Key developments of 1530

In 1529 CE, we looked at some momentous events inside the European heartland. Today, looking at 1530 CE, some of the most notable strands of the story of the emergence of European-origined imperialisms onto the world scene are developments that happened in the “ROW” (rest of the world):

  • In February, a Spanish conquistador in the West of today’s Mexico captured Tangaxuan II, the head of the Tarascan State, an entity formed in the early 1300s CE that was the second-largest state in Central America, was opposed to the Aztec Empire, and had several impressive administrative, architectural,  and metallurgical capabilities. (See a pre-Columbian statue from the area, above.) Tarasca had been in vassalage to Spain since 1522. But the local  conquistador (Nuño de Guzmán) thought Tangaxuan II had been rebellious, opposed him and killed him. Nuño then tried installing a series of more pliant puppet leaders. But they didn’t work out either and in 1543 Tarasca was incorporated into the directly Spanish-ruled governorate of Michoacán.
  • In Portuguese-empire affairs, in December King John III felt some threat from the presence of French ships off the coast of Brazil. So he sent his buddy Martim Afonso de Sousa at the head of a fleet to reassert Portuguese control there. His mission was to place Portuguese markers as far south as the River Plate estuary, but he was shipwrecked there. After returning to São Vicente and Santos two years later, in 1532 he led troops guided by  native inhabitants and  earlier Portuguese settlers up the Serra do Mar mountains to the area near the future village of São Paulo. At the coast, meanwhile, he established a sugar mill near the coast at São Vicente, with sugarcane brought from the Portuguese Cape Verde islands. English-WP tells us that “In both activities, Afonso de Sousa established a pattern followed by Portuguese colonizers and Brazilians for long afterward: the… explorations and raids into the interior – and the production of sugar along the coast for export.”
  • Near-contemporary record of Babur crossing the Indus, from the Baburnama

    Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire, died in Agra (in today’s India.) He had been born in the Fergana Valley (in today’s Uzbekistan), a descendant of  both Timur (Tamerlane) and Genghis Khan. The Encyc. Brit. tells us that at the time of his death, his empire included all of northern India from the Indus River on the west to Bihar on the east and from the Himalayas south to Gwalior. The Mughals, who were Muslims, would “become noted for their well-organized government, sophisticated culture, and their attempt to integrate Hindus and Muslims into a united Indian state.”