History of Cape Verdes
The history of Cape Verde begins in the second half of the 15th century with the discovery and settlement of the Cape Verde Islands by seafarers in Portuguese services. It is unclear whether the archipelago was known to exist in ancient times .
For centuries the Cape Verde Islands were under Portuguese colonial rule . A Creole culture and language developed that combined the influences of the Portuguese motherland with the cultural heritage of the many African slaves . During this time, the different parts of the population were mixed into the numerically dominant Mulatto ethnic group, neither completely African nor European in appearance and culture, which contributed to the development of a Cape Verdean identity. Economic decline began in the 19th century; With the end of slavery, a strong emigration began, especially to New England .
After a protracted struggle for independence from Portugal, the independent state of Cape Verde was created in 1975 , which has had relatively democratic structures in comparison with Africa since 1990.
Presumed mentions in ancient times
The Ilhas do Cabo Verde (Islands of the Green Cape) were named by Antonio da Noli after Cabo Verde ("Green Cape"), the western tip of Africa, located north of Dakar in Senegal , which is almost at the same latitude , because it is from ancient times The navigation point for approaching the archipelago was not used as an indication of natural conditions such as fauna or the climate of the islands.
Ancient writers were probably aware of the existence of this cape, even if it is not entirely clear whether the cape Hesperu ceras , which Pomponius Mela and Pliny the Elder mention, is to be equated with Cabo Verde. Pliny the Elder reports that the sea voyage from Hesperu ceras to the Gorgaden to Xenophon Lampsacenus took two days by ship. According to the geographer Sebosus, the boat trip from the Canary Islands via the Gorgaden to the Hesperides in the Gulf of Guinea is 40 days. Even Arrian are for the return journey Hanno from the Hesperides in his work Indica to a required travel time of 35 days.
Mela and Pliny also mention the Gorgaden , the islands of the Gorgons on which Perseus is said to have cut off their heads, some of which have been equated with Cape Verde. In ancient times it was also assumed that the Carthaginian navigator Hanno landed on this island , killed and skinned two female beings known as gorillai and exhibited their fur in the temple of the Tanit in Carthage - together with Hannos' report on his journey. However, the reported Hannos himself and the location of the visited volcano Theon Ochema suggest that this event took place in the Gulf of Guinea and not on Cape Verde. The Cape Verde Islands are not mentioned in the work of the geographer Claudius Ptolemy . However, already before - namely at the latest after the destruction of Carthage in 146 BC. BC - the Punic trade in the western Atlantic collapsed. Even Polybius found no more evidence of earlier Carthaginian trade, which can be clearly proven by Herodotus and Pseudo-Scylax as well as on the basis of archaeological evidence in Morocco and Mauritania.
Further location information in mythical tales from the ancient Mediterranean was related to Cape Verde. So there is the ascription that Hesiod's happy islands are identical to Cape Verde. However, none of these sources say that the islands were entered or that settlements were built on them.
Presumed entering before the arrival of the Europeans
There is no record of possible early entry into the archipelago from the African continent. Due to the prevailing winds and ocean currents, however, the possibility is plausible that the islands were discovered undocumented at an early stage by fishermen from the Senegalese or Guinean coast (from the ethnic groups of the Moors , Wolof , Serer or Lébou ).
Arabs may also have entered Cape Verde. The historian Jaime Cortesão reported a legend that the Arabs headed for an island called Aulil or Ulil in order to extract salt from naturally occurring salt pans . This description coincides with the natural conditions of the island of Sal .
European discovery and exploration
The first discovery of the islands is controversial due to a lack of clear evidence and attributed to several seafarers in the service of the Portuguese Prince Henry the Seafarer . In 1456, either Diogo Gomes or the Venetian Alvise Cadamosto (this one in Boa Vista ) is said to have set foot on the islands for the first time, others attribute this to the Genoese Antonio da Noli in 1458 , who explored the rest of the archipelago with Gomes over the course of the following decade and was considered by the king Discoverer of the island of Santiago .
In 1462 King Alfonso V transferred the islands to his brother Prince Ferdinand, who later divided the island of Santiago in two, transferred the administration to Portuguese nobles and released the island for settlement. The European settlement began in Ribeira Grande ("large stream", later Cidade Velha , since 2005 again Ribeira Grande de Santiago ) on the south side of Santiago. The first settlers were Portuguese exiles and pardoned criminals, Flemish and Genoese adventurers, and Sephardic Jews from the Iberian Peninsula.
Settlement and establishment of the colony
Captain António da Noli, who sailed on behalf of the Portuguese Prince Henry the Navigator, was appointed the first governor of the islands . In 1461 he began the settlement of the archipelago in the name of the Portuguese crown with a small Portuguese military station on the main island of Santiago (Portuguese São Tiago) and on the island of Fogo . In 1462 the city of Ribeira Grande was founded on Santiago (today Cidade Velha ), the first permanently inhabited European settlement in the tropics . From 1461 onwards, Cape Verde played a role militarily and economically as a Portuguese military station and outpost for further expeditions around Africa and for the extraction of rosella tinctoria , a lichen found in Santo Antão .
A little later, the settlers, mainly from the Algarve , received the royal right to bring black slaves from the West African coast to the islands and to trade with them. They should make the colonists' lives easier. With them the mining of salt on Sal and the cultivation of sugar cane , coffee and tropical fruits in the emerging plantation economy were accomplished. The residents of Cape Verde also received the royal monopoly for slave and other trade on the west coast of Africa. The blacks enslaved were mainly Balanta , Papel , Bijagó and Mende from the Guinean and Ghanaian coasts. The trade in arms, iron, ships and nautical equipment was excluded from the trade monopoly, and a 25 percent profit tax had to be paid to the Portuguese court.
Many settlers had emigrated without families or partners and soon mingled with the enslaved sections of the population. The proportion of mulattos in the total population rose rapidly. Many of these mulattos ( Lançados ) settled on the west coast of Africa, especially in Guinea . There they formed a better-off middle class among the locals and were essentially responsible for the expansion of the slave trade into the hinterland. These lançados were the first clear signs of Cape Verde as the center of early modern West African trade.
Expansion of the colony
From 1500 to around 1620, the island of Santiago played an important role in the transatlantic slave trade as a transshipment and supply station. The slaves in Santiago were traded in three categories: boçais ("stupid", they only spoke their African mother tongue), ladino ("Latins", they already knew Creole and were baptized) and naturais ("native", slaves born in Cape Verde ). In 1495, the Church of Our Mother of the Holy Rosary was built in Ribeira Grande, the first Christian church south of the Sahara . Shortly afterwards, a seminary and a convent were built, and later the probably first cathedral in Africa. With the posting of a governor general, the island also received the official status of a Portuguese colony. The first census took place in Cape Verde in 1513 . 162 inhabitants were counted, including 58 whites, 16 free blacks and twelve priests, the rest were soldiers and prisoners. About 13,000 slaves lived on the island at the same time.
Rise to the prosperous colony
As early as 1532, the settlement of Ribeira Grande received city rights , and the Portuguese king established an independent diocese for Cape Verde, the clerical administration of the islands was in the hands of the Order of Christ , as well as for the other Portuguese colonies. After the construction of the cathedral in Ribeira Grande and the establishment of a Cape Verdean diocese, the missionary work on the west coast of Africa began from here; however, the first investiture of a Cape Verdean as a bishop was not made until 1975 .
The increased prosperity caused by the slave trade also drew the eyes of pirates and privateers to the islands. Ribeira Grande was sacked and pillaged by Sir Francis Drake in 1582 and 1585 . The slaves who escaped during the attacks by English, French and Dutch privateers formed small communities in the interior of Santiago that were supposed to ensure survival in freedom (these groups are known as badius ). In 1582 only twelve percent of the residents of Cape Verde were free.
Despite recurring droughts , famines and epidemics as well as pirate attacks, the archipelago developed economically over the next centuries due to the slave trade. In 1620 the English began trading salt from the islands of Maio and Sal . Due to the frequent presence of English freighters, the city of Vila do Maio was also known as Porto Inglês ("English port").
Economic decline between the 18th and 20th centuries
As the importance of Brazil for the Portuguese royal family increased, that of the Cape Verde colony continued to decline. After the city of Ribeira Grande was almost completely destroyed by the French in 1712, it lost more and more importance compared to Praia , which in 1770 finally became the new capital of Cape Verde, as it was better protected against attacks.
From 1747 the islands had to struggle with regularly recurring periods of drought; thousands died in the resulting famines. The deforestation of the islands through the use of wood and overgrazing had dried them out, and the process of desertification , the consequences of which can still be seen on some islands today, had begun. In 1774 there was a great famine in which around 22,000 people died. All livestock perished on Brava and Maio . The population of Fogos fell from 5700 to 4200. During three major periods of drought in the 18th and 19th centuries, over 100,000 people starved to death in the archipelago. As a colony mostly populated by slaves, Cape Verde received no help from the Portuguese government during any drought.
Around 1740 the islands became a supply point for American slavers and whalers . This was also the beginning of an all-male emigration to the USA, especially to New England, where a large Cape Verdean diaspora community still lives today and has since contributed a considerable part of the income there with payments to the archipelago. Due to the difficult situation, emigration increased more and more. The first popular destination for emigrants from Cape Verde were the transatlantic coastal cities in the New England states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island . This goal was also due to American whalers, who from 1810, in search of good fishing grounds, headed for the waters around Cape Verde and recruited large parts of their crews on Brava and Fogo . Many Cape Verdeans later emigrated to Europe or West Africa; there are important Cape Verdean communities in Portugal, France, the Netherlands, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal and the Ivory Coast.
The Cape Verdean textile industry also made an important contribution to economic output. The weaving technique brought with them by African slaves, which was further refined on Cape Verde, produced sought-after barter objects for the coast of Africa. Since the non-royally licensed trade on the coast for Cape Verdeans was forbidden with the death penalty, the textiles became a popular object of exchange for smuggling and black market, as their value was very high and their origin was difficult to prove. Between 1766 and 1776, 95,000 barafulas (Cape Verdean full-body textiles ) were exported to the Guinean coast.
Among other things, because the operation of large fields and plantations was no longer possible, landowners now often let their slaves free. As a result, the proportion of the slave population steadily declined, and formally free “pardos” - people with ancestors of both African and European origins - soon made up the vast majority of the population. The abolition of slavery hit the islands' economy hard. They lost their most important economic factor and gradually slipped into economic insignificance.
Only the salt trade under English control revived the otherwise languishing economy until the large natural port of the city of Mindelo on São Vicente blossomed in 1850 . English coal trading companies made it the fourth largest coal port for supplying the rapidly growing transatlantic steam shipping . When the coal trade was already dwindling from the 1880s, nine transatlantic submarine cables converging on São Vicente replaced part of the importance of the island and the city of Mindelo. After this brief boom at the end of the 19th century, the economy finally collapsed in the course of the First World War due to the restricted shipping traffic. Epidemics and volcanic eruptions also contributed to the impoverishment of the islands, without the Portuguese state taking any action.
The Cape Verdean culture was particularly shaped by the experience of emigration and loss. In the second half of the 19th century the literary and musical movement of the melancholy Mornas emerged , the most important representative of which was the national poet Eugénio Tavares from Brava .
Cape Verde at the time of the "Estado Novo" under Salazar
Under the fascist military dictatorship of the Estado Novo in Portugal from 1928 by António de Oliveira Salazar and General Marcelo Caetano , the economy recovered somewhat in the 1930s. A French company built a professional saltworks and railway on Sal , and a canning factory for tuna was opened in Santa Maria. Although the Cape Verdeans were traditionally treated badly by the Portuguese colonial rulers, they fared better than the other Africans colonized by Portugal due to their slightly lighter skin color (due to the strong intermingling with immigrant Portuguese). Cape Verde, for example, had the first higher education school in the Portuguese colonies. The illiteracy rate was only around 70 percent compared to 95 percent in Portuguese Guinea (now Guinea-Bissau).
In the first years of the Second World War , the German warfare evidently expressed their interest in the strategically located islands vis-à-vis the neutral Salazar regime and stationed some ships undercover in the port of Mindelo as a base for Atlantic voyages to Portugal - after the British government under Winston Churchill Had shown interest in Cape Verde - from April 1941 several thousand soldiers gathered on the archipelago, probably to secure their own sovereignty. Shortly before the start of the war, Fascist Italy - contractually assured - began to expand an airport on Sal to enable transatlantic flights , from which the most important Cape Verdean airport Amílcar Cabral emerged . There were a number of deployments of submarines and warships in the vicinity of the archipelago.
The autonomy status changed in 1951 when it was linked to the Portuguese motherland as a Portuguese overseas province . Black African residents of Cape Verde now had the opportunity to be legally recognized as an assimilado if certain criteria were met . This status granted extensive equality with the Portuguese in the mother country.
The right-wing dictatorship also pursued the goal of extracting the greatest possible benefit from the colonies for the motherland Portugal. For this purpose, force was used rigorously ( Pijiguiti massacre ). The aspirations for independence were much less pronounced on Cape Verde than in the mainland colonies, but Cape Verdean intellectuals like Amílcar Cabral were heavily involved in the struggle for freedom; many Cape Verdeans fought in Guinea-Bissau . In 1956 Cabral founded the PAIGC (African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verdes, later PAICV) together with other Pan-Africanists . During the Estado Novo, Cape Verde gained notoriety through the Tarrafal concentration camp on the island of Santiago, where many insurgents from the colonies and regime critics from the motherland were imprisoned. The Chão Bom camp became a much discussed topic in Cape Verdean poetry and in the melancholy songs of the Morna . The Portuguese colonies fought by far the longest struggle for independence of all African colonies, which was not to end until the 1970s ( Carnation Revolution ).
Struggle for independence under Amílcar Cabral
In the 1950s, circles of pan-African students from the colonies formed at Portuguese universities. They included Amílcar Cabral , Eduardo Mondlane , founder of the Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (Mozambique Liberation Front, FRELIMO ) and Agostinho Neto , first president of the Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (People's Front for the Liberation of Angola, MPLA ). Many Cape Verdean intellectuals, above all Cabral, shaped the common anti-fascist, anti-colonial and pan-African movement that brought down the fascist Salazar regime in Portugal on April 25, 1974. In 1956, Cabral, a son of Cape Verdeans born in Guinea, founded the PAIGC. After the massacre of striking dock workers in the port of Pijiguiti (Guinea-Bissau) in 1959, the party's organized armed resistance against the colonial power began and lasted for 13 years.
Widespread unrest forced the new Portuguese government to start negotiations on the independence of the colonies. Under the chairmanship of a Portuguese High Commissioner, a transitional government was formed in Cape Verde and there were elections for the constituent assembly, in which - despite the participation of other parties - the Partido Africano para a Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde ( PAIGC , African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde) dominated and won all seats in the constituent assembly. As its name suggests, this party sought union with Guinea-Bissau. On January 20, 1973, Cabral was shot dead at his Conakry headquarters . It is unclear whether it was from agents of the colonial government or from a former Guinean companion out of jealousy or revenge. The party's problem was that its leadership consisted largely of Cape Verdeans, with the population of Guinea being much larger than that of Cape Verde. He was succeeded by his half-brother Luís Cabral .
Independence and one-party state
On September 24, 1973, the PAIGC unilaterally declared independence from Portugal through Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde as a common state. The new state is quickly recognized by the USA and other anti-colonialist states (Eastern Bloc). It was recognized by Portugal a year later after the Carnation Revolution . Luís Cabral , a Cape Verdean and half-brother of the murdered Amilcar, became the country's first president. Almost six months later, the Portuguese military overthrew the Salazar regime in Lisbon, and the attitude of both the new Portuguese government and the public towards the colonies changed fundamentally. It is no longer seen as sensible to suppress the aspirations for independence. In Boston the lawyers Aguinaldo Veiga , Roy Teixeira and António Macedo declare Cape Verde to be independent again on February 22, 1975. In front of the hotel in question, there were counter-demonstrations by the PAIGC-USA, the sister party of the Marxist-oriented PAIGC. The demonstrators protested against the fact that - as they saw it - a group of capitalist-minded Cape Verdean lawyers declared themselves spokesmen for the Cape Verdean people. The lawyers wanted to prevent the transfer of power from Portugal to the PAIGC. The party União Cabo-verdiana Independente e Democrática (UCID) emerged not least from their ranks and from groups of Cape Verdeans living in the diaspora .
On July 5, 1975, the PAIGC once again proclaimed independence from Portugal. This left-wing national liberation movement made itself a single ruling party. The first president was Aristides Pereira , former general secretary of the party, Prime Minister of the command of the troops in Guinea, Pedro Pires . The new state was recognized by many nations on the day it was founded, including the United States. A year later, Cape Verde opened its first embassy in Washington. The PAIGC used its majority in the elections to expand the one-party system and to expand its power. Free trade unions were banned, a unified trade union was founded and Cape Verde was declared a one-party state. Now that Portugal was no longer responsible for the country, the essential problems only became clearly visible. The islands can only produce 20 percent of the food they need themselves, 25 percent of the national gross national product was covered by foreign exchange from the emigrants.
Separation from Guinea-Bissau
Tensions between Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau from their shared colonial history broke out. The colonial administration of both areas was in Guinea-Bissau, but foreign trade was controlled by Cape Verdeans. These derived from the resulting wealth a claim to leadership, which in turn was not covered by the population. The ethnic differences also led to differences, because significantly more people of European descent lived on Cape Verde. After an anti-Cape Verdean coup in Guinea-Bissau by Nino Vieira , the party disbanded in 1981. The President of the Union, Luís Cabral, a Cape Verdean, was able to flee to Cape Verde in time. While she kept the name in Guinea-Bissau, she renamed herself in Cape Verde in PAICV Partido Africano da Independência de Cabo Verde . In the 1985 elections, the PAICV received 94.5 percent of all votes, but there were voices calling for democratization. Prime Minister Pires started the process of opening up ( Abertura ) to more democracy. Cape Verde received the highest per capita share of all West African countries in development aid in the 1980s (US $ 246 per inhabitant per year).
Introduction of the multi-party system and democratization
The one-party state came to an end with a constitutional amendment in 1990 that introduced a multi-party system. In the same year the opposition founded the Movement for Democracy ( Movimento para a democracia , MpD ). In the first democratic free elections in 1991, it became the strongest force with an overwhelming absolute majority (78 percent). António M. Monteiro , former chairman of the highest Cape Verdean court, became president of the “second republic” and in the following decade pursued a neoliberal market economy-oriented policy and decentralization through districts ( concelhos ).
Constitutional amendments in 1993 strengthened the position of the Prime Minister and gave the President a role as a representative and moral institution, similar to that of Western European democracies. In 1995 cholera broke out in Cape Verde . 10,000 infections and 210 deaths make it clear that the country still belongs to the third world. The 2001 National Assembly elections returned the PAICV to government with a social democratic profile. Pedro de Verona Rodrigues Pires became the new president. In 1996, for the first time in history, a Cape Verdean team took part in the Olympic Games in Atlanta.
In the general election in January 2006 , the PAICV was able to expand its lead to a solid absolute majority (41 of 72 seats) and in February 2006 President Pedro Pires was confirmed in the direct presidential election. The main goals of the government remained to reduce poverty and increase the efficiency of the state and the economy. The economy experienced the greatest growth in the 2000s in the field of tourism, especially on the otherwise rather desolate island of Sal , which has hardly any fertile soil, but many excellent sandy beaches and sections of sea suitable for surfers. The facilities formerly used as salt pans have also been converted into so-called medicinal baths. The Spanish tourism group RIU built a second giant hotel on Sal. The biggest problem remained, especially on Sal, the supply of drinking water; the seawater desalination plants built no longer even meet the needs of the locals.
In 2009 the former capital of the archipelago with its colonial buildings, Cidade Velha, was declared the country's first UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In the 2011 parliamentary election , the PAICV was able to maintain its absolute majority with 38 of the 72 seats, while the candidate of the opposition center-right Movimento para a Democracia (MpD), Jorge Carlos Fonseca , won the presidential election in August 2011 . He was confirmed in office with almost three quarters of the votes in the election in October 2016 with a turnout of only around 40 percent. In April 2016, the MpD won an absolute majority in the parliamentary elections and thus took over the government from Prime Minister José Maria Neves (PAICV), who has been in office since 2001 . He was followed by the MPD chairman Ulisses Correia e Silva .
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- Volume 3: Centro de Estudos de História e Cartografia Antiga, Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical, Lisbon / Instituto Nacional de Investigação, Promoção e Património Culturais de Cabo Verde, Praia 2002, ISBN 972-672-915-7 .
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- Reinhard Küchler: Cape Verde history: The development of salt mining and export on Cape Verde. In: Kapverde-Journal.de , December 11, 2008.
- Michael Scotti-Rosin: Creole Languages and Cultures in Lusophonie. In: Kapverde-Journal.de , May 2, 2005.
- Ben Cahoon: Cape Verde. In: Worldstatesmen.org (English).
- História. In: Cabo Verde Info (Portuguese).
- ↑ This is what Giovanni Matteo Cretico, Paesi Novamente retrovati , advocates in the 16th century . Et Novo Mondo da Alberico Vesputio Florentino intitulato. Vicenza 1507, annotated edition, Herzog-August-Bibliothek , annotation.
- ^ Deirdre Meintel: Cape Verdean Transnationalism, Old and New. In: Anthropologica. ISSN 0003-5459 , Vol. 44, 2002, pp. 25-42; Heike Drotbohm: Creole configurations of return between compulsion and refuge. The importance of home visits in Cape Verde. In: Journal of Ethnology . Vol. 136 (2011), Issue 2: Afroatlantische Allianzen / Afro-Atlantic Alliances , pp. 311-330.
- ↑ Felix Schürmann: Beyond the unambiguous: The history of Cape Verde subverts common theories of racism. In: iz3w. Issue 339, 2013, pp. 41–44.
- ↑ Reinhard Küchler: History: The Cape Verde Islands during the Second World War. In: Kapverde-Journal.de , December 6, 2003.
- ↑ Reinhard Küchler: Cape Verdean history: The murder of Amilcar Cabral in 1973 in Conakry. In: Kapverde-Journal.de , July 4, 2003.
- ↑ Reinhard Küchler: Information on the current development of tourism on Cape Verde. In: Kapverde-Journal.de , November 23, 2006.
- ↑ Reinhard Küchler: Cidade Velha named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In: Kapverde-Journal.de , June 28, 2009.
- ↑ Jorge Carlos Fonseca reeleito Presidente de Cabo Verde. In: Jornal de Notícias . October 3, 2016 (Portuguese).
- ^ Maria Manuel Ferraz Torrão: História Geral de Cabo Verde - Um projecto de cooperação e utiidade prática. In: IICT.pt , June 11, 2007.
- ↑ See the entry on WorldCat .