Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM the OXFORD RESEARCH ENCYCLOPEDIA, AFRICAN HISTORY ( (c) Oxford University Press USA, 2016. All Rights Reserved. Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 April 2018

Portuguese Colonialism in Africa

Summary and Keywords

The Portuguese colonial empire was the first and the last European empire overseas, from the conquest of Ceuta (1415), in Morocco, North Africa, until the formal handover of Macau to the People’s Republic of China (1999). From the coastline excursions in Africa and the gradual establishment of trade routes in Asia and in the Indian Ocean and the related emergence of the Estado da Índia (the Portuguese empire east of the Cape of Good Hope), to the colonization projects in the Americas, namely, in Brazil, and, in the second half of the 19th century, in Africa, the Portuguese empire assumed diverse configurations. All of these entailed expansionist projects and motivations—political, missionary, military, commercial—with changing dynamics, strongly conditioned by local circumstances and powers. In Africa, actual colonization was a belated and convoluted process, which started and ended with violent conflicts, the so-called pacification campaigns of the 1890s, and the liberation wars of the 1960s and 1970s. In Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Cape Verde, and São Tomé and Príncipe, the Portuguese enacted numerous modalities of formalized rule, based on political, military, and religious apparatuses. These forms of control engaged with and impacted on local societies differently. However, until the very end, coercive labor and tax exactions, racial discrimination, authoritarian politics, and economic exploitation were the fundamental pillars of Portuguese colonialism in Africa.

Keywords: Portugal, Africa, colonialism imperialism, Portuguese Africa, colonial violence, forced labor, racial discrimination

Under the Banner of Reconquest: Early Expansion in North Africa

The Portuguese Empire (1415–1999) was the first European empire overseas. It was also the last. Its first focus of interest was North Africa, namely, the port town of Ceuta, Morocco, North Africa. In the summer of 1415, the Portuguese King João I and the new dynasty of Avis led the military conquest of the area, which included foreign expeditionary contingents, establishing a fortified position. (Geo)political and economic goals—among them, gaining support for the new dynasty from the papacy, strengthening Portuguese independence, outmaneuvering rival Castile, and controlling the existing trade routes between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, particularly the trans-Saharan and trans-Middle Eastern ones—were crucial in this decision. The long-standing Iberian tradition of Reconquest, coupled with subsisting anxieties regarding new waves of Muslim invasions, also fueled the expansionist imagination and related initiatives, in which the service nobility played an active role. The Cronica da tomada de Ceuta (1449–1450), written by the royal archivist Gomes Eanes de Zurara, remains the fundamental literary source for the expedition. After taking control of the city, a Te Deum was celebrated in the main mosque of Ceuta. In 1440, the loans that supported this venture were still being paid.

Portuguese Colonialism in AfricaClick to view larger

Figure 1. Panel of azulejos (tin-glazed ceramic tilework) by Jorge Colaço (1864–1942) at the São Bento (Porto) railway station, depicting Prince Henry the Navigator during the conquest of Ceuta (1415). Creative Commons License (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Another initiative was made years later, after internally disputed debates about how to proceed regarding further overseas expansion. Despite arguments based on the human and financial costs of another territorial move, focused on Tangier, King Duarte (b. 1391–d. 1438) embarked on an assault on the Marinid Sultanate of Morocco in 1437. The ensuing debacle, which entailed the captivity of the “holy Prince” Fernando and his subsequent death in Fez, in 1443, caused a moment of consternation. But the expansionist drives would resume in 1458 with the capture of Al-Ksar as-Saghir and in 1471 with the seizing of Asilah and Tangier. The control of the southern shore of the Straits of Gibraltar under the leadership of King Afonso V (r. 1438–1481) was now a reality, backed by an agreement with the Wattasid leader Muhammad ash-Shaykh, in 1471. This led to four decades of Portuguese influence in Morocco, characterized by the establishment of numerous feitorias (commercial entrepôts) and fortresses. The following years saw an enhancement of Portuguese military action in Morocco, along the Atlantic Coast, in ports such as Safi or Azemmour. This move enabled the Portuguese to connect to trade routes for textiles, horses, and wheat, which would prove useful in the commercial engagement in West Africa. With King Manuel I (1495–1521), the influence in Morocco grew, especially between 1505 and 1515, in a context in which the Portuguese claims to conquest were recognized by Castile, via the Treaty of Alcaçovas (1479) and the more famous Treaty of Tordesilhas (1494). The latter divided the globe into two spheres of influence (east of Portugal, west of Spain), working as a charter of empire. Side by side with the formal legitimation provided by several papal bulls—in particular the Dum Diversas (1452) and the Romanus Pontifex (1455), both issued by Pope Nicholas V, and the Aeterni Regis (1481), issued by Pope Sixtus IV, which in one way or the other sanctified the Portuguese right to conquest and settlement—these agreements strengthened the Crown’s expansionist activity, although they did not prevent competition from other parties. The strategic placement of fortresses was the instrument of this expansion. In 1515, Marrakesh became the crucial objective, but its conquest failed, leading to a moment of retreat. Entrenchment ensued, fostered by increasingly effective local resistance, as exemplified by the successful efforts by the Sadians (already armed with artillery), and also by domestic disputes and economic burdens, at home and overseas. King João III (r. 1521–1557) ordered the withdrawal from Safi, Azemmour, Al-Ksar as-Saghir, and Asilah. The impact of the growing Ottoman presence in North Africa added to the problems that the Portuguese increasingly faced in preserving existing positions (Tangier, Ceuta, and Mazagão, which benefited from material upgrades). Further expansion was even more difficult.

Nonetheless, the resurgence of an expansionist imagination was only a question of time. It came with the rise of King Sebastião (1568), who aptly personified the long-standing vision of reconquest of North Africa and the spirit of the crusades. He went to Ceuta and Tangier and welcomed the cause of the Sadian sultan Muhammad al-Mutawakkil, deposed in a coup supported by the Ottomans. In 1578, Sebastião led a force of around 15,000 men (and women and children) in a military intervention that ended with his death on August 4, in the battle of Al-Ksar al-Kabir. The renewed Reconquest was over in a massive military disaster, an outcome of modernizing dynamics in Moroccan society and the parallel stagnation of the Portuguese military system, both regarding its technologies and its ethos, marked by the preservation of the value of traditional nobility, the fidalguia. The union of the Crowns of Portugal and Spain in 1580, until 1640, signaled the end of ambitious overseas policies in Northern Africa. One after the other, the fortresses of Ceuta, Tangier, and Mazagão were absorbed into the Spanish imperial dynamics in the area (Tangier was ceded to England).1

An Empire at the Shores: Expeditions, Commerce, and Settlement

Imperial expansionism focused on the exploration of the coasts of Atlantic Africa, which started as a corollary of the Reconquest dynamics, including setbacks, which prompted the opening up of alternative routes. Increasing navigational expertise, as a consequence of recurrent observation and actual experience, with the discovery of Madeira (1419–1420) and of Azores (1431) and the ensuing exploration of the entire African Atlantic coast by 1480, facilitated the emergence of expansionist designs. Numerous reconnaissance expeditions were carried out, under the frequent patronage of Prince Henrique, more for religious, geopolitical, and economic reasons than out of scientific curiosity. One example was his drive to institute a coalition with Prester John, a mythical Christian ruler established in the interior of Northeast Africa (more exactly in Ethiopia). The discovery of the Atlantic archipelagos of São Tomé and Principe (which would be crucial to a plantation system based on slaves from the Congo and Angola and aiming at the long-distance supply of sugar cane to European markets) and Cape Verde were important markers of these ventures. So was the first encounter with black Africans in overseas expansion, near Cape Verde. Cartographical knowledge also improved, as exemplified by the well-known Cantino planisphere (1502). Ethnographical, botanical, and zoological curiosity and knowledge also expanded. The commitment to further exploration along the Atlantic coasts of Africa received a significant stimulus under the patronage of King João II, and benefited from the role played by Diogo Cão and Bartolomeu Dias, who conducted several noteworthy expeditions. Cão reached the mouth of the River Zaire (1482), erecting inscribed pillars (padrões), and trying to contact the king of Congo. In 1487, Dias led an expedition that ended up passing the southernmost tip of Africa, reaching Mossel Bay in 1488, about six months after he left Lisbon. In the process, the south of the equator was reached, and it was discovered that the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans were connected, after the rounding of the Cape of the Good Hope.

These expeditions enabled the formation of recurrent commercial exchanges along the coastline, in feitorias such as Arguim (1445) or in forts such as Elmina (1482), the first European settlement in West Africa. The political, military, and economic settlement enabled the establishment of relatively safe areas for the advancement of Portuguese interests, providing access to slaves and gold. The shift from raids to more stable and peaceable modes of exchange proved fortunate. Simultaneously, the exploration of waterways to the interior—on the “rivers of Guinea” in West Africa—added momentum to the entire enterprise. Trade flourished for decades, protected to a degree by the Treaty of Alcáçovas. This led to the creation of trade monopolies, such as those approved by King João II, in present-day Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. These formal modalities of economic organization, which would be later replaced by chartered companies, coexisted with informal networks of settlers such as the degredados (exiled convicted criminals) or the lançados (outcasts), but also of Afro-Portuguese descendants and Creole communities. Likewise, formal modalities of political organization, for instance, the creation of donatary captaincies (capitães-donatários) in which the Crown ceded property and rights of exploitation in return for territorial administration and defense, coexisted with informal means of influence, based on groups of intermediaries, namely Luso-African families, as in São Tomé.

Portuguese Colonialism in AfricaClick to view larger

Figure 2. A former Portuguese colonial trading post, a center in slave trade, in the town of Cacheu (Guinea Bissau), one of the oldest European colonial settlements in sub-Saharan Africa. Creative Commons License (CC BY-SA 3.0).

The solution of donatary captaincies was enacted in Angola (then a state called Ndongo), using the creation of Loanda in 1576 as a springboard. With a view to consolidating a modicum of political influence, military control, and commercial advantage (accessing the existing trading routes), more stable forms of settlement were promoted. Paulo Dias de Novais, grandson of Bartolomeu Dias, was granted a donataria: political, administrative, criminal, military, and commercial jurisdictions were under his authority and settlement was his responsibility. These dynamics of occupation, reinforced by Novais’s successor, Francisco de Almeida (from 1592, then as a royal governor appointed by King Filipe I), led to numerous, and lasting, “Angolan wars,” and also to several conflicts with local settlers and missionaries. A tentative expansion into the hinterland, partially linked to the search for silver mines, brought no significant results. As a consequence, it was assumed that slaving was the most crucial economic and commercial asset connected to the engagement with the Ngolas. This resource was mostly controlled by Afro-Portuguese families, with their own patterns of interaction with local communities in the hinterland. Loanda and Benguela—the two mainstays of the Kingdom of Angola—turned into key hubs of the “odious commerce,” linking Africa with the plantation colonies in the Americas, namely, Brazil. This entanglement made Brazil a fundamental partner of Angola, including regarding military affairs. The takeover of Loanda by the Dutch West India Company in 1641 was the most important example: while Lisbon was unable to meet the challenge, the recapturing of Loanda was made possible by the support of Rio de Janeiro’s slave-owner community. A transatlantic expedition led by Salvador Correia de Sá e Benavides (b. 1602–d. 1688) was able to reclaim political influence and, perhaps more important, recover commercial control over the slave trade (a similar intervention occurred regarding São Tomé). The south transatlantic system of economic exploitation was renewed, regaining momentum. In the next decades, despite its patent limitations, the Crown in Lisbon endeavored to reap the benefits of the traffic while at the same time asserting its authority over both poles of empire. Naturally, these efforts were met with stern resistance, especially in Brazil, and the strong commercial direct ties—for instance, cane brandy, which was used to buy slaves—persisted. The Brazilian-based slave merchants searched for alternative sources, but they continued to rely heavily on the provision of human beings by the markets in Loanda and Benguela, which remained key to the transatlantic “complex.” The latter even survived the end of the Luso-Brazilian empire with Brazil independence in 1822, after which the possibility of secession of Angola, and subsequent annexation to Brazil, arose. The persistence of solid commercial routes, particularly of human beings, fostered a growing economic, military, and political engagement with the interior of Angola, especially from the 18th century; the Kingdom of Lunda was just one example. The profits of the transatlantic economic system stimulated the Afro-Portuguese slave traders to expand their recruitment areas, as did the pombeiros (itinerant slave traders). However, the administrative presence and the actual authority of the Portuguese Crown over Angola remained a coastal affair until the beginning of the 20th century.2

At the mouth of the Congo, another solution of political intervention was used. The Portuguese succeeded in creating strong ties with the king of Kongo. Facilitated by his conversion to Christianity (1491), a political alliance with Nzinga a Nkuwu (the manicongo, for the Portuguese) endured. The fact that his son, Henrique Kinu a Mvemba, was sent to Portugal to be educated, becoming the first bishop of the kingdom of Kongo, and possibly the first African bishop of the Catholic Church, surely helped in strengthening a political and military alliance, as well as a cultural and religious bond. Nzinga a Nkuwu, João I after his conversion, learned Portuguese, was able to reproduce European ways of life, and was familiar with Christian beliefs and rituals, making them into the official religion of the kingdom. In all this, the papacy’s granting of ecclesiastical rights of patronage to the Portuguese—the Padroado—played a significant role and had a great impact in the decades to come. The consecutive manicongos preserved this multifaceted alliance, which was also fueled by mutual, although asymmetric, economic gains. The slave and ivory trades were crucial in this regard, and also an important reason behind difficult relations between the Portuguese and the local potentate, not to mention imperial interactions, especially with the Dutch. The influence of the Portuguese, always involving a considerable missionary presence—of Jesuits, Franciscans, or Dominicans—was accompanied by occasional military intervention, as happened in 1568, when the conflicts between the Kongos and the Jagas led the governor of São Tomé and 600 military men to occupy São Salvador, the capital of the kingdom.3 Similar dynamics emerged in the relationship with Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms of the Mbundu people, in which the remarkable role played by Queen Njinga is well established.4

Portuguese Colonialism in AfricaClick to view larger

Figure 3. Photograph of the Padrão de Santa Maria de Diogo Cão (Cuanza, Angola), a stone pillar placed at Shark Point to signal the Portuguese sovereignty, used in the Portuguese Colonial Exhibition (1934).

Photo by Victorcouto, Creative Commons License (public domain).

The combination of formal and informal presence and initiatives, of multiple jurisdictions and authorities, and of diverse forms of social, economic, and cultural engagements, strengthened the strategies for Portuguese imperial expansion on the shores of West Central Africa, and elsewhere, connecting multiple spaces, agents, and networks.5 It also entailed a mosaic of imperial and colonial configurations, revealing distinct political, economic, and sociocultural dynamics, many times as a response to the initiatives of African communities, not as an outcome of clearly defined policies and strategies by the Portuguese. Similar processes occurred in East Africa, following the first contacts in the late 15th century, as a consequence of Vasco da Gama’s journey to India (1497–1498). During the next century, Afro-Portuguese, Afro-Indian, and Portuguese merchants penetrated the interior of Mozambique, establishing contacts with the Tongas, for instance. From the 1570s, the Portuguese and local intermediaries or collaborators strove to expand the peripheries of the Estado da Índia (the Portuguese empire east of the Cape of Good Hope), especially in Southern East Africa, in today’s Mozambique, which until 1752 was administratively dependent on the Estado da Índia. The reinforcement of the existing networks of trade associated with the interregional economy of the (West) Indian Ocean was a strong motivation. Ivory trade, for instance, was crucial to the financial survival of the Estado da Índia in the 18th century, and was a partial cause for the Portuguese settlement in Inhambane (1727) and Maputo Bay (1781) in Mozambique. The allure of putative riches, essentially gold and silver, also proved decisive. The mythical gold mines of Monomotapa, a kingdom that stretched between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers, were the most important example. Slave trade was also important, connecting Mozambique and Goa (and the Middle East) and Mozambique and the French Reunion and Mauritius, from the 1750s.

The expeditions of Francisco Barreto (former governor of Goa) and Vasco Fernandes Homem (in 1571–1573 and 1575) failed in their main purpose, but were more or less consequential in enhancing the Crown’s influence in the Zambezi valley, backed by the erection of forts in Sena and Tete. These fortifications provided points of departure for further official and private expansions. The land confiscated from Muslim communities during the expeditions was reorganized within what became known as the prazos da coroa system, a form of territorial chieftaincy conceded by an African ruler. Later, the system became a legal instrument of the Crown, which it used to enhance its feeble presence in Mozambique, ceding heritable estates to private individuals, including missionaries (Jesuits and Dominicans). A modicum of human presence, administrative penetration, economic exploitation, and security was delegated. A variation of feudal frameworks, the prazos system turned out to be a long-lasting institution. Given the failure of attempts to facilitate white settlement—for instance those carried out by captain Dom Nuno Álvares Pereira, in 1618–1620, or those pursued in 1677—and the weakness of colonial administration, which amounted to a few scattered fortresses, the prazos were extremely useful for many reasons. The scarce demographic and administrative presence continued until very late. In the early 18th century, there were only five significant settlements—Quelimane, Sofala, Sena, Tete, and the town of Mozambique, the seat of government. The number of Portuguese moradores (permanent settlers) was derisory. At the beginning of the 19th century, Mozambique had only around 2,000 non-indigenous Christian residents, and the majority were not Portuguese. As elsewhere in the empire, dependence on local powers and actors was crucial. Also as elsewhere in the empire, the relationships with local communities were complex, highly contingent, and unstable, generating multiple instances of conflict. The prazos enabled the continuation of some Crown influence, while actual authority, beyond scattered fortresses and stable settlements on the coast, was in the hands of the Indo-Portuguese, Afro-Portuguese or, more rarely, Portuguese prazos-holders, including women such as Inês Gracias Cardoso. This political power, also sponsored by the exaction of tribute (including the provision of manpower) and supported by military muscle, was connected to a crucial role in the economy, in the agricultural and mining sectors. The slave trade was another area in which prazos prospered. Their function as commercial middlemen, sometimes resorting to coercive deals, was also fundamental to the overall regional and imperial economy. The prazos lasted until the late 19th century.6 They were just one example of the persistence of the colonial ancien régime after the dissolution of the Luso-Brazilian empire and the ensuing concentration of imperial and colonial expansionist projects in Africa.7

Imperial Disintegration and Reinvention

The independence of Brazil in 1822 (only recognized by the Portuguese in 1825) entailed a multifaceted process of imperial rejuvenation that had Africa as the fundamental focus.8 Multiple projects of imperial renaissance and colonial assertion emerged, coming from distinct political and ideological circles and becoming pivotal in debate on domestic and foreign policies. One of the most important examples was the report produced and presented to the Cortes (assembly of representatives of the estates of the realm) by Sá da Bandeira, at the time secretary of state for navy and overseas affairs, in 1836. The rebuilding of the Portuguese empire was the ultimate goal, Africa its destiny. The erection of new Brazils in Africa turned into a recurrent political and strategic theme, bolstered by the political activation of collective myths, particularly those connected to the so-called discoveries. On one hand, there were myths about the existence of a “sacred heritage,” imposing a mandatory obligation of preservation of an imperial and colonial existence. On the other hand, and as important, there were myths about Africa as an El Dorado that offered opportunities for economic salvation and, consequently, national regeneration. The economic impact of the Brazilian independence required new prospects and strategies. The constant dependency on external aid, political and economic, as the process of the Napoleonic invasions (1807) exemplified, added to the pressure to rethink a collective strategy. It was proclaimed that the historical mission and vocation of the country was to colonize (and “civilize”). A new project was in order to reassume that imperial mission and vocation.9

Two interrelated processes marked the political imagination of a new imperial venture in Africa, and the policies designed to make it materialize. One was related to efforts of nationalization of the empire, that is, the actual reclaiming of the colonies that survived the dissolution of the previous imperial configuration, and the tentative redefinition of its political, administrative, economic and even social facets. Sá da Bandeira established the main guidelines for this nationalization: ensure actual political control, reducing the high degree of autonomy that local groups and institutions had; stimulate a new colonial economy, to prompt the emergence of a plantation economy and the incentive of metropolitan investment (and benefit); regulatie the slave trade, in order to keep manpower in Africa and turn the plantation model into a reality; and engineer a tentative demographic colonization, to increase human presence in the colonies. For instance, in 1845 there were only 1,800 Europeans in Angola; in 1875, that number was 3,000. One relevant example was the colonization of Moçâmedes (today’s Namibe, Angola), where an agricultural colony was envisaged with colonists coming from Brazil, where Portuguese communities were facing numerous problems. In 1849, 39 women, 25 children, and 116 men went to Moçâmedes and made the area vibrant. Despite their obvious shortcomings, the new plans that aimed at the nationalization of remnants of the empire started to gain an important place within public debate. The other process was the imperialization of the nation, that is, the emergence of numerous official initiatives to mobilize Portuguese society to embrace those novel imperial and colonial designs. The rise of an imperial nationalism was a cause and a consequence of these dynamics.10

The formation of new Brazils in Africa faced many challenges. Plans such as those promoted by Sá da Bandeira had to cope with many obstacles, from the lack of human and material resources capable of backing solid expansionist policies to the active resistance of the forces of the ancien régime. One of the most important examples of these obstacles was the endurance of the transatlantic economic networks, especially those built around the slave trade. Also, because of the close bonds between Brazil, the Atlantic archipelagos, and Angola, the secession of Angola was indeed a possibility. The actual transformation of the empire was a protracted process, and this was especially clear in relation to the abolition of the slave trade. The 1836 decree that formally ended Portuguese involvement in the slave trade, devised by Sá da Bandeira, had a negligible impact. The questionable motivation of the Portuguese political and economic elites, in Lisbon and at the peripheries of the empire, in moving from a de jure toward a de facto course of action was one of the reasons why the political and legal initiatives had meager consequences. The desire to protect vested interests and the fear of causing significant political and economic reverberations on the colonial societies were behind the lack of an effective intervention in the established slave trade. The fragile local political, economic, and social balances could be seriously disturbed by such an intervention, particularly in Mozambique and Angola. This reticence in pursuing an actual abolitionist agenda had many consequences, not least diplomatically, especially regarding Portugal’s oldest ally, Great Britain. Only in the last quarter of the 19th century was the abolitionist design effectively embraced, partially as a result of the Portuguese authorities’ recognition that this policy could and should be instrumental in the overall project of imperial renaissance in Africa. The Anglo-Portuguese Treaty against the slave trade, signed in 1842, had the consequence of helping to establish and deepen this link between abolition and imperial expansion, and actual colonization. The treaty entailed the massive dislocation of the trade to territories that, despite being under the formal sovereignty of the Portuguese, were not actually controlled by the state. This happened both in Angola, for instance in the north, in Ambriz and at the enclave of Cabinda, and in Mozambique, in Quelimane and Inhambane. New slave markets emerged and, without expansion and occupation, no abolition was possible. Abolition and expansion became rhetorically and politically entangled. For example, in 1856, a decree was issued aiming to suppress slavery in Ambriz and Cabinda, after the military occupation of the former the year before. Another significant example can be found in the imprisonment of a French boat on the shores of Mozambique with 110 workers who were considered to be slaves. This demonstration of colonial sovereignty and putative abolitionist drive, even if one with an instrumental use, led to a Franco-Portuguese diplomatic quarrel. The circulation of enslaved African manpower continued to connect the East African colony and French Reunion and Madagascar.11

Toward “New Brazils in Africa”

After one decade (the 1860s) of a relative status quo regarding overseas dynamics, the subsequent ones signaled a major momentum in imperial and colonial expansionism in Africa. This occurred in a context of growing imperial competition, from a political and economic perspective but also from missionary and ecclesiastical ones. In regard to these last dimensions, the question of the African Padroado was the most important. After years of troubled relations, epitomized by the suppression of religious orders in 1834 and the quarrels about the prerogatives and limitations of the Oriental Padroado (regarding Portuguese possessions in the East), relations between the Curia and Portugal continued to be characterized by numerous disputes, entailing schismatic dynamics. In Africa, the problem was particularly ignited by the attribution of the Congo Prefecture to the French Congregation du Saint-Esprit in 1865. This decision was badly received in Portugal, as it was seen to be a revealing example of the spoliation of historical rights—the religious Padroado—with potential damaging political consequences. For the Portuguese, part of the strategy of obtaining international recognition of particular political sovereignty rights over the interior of Angola and Mozambique depended on the legal stability of this religious and ecclesiastical jurisdiction in sub-Saharan Africa. This became clear in the 1870s and the 1880s, when the political imperial project became more pressing and more attainable. The Catholic and Protestant missionary revivalism in Africa intersected with growing imperial geopolitical, geostrategic, and geoeconomic competitions. The awarding of the ecclesiastical rights over the mouth of the Congo and its interior overlapped significantly with the dispute over the political rights, and economic privileges, over the same region. For the Portuguese, the coast-to-coast imperial project had a religious and ecclesiastical counterpart, the African Padroado. The preservation of the latter, despite the almost complete absence of missionaries on the ground, would enhance the chances of attaining the former. It was thought that the diplomatic guarantee of an ecclesiastical jurisdiction over African territories by the Holy See should be paralleled by similar processes in the political realm. This was particularly clear in the 1870s, under the supervision of João Andrade Corvo, minister of foreign affairs (1871–1878) and minister of navy and overseas (1872–1877). His strategy was close articulation between a foreign policy, marked by diplomatic and economic alignments with Great Britain, and an imperial strategy, aiming at the enhancement of the colonial presence and its expansion and international recognition. Anglo-Portuguese divisions in Africa during the 1870s, such as the one focused on the island of Bolama and the bay of Lourenço Marques, in Mozambique, were not enough to weaken the planned alignments, which led to the 1884 treaty on the boundaries of Portuguese sovereignty in the Congo. This treaty was signed but never ratified, given the solid opposition from commercial, missionary, and humanitarian sectors in Great Britain and from competing political parties in Portugal. The same year saw the beginning of the Berlin West African Conference (1884–1885), which marked a new dynamic in imperial geopolitics and the related international jurisdictional regulation of colonial claims. A novel phase of competitive imperial expansionism agitated Europe, and bilateral and multilateral efforts to prevent significant, and potentially disruptive, disputes were carried out. The conference in Berlin sanctioned some Portuguese strategic interests in the continent, but frustrated others. As a result, expansion and occupation ensued—however fragile and temporary—and with unclear and unpredictable consequences.

Portuguese Colonialism in AfricaClick to view larger

Figure 4. The map that illustrated the imperial ambition and the claims of sovereignty of the Portuguese over a land corridor connecting their colonies of Angola and Mozambique in the late 19th century. Biblioteca Nacional, Portugal.

This articulation between a particular foreign policy and an imperial strategy was a cause but also a symptom of the increasing imperial nationalism in Portuguese society, which encouraged the dissemination of a colonial euphoria in the late 19th century. The expeditions of Hermenegildo Capelo, Roberto Ivens, and Serpa Pinto (1877 onward) helped to interest the public sphere in imperial and colonial affairs. This imperial nationalism included alternative strategies and policies, based on more voluntarist and grandiose options. The coast-to-coast ambitions in Africa, propelled by imperial competition but also by domestic nationalism, and justified by the mythologies about empire and national identity, exemplified such alternative paths. Even though they collided with established religious and political-economic interests in the area, these ambitions captured the attention of diverse sectors of Portuguese society. The public space was crowded with colonial symbols, representations, images, and discourses that reflected that colonial exhilaration. A rose-colored map (mapa cor de rosa) encapsulated the aspirations to control a territory stretching from Angola to Mozambique. Disputes over both empire-states’ spheres of influence in Mozambique (up the Zambesi and Shire and into Mashonaland) led the British prime minister, Lord Salisbury, to intimidate the Portuguese government with the possibility of a military conflict. The 1891 agreement pacified the situation, to British advantage and Portuguese lament. If imperial nationalism was partially a cause of grandiose colonial designs, the “ultimatum” contributed to their endurance in Portuguese society. The widespread sense of national humiliation and of spoliation of historical rights reinforced colonial euphoria and paved the way for a heightened commitment to effective colonization, despite the blatant failure of demographic colonization, in clear contrast with other colonial projects.12 The political, military, economic, and religious drives of imperial expansionism were interrelated and defy single-cause, reductionist explanations.13

Envisioning a Modicum of Rule: Exploitation, Resistance, and “Pacification”

The so-called pacification campaigns, the violent military campaigns that aimed to subdue African potentates in the last decade of the 19th century—for instance in Gaza (1895–1897)—constituted the most revealing example of this commitment. Their ecstatic celebration, which included the parading of the Gaza chief Gungunhana in the streets of Lisbon, prolonged and boosted the collective belief in the centrality of empire-building in Portuguese politics, economics, and culture, a feature that cut across political regimes and ideological spectrums. The pacification campaigns had multiple purposes. They were enduring, partially because they were ineffective. They were as much proof of muscle as they were a revelation of frailty in authority and influence, and the muscle was frequently provided by African auxiliaries. These military campaigns were also connected to efforts to expand taxation in each colony geographically and to particular economic interests of the “legitimate commerce” (e.g., textiles and wine), as well as to prove “effective occupation,” deemed important after the Berlin Conference. Despite this, they were not successful in transforming the existing political, economic, and sociocultural landscapes in the colonies. The long-standing coastal, mercantile model of occupation proved hard to overcome. Albeit with significant local variations, former connections and allegiances persevered, or adapted to new circumstances, retaining considerable power. The episodic nature of these ferocious manifestations of authority and the weak administrative presence that supervened were just two reasons for this state of affairs. The feebleness of colonial rule and the related scarcity of human and material resources to administer vast territories led to other options: the privatization of control, administration, and taxation. In Mozambique, examples of “corporate feudalism” were provided by three chartered companies, the Mozambique Company (1891), the Zambezia Company (1892), and the Nyassa Company (1893), all with African guards as their backbones.14

Portuguese Colonialism in AfricaClick to view larger

Figure 5. Gungunhana, the last emperor of Gaza (Mozambique), made captive by the Portuguese military, after their arrival in Lisbon for exile (1896). Creative Commons License (public domain).

The powers granted to these companies were significant. In Angola, the Moçâmedes Company, formed in 1894, had different, often lesser privileges and responsibilities. The oligopoly of Companhia União Fabril (CUF) in Guinea and the roças (plantations) in São Tomé were other examples of the diversity of colonial authority in then Portuguese Africa. The tentative expansion and enhancement of colonial sovereignty was connected to the military campaigns. Their episodic and violent nature was related to the spread of protest, revolts, and many other forms of resistance across the empire. In Angola, there were cases of rebellions and uprisings in the Dembos region, in the Congo, and in the Vau de Pembe (Southern Angola), where a massive defeat of the Portuguese occurred in late 1904 at the hands of the Cuamato and the Cuanhamas (Ovambo peoples). In Mozambique, Angola, and Guinea, turbulence followed territorial expansionism aimed at economic exploitation (for instance, through taxation but also attempts to redirect specific trade routes to the advantage of Portuguese interests), labor recruitment, and political assertion, not colonization or even a hint of administrative presence, let alone proper state-building. The reaction of the Makua, the Ovimbundu, the Bakongo, the Papel, numerous Muslim communities, and some prazo chiefs was uncompromising. The projects for the actual territorialization of administration that emerged at the beginning of the 20th century were a response to this. For instance, Henrique Paiva Couceiro, involved in the pacification campaigns in Angola (1889–1891) and Mozambique (1891–1896) and later governor of Angola (1907–1909), devised a plan of expansion and intervention based on military expeditions and police procedures, in order to attain three main goals: pacify, tax, and subjugate.15 In the north, in the Kongo, the situation of was one of permanent revolt, as a consequence of struggles over the control of economic circuits, particularly related to rubber, and the influence over the dynamics of political succession, in which the Portuguese were long involved.16 In Mozambique, a revealing example was the revolt in the Barue Kingdom (1917–1918), which had one important feature: a pan-ethnic, pan-Zambezian movement. Again, the intensification of administrative and economic intervention, including the increase in the exaction of labor and taxes and land expropriation, led to significant protest and active revolt.17 The Angolan dynamics were similar in many respects.18 Lack of education was also a prime reason for dissent, although more limited from a sociological point of view, being essentially mobilized as a critical topic by the African elites.19

Along with the policies of exaction of export crops, the legalization of the moral obligation for the indígenas (“natives”) to work, decreed since 1899 and present in legal frameworks until 1962, and the tentative institutionalization of a more stable tax regime (e.g., the spread of a “hut-tax”) were the most important processes of imperial and colonial assertion following the pacification campaigns. Coercive labor recruitment for public and private purposes and tax exaction, which was pervasive yet arbitrary and frequently ineffective, given the lack of human and administrative resources and the local strategies of evasion, ensued, generating multiple ethnic migratory movements, some voluntary in search of work or escaping taxation and forced labor, others compulsory. The creation of administrative agencies to supervise the entire recruitment process—the Curadoria dos Negócios Indígenas and the Curadoria dos Serviçais e Indígenas (only in São Tomé, which regulated the massive influx of laborers, serviçais, from Angola and elsewhere)—fell short in assuring minimum labor standards and rights. The so-called contract meant many things, rarely voluntary and remunerated employment. In the interior, this was even more true.20 These circumstances were at the origin of much internal dissent. They also led to numerous external accusations, especially relating to the policies and practices of labor recruitment, organization, and use. The cases in the early 20th century of the slave cacao of São Tomé, produced by serviçais under appalling conditions, and a report on labor conditions in Angola and Mozambique delivered by US sociologist Edward Ross at the League of Nations in 1925 are among the enduring torrent of international condemnations of the modus operandi of the Portuguese colonial venture. De jure, rarely de facto, reform regularly answered or at least was strongly related to foreign indictments.21

The establishment and development of the colonial administration in the Portuguese African territories entailed new repertoires of rule, guided by a clear policy of administrative centralization. Lisbon controlled the legal and political design of local policies and the formulation of the respective budgets. Despite these powers and notwithstanding the relatively wide range of competencies possessed by the governors general or high commissioners, local power dynamics predominated. The scarcity, and the ill-preparedness, of the bureaucratic personnel, a fact acknowledged by all, both in the metropole and the colonies, also contributed to a combination of centralization and inefficiency. Political instability—for instance, in Mozambique between 1890 and 1921 there were twenty-six governors and from 1921 to 1926 there were four high commissioners—certainly didn’t help. The 1910s republican regime introduced some decentralizing initiatives, especially those brought about by the colonies’ Organic Laws (1914), aimed at the involvement of local authorities, traditional or not, in the attainment of the fundamental goals of the colonial administration: widening the geographies of taxation, ensuring compulsory labor, and attaining a modicum of political influence and authority. This was particularly important, given the centrality of local powers in the actual enforcement of policies. Collaboration (and sporadic coercion) prevailed. The 1920 Guidelines for the Civil and Financial Administration of the Colonies went further, starting with the regime of high commissioners. Norton de Matos in Angola and Brito Camacho in Mozambique benefited from an unprecedented degree of political autonomy, although in Mozambique “corporate feudalism” preserved its relative autonomy. The Mozambique Company, for instance, remained under private control until 1942. In Angola, the 1921 concession of a monopoly to Diamang, a multinational diamond company operating in Eastern Angola (Lunda), constituted another modality of the delegation of administrative functions, policing, labor organization, and tax exaction. The granting of local budgetary control was another significant change brought about by the republican regime, although it led to considerable debt. This led to the return of centralizing policies in the next decades.22

The minister of the colonies of the military dictatorship that began its reign in 1926 designed a set of policies that brought about this return to a strict metropolitan control of colonial affairs. The reduction of public investment and the shrinking of public services and personnel went hand in hand with aggressive taxation. João Belo, minister from 1926 to 1928, approved the Political, Criminal, and Civil Statute of the Natives of Angola and Mozambique (the indigenato regime) and the Organic Statute of Portuguese Catholic Missions in Africa and Timor (both of 1926), and also decreed new laws about colonial administration, which greatly reduced the financial and economic autonomy previously granted to the high commissioners. These policies were reinforced by the establishment and institutionalization of the authoritarian regime, the Estado Novo (New State), coordinated by António de Oliveira Salazar. In 1930, with the Colonial Act, centralization was perfected, and the nationalization of the colonial empire envisaged. The “historical mission” to colonize turned into a crucial constitutional principle, and a pervasive element in the propagandistic efforts of the regime. The 1933 Organic Charter of the Portuguese Colonial Empire and the Overseas Administrative Reform strengthened the centralizing tendency, which included a desire to control the influence of the white settler communities and an effort to professionalize the colonial civil service. Armchair bureaucrats were downplayed; active administrators who were able to engage with, and influence, local authorities were promoted, in a process that also mobilized the chefes de posto (the remotest administrative posts) and the cipaios (indigenous administrative guards).23 In both, a particular politics of difference was given firm legal ground: the distinction between civilizados (civilized) and indígenas, those with rights of citizenship similar to Portuguese citizens and the unprivileged rest.24 The plan was that metropolitan interests should prevail, political and economic nationalism should be promoted, and political and economic integration of local powers should be attained, including the so-called traditional authorities, who should continue their roles as labor providers and tax collectors, among other functions. There was an effort to turn local African communities into taxpayers and to have workers and producers depend on the chefes de posto and the cipaios. In parallel, a regime of mandatory crop cultivation—culturas obrigatórias—was instituted in 1937, which boosted the production of sugar, coffee, maize, and cotton, and government-established quotas and prices became the rule.25 On many levels, indirect rule persisted in the Portuguese colonial empire, with centralization efforts frequently taking the form of policies of concession.

Repressive Developmentalism and the Ends of Empire: The Dynamics of the Late Colonial Period

The post–World War II period generated novel institutional, legal, and demographic dynamics, with distinct impacts across the empire. A modernizing impetus gained momentum. In part this was related to the postwar economic boom, in particular the rising prices of some colonial export commodities (e.g., cotton and coffee), which impacted positively in Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bissau. The fact that coal deposits were mined in Mozambique and oil, copper, and manganese had been exploited in Angola since the 1950s facilitated a more dynamic economic activity. This was also connected to the need to reinvent imperial and colonial legitimacies. Given the mounting anticolonial pressures and the evolving decolonizing dynamics, political, economic, and social transformation appeared inevitable. The growing international integration, however troubled and ambivalent, also contributed to an overall context that pushed for political and policy modifications. Portugal’s protracted admission to the United Nations only in 1955 and its evolving engagement with many of its agencies (e.g., the International Labour Organization) had noticeable colonial reverberations.26 In 1951, a constitutional revision marked the formal end of the colonial empire: “colonies” became “overseas provinces.” Economic intervention became crucial to politics and so did social development. The formulation of planos do fomento—developmental plans—from 1953 signaled this tendency.27 Science, including social sciences, became pivotal in such dynamics, playing a key role in the overall process of bureaucratization of the imperial project.28 Local political dynamism, especially the relationships between the authorities and African elites, revealed important changes.29 A novel politics of demographic colonization emerged, bolstered by particular policies of land concessions and regimes of taxation, adding to migratory movements that were not directed by the state. The European presence in Mozambique and Angola quadrupled between 1940 and 1960, rising to approximately 97,000 and 170,000 individuals, respectively. In 1973, the numbers rose to about 190,000 and about 324,000, respectively. Several colonatos (agricultural settlement schemes) were formed and sponsored by the state, which provided land and housing, seeds and tools, and livestock. The colonatos aimed to accommodate rural Portuguese families, enhance local economies, and propagate Portugueseness. Urban populations also grew; their social stratification was transformed, and socioeconomic differentiation followed racial lines. Popular culture reflected these major social changes.30 With significant differences compared to other imperial formations, and partially as a result of the increased presence of Portuguese from the metropole, welfare colonialism was also a reality in the Portuguese empire. This existed more in words than in practice and was inspired more by political and security concerns than by a provable commitment to the widespread provision of education or health to indigenous communities. Exclusionary politics of difference, namely, the indigenato, endured. They subsisted longer than in any other European imperial formation. Colonial rule continued to be governed by a legal imposition of racial criteria on all societal levels, from administration to the provision of rights and privileges, which naturally varied according to local circumstances and social practices. For instance, creolization, interethnic mixing, and miscegenation were important realities, especially in urban contexts. But despite the rhetoric of imperial exceptionality of the proclaimed “multiracial and pluricontinental nation” (epitomized by the preponderance of Lusotropicalism as a key ideology of Oliveira Salazar’s authoritarian regime, and notwithstanding proclamations of political assimilation, economic integration and assistance, and “social promotion”) significant political and socioeconomic rights to the “natives” were not granted. The early 1950s presence of more subtle legal discrimination between “primitive natives,” “evolving natives,” and “detribalized natives” did not entail a major transformation in the overall provision of political, economic, and sociocultural rights across the empire. Land was expropriated, especially the most productive, even more so after the intensification of the so-called ethnic colonization, providing the best plots to European interests. Labor continued to be coercively exacted, impacting greatly on women and on family dynamics, at many levels, and generating recurrent international outcries and internal criticism, despite the relative and gradual adoption of international norms and the ratification of some international labor conventions. Education was scarcely provided and was essentially restricted to “rudimentary” forms and delegated to ecclesiastics and missionaries (after the 1941 Missionary Agreement). The late introduction of secondary schools and universities did not change the overall picture. Public health services were meager, despite a relative expansion from the 1960s onward. And, as important, the color line was patently demarcated in many fields, and was not blurred or erased by the putative reformist agenda and initiatives. The indigenato was not abolished until 1961, along with the culturas obrigatórias, and forced labor was formally forbidden in 1962. Reform was more cosmetic than effective, more planned than actually accomplished. Partially, this was a result of the paucity of human and material resources available to the colonial administrations. But the persistence of racialized modalities of rule and widespread racial prejudice certainly played a part. Development was noticeable in some domains (e.g., infrastructure and communications), and investment in industry and agriculture was manifest. But progress (and investment) was marginal or even nonexistent in others. In Mozambique, for instance, even the authorities highlighted the lack of investment in health and education, not to mention the criticism from political and specialized international organizations, NGOs, and anticolonial movements. The situation in the other “overseas provinces” was equally dismaying. Racial and armed conflicts proliferated.31

Portuguese Colonialism in AfricaClick to view larger

Figure 6. Running up the flag of Guinea-Bissau in Canjadude.

Photo by João Carvalho, Creative Commons License (public domain).

In the Portuguese case, as in others, a repressive developmentalism reigned in the late colonial period, in part as a consequence of the need to face the escalating international and colonial challenges to the country’s authority.32 Development projects merged with military and security concerns, especially after the intensification of the violent organized conflicts in Angola (from 1961), Guinea-Bissau (from 1963), and Mozambique (from 1964). After violent conflicts—in São Tomé (Batepá, in 1953), in Guinea-Bisau (Pidjiguiti, in 1959), and in Mozambique (Mueda, in 1960)—liberation wars started in the colonial world, and occasionally led to massacres of African citizens such as in Wiriyamu, Mozambique (1972). In a context marked by India’s annexation of Goa in 1961, the Portuguese fought the nationalist movements in Africa, with noteworthy external intervention, which impacted differently throughout the “overseas provinces.” Social and cultural concerns intermingled with political considerations, at a diplomatic level and domestically, and with military strategies, which were accompanied by the enhancement of the role of state agencies of intelligence, control, and coercion such as the International and State Defence Police (Polícia Internacional e de Defesa do Estado, PIDE) or the Centralization and Coordination of Information Service (Serviços de Centralização e Coordenação de Informações). For example, in 1954, the PIDE had fewer than 100 officers in the “overseas provinces.” Almost two decades later, the number had risen to 1,700. In those years, a communitarian focus, aimed at social engineering of “native” populations through villagization and resettlement schemes, partially as a result of the widespread displacement caused by the war, or socioeconomic active intervention (including on an individual basis), emerged as systematic policy. Rural development became an important political, economic, but also military tool. In itself, the war dynamic fostered economic growth, as public expenditures rose, markets expanded (in urban and rural contexts), tax revenue increased as a consequence of the taxation of the expanding settler communities, and foreign capital was mobilized with fewer constraints (especially from the early 1960s), reinforcing the overall policy of resistance to decolonizing pressures that had a developmental rationale as one of their fundamental pillars. The protracted and violent trajectories of decolonization were important factors in the positive economic performance of late colonialism.33 Economic modernization was partially a result of the refusal by the Portuguese authorities to engage in political and military negotiations toward the end of Third Portuguese colonial empire. This also impacted greatly on the disintegration of the dictatorial political regime, which ended with the coup of April 25, 1974, the Carnation Revolution. The end of the regime in turn finally furthered transference of power to the African nationalist parties: the independence of Guinea-Bissau in 1974, and Mozambique, Cape Verde, São Tomé, and Príncipe and Angola in 1975.34 A new historical period started, although markedly conditioned by the late colonial dynamics.35

Discussion of the Literature

The Portuguese empire was the first and most enduring European overseas empire. Imperial expansion and colonial settlement were not cumulative. Nor were they linear or single-caused processes. There were multiple expansionist projects with diverse motivations—political, missionary, military, commercial—. The modalities of imperial and colonial political arrangements also varied, and adjusted to local circumstances and powers as a result of complex dynamics of resistance and cooperation. Preexisting local trade routes or political situations could deeply constrain imperial and colonial engagements. Contexts mattered, in the metropole and locally, but also globally, as geopolitical arrangements and competition and the dynamism of transcontinental networks constrained the rhythm and scope of imperial and colonial projects. Authority and sovereignty had many manifestations: from diplomatic and vassalage treaties with local chiefs to ecclesiastical and missionary arrangements, such as papal bulls and encyclicals, to commercial companies or networks of fortresses. Formal modalities, based on political, military, and religious institutional apparatuses coexisted, although did not necessarily coincide, with numerous informal networks and connections. Political control did not necessarily correspond to significant human presence and commercial activities, and vice versa. As a consequence, the imperial and the colonial frontiers were, until very late in the day, porous and fluctuating lines. In many ways, improvisation overruled, or frustrated, grandiose imperial plans. Multiple and malleable imperial and colonial configurations emerged as a result, with complex forms of social stratification, as a result of unequal trade and economic exploitation, through slave and forced labor exaction and domestic, intra-imperial, and international trade; racialized categories of rule and social relations; social integration through miscegenation, religious conversion, and cultural suppression; dependency on local knowledge and resources; and repression, resistance, and cultures of violence. The artes belli and the artes pacis coexisted in each imperial configuration and colonial society; they were not necessarily opposed. All these aspects are crucial to an understanding of the historical dynamics of Portuguese colonialism in Africa. Recent relevant literature has reflected these ideas and related research topics. Recurring arguments of exceptionalism still emerge within, and outside, academia. For instance, the advocacy of a primarily commercial nature of the empire, fostered by merchant networks, tends to minimize the overriding belligerent expansion, while the overestimation of racial and cultural hybridization mitigates the processes of racialization and social discrimination and the asymmetric power relations that were at the core of imperial and colonial rules and relationships. Despite this, the historiography of Portuguese colonialism in Africa has been dealing with the latter in a more consistent fashion. Long-standing metrocentric perspectives, focused on the more or less linear transfer and diffusion of metropolitan ideas and practices across the empire, have been challenged by those that highlight the crucial role of colonial actors and situations, and respective social arrangements. They also underline the role played by international and transnational dynamics. Multiscalar, multicausal, and multi-archival research projects are finally adding new research topics and novel analytical insights to a historiography that still feels the weight of numerous forms of methodological nationalism. Comparative insights are also emerging, contributing to a better understanding of Portuguese colonialism on the African continent, while the dialogue with international historiographical agendas is also maturing. The expansion and critical assessment of multiple archives, including in former colonial possessions, is of great importance, not least because there is still a considerable lack of empirical studies on many of the central aspects of Portuguese colonialism. For instance, no comprehensive study exists on the socioeconomic impact of the indigenato regime, the diversity of colonial forms of political and civic participation (those committedly anticolonial, but also those that sought for alternative solutions), or the trajectories of decolonization on the ground. Despite the predominant focus on the jewels of the crown, Angola (more) and Mozambique (less), important studies are being done about the other colonial geographies, from Guinea-Bissau to Cape Verde and São Tomé, revealing important continuities and discontinuities across the colonial empire.36

Primary Sources

The fundamental archive to study Portuguese colonialism in Africa is the Arquivo Histórico Ultramarino (Overseas Historical Archive), which constitutes the most important repository of archival materials regarding Portuguese imperial and colonial expansion and administration. Another important archive is the Arquivo Histórico Diplomático (Diplomatic Historical Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), which besides containing information regarding the diplomacy of empire also holds documentation produced by the Ministry of Overseas. The Arquivo Histórico Militar (Military Historical Archive) and the Arquivo Histórico da Marinha (Navy Historical Archive) also have crucial holdings for the study of Portuguese colonialism. The Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo (National Archive of the Tower of the Tomb), the Portuguese national archive, is also significant: it holds the Arquivo Official Salazar (Salazar’s personal archives), the archives of the PVDE or Polícia de Vigilância e Defesa do Estado (former name of Portuguese secret police under Salazar, later changed to PIDE), and documentation of several intelligence services. All these holdings are fundamental to the study of Portuguese colonialism in Africa since the 1930s.

The libraries of all these archives, together with the National Library, hold numerous printed primary and secondary sources—from official publications to pamphlets and books—that add to the historical documents available to study Portuguese colonialism in Africa.

The archives of important private institutions that operated throughout the empire are also available. The Arquivo Histórico do Banco Espírito Santo (Espírito Santo Bank Historical Archive) holds the documentation of two companies important to the history of Angola (and to Portuguese colonialism in Africa): Sociedade Agrícola do Cassequel (Lobito) and the Companhia Angolana de Agricultura. The archives of the famous Diamang—Companhia de Diamantes de Angola are at the University of Coimbra and are now partially digitized.

A crucial instrument of research is the massive inventory of the Arquivos do Ministério do Ultramar (Archives of the Overseas Ministry), aggregating information about the archival materials produced by that ministry, which are stored in several departments of the state and archives. Unfortunately, this search engine does not yet include the Arquivo Histórico Ultramarino.

For the parliamentary debates about colonial issues in Africa a research engine is available at Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal.

The National Archives of the former Portuguese colonial territories are also pivotal, as they hold the documentation produced by colonial administrations and their departments.

Further Reading

Alexandre, Valentim. Os sentidos do império: Questão nacional e questão colonial na crise do antigo regime. Porto, Portugal: Edições Afrontamento, 1993.Find this resource:

Alexandre, Valentim. Velho Brasil, novas Áfricas. Porto, Portugal: Afrontamento, 2000.Find this resource:

Alexandre, Valentim, and Jill Dias, eds. O império Africano, 1825–1890, nova história da expansão Portuguesa, X. Lisbon, Portugal: Estampa, 1998.Find this resource:

Bender, Gerald. Angola under the Portuguese: The Myth and the Reality. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978.Find this resource:

Bethencourt, Francisco, and Kirti Chaudhuri, eds. História da expansão Portuguesa, 5 vols. Lisbon, Portugal: Círculo de Leitores, 1998–1999.Find this resource:

Bethencourt, Francisco, and Diogo Ramada Curto, eds. Portuguese Oceanic Expansion 1400–1800. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007.Find this resource:

Boxer, Charles Ralph. The Portuguese Seaborne Empire. London: Hutchinson, 1969.Find this resource:

Castelo, Cláudia. Passagens para África: O povoamento de Angola e Moçambique com naturais da metrópole (1920–1974). Porto, Portugal: Afrontamento, 2007.Find this resource:

Chabal, Patrick, with David Birmingham, Joshua Forrest, Malyn Newitt, Gerhard Seibert, and Elisa Silva Andrade. A History of Postcolonial Lusophone Africa. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002.Find this resource:

Clarence-Smith, William. The Third Portuguese Empire: A Study in Economic Imperialism, 1825–1975. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1985.Find this resource:

Disney, Anthony. A History of Portugal and the Portuguese Empire: From the Beginnings to 1807, 2 vols. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009.Find this resource:

Domingos, Nuno, and Elsa Peralta, eds. Cidades e império: Dinâmicas coloniais e reconfigurações pós-coloniais. Lisbon, Portugal: Edições 70, 2013.Find this resource:

Godinho, Vitorino Magalhães. A economia dos descobrimentos henriquinos. Lisbon, Portugal: Livraria Sá da Costa, 1961.Find this resource:

Henriques, Isabel Castro. Os pilares da diferença: Relações Portugal-África séculos XV–XX. Lisbon, Portugal: Caleidoscópio, 2004.Find this resource:

Heywood, Linda M. Contested Power in Angola, 1840s to the Present. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2000.Find this resource:

Isaacman, Allen F. Cotton Is the Mother of Poverty: Peasants, Work, and Rural Struggle in Colonial Mozambique, 1938–1961. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1996.Find this resource:

Jerónimo, Miguel Bandeira, ed. O império colonial em questão. Lisbon, Portugal: Edições 70, 2012.Find this resource:

Jerónimo, Miguel Bandeira. A diplomacia do imperialismo: Política e religião na partilha de África (1820–1890). Lisbon, Portugal: Edições 70, 2012.Find this resource:

Jerónimo, Miguel Bandeira. The “Civilizing Mission” of Portuguese Colonialism (c. 1870–1930). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.Find this resource:

Keese, Alexander. Living with Ambiguity: Portuguese and French Colonial Administrators, Mutual Influences, and the Question of Integrating an African Elite, 1930–1963. Stuttgart, Germany: Franz Steiner, 2007.Find this resource:

Marques, A. H. de Oliveira, ed. O Iipério Africano: 1890–1930. Vol. 11 of A. H. de Oliveira Marques e Joel Serrão, eds., Nova nistória da expansão Portuguesa. Lisbon, Portugal: Estampa, 2001.Find this resource:

Miller, Joseph C. Way of Death: Merchant Capitalism and the Angolan Slave Trade, 1730–1830. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1988.Find this resource:

Newitt, Malyn. Portugal in Africa: The Last Hundred Years. London: Longman, 1981.Find this resource:

Newitt, Malyn. A History of Mozambique. London: Hurst, 1995.Find this resource:

Pélissier, René, Les Campagnes Coloniales du Portugal, 1844–1941. Paris: Pygmalion, 2004.Find this resource:

Sheldon, Kathleen. Pounders of Grain: A History of Women, Work, and Politics in Mozambique. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2002.Find this resource:

Wheeler, Douglas, and René Pelissier. Angola. New York: Praeger, 1971.Find this resource:


(1.) Anthony Disney, A History of Portugal and the Portuguese Empire: From the Beginnings to 1807, 2 vols. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009), esp. 1–83; Vitorino Magalhães Godinho, A economia dos descobrimentos henriquinos (Lisbon, Portugal: Livraria Sá da Costa, 1961); and Isabel Drummond Braga and Paulo Drummond Braga, Ceuta Portuguesa (1415–1656) (Ceuta, Spain: Instituto de Estudios Ceutíes, 1998).

(2.) Charles Boxer, Salvador de Sá and the Struggle for Brazil and Angola 1602–1686 (London: Athlone, 1952); David Birmingham, The Portuguese Conquest of Angola (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1965); Joseph C. Miller, Way of Death: Merchant Capitalism and the Angolan Slave Trade 1730–1830 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1988); Luiz Felipe Alencastro, O trato dos viventes: Formação do Brasil no Atlântico Sul (São Paulo, Brazil: Editora Schwarez, 2000); José C. Curto, Álcool e escravos: O comércio luso-brasileiro do álcool em Mpinda, Luanda e Benguela durante o tráfico atlântico de escravos (c. 1480–1830) e o seu impacto nas sociedades da África Central Ocidental (Lisbon, Portugal: Editora Vulgata, 2002); Roquinaldo Ferreira, Cross-Cultural Exchange in the Atlantic World: Angola and Brazil during the Era of the Slave Trade (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012); Filipa Ribeiro da Silva, Dutch and Portuguese in Western Africa: Empires, Merchants and the Atlantic System, 1580–1674 (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2011); and Mariana Cândido, An African Slaving Port and the Atlantic World: Benguela and Its Hinterland (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013).

(3.) John Thornton, The Kingdom of Kongo: Civil War and Transition, 1641–1718 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1983); and John K. Thornton, “The Development of an African Catholic Church in the Kingdom of Kongo, 1491–1750,” Journal of African History 25. no. 2 (1984): 147–167.

(4.) John K. Thornton, “Legitimacy and Political Power: Queen Njinga, 1624–1663,” Journal of African History 32. no. 1 (1991): 25–40; John K. Thornton, “Firearms, Diplomacy, and Conquest in Angola: Cooperation and Alliance in West Central Africa, 1491–1671,” in Empires and Indigenes: Intercultural Alliance, Imperial Expansion and Warfare in the Early Modern World, ed. Wayne E. Lee (New York: New York University Press, 2011); and Linda M. Heywood, Njinga of Angola. Africa’s Warrior Queen (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017).

(5.) Amélia Polónia and Cátia Antunes, eds., Seaports in the First Global Age. Portuguese Agents, Networks and Interactions (1500–1800) (Porto, Portugal: UPorto Edições, 2016).

(6.) Allen F. Isaacman, Mozambique: The Africanization of a European Institution. The Zambesi Prazos, 1750–1902 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1972); Eugénia Rodrigues, Portugueses e Africanos nos Rios de Sena: Os prazos da coroa em Moçambique nos séculos XVII e XVIII (Lisbon, Portugal: Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda, 2013); and Malyn Newitt, A History of Mozambique (London: Hurst, 1995).

(7.) Valentim Alexandre, Os sentidos do império: Questão nacional e questão colonial na crise do antigo regime (Porto, Portugal: Edições Afrontamento, 1993).

(8.) Valentim Alexandre and Jill Dias, O império Africano, 1825–1890, nova história da expansão Portuguesa, X (Lisbon, Portugal: Estampa, 1998); Richard J. Hammond, Portugal and Africa, 1815–1910: A Study in Uneconomic Imperialism (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1966); and William Clarence-Smith, The Third Portuguese Empire (1825–1975): A Study in Economic Imperialism (Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1985).

(9.) Valentim Alexandre, Velho Brasil, Novas Áfricas (Porto, Portugal: Afrontamento, 2000).

(10.) Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo, “Portugal no mundo,” in História Contemporânea de Portugal. Vol. 2: A Construção Nacional, 1834–1890, ed. Pedro Tavares de Almeida (Madrid, Spain: Fundación Mapfre/Objectiva, 2013), 77–108.

(11.) José Capela, Escravatura: Conceitos: A empresa de saque: Abolicionismo (1810–1875) (Porto, Portugal: Afrontamento, 1978); António Carreira, Cabo Verde—Formação e extinção de uma sociedade escravocrata (1460–1878) (Lisbon, Portugal: Instituto Caboverdiano do Livro, 1983); Maria Emília Madeira Santos, Nos caminhos de África: Serventia e posse (Angola-Século XIX) (Lisbon, Portugal: Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical, 1998); João Pedro Marques, The Sounds of Silence: Nineteenth-Century Portugal and the Abolition of the Slave Trade (Oxford: Berghahn, 2006); Roquinaldo Ferreira, “Abolicionismo versus colonialismo: Rupturas e continuidades em Angola (séc. XIX),” in África: Brasileiros e Portugueses (Séculos XVI a XIX), ed. Roberto Guedes (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Maud, 2013), 95–113; and Jerónimo, “Portugal no mundo.”

(12.) Valentim Alexandre, “Nação e império,” and Jorge Pedreira, “O Sistema de Trocas,” both in História da expansão Portuguesa, Vol. 4, ed. Francisco Bethencourt and Kirti Chaudhuri (Lisbon, Portugal: Círculo de Leitores, 1998), 90–142 and 214–299, respectively; Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo, A diplomacia do imperialismo. Política e religião na partilha de África (1820–1890) (Lisbon, Portugal: Edições 70, 2012); and Leonor Pires Martins, Um império de papel: Imagens do colonialismo Português na imprensa periódica ilustrada (1875–1940) (Lisbon, Portugal: Edições 70, 2012).

(13.) Jerónimo, A diplomacia do imperialismo; Hugo Gonçalves Dores, A missão da república: Política, religião e o império colonial Português (1910–1926) (Lisbon, Portugal: Edições 70, 2015).

(14.) René Pélissier, História das campanhas de Angola: Resistência e revoltas, 1845–1941 (Lisbon, Portugal: Estampa, 1986); René Pélissier, História de Moçambique: Formação e oposição, 1854–1918 (Lisbon, Portugal: Estampa, 1987–88); Isabel Castro Henriques, Os pilares da diferença: Relações Portugal-África séculos XV–XX (Lisbon, Portugal: Caleidoscópio, 2004); and on corporate feudalism see Malyn Newitt, Portugal in Africa: The Last Hundred Years (London: Longman, 1981).

(15.) Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo, “The States of Empire,” in The Making of Modern Portugal, ed. Luís Trindade (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013), 65–101.

(16.) Jelmer Vos, Kongo in the Age of Empire 1860–1913: The Breakdown of a Moral Order (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2015); and René Pélissier, Les campagnes coloniales du Portugal, 1844–1941 (Paris: Pygmalion, 2004).

(17.) Allen Isaacman (with Barbara Isaacman), The Tradition of Resistance in Mozambique: The Zambezi Valley, 1850–1921 (London: Heinemann, 1976); Jerónimo, States of Empire; and Barbara Direito, “Terra e africanos no pensamento colonial Português, c. 1920–c. 1945,” Análise Social 213, no. xlix (2014): 768–793.

(18.) Linda Heywood, Contested Power in Angola, 1840s to the Present (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2000).

(19.) Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo, The “Civilizing Mission” of Portuguese Colonialism (c. 1870–1930) (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015); and Ana Isabel Madeira, “Ler, escrever e orar: Uma análise histórica e comparada dos discursos sobre a educação, o ensino e a escola em Moçambique, 1850–1950” (PhD diss., Universidade de Lisboa, 2007).

(20.) On labor see James Duffy, A Question of Slavery: Labour Policies in Portuguese African and the British Protest, 1850–1920 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1967); William Clarence-Smith, “Labour Conditions in the Plantations of São Tomé and Príncipe, 1875–1914,” Slavery and Abolition 14 (1993): 149–167; and Jerónimo, The “Civilizing Mission” of Portuguese Colonialism. On taxation see Philip J. Havik, “Colonial Administration, Public Accounts and Fiscal Extraction: Policies and Revenues in Former Portuguese Africa (1900–1960),” African Economic History 41 (2013): 159–221; and Philip J. Havik, Alexander Keese, and Maciel Santos, eds., Administration and Taxation in Former Portuguese Africa, 1900–1945 (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015).

(21.) Jerónimo, The “Civilizing Mission” of Portuguese Colonialism; and Catherine Higgs, Chocolate Islands: Cocoa and Slavery in Colonial Africa (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2012). On São Tomé and the plantations see Tony Hodges and Malyn Newitt, eds., São Tomé and Principe: From Plantation Colony to Microstate (Boulder, CO: Westview, 1988); and Augusto Nascimento, Poderes e quotidiano nas roças de S. Tomé e Príncipe de finais de oitocentos a meados de novecentos (Lousã, Portugal: Tipografia Lousanense, 2002).

(22.) Jerónimo, States of Empire; Todd Cleveland, Diamonds in the Rough: Corporate Paternalism and African Professionalism on the Mines of Colonial Angola, 1917–75 (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2015); and Newitt, History of Mozambique.

(23.) Valentim Alexandre, “Ideologia, economia e política: A questão colonial na implantação do Estado Novo,” Análise Social 28, no. 123–124 (1993): 1117–1136.

(24.) Cristina Nogueira da Silva, “Natives Who Were Citizens and Natives Who Were Indigenas in Portuguese Empire (1900–1926),” in Endless Empire. Spain’s Retreat, Europe’s Eclipse, America’s Decline, ed. Alfred W. McCoy, Josep M. Fradera, and Stephen Jacobson (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2012), 295–306. For a previous period, see Cristina Nogueira da Silva, Constitucionalismo e império: A cidadania no ultramar Português (Coimbra, Portugal: Almedina, 2009).

(25.) Mary Anne Pitcher, Politics in the Portuguese Empire: The State, Industry, and Cotton, 1926–1974 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1993); and Allen F. Isaacman, Cotton Is the Mother of Poverty: Peasants, Work, and Rural Struggle in Colonial Mozambique, 1938–1961 (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1996).

(26.) José Pedro Monteiro, Um império acossado: As políticas de trabalho colonial sob escrutínio internacional, 1944–1962 (Lisbon, Porgugal: Edições 70, 2018).

(27.) Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo, “Ordering Resistance: The Late Colonial State in the Portuguese Empire (1940–1975),” Political Power and Social Theory 33 (2017): 109–128; Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo and António Costa Pinto, “A Modernizing Empire? Politics, Culture and Economy in Portuguese Late Colonialism,” in The Ends of European Colonial Empires: Cases and Comparisons, ed. Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo and António Costa Pinto, Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), 51–80; Cláudia Castelo, “Developing ‘Portuguese Africa’ in Late Colonialism: Confronting Discourses,” in Developing Africa: Concepts and Practices in Twentieth-Century Colonialism, ed. Joseph M. Hodge, Gerald Hödl, and Martina Kopf (Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2014), 63–86; and Gerald Bender, Angola under the Portuguese: The Myth and the Reality (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978).

(28.) Frederico Ágoas, “Estado, universidade e ciências sociais: A introdução da sociologia na escola superior colonial (1952–1972),” and Cláudia Castelo, “Ciência, Estado e desenvolvimento no colonialismo Português tardio,” both in O Império Colonial em questão, ed. Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo, 317–347 and 349–387, respectively.

(29.) Alexander Keese, Living with Ambiguity. Portuguese and French Colonial Administrators, Mutual Influences, and the Question of Integrating an African Elite, 1930–1963 (Stuttgart, Germany: Franz Steiner, 2007).

(30.) Cláudia Castelo, Passagens para África: O povoamento de Angola e Moçambique com naturais da metrópole (1920–1974) (Porto, Portugal: Afrontamento, 2007); Fernando Pimenta, Angola: Os brancos e a Independência (Porto, Portugal: Edições Afrontamento, 2008); Michel Cahen, ed., Bourgs et villes en Afrique Lusophone (Paris: L’Harmattan, 1989); Nuno Domingos and Elsa Peralta, eds., Cidades e império: Dinâmicas coloniais e reconfigurações pós-coloniais (Lisbon, Portugal: Edições 70, 2013); Eric Morier-Genoud and Michel Cahen, eds., Imperial Migrations: Colonial Communities in the Portuguese World (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2013); Filipa Lowndes Vicente, ed., O império da visão. Fotografia no contexto colonial Português (Lisbon, Portugal: Edições 70, 2014); and Nuno Domingos, Football and Colonialism: Body and Popular Culture in Urban Mozambique (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2017). See also the recent volume by Valentim Alexandre, Contra o vento: Portugal, o império e a maré anticolonial (1945–1960) (Lisbon, Portugal: Temas & Debates, 2017).

(31.) Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo, “Managing Inequalities: Welfare Colonialism in the Portuguese Empire since the 1940s,” in Inequality in the Portuguese-Speaking World. Global and Historical Perspectives, ed. Francisco Bethencourt (Eastbourne, UK: Sussex Academic, in press). On health see Samuel Coghe, “Population Politics in the Tropics: Demography, Health and Colonial Rule in Portuguese Angola, 1890s-1940s” (PhD diss., European University Institute, Florence, 2014); and Philip J. Havik, “From Hospitals to Villages: The Organisation of Health Services and Social Medicine in Portuguese West Africa,” Portuguese Studies Review 25, no. 1 (in press). On lusotropicalism see Cláudia Castelo, ‘O modo Português de estar no mundo’: O luso-tropicalismo e a ideologia colonial Portuguesa (1933–1961) (Porto, Portugal: Edições Afrontamento, 1999). On racial representations see Patrícia Ferraz de Matos, The Colours of the Empire: Racialized Representations during Portuguese Colonialism (New York: Berghahn, 2013). On labor see Jeanne Marie Penvenne, African Workers and Colonial Racism; Mozambican Strategies for Survival in Lourenço Marques, Mozambique 1877–1962 (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1995); Eric Allina, Slavery by Any Other Name: African Life under Company Rule in Colonial Mozambique (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012); Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo and José Pedro Monteiro, “Internationalism and the Labours of the Portuguese Colonial Empire (1945–1974),” Portuguese Studies 29, no. 2 (2013): 142–163; and Jeremy Ball, Angola’s Colossal Lie: Forced Labor on a Sugar Plantation, 1913–1977 (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2015). On gender and labor issues see Kathleen E. Sheldon. Pounders of Grain: A History of Women, Work, and Politics in Mozambique (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2002). On creolization see Philip J. Havik and Malyn Newitt, eds., Creole Societies in the Portuguese Colonial Empire (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015); and Jacopo Corrado, The Creole Elite and the Rise of Angolan Proto-Nationalism, 1870–1920 (Amherst, MA: Cambria, 2007).

(32.) Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo, “Repressive Developmentalisms: Idioms, Repertoires, Trajectories in Late Colonialism,” in Oxford Handbook of the Ends of Empire, ed. Andrew Thompson and Martin Thomas (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017 online).

(33.) Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo, “‘A Battle in the Field of Human Relations’: The Official Minds of Repressive Development in Portuguese Angola,” in Decolonization and Conflict: Colonial Comparisons and Legacies, ed. Martin Thomas and Gareth Curless (London: Bloomsbury, 2017), 115–136; Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo and António Costa Pinto, “A Modernizing Empire? Politics, Culture and Economy in Portuguese Late Colonialism,” in The Ends of European Colonial Empires: Cases and Comparisons, ed. Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo and António Costa Pinto, Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), 51–80; Bender, Angola under the Portuguese; John P. Cann, Counter-insurgency in Africa: The Portuguese Way of War, 1961–1974 (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1997); Diogo Ramada Curto, Bernardo Pinto da Cruz, and Teresa Furtado, Políticas coloniais em tempo de revoltas. Angola circa 1961 (Porto, Portugal: Afrontamento, 2016); and Mustafah Dhada, The Portuguese Massacre of Wiriyamu in Colonial Mozambique, 1964–2013 (New York: Bloomsbury, 2016).

(34.) Norrie Macqueen, The Decolonization of Portuguese Africa: Metropolitan Revolution and the Dissolution of Empire (London: Longman, 1997); Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo and António Costa Pinto, eds., “International Dimensions of Portuguese Late Colonialism and Decolonization,” special issue, Portuguese Studies 29, no. 2 (2013): 137–276; António Costa Pinto, O fim do dmpério Português: A cena internacional, a guerra colonial, e a descolonização, 1961–1975 (Lisbon, Portugal: Livros Horizonte, 2001); Stewart Lloyd-Jones and António Costa Pinto, eds., The Last Empire. Thirty Years of Portuguese Decolonization (Bristol, UK: Intellect, 2003); John Marcum, The Angolan Revolution, Vol. 1: The Anatomy of an Explosion, 1950–1962 and Vol. 2: Exile Politics and Guerrilla Warfare 1962–1976 (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1969/1978); Margarida Calafate Ribeiro, África no feminino: As mulheres Portuguesas e a guerra colonial (Porto, Portugal: Afrontamento, 2007); Christine Messiant, 1961: L’Angola colonial, histoire et société: Les prémisses du movement nationaliste (Basel, Switzerland: P. Schlettwein, 2006); Éric Morier-Genoud, ed., Sure Road? Nationalisms in Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2012); Anna Klobucka and Hilary Owen, eds., Gender, Empire, and Postcolony: Luso-Afro-Brazilian Intersections (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014); and Fernando Rosas et al., eds. O adeus ao império: 40 anos de descolonização Portuguesa (Lisbon, Portugal: Nova Vega, 2015).

(35.) Patrick Chabal et al., A History of Postcolonial Lusophone Africa (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002); and Ricardo Soares de Oliveira, Magnificent and Beggar Land: Angola since the Civil War (London: Hurst, 2015).

(36.) For some major collective works that signal historiographical trends and geographical focus, see Valentim Alexandre and Jill Dias, eds., O império Africano 1825–1890 (Lisbon, Portugal: Editorial Estampa, 1988); Francisco Bethencourt and Kirti Chaudhuri, História da expansão Portuguesa, 5 vols. (Lisbon, Portugal: Círculo de Leitores, 1998–1999); António Oliveira Marques, ed., O império Africano: 1890–1930, vol. 11 of Nova História da Expansão Portuguesa, ed. António Oliveira Marques and Joel Serrão (Lisbon, Portugal: Estampa, 2001); Francisco Bethencourt and Diogo Ramada Curto, eds. Portuguese Oceanic Expansion 1400–1800 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2017); Jerónimo, O Império colonial em questão; and Cláudia Castelo et al., Os outros da colonização: Ensaios sobre o colonialismo tardio em Moçambique (Lisbon, Portugal: Imprensa de Ciências Sociais, 2012). For two texts debating historiographical standpoints see Diogo Ramada Curto, “Portuguese Empire (Genesis and Central Organization),” in The Encyclopedia of Empire, ed. John Mackenzie (New York: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015); and Roquinaldo Ferreira, “Taking Stock: Portuguese Imperial Historiography Twelve Years after the e-JPH Debate,” e-JPH 14, no. 1 (2016): 55–70.