The Instigator
Jifpop09
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
Beastified
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Portugal was the most successful imperial power

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Jifpop09
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/9/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,493 times Debate No: 52046
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (21)
Votes (1)

 

Jifpop09

Pro

I will be arguing that Portugal was the most successful imperial power. My opponent will argue otherwise.

If you need any more clarifications, please say so in the comments.





Beastified

Con

This will be easy. There's no way you can put forth a convincing debate that Portugal is/was the most successful imperial power of all time. I will be surprised if you defeat me in this.
Debate Round No. 1
Jifpop09

Pro

Case 1: Portugese Colonies were incredibly wealthy

In order to properly anaylize the success of the Portugese, we must break up their imperial tendencies into era's. Let us quickly define each era.....

Era 1: Portugese Early Exploration


Era 2: Contemporary Colonial Period of the 1700's


Era 3: The Imp
erial Era and Scramble for Africa


Era 4: The Dissolution of Empires and Neo Imperialism

Also, in order to prevent defining conflicts and confusion, I will actually take the time to define a few things


suc·cess

səkG2;ses/

noun




            1. 1.


              the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.'
              "the president had some success in restoring confidence"

              synonyms: favorable outcome, successfulness, successful result,

im·pe·ri·al·ism

imG2;pi(ə)rēəG6;lizəm/

noun




            1. 1.

              a policy of extending a country's power and influence through diplomacy or military force.

With that being said, I will begin with my contention.......

Using the definition of success, Portugal's goal was to become wealthy and develop its nation.
Lets start with era one.......

Era One: As most people know from history, the 1400's were dominated by the colonial dominance of Spain and Portugal. After the signing of the Treaty of Tordesillas, the new worlds in Asia and America were effectively divided between the two powers. [1]



Following the treaty, every thing west of the Brazillian coast would belong to Spain, while all colonial potential east of the Tordesilla's line would belong to Portugal. Portugal took advantage of this oppurtunity to its utmost power.

A high emphasis was placed on exploration as the new form of chivalry. Prestige was no longer placed on military victory but oceanic discovery. Portugese explorers like Magellan set up 100's of trading posts in India, Africa, China, and the East Indies [2]. By the 1600's, Portugal had a monopoly on gold, spice, and sugar. By the 1700's, Portugal was the wealthiest trade nation in the world, and made 65% of its income on taxes overseas. [3]



This meant that the high standards of livings and substantial commercial markets that developed in Portugal were almost entirely a result of trade. In a time when almost all of the civilized world was living in serfdom, Portugal was a haven for wealth, idealisms, and progress, as a result of colonialism and imperialism. If that's not success, then I don't know what is. [4]

Era 2: Lets progress to the second era, where colonialism had finnaly become popularized among the European rulers, who began uniting feudal lords under one sovereign.

In the 1700's, contrary to popular belief, France, Russia, Britain, and Spain were the poorest nations in the world. Many were in massive debt, and colonial possessions only offset the costs at home. During this time, the Dutch and Portugese prospered, as they monopolized trade in every corner of the world, including India, which under the Mughal Empire, was the wealthiest nation in the world [5]. And who had a monopoly over the trade posts? Portugal, who was considered a much better trade partner then other powers, because rulers felt less threatened militarily. They had dibs on all of Africa, West India, and the Indies.[6]



Throughout the 1700's, Portugal was the second largest trade nation in the world, and by a very narrow margin. Britain was making over 50% of its GDP on foreign trade, and it controlled a lot more land then Portugal [7]. The very fact that Portugal was making over half of Englands economy with 10% (guesstimate) of the land, has to count for something. Once again, its evident who was on top in the 1700's.



Era 3: Portugal in the 1800's was the most established power in Africa. Once the scramble began, they already had control of Africa's most profitable lands. Guinnea-Bissau was a wealthy slave land, full of gold and salt needed for European diets. Angola had vast diamond deposits, along with other irons and minerals. The most profitable lands were Portugals Islands in the West Indies and West Africa, which became collosal ports for shipping. [8]



The most notable aspect of Portugese rule in the 1800's though, was the level of stability in its colonies. We all know about the massacres that happened in the period, where 10,000's of tribals would charge into a gatling gun. That did not happen as often in Portugese Colonies. Since they had been known to the natives for centuries, they were more accepted among the populations. And their tactic of keeping their rule limited to trade and coastal aquisition even made them popular among some nobility. [9]

And while my opponent may take a shot at the loss of Brazil, the portugese Still maintained a capitalistic monopoly on Brazzilian trade, along with Javain. So, by the very fact that Portugal was still able to maintain its massive trade network and wealthy colonies, with minimum unrest and casualties, prove a win for era 3.




Era 4: Ahhh, the final era, and indeed the easiest for me to prove. After WW2, only two imperial powers really existed anymore. At least true imperialism. Lets quickly examine the state of the two surviving imperial empires, France and Portugal.

France, was in an abysmal state. It was trying its hardest to maintain its last colonies in Algeria, Indochina, and Oceania. France was so ineffective in maintaining its lands, that many
seceded without a fight. The wars to liberate these lands cost many lifes as well. [10]

Now I'm not going to lye, and say that Portugal was faring much better, but in comparison, it was. Portugese lands were much more profitable then France's, and stayed profitable for most of their occupation. Portugal was also able to control its lands for much longer. Almost all of France's land was lost by 1960, but Portugal was able to keep colonial possesions as long as 1990. They even still control the African Azores, which remain immensely profitable, up until the portugese colonial war. [11][12]



Now I would begin my next case, but I would run out of characters. By creating this debate, I hope I have now proven that the greatest imperial power should't be judged by land, prestige, or power, but in stability, wealth, and development, all of which Portugal was far ahead of the world in. Thanks for the debate Con, and good luck.

* Note: These sources relate speciffically to my points. I don't guarantee to agree with everything else they contain. _-_-_-_-_-_-_-_pPpPpPpPpPpPpPpPpPpPpPpPps[s[s[s

[1] http://www.thenagain.info...

[2] http://www.historyguide.org...

[3] http://www.theworldeconomy.org...

[4] http://history-world.org...

[5] http://www.democraticunderground.com...

[6] http://www.historyworld.net...

[7] http://humanscience.wikia.com...

[8] http://www.bbc.com...

[9] http://www.learner.org...

[10] https://sites.google.com...

[11] http://www.worldatlas.com...

[12] http://balagan.info...


Beastified

Con

I will begin my side of the argument by Responding to Jifpop09's concluding statement, in which he says the following:
"Now I would begin my next case, but I would run out of characters. By creating this debate, I hope I have now proven that the greatest imperial power should't be judged by land, prestige, or power, but in stability, wealth, and development, all of which Portugal was far ahead of the world in. Thanks for the debate Con, and good luck."

------------- My response: You cannot pick and choose what elements determine whether a country was the most "Succesful Imperial power". Imperialism by definition, states:

im"pe"ri"al"ism noun \im-G2;pir-ē-ə-G6;li-zəm\

: a policy or practice by which a country increases its power by gaining control over other areas of the world

The official definition of the word says "increases its power" yet you are trying to change the definition of the word Imperialism by saying that the greatest imperial power SHOULDNT be judge by power, despite the fact that power is by definition, what Imperialism is all about.

Imperialism is mostly about power and conquering other countries and taking over their land. Wealth and development all come as a result of conquest. When you get more land, you get more wealth. Why? Because you gain access to more resources, trading routes, and different civilizations/countries. When you get more wealth, your country becomes more developed.

It all comes as a result of power. That is the main principal of Imperialism.

With that being said, I will now prove to the audience that Portugal was no where near the "most succesful Imperial power":

http://upload.wikimedia.org...

In this picture, ONLY the red is what Portugal owned over their reign from 1415-1999. The audience should know that the Portuguese NEVER owned any where near this amount of territory at any one time. This is only the combination of all the land (red) they owned over their entire existence. The colored sea is the areas they traded through and explored. The pink are areas of influence -- not actual possessions. Even in the own maps you've posted, mainly the scramble for Africa one, Portugal was being dominated by France and Great Britain. Sure, Portugal had the wealthiest colonies for a period of time, but they also had a very weak military and the smallest amount of land in the long run in comparison to the true Imperialistic nations, like Great Britain, "The Empire on which the sun never sets". The British Empire was the true "most successful Imperial Power".

And this reminds me about the Treaty of Tordesillas, which you posted at the very beginning of your side of the debate. Sure, they signed a treaty. But that didn't last long, and lost almost all of that land within a short period of time. If Portugal was the greatest Imperial Power of all time, then how come they only had two relatively small pieces of land in Africa and a few small islands by the 1700-1800's?

Portugal was simply not a threatening Imperial Power, and no where near the most succesful. France, Great Britain, and Spain all had stronger militaries, acquired more land, and held it for a longer period of time than Portugal did. Portugal got dominated in the Napoleonic Wars as well, in which many Latin American colonies previously owned by Portugal gained independence. In 1822, Brazil, formerly under Portugal control, also gained indepence as a result of the war.

Here are a few tidbits from some of my source wiscnetwork that further back up my side:

"Between the 1590s and 1760s, the Portuguese Eastern Empire was almost completely swept
from the map. Portugal lost the monopoly of the Cape of Good Hope route, most of its fortresses and
trade factories, and even any significant position in the trading activity of the Indian Ocean and the Far
East. Meanwhile, Brazil had become the main element of a third Portuguese colonial empire."[6]

It is true that the Dutch had an advantage over Portugal in at least three areas: technology,
organisation and human capital.[7.4]

Sources:

http://www.merriam-webster.com...

http://www.napoleon-series.org...

http://www.wiscnetwork.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Jifpop09

Pro

- My response: You cannot pick and choose what elements determine whether a country was the most "Succesful Imperial power". Imperialism by definition, states:

im"pe"ri"al"ism noun \im-G2;pir-ē-ə-G6;li-zəm\

: a policy or practice by which a country increases its power by gaining control over other areas of the world

The official definition of the word says "increases its power" yet you are trying to change the definition of the word Imperialism by saying that the greatest imperial power SHOULDNT be judge by power, despite the fact that power is by definition, what Imperialism is all about.

I have a lot of problems with what your saying. Mainly, because I already posted a definition of imperialism, and its from Merriam Webster and Oxford dictionary. That one sounds made up, or if it is a real definiiton, it is from a less prestigious site.

So, lets stick with my above definition.

"A policy of extending one's country over anothers borders through military and economic control"

Your definition simply can not work. Imperialism was for practical purposes, and not always power. And reading ahead, it appears all your arguments are based off this weak definition. And is "power" really that subjective? Is their power in having your citizens live a wealthy lifestyle? Is there power in achiving your goals without war? I think there is, and this power should be recognized over subjective military strength.

And if you do want to argue this based on sujective military strength, then even you must recognize Portugal's naval prowess. Portugal has historically maintained one of the largest trade and military fleets in the world.

And I also checked the definition you placed at the bottom of the round. You lied, as the merriam webster definition fit mine, and had no mention of the definition you posted. I ask the audience to remember this when marking conduct.

With that being said, I will now prove to the audience that Portugal was no where near the "most succesful Imperial power":

This weakens your case immensly. I already put a map up showing this, but this one actually shows their anachroatic territory.

I actually feel quite stupid for forgetting this. Portugal, throughout history, has maintained the largest anachronistic territory in the world. An anarchroistic territory, is a ocean boundary extended to ones emipire. In that map, it shows that Portugal had full naval dominance over three oceans, and to this day, still maintains a third of that anarchous territory...

File:Portugal Império total.png






In this picture, ONLY the red is what Portugal owned over their reign from 1415-1999. The audience should know that the Portuguese NEVER owned any where near this amount of territory at any one time. This is only the combination of all the land (red) they owned over their entire existence

Actually, this is a blatant lie. Portugal owned almost every one of those territories all the way to the 1800's, and even then, there trading posts never left the country. By the very nature of this argument, you are now required to show me what nations they lost when, because I can assure you that most of these were retained at once for about 400 years.




Even in the own maps you've posted, mainly the scramble for Africa one, Portugal was being dominated by France and Great Britain

Were they really though? Can France really count Algeria as a valuable possesion? Or Britain can count anything but South Africa valuable?


The truth of the matter is, that these lands were grabbed for prestigious purposes only. The actual costs of maintaining them only offset there presense. Furthermore, Britain and France often actually had to tax citizens immensely higher in order to sustain their presense. Now, as I provided earlier, actual success is what the Portugese did. Keep their citizens happy and their colonies strained. How is that failure? [1]

And this reminds me about the Treaty of Tordesillas, which you posted at the very beginning of your side of the debate. Sure, they signed a treaty. But that didn't last long, and lost almost all of that land within a short period of time. If Portugal was the greatest Imperial Power of all time, then how come they only had two relatively small pieces of land in Africa and a few small islands by the 1700-1800's?

Now let me once again put this into perspective. 400 years of territorial dominance is not exactly a short period of time. And through the 1700's and 1800's, Guinea was the most valuable gold depot, Angola for slaves, Java for Spices, Goa for Spices, Sao Tome for Shippping, Brazil for Coffee, Macau for silk, and Japan for cotton. Portugal litterally had one of the most diverse and stabilized economic complexities. Which made the country immensly wealthy, happy, and prestigious. That is success. What Britain and France did was a show of who had the longer Dck.[2]

Portugal was simply not a threatening Imperial Power, and no where near the most succesful. France, Great Britain, and Spain all had stronger militaries, acquired more land, and held it for a longer period of time than Portugal did. Portugal got dominated in the Napoleonic Wars as well, in which many Latin American colonies previously owned by Portugal gained independence. In 1822, Brazil, formerly under Portugal control, also gained indepence as a result of the war.

Once again, I have caught you spreading false information. Audience, please note, that Brazil never had a war for independence. The emperor of Brazil,Dom Pedro, was also a member of the Portugese royal family. His father told him to declare independence, if constitutionalists decided to attack Libson, so then at least Brazil could remain safe. He followed this advice, annd declared independence, without any bloodshed. He then let Portugese traders in, and they monopolized every trade route out of Brazil, back to their own country. [3]

Now audience, I misread my own character limit, so I must conclude here. Thanks for reading audience, and I hope you can vote for what was truly the most successful. Thanks for the debate Con, good luck.

[1] http://memory.loc.gov...;

[2] http://www.duyfken.com...;

[3] http://www.brazil.org.za...
Beastified

Con

Claim about me lieing about my definition/sources:

Incorrect. Did you even click my link? The very first definition is the one that I copied. Please do not throw around the word "lier" like you have repetitvely when you are incorrect with that assessment. Are you using a computer to do this debate or a phone? Perhaps if you're using a phone you are only getting the mobile version of the website and thus not seeing the definition I posted, but it's pretty clear IMO.

Concerning the map that I posted that you believe strengthens your case:

Brazil only fell into Portugal's hands because of the time period in which they acquired Brazil. Had there been more competition at the time rather than just Spain and Portugal, Portugal never would've taken over Brazil. It only took 400 years for them to lose it as well. You argue with me that 400 years is a lot of time. Sorry sir, but 400 years is nothing in terms of an empire. 400 years is a fraction of the time the Romans and the Egyptians held all of their territory for. The Roman Empire for example, lated from 27 BC to 1453 AD, a grand total of 1,480 years [source: history.howstuffworks.com].

You dare argue, that the Portuguese Imperialistic Empire, which only lasted from 1415 to 1999 [source: history.howstuffworks.com], was more succesful than the Roman Imperialistic Empire, or British? It doesn't matter how many pictures you try to put up that just show the "spread of influence" in the oceans when there were no other naval powers during that time period. The facts speak for themselves. Besides, if the Portuguese were the most succesful at spreading their beliefs and customs as you say, then why did the Portuguese Empire die out in only 584 years? That my friend, is NOTHING compared to other empires in history. Where is the influence of the portuguese in today's world? In the United States, China, or Russia, there is relatively little Portuguese influence. You say by your definition that influence is just as large a part of Imperialism as is power (which it isn't, but whatever). You know which Imperialistic Civilization is still influencing us today? The Romans, which by the way, the Portuguese look like mince meat next to these guys.

The Romans invented the original Gregorian Calender, which the modern calender used internationally is based off of. The Imperialistic Romans were also the first to invent Aqueducts. I wonder how many countries still use those today? Oh, want to know what else the Romanc invented that influenced the entire world? Newspapers. The base welfare system. Bound books. ROADS and HIGHWAYS. And even CONCRETE. Look around you today. Look around the world. You know what, I won't even let you answer that question. I'll answer it myself with the reputable source of rsc.org(http://www.rsc.org...). Concrete is the single most widely used material in the WORLD. You can thank all of these inventions that you take for granted today because of the Romans.

So wait, does anyone still think the Portuguese really, by his definition, extend their country's power and influence more than the Roman Imperialistic Empire did? Well, I looked up the Portuguese Empire's most influential inventions and their influences. All I found was three things (from http://www.portugalwanderer.com...):

1) Caravel (Important for a while, but no longer used)
2) Manual Language for the Deaf
3) Portuguese sea food cuisines (not even kidding. That's all they could come up with)

Additionally, I forgot to add the Romans spread something across the world that no other can claim: Christianity. Christianity has been around since it first began in Jerusalem and spread from the Roman Empire outwards[source: PBS.org/evidenceforchristianity.org]. How many people has Christianity influenced? Billions. According to a study conducted in 2011, 516 million people are followers of Christianity. Yikes, I have proven how obvious it is that Portuguese influence pales in comparison to Roman influence.

Lastly, after proving that the Romans have had way more influence than the Portuguese, I will not bother wasting my time trying to find a reputable source for military comparison between Romans and Portuguese. We all know by common knowledge that the Romans were a better army and had more power. There's a reason they lasted longer.

In conclusion, I have proven my points, and negated every single one of yours by 1) The Roman Empire lasted longer, had a stronger, more dominating, and much larger army, and have spread influence in the form 2)

Sources:

http://www.pbs.org...

http://www.rsc.org...

https://www.evidenceforchristianity.org...

http://history.howstuffworks.com...

http://www.portugalwanderer.com...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk...

=======================

It was a pleasure debating with you, but I fully expect to take home the victory after this rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 3
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Jifpop09 2 years ago
Jifpop09
And I didn't get mine from Merriam Webster, but from the oxford dictionary. Following your own source, the definition you stated does not exist,. It was very blatantly made up.

http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Posted by Jifpop09 2 years ago
Jifpop09
Actually, as I pointed out, his definition was not even on the merriam webster website.
Posted by Romanii 2 years ago
Romanii
@Beastified:

I have no problem defending my vote if you want me to.

"The clash over the definitions no one won. I simply wanted to go straight into the debate about the topic and not get into a war over it. We both used the same exact website. I took literally the first definition from Werriam-Webster, he took the one that was below it."

You're right. It wasn't a very big part of the debate, anyways.

"There was no time frame posted in the title or opening statement stating the conditions; don't know where you're getting that from. The Roman Empire was VERY relevant in this debate because the pro never established a time period before the debate was accepted."

That's true, he didn't state it as a condition of the debate. However, the Roman Empire is not the same kind of imperial power as the European maritime empires of the 1400s-1900s, and Pro made it extremely obvious in his opening arguments that he was referring to the European maritime empires, talking about the 4 eras of Portuguese history.
Anyhow, the point about introducing the argument too late in the debate still stands.
Posted by Jifpop09 2 years ago
Jifpop09
The one who didn't write a RFD
Posted by Beastified 2 years ago
Beastified
Who is bomber? lol
Posted by Jifpop09 2 years ago
Jifpop09
Beastified, I'll try to get that vote bombers vote removed
Posted by Beastified 2 years ago
Beastified
@Romanii

While I respect your vote, I don't agree with your reasons for why you voted the way you did:

- The clash over the definitions no one won. I simply wanted to go straight into the debate about the topic and not get into a war over it. We both used the same exact website. I took literally the first definition from Werriam-Webster, he took the one that was below it.

- There was no time frame posted in the title or opening statement stating the conditions; don't know where you're getting that from. The Roman Empire was VERY relevant in this debate because the pro never established a time period before the debate was accepted.

Thanks for the vote, though.
Posted by Jifpop09 2 years ago
Jifpop09
Thanks for the vote, but could you please develop a RFD?
Posted by Romanii 2 years ago
Romanii
RFD

This was a rather hard-to-judge debate, since both sides did really well.
Neither side did significantly better than the other in S&G, Conduct, or Sources, so I'm tying all of them.
What follows is my justification for giving Pro the Arguments point.

Overall, Pro used much more accurate criteria for determining "success" than Con did. Pro very solidly defended his contentions about Portugal's wealth, stability, and goal-achievement; however, Con didn't so much as even attempt to refute those contentions, instead concentrating on more inaccurate, stereotypical determinants of imperial success such as empire size and international reputation.
Honestly, Pro didn't do a very good job of refuting Con's contentions regarding that, but it doesn't matter because Pro provided a solid argument for why his criteria are more accurate for judging success than Con's criteria, making Con's contentions irrelevant to the debate.

As for the little clash over definitions, Pro clearly won that, as he had already provided definitions before that from a perfectly reliable dictionary, and changing the definitions to the ones Con introduced would have had a significant effect on Pro's argument.

Con introduced an argument regarding the Roman Empire in the final round of the debate; however, this is unfair because Pro never got a chance to refute it; Con should have introduced it in round 2 if he wanted that argument to be seriously considered. Also, the Roman Empire was WELL outside of the time frame established by Pro in his opening arguments (Ages of European Colonialism and Imperialism), so the argument was rather irrelevant to the debate, anyhow.

So, arguments to Pro.

That being said, Con has displayed impressive debating skill for someone who has just joined the site, and I can definitely see him becoming a prominent debater on here.
Good job to both sides!
Posted by Jifpop09 2 years ago
Jifpop09
So nervous......
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Romanii 2 years ago
Romanii
Jifpop09BeastifiedTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.