Study On The Portuguese Conquest History Essay

3655 words (15 pages) Essay in History

5/12/16 History Reference this

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The Malacca, because the strategic position on the strait bearing the same name, it become more and more important for trading and shunting of spices like pepper, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The Malacca also become a remarkable trading center or port for all the merchants from all the Asian nations of the time, for example, Persia, Arabia, China, India, Bengal, Indonesia, Ceylon, and Japan.

After Portuguese conquering Goa in India, the Portuguese start awareness about the importance of Malacca. They started to gather all the information about the Malacca from every seaman who came to Goa. In order to access the strength of Malacca, an expeditionary force was sent there in five ships commanded by Diego Lopez de Sequeira and they arrived in Melaka on 11th August 1509. After that de Sequeira sent one of the captains ashore and negotiated with the Sultan of Malacca. But this action has been failed because of Indian and Arab Muslim persuaded the Sultan and the Bendahara of Malacca does not trust the Portuguese. At the end many of the Portuguese were capture and imprisoned by the Sultan Malacca.

In 1511, Afonso de Albuquerque, the Governor and Captain-General of the East were decided to organize an expedition to conquer Malacca. Afonso de Albuquerque collected a fleet of 18 ships and 1,400 men and arrived the Malacca harbor on 1st July 1511. The Afonso de Albuquerque demanded the return of prisoner but the Sultan of Malacca, Sultan Mahmud Syah made an excuse to delay the time so that they can strengthen the fortifications and stockades on both sides of the bridge and the river but Afonso de Albuquerque didn’t waste their time. When 25 July 1511, they attacked the town by concentrating attack the assault on the bridge on the river dividing the town. After released the Portuguese prisoner, Afonso de Albuquerque was not satisfied, when 25 July 1511, he ordered attack again on the city. The city was divided into two parts, which is the main town on side of the river, and the suburbs where the traders lived on the other. But this time of attack was failed; they forced to retreat when at nightfall.

After a few days preparation, Portuguese attacked Malacca again and this time finally Malacca fell to the Portuguese on August 1511. On 24 August 1511, Portuguese discover Sultan Mahmud Syah and his family escape and retreat to Ulu Bertam, Pahang. Portuguese sacked the town, but following Albuquerque’s orders, they respected the property of those who sided with them.

After conquest Malacca, to strengthens and defend the Portuguese base, Portuguese immediately built a fortress which is call “A famosa” on the south side of the Malacca river. Beside built the fortress, Portuguese also built Governor’s Palace, the Bishop’s Palace, the Government council chambers, several churches, barracks, two hospitals, monastery and a prison. Ruy de Brito Patalim was appointed by Albuquerque as the Governor and Nina Chattu as the Prime Minister. After established the Malacca, Albuquerque was encouraged the merchants to reopen their businesses and built up the friendship to Siam, Java, China, and to the Moluccas island.

In order to make buying and selling easier, Albuquerque issued a new coinage at Melaka. Although most of the trading was done by barter, there was some trading by using the Malay tin coins. The new Portuguese coins were of tin or copper, silver and gold.

Although Malacca had fallen to the Portuguese, the Sultan Mahmud Syah have a base at Johore. During from 1511 till 1526, Sultan Mahmud Syah and his son Sultan Ahmad had continuous sent their army to attack the Portuguese. At the end, in 1583, a peace treaty was signed. However, the Portuguese strong enemy is Acheh in North Sumatra, which was across the Straits of Melaka. It is because the Sultan of Acheh was the champion of Islam and have a big trading pepper in Sumatera. The Sultan of Acheh wanted to capture Melaka and attacked it several times, but at the end they were not successful.

In 1602-1603, the Dutch blockaded Malacca by sea, but this was only a first timid attempt. In 1606, Johore and the Dutch concluded an alliance against the Portuguese and in 1607 they set again the town under siege. The Dutch made several fruitless attempts between 1623 and 1627, and in 1633. The defenders of Portuguese run out of their gun power and with a severe scarcity of food when the last siege of combining the Dutch-Johore fleet of 1.500 Dutchmen, 1.500 Malays, 12 Dutch ships, 6 sloops and 40 Johore vessels during in June 1640. Dutch commander Willmsoon Kartekoe ordered the last desperate assault on January 1641 but the Portuguese defender made a fierce resistance and finally Dutch driven back.

But in situation desperation, honourable terms of surrender have been offered by Dutch commander to Portuguese and the Portuguese commander accepted the generous terms. After the Portuguese commander dying, he was buried by the Dutch with military honours in the church of S•o Domingo. The city of Malacca was thus in Portuguese hands from 24 August 1511 till 14 January 1641.

Reason Portuguese venture to the East

The Portuguese were the first Europeans to dominate trade in SEA and the first to set up trading posts in military-occupied ports . They defeated Moslem naval forces in 1509 and seized Malacca in 1511 , until the Dutch captured it in 1641. Southeast Asia felt Portuguese impact the least. The Portuguese controlled only the small territory of East Timor

During the 15th century, Portugal heralded its Age of Discovery and became inexhaustible in its quest to discover foreign lands and expand its tiny kingdom. Initiated by Infante Don Enrique, popularly known as Prince Henry the Navigator (1394-1460), who encouraged his people to increase their knowledge and expand their trading activities to the Far East, the Portuguese embarked on countless missions by land and sea.

Their purpose, in addition to searching for “Guinea gold” and expanding their tiny kingdom to become one of the most powerful nations in the world, was to spread the Christian Gospel and reduce the influence of Islam in the East. Portuguese were bent on spreading the gospel to the East and replacing Islam with Christianity.

The Portuguese also had another important reason to venture to the East is to search for Guinea gold where precious Asian spices which had become essential in their part of the world, in flavouring and preserving their food. Keeping consistent in their animosity against the Muslims and fuelled by their search for Asian spices, the Portuguese were intent on diverting the Asian spice trade away from the Muslims. The only way to do this was to stop obtaining the Asian spices from the Muslim Empire in Egypt and Syria, and instead, chart a new spice route around the Cape of Good Hope. The efforts of the Portuguese made them the first European nation that came to the South East Asia in search of Asian spies.

Another reason for the Portuguese venturing to the East is to search for the mythical priest-king, Prester John, ruling over a powerful Christian kingdom in known as, ‘the Indies’. They believed that with his help, they could conquer the Muslims in the East. In addition, since Muslims had dominated the route via land, they decided to find a new route by sea to the East.

The Administration of Portuguese in Malacca

Captains-Major of Malacca (1512-1641)




Rui de Brito Patalim



Jorge de Albuquerque (1st time)



Jorge de Brito



Nuno Vaz Pereira



Afonso Lopes da Costa



Garcia de Sá (1st time)



Jorge de Albuquerque (2nd time)



Pero de Mascarenhas



Jorge Cabral



Pero de Faria



Fortaleza de Malaca

Fortaleza de Malaca is a fortress system which is a quadrilateral tower. It was constructed at the foot of the fortress hill, next to the sea. To its east was constructed a circular wall of mortar and stone with a well in the middle of the enclosure. This construction is fully fortify the fortress hill. The four gateways were built for the cities are Porta de Santiago, The gateway of the Custom House Terrace, Porta de Sao Domingos, and Porta de Santo Antonio. All of these gateways only two were in common use which is Gate of Santo Antonio and the gateway of the Custom House Terrace. Gate of Santo Antonio is linking to the suburb of Yler and gateway of the Custom House Terrace giving access to Tranqueira and its bazaar.

Porta de Santiago

porta de santiago.jpgporta de santiago2.jpg

The Porta de Santiago is one of the four main gates of the A Famosa fortress. It was built by the Portuguese in 1512 under the command of Alfonso de Albuquerque. This magnificent fort had successfully protected the Portuguese position in Melaka, until it was overrun by the Dutch. It was damaged during the attack, but the Dutch later repaired and renamed it VOC with an embossed emblem. But unfortunately what is left until today is nothing more than a gateway called Porta de Santiago.

The town of Malacca during the Portuguese era


The most important suburb of Malacca is at Tranqueira. The suburb was rectangular in shape, with a northern walled boundary, the straits of Malacca to the south and the river of Malacca and the fortaleza’s wall to the east. It was the main residential quarters of the city. However, in war, the residence of the quarters would be evacuated to the fortress. Tranqueira was divided into a further two parishes, which is São Tomé and São Estêvão. The parish of S.Tomé was called Campon Chelim or we call it Kampung Keling. It was described that this area was populated by the Chelis of Choromandel. The other suburb of São Estêvão was also called Campon China or Kampung Cina.

Erédia described the houses as made of timber but roofed by tiles. A stone bridge with sentry crosses the river Malacca to provide access to the Malacca Fortress via the eastern Custome House Terrace. The center of trade of the city was also located in Tranqueira near the beach on the mouth of the river called the Bazaar of the Jaos that is Javanese.

Tranqueira, this part of the city was still called Tengkera.


Yler or we call it Hilir roughly covered Buquet China which is bukit cina and the south-eastern coastal area. The important water source for the community is the Well of Buquet China. The Church of the Madre De Deus and the Convent of the Capuchins of São Francisco is at the Buquet China. Another notable landmark included Buquetpiatto which is built piatu. The extreme boundaries of this unwalled suburb were said to be as far as Buquetpipi and Tanjonpacer.

Tanjonpacer or Tanjung Pasir was later renamed Ujong Pasir. A settlement of Portuguese descent community is located there in present day Malacca. This suburb of Yler is now known as Banda Hilir.


The houses on this suburb were built on the water edges of the river. Some of the original Muslim Malay inhabitants of Malacca lived in the swamps of Nypeiras tree, where they made Nypa wine by distillation for trade. This suburb was considered the most rural, being a transition to the Malacca hinterland, where timber and charcoal traffic passed through into the city. Several parishes also lie outside the city along the river. In later periods of Dutch, British and modern day Malacca, the name of Sabba was made obsolete. However, its area encompassed parts of what is now Banda Kaba, Bunga Raya and Kampung Jawa in Malacca city.

The monetary system in Malacca

In 1511, the ViceRoy of India, Afonso de Albuquerque, invaded Malacca. The Portuguese ruled Malacca for 130 years. In January 1641 the Dutch took hands of Malacca.

Portuguese coinage in the East Indies was struck at Malacca from the year of its conquest 1511, until the Dutch occupation in 1641. Base metal coins were struck for the Portuguese sovereign Emmanuel (1495-1521) and his successors, silver from the reign of Philip II (1598-1621) and Philip III (1621-1640).

The Portuguese only focus on doing main business after conquers the Malacca. In India and Malacca, the first thing Portuguese will did wherever they were was to strike coins with which to do that business. In 1511, Portuguese were struck a few gold and silver coins and a set of denominations in tin by the governor da Albuquerque opened a European style establishment. Although there was already have a mint in Malacca.

The gold and silver were struck mostly to demonstrate sovereignty, and were sent back to Portugal to show the king that he had a new piece of real estate. There were basically 3 denominations of tin coins struck at the Malacca mint: big ones called bastardo, their tenth, called soldo, and later a tenth soldo, called dinheiro.  The weight relation of the bastardo and soldo started out fairly correct, but the bastardo became light fairly quickly, and the soldo, and later the dinheiro, became tokens.  Latterly, a half dinheiro, or bazaruco, was struck. 

Over the 130 years of Portuguese occupation about 20 tin types were struck, in several dozen major and minor varieties.  During the closing decade of the Portuguese period, there were also some silver coins struck at the Malacca mint, for example, tangas, multiples, and fractions. In addition, a few silver and gold coins were struck at Goa and Lisbon for Malacca. All there are extremely rare.

The Portuguese Currency

In 1511, during the reign of King Dom Mnuell, the gold and silver coin were struck in Malacca by mind set up by Governor Alfonso D’Albuquerque from the first year of the occupation. Among the initial currency issues were the commemorative Catolico and the Meio Catolico, both minted in gold and, the third commemorative in silver, the Malaques, named after Malacca. 

During the reign of King Dom Joao III, the De Castro issue and the Malacca Mint issue are two separate coinages in Malacca. The De Castro issue was struck during the governorship of Dom Joao de Castro, the 4th Viceroy of Indis (1545-1548) was in gold as well as in tin. The gold coins were the Escudo de Sao Tome and the Quarter Escudo de Sao Tome, minted in Lisbon and Goa for circulation in India and the ten Portuguese territories. The tin coins were the Bastardo, Soldo and Dinheiro which were also minted in Lisbon for circulation in Malacca.

The coinage of King Dom Sebastiao, the tin coins have the different distinctive between bastardo, Soldo and Dinheiro. On the Bastardo, the armillary sphere was replaced by crossed arrows and the letter “S B”. The Soldo had either double arrows a or triple arrows and the letters “B A”, for the Dinheiro, there were at least two issues, one with the armillary and triple arrows; on the other sailing ship replaced by the sphere 

During the reign of King Dom Felipe II (1598-1621) there had been no official record of any coins minted at or for Malacca market. Only the silver piece known by us and there is no distinctive tin coins appear to have issued by the Malacca Mint. They were only in four denominationa, the first is Half Tanga, the second is Tanga, the third is Double Tanga and the forth is Quadruple Tanga. This Quadruple Tang was struck between the years 1633-1636 at the Malacca Mint or may be at the Goa Mint specially designed and issued for Malacca. All denominations of silver Tanga of Malacca with the mintmark of “A M” or “M A” of the Malacca Mint.

Dom Manuel I 1495 – 1521

second issue Dom Manuel.gifsecond issue Dom Manuel reverse.gif

Second issue 1512 – 1515 (De Brito Patalim´s coinage).

Bastardo, pewter, 49,06 gram, 37,5 mm.

Obverse: Sphere with legend around: D(om) M(anuel) P(rimeiro) R(ei) DE PV(rugal) S(enh)OR D(a) I(ndia) E MALA(acca)

Reverse: Cross of the Order of Christ with legend around: CRVX XPI NOSTRE SPES VNICA

Shaw & Kassim 7, E.E.Sim  cfr. E1 35

Third issue Don Manuel reverse.gifThird issue Don Manuel.gif

Third Issue 1517 – 1521

These coins were issued under the authority of a new governor, Dom Aleixo de Menezes, who arrived in Malacca in June 1517.

Bastardo, pewter, 13,82 gram, 29 mm.

Obverse: Crowned Portuguese shield with inscription around: I EMANVEL R(EX) P(ORTUGALIA) ET A(LGARBIORUM) D(OMINUS) ¤(G)VINE + (Manuel I King of Portugal and the Algarve, Lord of Guinea). On each side of the shield + – V. The type with + V, is not mentioned in E.E.Sim.

Reverse: Armillary sphere.

H.T.Grogan 1296, Shaw & Kassim 14, E.E.Sim %, Sim 20-25

Dom João III 1521 – 1557


Dinheiro, pewter, 1,59 gram, 19 mm.

Obverse: Cross surrounded be the legend: + IOA(NNES) : III. POR(TUGALIA): ET: AL(GARBIORUM) (John III King of Portugal and the Algarve).

Reverse: The Armillary Sphere

Shaw & Kassim 19, H.T.Grogan 1302, Sim J3.07

Dom Sebastião 1557 – 1578

Half soldo_dinheiro.gifHalf soldo_dinheiro2.gif

Half soldo/Dinheiro ?, pewter, 2,13 gram, 17-19 mm

Obverse: Three arrows crossed and tied in the centre between the letters B A. Large dot on each side on the top of the central arrow.

The two dots and the B A indicated perhaps it is a 2 bazarucos ?

Reverse: The Armillary Sphere. The “Zodiacal” belt rises from the left to right.

Shaw & Kassim 25, H.T.Grogan 1312, Sim S.18


Bazaruco, pewter, 1,12 gram, 13 mm

Obverse: The crowned Arms of Portugal

Reverse: Cross

Half soldo2.gifHalf soldo.gif

Half Soldo ?, pewter, 2,46 gram, 18,5 mm

Obverse: The Crowned Arms of Portugal.

Reverse: A sailing ship left.

Shaw & Kassim 24

Sim S.19

Philip III, 1620 – 1640

Meia tanga.gifMeia tanga2.gif

Meia tanga (1/2 tanga) 1635, silver, 15-15,5 mm, 1,03 gram.

Obverse: Crowned Portuguese shield with mintletters beside A – M (Asia Malacca).

Reverse: Monogram of value T – A, besides D – M (De Malacca), below the year 1635.

1 tanga 1631.gif1 tanga2 1631.gif

1 tanga 1631, silver, 17,5 – 18 mm, 3,05 gram.

Obverse: Crowned Portuguese shield with mintletters beside A – M (Asia Malacca)

Reverse: Monogram of value T – A, besides D – M (De Malacca), below the year 1631.

Mitchener 3156, Sim F3-24

2 tanga.gif2tangabs 2.gif

2 tanga (half xerafins?) 1631, Silver, 25 mm, 6,04 gram

Obververse: Crowned Portuguese shield with mintletters beside A – M (Asia Malacca)

Reverse: Monogram of value ? T – A, besides D – M (De Malacca), below the year 1631.

The financial system of Portuguese conquer Malacca and other places

In all ports controlled by Portuguese, Albuquerque instituted the system of the cartaz. Cartaz was a naval trade license or pass issue by the Portuguese in the Indian Ocean during the sixteeth century, this cartaz system is under the rule of the Portuguese empire.

In 1443, Prince Henry the Navigator was initiate the licensing of vessels with consent of the king and the Pope, when he decreed a monopoly on navigation in the west African coast Portuguese Mare clausim policy in the Atlantic Ocean have been starting. All the ships began to be licensed by Portugal, which authorized and supported navigation, encouraging investment in exploration travel by Portuguese and foreigners in exchange for part of the profits.

In 1502, the “cartazes” licensing system was created and the main purpose of this system was to ensure that merchants paid the tax in Portuguese trading posts, guaranteeing its monopoly on the spice trade and other products. It actually bring advantage to local commerce, the low cost of the cartaz system, granting merchant ships protection against pirates and rival state. They protection racket, plus customs duties and some outright piracy, raised the money to defray part of the cost of manning garrisons and maintaining the navy

Under cartaz system, every vessel will be receive a document to sail in the Indian coast, no vessel was permitted to sail in the Indian coast without this document, they may risking losing their cargo or being attacked and even sunk by Portuguese. Mainly Muslim, Hindu and Malay merchant ships without this document. Every year, Portuguese fleets patrolled the coasts to require this document. As Portuguese lost influence, the issue of cartazes becomes an important source of income for the crown.

The cartaz system enabled the Portuguese to exercise some control over trading networks that they could not dominate. In time, they raised further revenues by selling concessions for specific maritime trade routes to Asian ship-owners. In the mid-16th century, Asian merchants were shipping their goods on Portuguese ships and vice versa. And even the Portuguese ships were crewed by men from Arabia, Malabar, Gujarat, Malaysia and Indonesia, with perhaps one or two Portuguese officers. Pidgin Portuguese became the lingua franca of the Indian Ocean ports.

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