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About Madeira : History Last Updated: Jun 28, 2008 - 12:29:23 AM

A Timeline of the History of Madeira
By Jorge Barbosa
Apr 29, 2007 - 9:45:41 PM

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On a return visit to Porto Santo the Captain spots dense cloud in the distance south west of the island of Porto Santo and sees the outline of another bigger island. Upon visiting the larger island they come across dense wooded forest and choose to name the newly added Portuguese territory “ Ilha da Madeira”, or “Wood Island” in English.


Colonisation begins. The first settlers set fire to the dense forest near the areas where conditions are ideal for the cultivation of sugar cane. Sugar – the white gold – transforms the island into a rapidly important economic unit for the Portuguese crown. Mostly noble families are entrusted to these ventures.


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