A Espanha como Primeiro Império Global da História Moderna
The distinguished translator Joaquina Pires-O’Brien was born in Brazil and is a long-time resident in the United Kingdom. She has had a long career as a research botanist and has an outstanding academic record: Dr. Pires-O’Brien has studied at the Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, at the Central Washington State College (B.A.), at Oregon State University (M.Sc.), and holds a PhD from University College London (UCL) and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.
Joaquina Pires-O’Brien is also the founder and editor of the magazine PortVitoria, dedicated to the Lusophone and Hispanophone communities worldwide.
Hugh Thomas’s book covers Philip II’s annexation of Portugal and its overseas territories in 1580, after King Sebastian died without heir. Philip II, the son of Infanta Isabella of Portugal, was the legitimate successor to the Portuguese crown, but the Portuguese population was divided and a faction would not yield without a fight. After their defeat by the Spanish, Philip II (crowned as Philip I of Portugal) established his capital in Lisbon for two years, later returning to Madrid.
Taking over the Portuguese seaborne Empire, Philip II indeed governed over the largest expanse of territory ever held by a single man. Although the Iberian Union was ruled under the principle, one crown and two separate administrations, which meant that only Portuguese officials administered the Portuguese territories, without interference from Spain. Even the old Treaty of Tordesillas (1494) was to remain in force and to be respected for centuries, that treaty divided the newly found lands between Spain and Portugal and precluded the Spaniards from navigating to Asia via the Cape of Good Hope.
The Iberian Union lasted for sixty years (1580-1640) not without Portuguese resentment. In fact the union was presided by a complete lack of cooperation and coordination if not hostility, features which historically have marked the relations between the two countries and their respective territories of influence, turning their backs on one another in spite of their shared roots, their strong cultural and linguistic affinities, and the compelling reasons for a common ground.
Philip II’s latest and most loyal courtier, who served him until his dead as his first minister, was the Portuguese nobleman Don Cristóbal de Moura.