Portugal vs. Spain: Who had the more dominant empire?

More dominant empire?

  • Spain

    Votes: 15 88.2%
  • Portugal

    Votes: 2 11.8%

  • Total voters
    17
Oct 2014
31
Toronto
#1
Portugal had Brazil in the Americas, plus the southern-eastern oceanic route to the orient and Macau, while Spain had the Philippines plus a large chunk of central and south America.

Which empire was more dominant as a world power: Spain or Portugal?
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,715
Portugal
#2
Portugal had Brazil in the Americas, plus the southern-eastern oceanic route to the orient and Macau, while Spain had the Philippines plus a large chunk of central and south America.

Which empire was more dominant as a world power: Spain or Portugal?
Spain also had a good part of North America, don’t know why is so common to refer only the Spanish American colonies in Central and South America.

I don’t know about what specific timeline you are thinking, but to answer to you, for the 16th century, the two Empires where quite different.

Portugal was mostly a thalassocracy. A trade Empire with key strongpoints dispersed from Africa to Asia. By the way, the key strongpoint in Asia was Goa, not Macau.

Spain finished its Reconquista quite later, was a bigger kingdom, or better a collection of kingdoms, and had more resources, human and military, so the colonies, in America and in Asia, as well as the case in the Canary Islands, where for the most part a continuation of the Reconquista process. Trade was rarely on the table. There was conquest of land, colonization and exploration. That only happened for the Portuguese much later, already in the 17th century, and only in Brazil, and in the 19th century in Africa.

As for the most dominant? They were separated by the Tordesilhas Treaty. Each one had their specific zone, even when the two shared the same kings from 1580 to 1640. but as I said, Spain had more resources and for the fact that also controlled territories in Italy and in the Low Countries, it had a more direct interference in the European affairs. I think we can say that Portugal had a slightly naval advance in the 15th century and beginning of the 16th, but Spain quickly catch up.
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,027
Spain
#3
I think question is wrong. It is not possible to say Portugal vs Spain in 16 (not even in 18th) Century... as to say who was strongest.. Prussia or Germany in 19th Century? We can Speak about Portugal vs Castilla-Aragón-Navarre.
I know you are talking about a 2019 man.. not as a 1519 man. Spain was Portugal and Castille!
So about your issue who was strongest...I would say Castille-Aragon-Navarre. (80% Spain vs 20%).. By other side Brazil didn´t belong to Portugal but to Castile... and only after Tordesilla.. .a minima part of Brazil belonged to Portugal (around 20%). The other 80% belonged to Castile.

The territories belonged to Castille and to Portugal (both Spain):



As you can see... Brazil belonged 20% Portugal and 80% Castile.

And here the part of Brazil belonged to Castile and the part of Brazil belonged to Portugal





I think Portugal was the main navy in world during 15th Century... but from 1482-92, under the Catholic Monarch reforms... I think Castile-Aragon and later Navarre were stronger than Portugal both in Navy as in Army.
 
Likes: BuckBradley

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,768
#4
It isn't really close. Spain was the most powerful European country for maybe 2 centuries and had a much larger empire. Portugal though had the better empire before 1492 and after 1900.
 

Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
4,947
Canary Islands-Spain
#5
If you look on paper, might you think Spain was stronger, and that is true from 1520 ahead

However, Portugal defeated Spain in the war of the Castilian Sucession. Alfonso V couldn't support Joanna on her claim to the crown of Castile. But the Battle of Toro was won by invading Portuguese army (propaganda was wisely played by Fernando!), and the Portuguese navy defeated the Castillian one in Elmina and other encounters in the Atlantic Ocean. The failure of the Portuguese in the war in the Succession was not military, but political. The Portuguese victory in the colonial war, on the other hand, was almost total.

As a result, Spain resigned of the struggle for the known Atlantic world and beyond (excepting the Canaries). You see this clearly on the map, with all the known world out of Europe assigned to Portugal. Thence the Catholic Kings support to this adventurer that promised an easy path to the Indies
 
Likes: BuckBradley

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,027
Spain
#6
If you look on paper, might you think Spain was stronger, and that is true from 1520 ahead

However, Portugal defeated Spain in the war of the Castilian Sucession. Alfonso V couldn't support Joanna on her claim to the crown of Castile. But the Battle of Toro was won by invading Portuguese army (propaganda was wisely played by Fernando!), and the Portuguese navy defeated the Castillian one in Elmina and other encounters in the Atlantic Ocean. The failure of the Portuguese in the war in the Succession was not military, but political. The Portuguese victory in the colonial war, on the other hand, was almost total.

As a result, Spain resigned of the struggle for the known Atlantic world and beyond (excepting the Canaries). You see this clearly on the map, with all the known world out of Europe assigned to Portugal. Thence the Catholic Kings support to this adventurer that promised an easy path to the Indies
Well Frank.. I agree with you.. but not when you say Portugal defeated Spain.. because the King Joao was the first to write he was a Spanish King!!! So... you say Portugal defeated Castille..
 
Oct 2015
4,808
Matosinhos Portugal
#7
Martin is right 76
My country is bordered by two countries.
Galicia - and Castile Spain


Tem razão martin 76
O meu país faz fronteira com dois países.
Galiza - e Castêla Espanha
 

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