Vasco Da Gama

Topics: Portugal, Kerala, Portuguese India Pages: 2 (603 words) Published: April 25, 2012
Second voyage

Main article: 4th Portuguese India Armada (Gama, 1502)

Malabar Coast of India, c.1500, showing the path of Vasco da Gama's 4th India Armada in 1502. The follow-up expedition, the Second India Armada launched in 1500, was placed under the command Pedro Álvares Cabral, with the mission of making a treaty with the Zamorin of Calicut and setting up a Portuguese factory in the city. However, Cabral entered into a conflict with the local Arab merchant guilds, with the result that the Portuguese factory was overrun in a riot and up to 70 Portuguese killed. Cabral blamed the Zamorin for the incident and bombarded the city. Thus war broke out between Portugal and Calicut. Vasco da Gama invoked his royal letter to take command of the 4th India Armada, secheduled to set out in 1502, with the explicit aim of taking revenge upon the Zamorin and force him to submit to Portuguese terms. The heavily-armed fleet of fifteen ships and eight hundred men left Lisbon on 12 February 1502. One of the squadrons was led by his cousin, Estêvão da Gama (the son of Aires da Gama), and two of his maternal uncles, Vicente Sodré and Brás Sodré, were pre-designated to command an Indian Ocean naval patrol. Along the way, on the outgoing voyage, Gama's fleet opened contact with the East African gold port of Sofala, and reduced the sultanate of Kilwa to tribute, extracting a substantial sum of gold. On reaching India in October 1502, da Gama started capturing any Arab vessel he came across in Indian waters, most notoriously the Miri, a pilgrim ship from Mecca, whose passengers he had massacred in open water.[24] He then appeared before Calicut, demanding redress for the treatment meted out to Cabral. While the Zamorin was willing to sign a new treaty,[25] Gama made a preposterous call to the Hindu king to expel all Muslims from Calicut before beginning negotiations, which was naturally turned down. The Portuguese fleet then bombarded the city for nearly two days from the sea...
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