In Africa, Asia, and the Americas, Portugal was the first European power to initiate encounters between Muslims and Christians, Europeans and Africans, and Asians and Americans, on a truly global scale. In some instances, the Portuguese explicitly imposed their culture onto the natives, and in others, they formed casados—intermarriage and residence with locals. Relationships with the “other”—non-Portuguese agents encountered on the Voyages of Discovery—were tied to the economic realties of expansion. Between 1415-1580, the Portuguese acted as pirates, diplomats, middle-men, righteous saviors, and friends, because race relations were experimental. The further that the Portuguese ventured from metropolitan Portugal, the more they were required to adapt to local trade customs and rely on the “other.” Ultimately, globalization was fundamentally achieved by a process of collaborating with and becoming part of the “other.”

First Advisor

Doug Sackman

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in History

Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2016



Included in

History Commons