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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

Were allowed to remain in Portugal


Spain in another direction.

From the time of the acquisition of Portugal by Philip II that region had been exceedingly well treated by the Spanish kings: no public offices were given to any but Portuguese; no military or naval forces and no taxes were required for purely Spanish objects; the Portuguese colonies were left to the Portuguese, and the route around Africa to the Far East was closed to Spaniards; Lisbon continued to be the centre of Portuguese colonial traffic, as Seville was for Spain; and even the members of the House of Braganza, despite their dangerous claim to the throne, were allowed to remain in Portugal, and were greatly favored. Furthermore, Philip II abolished customs houses between Portugal and Castile, made advantageous administrative improvements (among other things, reforming colonial management, on the Spanish model), and attempted something in the way of public works. The annexation weighed very lightly on the country. The king was represented by a viceroy; there were a few Spanish troops in Portugal; and some taxes were collected, though they were far from heavy in amount. Spain has been charged with the responsibility for the loss of many Portuguese colonies, on the ground that Portugal became involved in the wars against the Spanish kings, and therefore open to the attack of Spain's enemies. There is reason for believing, however, that the connection served rather as a pretext than a cause; this was an age when the North European powers were engaging in colonial enterprises,
and it is worthy of note that the Dutch, who were the principal successors to the Portuguese possessions, continued to make conquests from Portugal after they had formed an alliance with that country in the war of Portuguese independence from Spain. In fact, very little passed into foreign hands prior to the Portuguese separation from the Spanish crown as compared with what was lost afterward.

[Sidenote: The imperialism of Olivares and the uprising in Portugal.]

While the nobility and the wealthy classes favored the union with Spain, there were strong elements in the country of a contrary opinion, for whom leaders were to be found in the lower ranks of the secular clergy and especially among the Jesuits. The masses of the people still hated Spaniards; several generations were necessary before that traditional feeling could be appreciably lessened. A current of opposition manifested itself as early as the reign of Philip III, when the Duke of Lerma, the king's favorite minister, proposed to raise the prohibition maintained against the Jews forbidding them to sell their goods when emigrating, and planned to grant them civil equality with Christians. This had coincided with a slight increase in taxation to produce discontent. It was natural that the imperialistic Olivares should wish to introduce a radical change in the relations of Spain and Portugal. He early addressed the king on the advisability of bringing about a veritable amalgamation of the two countries, and suggested that Portuguese individuals should be given some offices in Castile, and Castilians


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