The Portuguese conquest of Angola in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (1575-1641): A military revolution in West Central Africa?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the Portuguese conquest of Angola during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. By looking at an often-neglected region in the debates of European imperial conquest and expansion, such as West Central Africa, it attempts to bring the history of the Portuguese Empire and its themes to the forefront of the general debates of the Military Revolution, particularly its global diffusion and impact on European colonial expansion. Focusing on the distinct political, cultural, and military encounters between the Portuguese and West Central African polities like the kingdoms of Kongo and Ndongo, this chapter shows how the technological and military innovations carried out by the Portuguese from the Military Revolution to their overseas expansion fared on an extra-European stage. It equally follows subsequent processes of intercultural exchange and military adaptation in Angola and explores how they ultimately resulted in a unique and hybridized style of warfare shared by both Portuguese and West Central Africans armies, offering a non-Eurocentric perspective of this conflict. Lastly, it places the conquest of Angola within the broader narratives of the Military Revolution and evaluates how the conflict in West Central Africa supports or dismisses the military revolution thesis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe First World Empire
Subtitle of host publicationPortugal, War and Military Revolution
EditorsHélder Carvalhal, André Murteira, Roger Lee de Jesus
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter10
Pages169-185
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781000372823
ISBN (Print)9780367365509
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2021

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