The country’s profile
The Portuguese found these islands when they are attempting to find a route to India through the South of Africa. They gave the name Cape Verde to the archipelago because it was near to a cape in the continent which previously they gave the same name.
The island was discovered in 1460 by the sailors Antonio da Noli, a sailor from Genève onthe service oh Portuguese ships belonged to Infant D. Fernando (Andrade, Elisa). In 1462 the king D, Afonso V offered the islands to is brother, the Prince d. Fernando (Almeida). In 1466, settlers from Algarve (a Portuguese meridian region) came to the islands. They beg to the crown the licence to start the importation of African people from the coast to the islands to work in the land exploration.So far they started the importation of slaves.
However, some scholars defend that in Santiago there were a few number of fishermen’s that often come to the Island of Santiago searching for fish and to the island of Santiago searching for salt and them return to Africa to change them for gold (Andrade, Martine). From 1460 the Portuguese started the settlement and the royal decree thatreclaimed the islands as Portuguese possession was just promulgated in 1994 (Martine).
Merchants from the Canary Islands, France and Italy often came to the islands to make trade. The city of Ribeira Grande in Santiago Island acquired a great importance. Because this French and English pirates often started to plunder the islands. Cassard, a French pirate in 1712 ran an attack that came to end thePortuguese rule on the west coast. His fleet ruined completely Ribeira Grande. Thus, they moved the capital to the village of Praia Maria (Andrade, Almeida).
In the XVIII century Cape Verde was a land of seafarers recruited for whale fishing and a port of call for Portuguese vessels bound for Brazil. It was a hub of the slave trade between West Africa and the new World. This because the islandsenjoy an ideal location 500 km from the African coast and 2600 km from Brasil (Marine Martine, 41).
The Cape Verdeans trade was based in some manufactured products, mines of salt and the port services and slavery trade. In XVI century the most important products were: goat’s skins and leather, tallow, cotton, horses and sugar. In the XVII the most important product was the whales (exported toBrazil). Cape Verde was an exporter colony till XIX century but from the early XX it became an importer colony (Almeida). About the trade with Africa, they exported Cape Verdean cloths to the African mainland. The islands continued basically agricultural and for services without significant technological innovations
With the European industrial revolution the manufactured Cape Verdeans productslost all the market. With the end of slavery in the nineteenth century Cape Verde was just like a colony of recruitment services and manpower to the colonies.
The colonization of the islands was not at the same time. Brava, the smallest populated island, of Cape Verde was occupied from 1680. That year, the Volcano of the Fogo Island entered into eruption in a large scale. Then, people fromthis island went for the neighbor island of Brava looking for safety and decided to stay there. The settlement of the island of Sao Vicente and Sal only occurred in the seventeenth century. The settlement of Sao Vincent was because of the construction of a port and installation of warehouses of coal to supply ships sailing in the Atlantic. The settlement of the island of Sal was because of theproduction of Salt.
Rayal Almeida is a Cape Verdean origins’ scholar in the Harvard University. He made a chronology about some important events in the history of Cape Verde. We will present a table with the most relevant records. He referred about aspects such as famines suffered by the islanders, the emigration to the United States, the successes and acts of Cape Verdeans living in the U.S....
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