Naval War College Review


Globalization, as a form of worldwide economic expansion and global interac- tion, can trace its origins back more than five hundred years to the expan- sion of Europe and to the first Euro- pean maritime empire, established by Portugal. From this beginning, the story of globalization is traced through the better-known eras of Spanish, Dutch, French, and British maritime domi- nance to our present modern phase of more sophisticated global interaction. Although the earlier maritime empires were based on separate, competing maritime economies rather than the current ideal of a single global econ- omy, these earlier examples of develop- ment are important to understand in terms of their limitations and successes. Among these maritime empires, the history of Portugal’s contribution has been the least well known to the anglophone world.