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  MY CASTLE  WEB RING

the GULF IN THE SEVENTEENrH CEMYURY
Abdul Aziz. M. Awad

The Gulf in the Sixteenth Century --The Rise of Portugal
Any discussion within a coherent context of the historical
factors which affected the Arabian Gulf --as it is now known --
in the seventeenth century, requires a brie resU8e 0 the
principal events durinq the previous century in which the basis for European intervention was laid. Perhaps that period was most
strongly marked by the rise of Portuquese influence. The main
Portuquese objective there was to monopolize the trade in spices
and other Eastern luxuries which passed throuqh the Gulf on its
way to Asia and Europe. This involved the seizure of strategic
islalKls and ports around the Gulf region and the control of
navigation within the waters of the Indian ocean.1
The first moves in this direction involved the sending of a
fleet to the region. under Albuquerque as commander. in 1507. The
expedition resulted in the seizure of Rat s al-'add. Muscat
(Masqat). Qalhk, Sohar (Suhar) and kur Fakkan. however , the
commander had an overridinq personal ambition to establish a
great Eastern empire throuqh the erection of impregnable
fortresses at Aden, Diu. 8)rmuz (BurIDuz) and Goa2 and towards
that end , in September 1507, he forced the kinq of hormuz to sign
a treaty which laid down that the king should be restored to his
kinqdom --from which he had been dispossessed by force of arms
--become a vassal of the king of Portuqal and pay an annual
tribute. and hand over an area outside the town, suitable for the
erection of a fortress and a factory. 3
Portuguese influence then waned, however, and a second
expedition to hormuz in 1515 reestablished Portuguese control
over the island.4 Albtquerque now entered into agreement with
Shah IsmaII  of Persia whereby the king of Bormuz would rule in
the name of the Portuquese king, while the Portu9uese themselves
were to provide the Persians with shipping, invade Bahrain
(al-Bahrayn) and al-Qatlf and join the Persians in a military
alliance against the turks.These moves were vitiated by the
rapacity of the Portuguese however. and their behaviour led to a
number of revolts by indigenous populations. In 1522, at the
instiqation of the kinq of hormuz who resented the Portuguese .
preference for Persia. simultaneous revolts broke out in Hormuz ,
Bahrain. Muscat and Sohar .In Bahrain, the Portuquese qovernor
was executed and the garrison expelled by a group of inhabitants
headed by husayn bin Sa'ld. After a short period of independent
rule, however, he came to terms with. the former rulers and
accepted their adviser. 6 In Hormuz .after the revolt had been
crushed, the kinq burned the city and fled to Qishm where he was
killed.7 His son, aged thirteen, succeeded him and, on 1S July
 

 

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