Vasko Da Gama

Picture of Vasko Da Gama

Date of Birth: 1469

Age: 55

Place of birth: Sines

Citizenship: Portugal


Five centuries ago the Lisbon was the center of maritime research. Portuguese sailors mastered the way along the coast of Africa to the south. They also paved the way for European sea route to India and Southeast Asia. In charge of this expedition, and then the conquest of India by Vasco da Gama.

Vasco da Gama was born around the year 1460-1469 in the seaside town of Sines and the Portuguese came from an old noble family. His father, Ishtevan da Gama, was the chief ruler, and a judge Sinisa cities and Silvisha. His sons dreamed of adventures. Vasco from a young age took part in the fighting and naval campaigns. Obviously, he had military experience, for when in 1492 the French corsairs captured Portuguese caravel with gold, marching from Guinea to Portugal, he was the king instructed the responsible task. A sailor on the high-speed caravel passed along the French coast, capturing all the French ships in the roads. After that, the King of France had to return the captured ship, and Vasco da Gama became known in Portugal personality. It is clear that it was an experienced navigator, who was in honor of King Manuel I commissioned an unusual case.

July 8, 1497 a squadron of Vasco da Gama of the four ships of 100-120 tons made from Lisbon. The expedition was carefully prepared by the efforts of an experienced navigator Bartolomeu Dias, it is equipped with all the necessary three-year voyage. Crews are recruited from the best sailors. In total 168 people were at the command of the King of Portugal to open the way to India and East Ocean.

Route along the coast of Africa to the Indian Ocean earlier began to make Portuguese navigators. Thanks to the efforts of Prince Henrique, fond of the idea of ??the conquest of new lands, and therefore called "Henry the Navigator", more and more new expedition went along the African coasts, overcoming superstitious fears that the far south sea impassable because of the heat and storms. In 1419, the Portuguese rounded Cape Nome and discovered the island of Madeira. In 1434, Captain Gilles Eanish stepped over Cape Bohador previously considered insurmountable boundary. After a decade of Nuno Tristan reached Senegal, he brought ten locals and profitably sold. This started the African slave trade, which would justify the cost of shipping. In subsequent years, were discovered the Azores and Cape Verde, are attached to the Portuguese crown Guinea and Congo, which supplied slaves and gold. In 1486 Diogo Kahn expedition reached Cape Cross. Seafarers close to the southern tip of the African continent. However, the Portuguese kings attracted way to the Spice Islands. Monopoly on the spice trade kept the Arabs, who brought through the Persian Gulf and overland pepper, cinnamon and other highly valued in Europe seasonings. February 3, 1488 Court of Bartolomeu Dias, released in Lisbon in August 1487 and goes to India, rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and only failure suffer from hunger continue sailing team made it back before reaching the goal. Ten years later, Vasco da Gama had to do what his predecessor failed.

Swimming started safely. Court passed the Canary Islands, in the mist parted and gathered at the Cape Verde Islands. Further way it difficult headwinds, but Vasco da Gama turned to the southwest and a little before reaching the then still unknown in Brazil, thanks to the tailwind, managed in the most convenient way (later became traditional sailboats) to reach the Cape of Good Hope. However, the sailors spent 93 days in the ocean and only 4 November reached land. Sailors met on the banks of the Bushmen. Due to a conflict with them had to hurry to weigh anchor. Cold weather caused a murmur of the team, but "Captain-Commander" was firm, and November 22, 1497 the squadron rounded the Cape of Good Hope. After parking, during which the Portuguese provisions produced and agreed with the Bushmen, a squadron of three ships (the old vehicles had flood) continued the way along the coast, establishing links with local tribes. December 16 travelers saw on the bank of the last post-PADRAO left Dias. Next, open the unexplored path.

This path has not been easy. Due to the monotonous and lack of food among the crew spread scurvy. The supply of provisions and water was difficult, because the area of ??the Muslim influence began. March 2, 1498, the Portuguese arrived at the port of Mozambique, where they nearly destroyed an Arab sheikh. 7 April the squadron approached the port city of Mombasa, and the local sheikh also tried to seize the courts "infidels", as a precaution, stopped on the roads. The Portuguese, in turn, seized the Arab court.

14 April, going with the wind, the expedition reached the rich Malindi. Local Sheikh Sheikh Mombasa was an opponent, he wanted to buy new allies, especially armed with firearms, which the Arabs had not. In addition to provisions, he gave pilots who knew the way to India. April 24 squadron left Malindi and 20 May arrived at Calicut. The city met the merchants, who knew of the existence of Portugal and other European countries.

May 28 Vasco da Gama solemnly accepted as an ambassador zamudrin Raja (Zamorin) - ruler of Calicut. But modest gifts sailors disappoint the ruler and soon reached Calicut information about piracy Portuguese even more strained relations. The merchants, the Arabs tried to antagonize Christians competitors. Vasco da Gama has not received permission to establish a factory at Calicut. Zamorin only allowed to unload on the beach and sell goods, and then go back. He even took the time Vasco da Gama in custody on the beach. Portuguese products are not found in sales for almost two months, and the captain-commander decided to go back. Before leaving, he turned to August 9 Zamorin with a letter, which reminded of the promise to send an embassy to Portugal and asked to send a gift to the king several bags of spices. However, the ruler of Calicut in response demanded payment of customs duties. He ordered to detain the goods and the Portuguese people, accusing them of spying. In turn, the Vasco da Gama took hostage several ships visited the noble kalikuttsev. When the Zamorin and the Portuguese returned part of the goods, the captain-commander sent ashore half of hostages, and the rest took a look at the power of Portugal. The goods he left a gift kalikutskomu ruler. August 30 squadron went way back, having come off easily from the Indian boats, trying to attack the Portuguese court.

On the way back, the Portuguese captured several merchant ships. In turn, the governor of Goa would like to lure and capture the squadron to use the court to fight with the neighbors. It was necessary to fend off the pirates. The three-way to the shores of Africa, accompanied by heat and the crews of illnesses. Only January 2, 1499 the sailors saw the rich city of Mogadishu. Not daring to land with a small team of exhausted hardships, da Gama ordered "a warning" to bombard the city of bombards. January 7 explorers arrived in Malindi, where for five days due to good food and fruit provided Sheikh, sailors strengthened. But still decreased because the crews that on January 13 at the parking lot south of Mombasa had to burn one of the vessels. January 28 passed the island of Zanzibar, on 1 February made a stop at the island of Sao Jorge, in Mozambique, March 20 rounded the Cape of Good Hope. April 16 tailwind denounced the court to the Cape Verde Islands. From there, Vasco da Gama sent forward the ship, which on July 10 brought to Portugal the news of the success of the expedition. The captain himself commander delayed due to illness of his brother. Only September 18, 1499 Vasco da Gama returned to Lisbon solemnly.

They returned only two ships and 55 people. The cost of the death of the rest of the way was open to South Asia around Africa. Already in the years 1500-1501, the Portuguese began to trade with India, then, using armed force, established their bases on the peninsula, and in 1511 took possession of Malacca - the true country of spices.

The King conferred upon return of Vasco da Gama title of "Don", as a representative of the nobility, and retired in 1000 Cruzado. However, he sought to make him lord of the city Sinisa. As the case dragged on, the king appease the ambitious traveler increasing pensions, and in 1502, before the second swimming, awarded the title - "Admiral of the Indian Ocean" - with all the honors and privileges.

Meanwhile the expedition Cabral and Joao da Nova, who went to the shores of India, faced with the resistance of the local rulers. To establish in India to strengthen and subdue the country, King Manuel sent a squadron led by Vasco da Gama. The expedition consisted of twenty ships, of which the Indian Ocean Admiral has ten; Five were to prevent the Arab maritime trade in the Indian Ocean, and five more, under the command of Admiral`s nephew, Stephen da Gama, intended to protect factor.

The expedition made February 10, 1502. Along the way, the sailors came to the Canary Islands. Not far from Cape Verde Admiral showed Indian ambassadors to return home, to send to Lisbon laden with gold caravel. Ambassadors were amazed the first time he saw so much gold. Along the way, Vasco da Gama established forts and trading posts in Sofala and Mozambique, conquered Arab Emir Kilwa and imposed on him a tribute. Since violent measures of struggle with the Arab shipping, he ordered the burning of the Arab ship with all the passengers-pilgrims from the Malabar Coast.

October 3rd Fleet arrived in Kannanur. Local Raja solemnly met and allowed the Portuguese to build a big factor. After loading the ships with spices, the admiral went to Calicut. Here he acted decisively and brutally. Despite promises Zamorina indemnify and message about the arrest of the perpetrators of the attacks on the Portuguese admiral captured standing at the port of ships and shelled the city, turning it into ruins. He ordered to hang up on the masts of captured Indians, sent ashore Zamorin severed in accidents arms, legs and head, and threw the body overboard, to be washed ashore. Two days later, Vasco da Gama again bombarded Calicut and brought new victims sea. Zamorin fled the devastated city. Leaving for the blockade of Calicut seven ships under the command of Vicente Sudr, da Gama went to Cochin. Here he is partial load ships and left the new garrison.

Zamorin via Arab merchants gathered a large fleet, which is February 12, 1503 addressed to meet the Portuguese, once again approaching the Calicut. However, light artillery, ships boats were put to flight. October 11 Vasco da Gama returned to Lisbon with success. The king, pleased with prey, increased retirement admiral, but a serious purpose ambitious sailor did not give. Only in 1519 da Gama received land ownership and the title of count.

After returning from the second campaign Vasco da Gama went on to develop plans for further colonization of India, advised the king to create a marine police there. King took into account his proposals in twelve instruments (decrees) in India.

In 1505, King Manuel I, on the advice of Vasco da Gama, created the post of Viceroy of India. Successive Francisco D`Almeida and Affonso d`Albuquerque violent actions strengthened the power of the Portuguese in the land of India and the Indian Ocean. However, after d`Albukerki death in 1515 of his receivers were greedy and incapable. Receives less profit the new king of Portugal, John III decided to appoint the fifth Vice-king 64-year-old severe and incorruptible Vasco da Gama. April 9, 1524 Admiral sailed from Portugal and immediately upon arrival in India took firm action against the abuses of the colonial administration. However, he did not put things in order, because he died from the disease 24 December 1524 in Cochin.

For a while Portugal remained mistress of the Indian Ocean, until it was replaced by other colonial powers. Statements of the local population against the atrocities differed, cruelty and arrogance contributed to the loss of the Portuguese colonizers that discovered and conquered the Indian Ocean, Admiral Vasco da Gama.