Angola Modern History

According to LOVERISTS, the coastal part of the indigenous state of Angola was occupied in 1574 by Paolo Diaz de Novaes, grandson of the famous Bartholomew, in the name of the king of Portugal. This occupation was a consequence of the ancient relations existing between the neighboring kingdom of Congo and the Portuguese: since Diaz, sent to settle, in 1558, a dispute that arose between the sovereign of Congo and that of Angola, reached Pungo Ndongo on that occasion., capital of Angola. Fifteen years later, he reappeared on the coasts of the state with numerous troops and founded the city of San Paolo di Loanda in 1576.

For some years the Portuguese lived in peace with the natives; but finally these, fearing that the new colonizers wanted to expand the occupation inside, treacherously massacred most of their troops. But Diaz reacted immediately, with the few soldiers left to him; and he undertook a daring and fortunate campaign, following which he was able, dying (1588), to leave the Portuguese dominion strongly established on both sides of the Cuanza river. In 1597 serious attempts were made to colonize Angola, thanks to the sending to that region of 200 Flemings; but they were soon decimated by fevers. A few years later, Angola suffered the repercussions of the war between Spain, to which Portugal was attached, and Holland, which sent ships to plunder S. Tomé, in 1600, and to attack San Paolo di Loanda, in 1602. As soon as the threat of the Dutch invasion disappeared, Angola was attacked by the indigenous leader Cafuche, who was finally defeated by the governor Silveira Pereira. In 1615 he enlarged the colony to the south, thanks to the occupation of the healthy and fertile plateaus of Benguella. Not discouraged either by political events or by the failure of their colonization attempts, the Portuguese, at the beginning of the century. XVII, demonstrating daring and vastness of concepts, nevertheless tried to put their possession in value in some way; and they therefore tried, on several occasions, to establish safe and regular communications, through unknown Africa, between Angola and Mozambique. Among the undertakings attempted at that time to this end, we recall that of Rebello de Aragao, in 1606. Also noteworthy was the work of converting the populations to Christianity: large masses of faithful were formed then, giving the religious movement an intensity, which was then lost over time, due to the abandonment in which the populations were left. However, not even this second phase of properly colonizing activity lasted long; and the greater utility that the Portuguese drew from Angola was reduced to the lucrative slave trade, destined for the Americas, which was systematically organized by them and continued up to the century. XIX. San Paolo di Loanda and Benguella (founded in 1612) are two sadly famous cities in the history of black trafficking.

In 1627, the Portuguese possessions were invaded by the indigenous leaders of the interior, allied with each other and led by the queen of Angola, Ginga Bandi, who had also been baptized by the Portuguese and professed Christianity. In 1641, the rebels found support in the Dutch, who took possession of São Paulo, driving out the Portuguese. As soon as Portugal had regained its independence, it also made peace with Holland in Africa; but the Dutch successfully renewed hostilities in Angola during 1643. With all this, Portugal did not yield and, in 1645, they first sent Sotomayor, governor of Brazil, to Angola, who defeated Queen Ginga Bandi; then, in 1648, another governor of Brazil, De Sà Benevedes, who expelled the Dutch. Angola was again invaded in 1665 by the king of the Congo, Don Antonio, who was rejected on January 1, 1666, in the battle of Ambuilla, by Luiz Lopez de Sequeira; but the natives, resurrected in arms in 1684, managed to take possession of Benguella, where they remained for some time. Angola and Benguella found peace only about 1764, under the governorate of Sousa Coutinho, which introduced appropriate administrative reforms in the colonies and also worked to enhance them, favoring the colonization enterprises of Encoge and Amhaca, on the plateau, and those started in the district of Ambriz, which had been occupied in 1758. Another active governor, the Baron of Mossamedes, founded the city on the Benguella coast that bears his name in 1785.

In the middle of the century. XIX, important migratory currents, coming from Madeira and Brazil, turned towards Angola; and, around 1880, strong nuclei of Boer settlers began to flow into the Benguella plateaus, settling in Humpata and in the Serra da Chela and Serra da Munda region. Colonization was greatly favored by the construction of important railway lines which, starting respectively from San Paolo di Loanda, Benguella and Mossamedes, reach the highlands of the interior and seem destined to become the terminus for interoceanic communications on the African continent. The political boundaries of the Portuguese possessions in West Africa were determined by the convention with Germany of December 30, 1886, with France of May 12, 1886, with England of June 11, 1891.

Angola Modern History