of the Portuguese colony was sometimes known as Dongo.
Portuguese explorer Diogo Cão reached the area in 1484. The previous year, the Portuguese had established relations with the Kongo, which stretched at the time from modern Gabon in the north to the Kwanza River in the south; the Portuguese established their primary early trading post at Soyo, now the northernmost city in Angola apart from the Cabinda exclave. Paulo Dias de Novais founded São Paulo de Loanda in 1575 with a hundred families of settlers and four hundred soldiers. Benguela was fortified in 1587 and became a township in 1617; the Portuguese established several other settlements and trading posts along the Angolan coast, principally trading in Angolan slaves for Brazilian plantations. Local slave dealers provided a large number of slaves for the Portuguese Empire in exchange for manufactured goods from Europe; this part of the Atlantic slave trade continued until after Brazil's independence in the 1820s. Despite Portugal's territorial claims in Angola, its control over much of the country's vast interior was minimal.
In the 16th century Portugal gained control of the coast through a series of wars. Life for European colonists was progress slow. John Iliffe notes that "Portuguese records of Angola from the 16th century show that a great famine occurred on average every seventy years. During the Portuguese Restoration War, the Dutch West India Company occupied the principal settlement of Luanda in 1641, using alliances with local peoples to carry out attacks against Portuguese holdings elsewhere. A fleet under Salvador de Sá retook Luanda in 1648. New treaties with the Kongo were signed in 1649.
Kingdom of Kongo
The Kingdom of Kongo was a kingdom located in west central Africa in present-day northern Angola, the western portion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo as well as the southernmost part of Gabon. At its greatest extent it reached from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Kwango River in the east, from the Congo River in the north to the Kwanza River in the south; the kingdom consisted of several core provinces ruled by the Manikongo, the Portuguese version of the Kongo title Mwene Kongo, meaning "lord or ruler of the Kongo kingdom", but its sphere of influence extended to neighbouring kingdoms, such as Ngoyo, Loango and Matamba, the last two located in what is Angola today. From c. 1390 to 1857 it was an independent state. From 1857 to 1914 it functioned as a vassal state of the Kingdom of Portugal. In 1914, following the Portuguese suppression of a Kongo revolt, Portugal abolished the titular monarchy; the remaining territories of the kingdom were assimilated into the colony of Angola and the Protectorate of Cabinda respectively.
The modern-day Bundu dia Kongo sect favors reviving the kingdom through secession from Angola, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon. Verbal traditions about the early history of the country were set in writing for the first time in the late 16th century, the most comprehensive were recorded in the mid-17th century, including those written by the Italian Capuchin missionary Giovanni Cavazzi da Montecuccolo. More detailed research in modern oral traditions conducted in the early 20th century by Redemptorist missionaries like Jean Cuvelier and Joseph de Munck do not appear to relate to the early period. According to Kongo tradition, the kingdom's origin lies in the large and not rich country of Mpemba Kasi located just south of modern-day Matadi in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A dynasty of rulers from this small polity built up its rule along the Kwilu valley, its members are buried in Nsi Kwilu, its capital. Traditions from the 17th century allude to this sacred burial ground.
According to the missionary Girolamo da Montesarchio, an Italian Capuchin who visited the area from 1650 to 1652, the site was so holy that looking upon it was deadly. Seventeenth-century subjects of Mpemba Kasi called their country "Mother of the King of Kongo" in respect of the territory's antiquity. At some point around 1375, Nimi a Nzima, ruler of Mpemba Kasi, made an alliance with Nsaku Lau, the ruler of the neighbouring Mbata Kingdom; this alliance guaranteed that each of the two allies would help ensure the succession of their ally's lineage in the other's territory. The first king of the Kingdom of Kongo Dya Ntotila was Lukeni lua Nimi; the name Nimi a Lukeni appeared in oral traditions and some modern historians, notably Jean Cuvelier, popularized it. Lukeni lua Nimi, or Nimi a Lukeni, became the founder of Kongo when he conquered the kingdom of the Mwene Kabunga, which lay on a mountain to his south, he transferred his rule to this mountain, the Mongo dia Kongo or "mountain of Kongo", made Mbanza Kongo, the town there, his capital.
Two centuries the Mwene Kabunga's descendants still symbolically challenged the conquest in an annual celebration. The rulers that followed Lukeni all claimed some form of relation to his kanda, or lineage and were known as the Kilukeni; the Kilukeni kanda or "house" as it was recorded in Portuguese documents, ruled Kongo unopposed until 1567. After the death of Nimi a Lukeni, his brother, Mbokani Mavinga, took over the throne and ruled until 1467, he had nine children. His rule saw an expansion of the Kingdom of Kongo to include the neighbouring state the Kingdom of Loango and other areas now encompassed by the current Republic of Congo; the Mwene Kongos gave the governorships to members of their family or its clients. As this centralization increased, the allied provinces lost influence until their powers were only symbolic, manifested in Mbata, once a co-kingdom, but by 1620 known by the title "Grandfather of the King of Kongo"; the high concentration of population around Mbanza Kongo and its outskirts played a critical role in the centralization of Kongo.
The capital was a densely settled area in an otherwise sparsely populated region where rural population densities did not exceed 5 persons per km2. Early Portuguese travelers described Mbanza Kongo as a large city, the size of the Portuguese town of Évora as it was in 1491. By the end of the sixteenth century, Kongo's population was close to half a million people in a core region of some 130,000 square kilometers. By the early seventeenth century the city and its hinterland had a population of around 100,000, or one out of every five inhabitants in the Kingdom; this concentration allowed resources and surplus foodstuffs to be available at the request of the king. This made the king overwhelmingly powerful and caused the kingdom to become centralized. By the time of the first recorded contact with the Europeans, the Kingdom of Kongo was a developed state at the center of an extensive trading network. Apart from natural resources and ivory, the country manufactured and traded copperware, ferrous metal goods, raffia cloth, pottery.
The Kongo people spoke in the Kikongo language. The eastern regions that part known as the Seven Kingdoms of Kongo dia Nlaza, were famous for the production of cloth. In 1483, the Portuguese explorer Diogo Cão sailed up the uncharted Congo River, finding Kongo v
M'banza-Kongo, is the capital of Angola's northwestern Zaire Province. M'banza Kongo was founded some time before the arrival of the Portuguese in 1483 and was the capital of the Kilukeni dynasty ruling at that time; the site was temporarily abandoned during civil wars in the 17th century. It lies close to Angola's border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it is located at around 6°16′0″S 14°15′0″E and sits on top of an impressive flat-topped mountain, sometimes called Mongo a Kaila because recent legends recall that the king created the clans of the kingdom and sent them out from there. In the valley to the south runs the Luezi River. In 2017, Mbanza Kongo was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. M'banza-Kongo was once the home of the Manikongo, the ruler of the Kingdom of Kongo, which at its peak reached from southern Africa's Atlantic coast to the Nkisi River; the Manikongo was chosen by clan leaders to rule some 300 mi2, an area that today is part of several countries. The Portuguese who first reached it in 1491 travelled ten days to get there from the mouth of the Congo River.
The earliest documented kings referred to their city in their correspondence as "the city of Congo", the name of the city as São Salvador appears for the first time in the letters of Álvaro I of Kongo and was carried on by his successors. The name was changed back to "City of Kongo" after Angolan independence in 1975; when the Portuguese arrived in Kongo, Mbanza Kongo was a large town the largest in sub-equatorial Africa, a 1491 visitor compared its size to the Portuguese town of Évora. During the reign of Afonso I, stone buildings were added, including several churches; the town grew as the kingdom of Kongo expanded and grew, an ecclesiastical statement of the 1630s related that 4,000-5,000 baptisms were performed in the city and its immediate hinterland, consistent with an overall population of 100,000 people. Of these 30,000 lived on the mountain and the remainder in the valleys around the city. Among its important buildings were some twelve churches, including São Salvador, as well as private chapels and oratories and an impressive two-story royal palace, the only such building in all of Kongo, according to visitor Giovanni Francesco da Roma.
The city was sacked several times during the civil wars that followed the Battle of Mbwila in 1665, was abandoned in 1678. It was reoccupied in 1705 by Dona Beatriz Kimpa Vita's followers and restored as Kongo's capital by King Pedro IV of Kongo in 1709, it was never again depopulated though its population fluctuated during the eighteenth and nineteenth century. M'banza Kongo is known for the ruins of its 16th century Cathedral of the Holy Saviour of Congo, which many Angolans claim is the oldest church in sub-Saharan Africa, although this is not true, as the oldest are in Ethiopia; the present-day church, called São Salvador, known locally as nkulumbimbi, is now said to have been built by angels overnight. It was elevated to the status of cathedral in 1596. Pope John Paul II visited the site during his tour of Angola in 1992. Another interesting site of historical significance is the memorial to King Afonso I's mother near the airport, which commemorates a popular legend that began in the 1680s that the king had buried his mother alive because she was not willing to give up an "idol" which she wore around her neck.
Other important sites include the Jalankuwo, the Manikongo's judgement tree, which can still be found in the downtown area of the city, along with the sunguilu, a rectangular ground level structure where local tradition says the king's body was washed before burial. Both are on the grounds of present day Royal Museum; the Royal Museum rebuilt as a modern structure, houses an impressive collection of artifacts from the old Kingdom though many were lost from the older building during the Civil War of 1976–2002. Explore M'banza-Kongo with Google Earth on Global Heritage Network
History of Africa
The history of Africa begins with the emergence of hominids, archaic humans and—at least 200,000 years ago—anatomically modern humans, in East Africa, continues unbroken into the present as a patchwork of diverse and politically developing nation states. In the Kingdom of Kush and in Ancient Egypt, the Sahel, the Maghreb and the Horn of Africa. Following the desertification of the Sahara, North African history became entwined with the Middle East and Southern Europe while the Bantu expansion swept from modern day Cameroon across much of the sub-Saharan continent in waves between around 1000 BC and 0 AD, creating a linguistic commonality across much of the central and Southern continent. During the Middle Ages, Islam spread west from Arabia to Egypt, crossing the Sahel; some notable pre-colonial states and societies in Africa include the Ajuran Empire, D'mt, Adal Sultanate, Warsangali Sultanate, Kingdom of Nri, Nok culture, Mali Empire, Songhai Empire, Benin Empire, Oyo Empire, Ashanti Empire, Ghana Empire, Mossi Kingdoms, Mutapa Empire, Kingdom of Mapungubwe, Kingdom of Sine, Kingdom of Sennar, Kingdom of Saloum, Kingdom of Baol, Kingdom of Cayor, Kingdom of Zimbabwe, Kingdom of Kongo, Empire of Kaabu, Kingdom of Ile Ife, Ancient Carthage, Numidia and the Aksumite Empire.
At its peak, prior to European colonialism, it is estimated that Africa had up to 10,000 different states and autonomous groups with distinct languages and customs. From the mid-7th century, the Arab slave trade saw. Following an armistice between the Rashidun Caliphate and the Kingdom of Makuria after the Second Battle of Dongola in 652 AD, they were transported, along with Asians and Europeans, across the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Sahara Desert. From the late 15th century, Europeans joined the slave trade. One could say the Portuguese led in partnership with other Europeans; that includes the triangular trade, with the Portuguese acquiring slaves through trade and by force as part of the Atlantic slave trade. They transported enslaved West and Southern Africans overseas. Subsequently, European colonization of Africa developed from around 10% to over 90% in the Scramble for Africa; however following struggles for independence in many parts of the continent, as well as a weakened Europe after the Second World War, decolonization took place across the continent, culminating in the 1960 Year of Africa.
Africa's pre-colonial history has been challenging to research due to the extreme lack of documentation and architecture that the continents of Europe and Asia are so richly dense in. Disciplines such as the recording of oral history, historical linguistics and genetics have been crucial; the first known hominids evolved in Africa. According to paleontology, the early hominids' skull anatomy was similar to that of the gorilla and the chimpanzee, great apes that evolved in Africa, but the hominids had adopted a bipedal locomotion which freed their hands; this gave them a crucial advantage, enabling them to live in both forested areas and on the open savanna at a time when Africa was drying up and the savanna was encroaching on forested areas. This would have occurred 10 to 5 million years ago, but these claims are controversial because biologists and genetics have humans appearing around the last 70 thousand to 200 thousand years. Https://web.archive.org/web/20150907140051/http://genome.wellcome.ac.uk/doc_WTD020876.html By 4 million years ago, several australopithecine hominid species had developed throughout Southern and Central Africa.
They were tool users, makers of tools. They were omnivores. By 3.3 million years ago, primitive stone tools were first used to scavenge kills made by other predators and to harvest carrion and marrow from their bones. In hunting, Homo habilis was not capable of competing with large predators and was still more prey than hunter. H. habilis did steal eggs from nests and may have been able to catch small game and weakened larger prey. The tools were classed as Oldowan. Around 1.8 million years ago, Homo ergaster first appeared in the fossil record in Africa. From Homo ergaster, Homo erectus evolved 1.5 million years ago. Some of the earlier representatives of this species were still small-brained and used primitive stone tools, much like H. habilis. The brain grew in size, H. erectus developed a more complex stone tool technology called the Acheulean. The first hunters, H. erectus mastered the art of making fire and was the first hominid to leave Africa, colonizing most of Afro-Eurasia and later giving rise to Homo floresiensis.
Although some recent writers have suggested that Homo georgicus was the first and primary hominid to live outside Africa, many scientists consider H. georgicus to be an early and primitive member of the H. erectus species. The fossil record shows Homo sapiens living in Southern and Eastern Africa at least 200,000 to 150,000 years ago. Around 40,000 years ago, the species' expansion out of Africa launched the colonization of the planet by modern human beings. By 10,000 BC, Homo sapiens had spread to most corners of Afro-Eurasia, their disperals are traced by linguistic and genetic evidence. The earliest physical evidence of astronomical activity appears to be a lunar calendar found on the Ishango bone dated to between 23,000 and 18,000 BC. Scholars have argued that warfare was absent throughout much of humanity's prehistoric past, that it emerged from more complex political systems as a result of sedentism, agricultural farming, etc. However, the findings at the site of Nataruk in Turkana County, where the remains of
Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I, the Fortunate, King of Portugal, was the son of Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu, by his wife, the Infanta Beatrice of Portugal. His name is associated with a period of Portuguese history distinguished by significant achievements both in political affairs and in the arts. In spite of Portugal’s small size and population in comparison to the great European land powers of France and Spain, the classical Portuguese Armada was the largest in the world at the time. During Manuel's reign Portugal was able to acquire an overseas empire of vast proportions, the first in world history to reach global dimensions; the landmark symbol of the period was the Portuguese discovery of Brazil and South America in April 1500. Manuel's mother was the granddaughter of King John I of Portugal, whereas his father was the second surviving son of King Edward of Portugal and the younger brother of King Afonso V of Portugal. In 1495, Manuel succeeded his first cousin, King John II of Portugal, his brother-in-law, as husband to Manuel's sister, Eleanor of Viseu.
Manuel grew up amidst conspiracies of the Portuguese upper nobility against King John II. He was aware of many people being exiled, his older brother Diogo, Duke of Viseu, was stabbed to death in 1484 by the king himself. Manuel thus would have had every reason to worry when he received a royal order in 1493 to present himself to the king, but his fears were groundless: John II wanted to name him heir to the throne after the death of his son Prince Afonso and the failed attempts to legitimise Jorge, Duke of Coimbra, his illegitimate son; as a result of this stroke of luck, he was nicknamed the Fortunate. Manuel would prove a worthy successor to his cousin John II for his support of Portuguese exploration of the Atlantic Ocean and development of Portuguese commerce. During his reign, the following achievements were realized: 1498 – The discovery of a maritime route to India by Vasco da Gama. 1500 – The discovery of Brazil by Pedro Álvares Cabral. 1505 – The appointment of Francisco de Almeida as the first viceroy of India.
1503–1515 – The establishment of monopolies on maritime trade routes to the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf by Afonso de Albuquerque, an admiral, for the benefit of Portugal. The capture of Malacca in modern-day Malaysia in 1511 was the result of a plan by Manuel I to thwart the Muslim trade in the Indian Ocean by capturing Aden, blocking trade through Alexandria, capturing Ormuz to block trade through the Persian Gulf and Beirut, capturing Malacca to control trade with China. All these events made Portugal wealthy from foreign trade as it formally established a vast overseas empire. Manuel used the wealth to build a number of royal buildings and to attract scientists and artists to his court. Commercial treaties and diplomatic alliances were forged with Ming dynasty of China and the Persian Safavid dynasty. Pope Leo X received a monumental embassy from Portugal during his reign designed to draw attention to Portugal's newly acquired riches to all of Europe. In Manuel's reign, royal absolutism was the method of government.
The Portuguese Cortes met only three times during his reign, always in the king's seat. He reformed the courts of justice and the municipal charters with the crown, modernizing taxes and the concepts of tributes and rights. During his reign, the laws in force in the kingdom of Portugal were recodified with the publication of the Manueline Ordinations. Manuel was a religious man and invested a large amount of Portuguese income to send missionaries to the new colonies, among them Francisco Álvares, sponsor the construction of religious buildings, such as the Monastery of Jerónimos. Manuel endeavoured to promote another crusade against the Turks, his relationship with the Portuguese Jews started out well. At the outset of his reign, he released all the Jews, made captive during the reign of John II. For the Jews, he decided that he wanted to marry Infanta Isabella of Aragon heiress of the future united crown of Spain. Ferdinand and Isabella had expelled the Jews in 1492 and would never marry their daughter to the king of a country that still tolerated their presence.
In the marriage contract, Manuel I agreed to persecute the Jews of Portugal. In December 1496, it was decreed that all Jews either convert to Christianity or leave the country without their children. However, those expelled could only leave the country in ships specified by the king; when those who chose expulsion arrived at the port in Lisbon, they were met by clerics and soldiers who tried to use coercion and promises in order to baptize them and prevent them from leaving the country. This period of time technically ended the presence of Jews in Portugal. Afterwards, all converted Jews and their descendants would be referred to as "New Christians", they were given a grace period of thirty years in which no inquiries into their faith would be allowed. During the course of the Lisbon massacre of 1506, people invaded the Jewish Quarter and murdered thousands of accused Jews. Isabella died in childbirth in 1498, thus putting a damper on Portuguese ambitions to rule in Spain, which various rulers had harbored since the reign of King Ferdinand I. Manuel and Isabella's young son Miguel was for a period the heir apparent of Castile and Aragon, but his death in 1500 at the age of two years, ended these ambitions.
Manuel's next wife, Maria of Aragon, was his first wife. Maria died in 1517 but the two sisters were survived by an older sister, Joanna of Castile, born in
John III of Portugal
John III nicknamed The Colonizer was the King of Portugal and the Algarves from 13 December 1521 to 11 June 1557. He was the son of King Manuel I and Maria of Aragon, the third daughter of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile. John succeeded his father at the age of nineteen. During his rule, Portuguese possessions were extended in Asia and in the New World through the Portuguese colonization of Brazil. John III's policy of reinforcing Portugal's bases in India secured Portugal's monopoly over the spice trade of cloves and nutmeg from the Maluku Islands, as a result of which John III has been called the "Grocer King". On the eve of his death in 1557, the Portuguese empire had a global dimension and spanned 1 billion acres. During his reign, the Portuguese became the first Europeans to make contact with both China, under the Ming Dynasty, Japan, during the Muromachi period, he abandoned Muslim territories in North Africa in favor of trade with India and investment in Brazil.
In Europe, he improved relations with the Baltic region and the Rhineland, hoping that this would bolster Portuguese trade. John, the eldest son of King Manuel I to his second wife Maria of Aragon, was born in Lisbon on 7 June 1502; the event was marked by the presentation of Gil Vicente's Visitation Play or the Monologue of the Cowherd in the queen's chamber. The young prince was sworn heir to the throne in 1503, the year his youngest sister, Isabella of Portugal, Empress Consort of the Holy Roman Empire between 1527 and 1538, was born. John was educated by notable scholars of the time, including the astrologer Tomás de Torres, Diogo de Ortiz, Bishop of Viseu, Luís Teixeira Lobo, one of the first Portuguese Renaissance humanists, rector of the University of Siena and Professor of Law at Ferrara. John's chronicler António de Castilho said that, "Dom João III faced problems complementing his lack of culture with a practice formation that he always showed during his reign". In 1514, he was given his own house, a few years began to help his father in administrative duties.
At the age of sixteen, John was chosen to marry his first cousin, the 20-year-old Eleanor of Austria, eldest daughter of Philip the Handsome of Austria-Burgundy and Queen Joanna of Castile, but instead she married his widowed father Manuel. John took deep offence at this: his chroniclers say he became melancholic and was never quite the same; some historians claim this was one of the main reasons that John became fervently religious, giving him name the Pious. On 19 December 1521, John was crowned king in the Church of São Domingos in Lisbon, beginning a thirty-six-year reign characterized by intense activity in internal and overseas politics in relations with other major European states. John III continued to centralize the absolutist politics of his ancestors, he called the Portuguese Cortes only three times and at great intervals: 1525 in Torres Novas, 1535 in Évora and 1544 in Almeirim. He tried to restructure administrative and judicial life in his realm; the marriage of John's sister Isabella of Portugal to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, enabled the Portuguese king to forge a stronger alliance with Spain and the Holy Roman Empire.
To strengthen his ties with Austria, he married his maternal first cousin Catherine of Austria, younger sister of Charles V and his erstwhile fiancée Eleanor, in the town of Crato. John III had nine children from that marriage. By the time of John's death, only his grandson Sebastian was alive to inherit the crown; the large and far-flung Portuguese Empire was difficult and expensive to administer and was burdened with huge external debt and trade deficits. Portugal's Indian and Far Eastern interests grew chaotic under the poor administration of ambitious governors. John III responded with new appointments that proved troubled and short-lived: in some cases, the new governors had to fight their predecessors to take up their appointments; the resulting failures in administration brought on a gradual decline of the Portuguese trade monopoly. In consideration of the challenging military situation faced by Portuguese forces worldwide, John III declared every male subject between 20 and 65 years old recruitable for military service on 7 August 1549.
Among John III's many colonial governors in Asia were Vasco da Gama, Pedro Mascarenhas, Lopo Vaz de Sampaio, Nuno da Cunha, Estêvão da Gama, Martim Afonso de Sousa, João de Castro and Henrique de Meneses. Overseas, the Empire was threatened by the Ottoman Empire in both the Indian Ocean and North Africa, causing Portugal to increase spending on defense and fortifications. Meanwhile, in the Atlantic, where Portuguese ships had to withstand constant attacks of Privateers, an initial settlement of French colonists in Brazil created yet another "front"; the French made alliances with native South Americans against the Portuguese and military and political interventions were used. They were forced out, but not until 1565. In the first years of John III's reign, explorations in the Far East continued, the Portuguese reached China and Japan; the expense of defending Indian interests was huge. To pay for it, John III abandoned a number of strongholds in North Africa: Safim, Alcácer Ceguer and Arzila.
John III achieved an important political vic