Monday, November 8, 2010

My Administration and Diplomacy in Goa, 1514

On November 4th, 1509, I became the second Governor of the State of India, a position that I held until my death. I intended to dominate the Muslim world and control the spices’ trading network with my power. Initially, King Manuel I and his council in Lisbon tried to distribute the power, creating three areas of jurisdiction in the Indian Ocean. One Jorge de Aguiar was given the area between the Cape of Good Hope and Gujarat. He was succeeded by Duarte de Lemos but left Cochin and then for the kingdom, leaving his fleet to me. I later had conquest over Goa and Malacca. In 1514 I was devoted to the administration and diplomacy in Goa, concluding peace with Calicut and receiving embassies from Indian governors, strengthening the city, and stimulating the marriage of Portuguese with local women. At that time in my day, Portuguese women were forbidden from traveling overseas due to superstitions about women on ships, and well as the dangerous journeys that we strong men encountered. In 1511, the Portuguese government encouraged our explorers to marry local women, under a policy that I set up. To promote settlement, our King of Portugal granted freeman status and exemption from Crown taxes to Portuguese men who ventured overseas and married local women. Thanks to me, mixed marriages flourished. I appointed local people for positions in the Portuguese administration and didn’t interfere with local traditions, except for the “sati.” This was the practice of immolating widows, which I forbade.

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