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(Dis)connected EmpiresImperial Portugal, Sri Lankan Diplomacy, and the Making of a Habsburg Conquest in Asia$
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Zoltán Biedermann

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198823391

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198823391.001.0001

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From Allies to Invaders

From Allies to Invaders

Sri Lanka at the Crossroads of Global Iberian Imperialism

(p.162) 7 From Allies to Invaders
(Dis)connected Empires

Zoltán Biedermann

Oxford University Press

The clash of legal and political cultures that unfolded as the idea of conquest began to materialize is the subject of Chapter 7. The main question addressed is whether the new policy of conquest supported by the Habsburg administration can be explained in terms of ‘Spanish influence’ on the Portuguese imperial apparatus. It is argued that the Iberian Union of crowns served as an opportunity for Portuguese reformists to change their own empire. Although orders for the conquest of Ceylon were issued in Madrid, an intricate web of communications spanning half the globe was ultimately a more powerful source of political change than any of the central authorities of the Catholic Monarchy. Emphasis is still placed on the commonalities of Iberian and Lankan political culture, on the possibilities of joint empire-building as well as the impossibilities.

Keywords:   Iberian Union of Crowns, Spanish influence, imperial reform, centralization, private trade, cakravarti, conquest, global communications

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