Date of Award

January 1937

Degree Type



English and Portuguese relations had their beginning in the old defensive alliances of the fourteenth century. In the seventeenth century these alliances took on commercial features. The Methuen Treaty of 1703 was the first definite commercial agreement. Between 1898 and 1909 England became intensely interested in the Portuguese African colonies. She realized that Portugal's grave financial status, at the end of the nineteenth century, would lead to the seizure of her colonies by some strong European power. She desired to be that power. In attempting to conclude treaties that would make her the natural heir of these African colonies, she came into conflict with Germany, who entered in the colonial field late, and who was determined that there would be no transfer of any African colonies without her sharing in it. The bickerings and contests of England and Germany over the Portuguese African colonies furnish the main theme of this paper. This study is based primarily on the British Documents, volumes I, II, III, VI, and VIII. It is believed that some new evidence is given since Fay's Origins of the World War and Langer's The Diplomacy of Imperialism were published before some of these volumes appeared.