Business and Polity explores, through a variety of economic and political formations over the past two and a half millennia, right from the Greco-Roman civilization to present day globalization, the behavior of two power networks: those who control the levers of political power and those who engage themselves in wealth-generating activities. It traces the dynamics of interdependence between these two powerful networks and what happens when one or the other becomes more powerful.
The rational and logical approach taken by the author reveals the links that our modern state of affairs has with the experience of past civilizations—knowledge that can potentially enhance our ability to make informed decisions to shape the global future. Though the content is academic and interdisciplinary in scope and nature, its lucid presentation will appeal to a wide range of readers who are interested in geopolitical issues and economic, political and business history.
Chapter 14: Setting the Tone: The Portuguese
Setting the Tone: The Portuguese
Portugal spearheaded the exploration ventures into the Atlantic, with Lisbon, the entrepot where the maritime economies of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic met, becoming the jumping-off point. When John I, the Grand Master of the Knights of Aviz, became the Portuguese king in 1384, he chose exploration and expansion in search of wealth, not unexpected for a resource-starved country like Portugal. Combined with this was a bunch of diverse motives: crusading zeal against the Muslims, the desire for Guinea gold, the quest for the mythical Prester John's kingdom and the search for oriental spices. The blessings from the Pope boosted the morale of the Crown: the Bulls1 issued by him, often termed as the charter of ...