The First World Empire : Portugal, War and Military Revolution book cover
1st Edition

The First World Empire
Portugal, War and Military Revolution

ISBN 9780367365486
Published April 6, 2021 by Routledge
302 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book offers a comprehensive overview of the early modern military history of Portugal and its possessions in Africa, the Americas, and Asia from the perspective of the military revolution historiographical debate. The existence of a military revolution in the early modern period has been much debated in international historiography, and this volume fills a significant gap in its relation to the history of Portugal and its overseas empire. It examines different forms of military change in specifically Portuguese case studies but also adopts a global perspective through the analysis of different contexts and episodes in Africa, the Americas, and Asia. Contributors explore whether there is evidence of what could be defined as aspects of a military revolution or whether other explanatory models are needed to account for different forms of military change. In this way, it offers the reader a variety of perspectives that contribute to the debate over the applicability of the military revolution concept to Portugal and its empire during the early modern period. Broken down into four thematic parts and broad in both chronological and geographical scope, the book deepens our understanding of the art of warfare in Portugal and its empire and demonstrates how the military revolution debate can be used to examine military change in a global perspective.

This is an essential text for scholars and students of military history, military architecture, global history, Asian history, and the history of Iberian empires.

Table of Contents

Introduction  Part 1: Fortifications and Military Revolution  1. Negotiating Early-Modernity in Azemmour, Morocco: Military Architecture in Transition  2. Early Modern Fortification: The Portuguese Experience and Engineer Education  3. Military Engineers, the Military Revolution, and the Defence of Portugal, 1640-1668  Part 2: Size of the Armies and the Rise of the Fiscal State  4. Army Size, State Expenditure, and Warfare Culture in Sixteenth-Century Portugal  5. Was there an Early Modern Military Revolution in Mainland Portugal?  6. “Small Government or Big Government”? Assessing State Expansion in the War for Colonial Brazil  Part 3: Tradition and Innovation in Warfare  7. Transformation of Military Technology in Portugal: The Impact of the Iberian Union on Artillery  8. Portuguese Military Expeditions to Southeast Asia, 1597-1606  9. Reassessing Portuguese Military Superiority in Asia in the Sixteenth Century - the Case of Land Warfare  Part 4: Cultural Exchange and Circulation of Military Knowledge  10. The Portuguese Conquest of Angola in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (1575-1641). A Military Revolution in West Central Africa?  11. Suppliers, Knowledge Brokers and Brothers-in-arms. Portuguese Aspects of Military Innovation in Makassar  12. Military Innovation and Intrastate Warfare: Portuguese Artillery and Sieges During the Woukou Raids of the Mid-Sixteenth Century  13. The Military Revolution in Global History. East Asian Perspectives  Bibliography

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Hélder Carvalhal is a researcher at the Interdisciplinary Centre for History, Culture and Societies (CIDEHUS), University of Évora. He is a PhD candidate in early modern history at the Inter-University Doctoral Programme in History (PIUDHist), between Évora and Lisbon. He is interested in global economic and social history since the 1500s. He has published in journals such as Gender & History and Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History.

André Murteira is a researcher at Centre for the Humanities – CHAM (FCSH, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa). His MA dissertation was the basis for his published book A Carreira da Índia e o Corso Neerlandês, 1595–1625 (2012). He has published in journals such as the Journal of Military History. He is interested in the history of Dutch-Iberian conflicts outside of Europe in the seventeenth century.

Roger Lee de Jesus is a researcher at Centre for the Humanities – CHAM (FCSH, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa). He is a PhD candidate at the University of Coimbra interested in the history of Portuguese presence in Asia, from political to military history, especially in the implementation of European institutions and warfare in the Portuguese Estado da Índia (sixteenth century).


"No single volume can of course cover all aspects of Portuguese military history in Europe and overseas, but this book makes a valuable contribution to the field. Especially for a non-Lusophone audience, this is a very good first start to examine the military revolution debate in relation to the Portuguese case."

Erik Odegard, Ler História