ADVENT OF EUROPEANS () 09Z OS 7
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FROM TRADING TO RULING 09 0 s z 7
E! PORTUGESE As long as you may be powerful at sea you will hold India as yours; and if you do not possess this power, little will avail you a fortress or shore
VASCO DA GAMA *The arrival of three ships under Vasco Da Gama, led by a Gujarati pilot named Abdul Majid, at Calicut in May 1498 profoundly affected the course of Indian history *The Hindu ruler of Calicut, the Zamorin (Samuthiri), however, had no apprehensions as to the European's intentions. As the prosperity of his kingdom was due to Calicut's position as an entrepot, he accorded a friendly reception to Vasco Da Gama
. The Arab traders, who had a good business on the Malabar coast were apprehensive and were not keen on the Portuguese getting a hold there. . For centuries, the trading system in the Indian Ocean had had numerous participants-Indians, Arabs, Africans from the east coast, Chinese, Javanese, among others. . But these participants had acted according to some tacit rules of conduct and none had sought overwhelming dominance though all were in it for profit.
The Portuguese changed that: they wanted to monopolise the hugely profitable eastern e Vasco da Gama stayed in India for three months. When he returned to Portugal, he carried back with him a rich cargo and sold thee merchandise in the European market at a huge profit trade by excluding competitors, especially the Arabs. The importance of direct access to the pepper trade was made clear by the fact that elsewhere the Europeans, who had to buy through Muslim middlemen, would have had to spend ten times as much for the same amount of pepper.
. Other profit-seeking merchants of European nations were tempted to come to India and trade directly. . A voyage was undertaken by Pedro Alvarez Cabral to trade for spices, negotiating and establishing a factory at Calicut, where he arrived in September 1500 In retaliation, Cabral seized a number of Arab merchant ships anchored in the harbour, and killed hundreds of their crew besides confiscating their cargo and burning the ships. Calicut was bombarded by Cabral. Later, Cabral succeeded in making advantageous treaties with the local rulers of Cochin and Cannanore
. Vasco da Gama once again came to India in 1501. The Zamorin declined to exclude the Arab merchants in favour of the Portuguese when Vasco Da Gama combined commercial greed with ferocious hostility and wreaked vengeance on Arab shipping wherever he could. His rupture with the Zamorin thus became total and complete.
Vasco da Gama set up a trading factory at Cannanore. Gradually, Calicut, Cannanore and Cochin became the important trade centres of the Portuguese Gradually, under the pretext of protecting the factories and their trading activities, the Portuguese got permission to fortify these centres
. Francisco De Almeida, the newly appointed governor, was asked to consolidate the position of the Portuguese in India and to destroy Muslim trade by seizing Aden, Ormuz and Malacca. . He was also advised to build fortresses at Anjadiva, Cochin, Cannanore and Kilwa. . Almeida, however, encountered along with the opposition of the Zamorin, was a threat from the Mameluke Sultan of Egypt.
. Almeida's vision was to make the Portuguese the master of the Indian Ocean. His policy was known as the Blue Water Policy.
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