The first major impetus towards colonization in Africa, Asia and America came from the Iberian Peninsula, which had promoted the most significant of the Voyages of Discovery in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. The dual motive for imperialism was ideology and wealth, aptly expressed by Bernal Diaz, who accompanied the conquistadores into Mexico in 1519: ‘We came here to serve God and also to get rich.’1 Both Spanish and Portuguese imperialism had, therefore, the characteristics of the medieval crusade against Islam and heathendom, while also assuming the more modern role of openly exploiting the capital wealth of overseas dependencies. These possessions bordered on the three major oceans. For Portugal they included the Atlantic islands of Cape Verde, Madeira and the Azores; the coast of Brazil; fortress settlements in East Africa (like Mombasa) and West Africa (like São Jorge); more continuous stretches of African coastline like Angola and Moçambique; bases in the Indian Ocean like Ormuz, Goa, Calicut and Colombo; and scattered posts in the Far East in Macao, Malacca, Java, the Celebes and the Moluccas. Spain’s possessions, rather more compact, included the Canaries, most of the West Indian Islands, the whole of Central America and a substantial area of South America and, almost as an afterthought, the Philippines.