Article of the Week | BYU Studies

Article of the Week

The Rise and Fall of Portugal's Maritime Empire, a Cautionary Tale?
July 30, 2018
Article of the Week
The Rise and Fall of Portugal's Maritime Empire, a Cautionary Tale?
Author Frederick G. Williams,

This daily feature is the introduction to a full article by Frederick G. Williams that was published in our newest issue, 57:2. To read the full text of this article, follow the link below.

The pioneering role that Portugal played during the European Age of Discovery is little known in American, and Mormon, education. Portugal was a world leader in (1) maritime technology; (2) map making; (3) commercial trade and political treaties; and (4) the introduction of Christianity on five continents. These religious, economic, agricultural, linguistic, and cultural exchanges were recorded by Portuguese scientists, historians, clerics, and poets, but their works are rarely cited because Portugal's influence was taken from them by England, Holland, and France in the seventeenth century. The author also asserts that the riches and power Portugal amassed led to wickedness and proved to be the nation's downfall, a pattern that is repeated in the Book of Mormon and throughout the history of all civilizations.