cape verde palms
Photo by Victor Svistunov on Unsplash

When Was Cape Verde Discovered?

When was Cape Verde discovered?

The archipelago had not been inhabited until 1456 when three Portuguese navigators arrived and described it as being uninhabited and “void of people”. Alvise Cadamosto, Antoniotto Usodimare (a Venetian captain), and Diogo Gomes were sent there by Henry the Navigator in an effort to open up new trade routes between West Africa and India.

After six years, they founded Ribeira Grande on Sao Tiago in 1462 – the first European settlement in the tropics. Five years later (1586), Portugal united all of the islands and Cape Verde became a crown colony of Portugal.

Cape Verdean slavery was a major source of wealth during the 19th century. But droughts caused a series of shortages which brought about mass migration during the 20th century.

Today, the archipelago is a popular holiday destination for visitors. Despite being an island nation with limited natural resources, it has managed to achieve political and economic stability.

Tourism has grown into a significant sector of the economy and provides valuable foreign currency. As such, the country is net recipient of migrants, with more residents living abroad than within its borders.

The majority of the population are descendants of Portuguese settlers and African slaves, ranging in skin color from white to black. It’s a multi-cultural society largely Catholic with several African traditional religions practiced as well as several Protestant churches.

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