The achievement of the famous Portuguese Vasco da Gama is difficult to overestimate. The brave navigator, having rounded Africa on a ship, was the first European to reach the Indian Peninsula. But besides this, he was a cruel conqueror, who hurt thousands of innocent people …
Thanks to the discoveries of Vasco da Gama, the poor kingdom of Portugal became one of the richest on the mainland.
Vasco da Gama was born in 1469 into the family of the royal governor of Estevan da Gama and his wife Isabel in Sines. Despite his noble birth, the boy grew up with the sons of fishermen, and therefore he learned to swim and sailed a lot. In the evenings, the children gathered around the old sailors, who told them about the adventures. Often there were stories about the African coast, where black people with big lips and bloodshot eyes lived. The Portuguese considered them savages and cannibals, and the boys took for granted the ruin of their settlements. There was no need to look for justifications for this – “in benefit of the crown and of Portugal.”
Vasco became a naval officer and soon received praise from the king himself. The fact is that in 1492 the French corsairs captured the Portuguese caravel with gold from Guinea. The king ordered the young officer to revenge. Vasco and his team, under cover of night, passed along the coast at lightning speed and captured all the ships of the French. Naturally, the enemy resisted, but Da Gama simply did not give them a chance. As a result, France returned the gold in exchange for the seized vessels, and the name of Vasco da Gama was pronounced after the prefix “ferocious corsair”.