This page has been created by Adrián Molina, Sergio Garcia, Daniel Moraleda and Jose Luis Cernuda from 2ºC.

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Editing Page: Adrián Molina
Maps: Daniel Moraleda
Glogster: Sergio García
Presentation: Jose Luis Cernuda


King Ferdinand of Aragón
King Ferdinand of Aragón

1. What it was


The Treaty of Tordesillas was a document created by the Spanish Pope Alexander VI and signed by Ferdinand II king of Aragon, Isabel Iqueen of Castile and John II king of Portugal the 7 June 1494. It was created to prevent a conflict between Spain and Portugal for what of them received the lans discovered by Christopher Columbus.

Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI


2. Origins of the Treaty


Christopher Columbus was a Portuguese by birth. After the death of his wife in 1485, he with his son Diego external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS1mTH8v603bvNv7Krd_l22lKxuAH00tvxWx5Sug8Clm0jVSlL5zgmoved to Spain because the Portuguese ruler did not support his quest for an exploratory voyage.
In Spain, he received the support for the westward voyage to China from the Spanish monarchs, Ferdinand II and Isabel I. They named Columbus "admiral of the ocean seas" and agreed to make him the governor of the lands he discovered. In return, Columbus vowed to spread the faith of Christianity to the people of the land he discovered. He also promised to return to Spain with spices, gold and silver.
In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed west and discovered the continents that separated the two great oceans, Atlantic and the Pacific. These continents were North and South America. This discovery of land was called as"New World". Columbus also discovered a sea route to the Caribbean Sea.
Queen Isabela and King Ferdinand of Castile, appealed for help to the Pope Alexander VI. He issued a series of bulls that assigned to Castile all lands discovered or to be discovered by Columbus.
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lines drawn in the treaty

3. Negotiations of the Treaty

3.1 Portuguese reaction of the voyage of Columbus


Returning from his expedition to the "Indies", Columbus landed in Lisbon forced by a storm. Before going to Palos de la Frontera he had the opportunity to meet with John II king of Portugal and talk with him about his discoveries. The Portuguese monarch inmediately claimed that he was the owner of the new lands under the rights of the Treaty of Alcacovas (which said that all the lands at the south of the Canary Islands belonged to Portugal). The Catholic Monarchs inmediately said that the travel had always been made to west not to the south of the Canary Islands.

3.2 The Alexandrine Bulls


On demand and confirmation of the Spanish sovereingty over the new discovered territories Ferdinand II and Isabel went to the papal veredict. The tradition of the Popes forbid the Pope Alexander VI took part in this types of decisions. So it corresponded to the Valencian Rodrigo Borgia to distribute the lands and the oceans of the New World to Spain and Portugal.3.3 Final negotiation and sign

The privileges derived from the Alexandrine Bulls which were very favorables to the Catholic Monarchs didn´t satisfied the king of Portugal, John II, who was excluded in the distribution of the lands of discovered by Christopher Columbus, every time the imaginary line of demarcation design by the Pope gave more lands of the African cost to the Catholic Monarchs who practically received all the lands of the New World. The internal and external circumnstances of the political moment advised the Catholic Monarchs to negotiate new conditions with the king of Portugal. These new conditions were writed in the Treaty of Tordesillas signed in Tordesillas the 7 June 1494.

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3.3 Final negotiation and sign


The Alexandrine Bulls that were very favorable to the Catholic Monarchs did not pleased the John II who was excluded from the division of the new lands discovered by Christopher Columbus. The internal and external political circumstances of the moment advised to the Catholic Monarchs to negotiate with John II new conditions. All the pacts were collected in the Treaty of Tordesillas the 7 June, 1494 in Tordesillas.

4. Contents of the Treaty


The Treaty starts with the sign of Ferdinan II, Isabel I and John II in which with this sign they promised that they were going to follow this Treaty signed the 7 June of 1494 in Tordesillas, the Treaty is as follow:

There was a line of demarcation that went from Artic to the Antartic. This line was established at a distance of 370 leagues from the Cape Verde Islands. All the lands at the east of this line that were discovered or were going to be discovered by the king of Portugal and his vessels were going to be part of Portugal and they were going to be reign by the king of Portugal and his successors and all the at the west of the line that were discoverd or were going to be discovered by the king or the queen of Castile and ther vessels were gong to be part of Castile and were going to be reign by the king and the queen of Castile and their successors.

After the sign of this treaty the king of Portugal couldn´t send ships to the part given to Castile and the king and the queen of Castile couldn´t send any ship to the part given to Portugal with the purpose of discovering or/and looking any mainlands or islands or with the purpose to trade, barter or conquest of any kind. But if for example the vessels of Castile discover a island in the part of Portugal, this island would be part of Portugal and viceversa.

As a result the Catholic Monarchs had many problems because as Spain was locate in the part of Portugal, each time they went to an expedition the Catholic Monarchs had to ask permission to the king of Portugal. This is why the Catholic Monarchs and the king of Portugal signed a treaty in which they said that Spain could travel to the Americas but with the condition that if Spain discovered any territory in the territory of Portugal, that territory would belong to Portugal.

But for this reason in the treaty they put that until the 20 of June all the lands discovered by the Catholic Monarchs will belon to the Kingdom of Castile but if they discovered any land after that date the new lands discovered will belong to the Kingdom of Portugal.

In the treaty the kings of Castile and the king of Portugal promised that never them or their successors would violate the treaty and they violate it they had to pay a penalty and then the treaty shall continued stable and valid forever and ever. They also renounced to all the laws and rights which allowed them to violate the treaty. They swore before God and the Blessed Mary and upon the sign of the Cross all what it put in the treaty. And under the same oath they swore not to look for the absolution of this oath.
The division line of the Treaty of Tordesillas
The division line of the Treaty of Tordesillas



5. Difficulty of establishing the position of the line


The document only specified the demarcation line 370 leagues from the Cape Verde Islands, it didn´t specified the degree of the meridian line and identified the island from which the 370 leagues should be counted not the lenght of the league. Initially, the line of demarcation did not encircle the Earth. Instead, Spain and Portugal could conquer any new lands they were the first to discover, Spain to the west and Portugal to the east, even if they passed each other on the other side of the globe. But Portugal's discovery of the highly valued Moluccas in 1512 caused Spain to argue in 1518 that the Treaty of Tordesillas divided the Earth into two equal hemispheres. After the surviving ships of Magellan's fleet visited the Moluccas in 1521, Spain claimed that those islands were within its western hemisphere. In 1523, the Treaty of Vitoria called for the Badajoz Junta to meet in 1524, at which the two countries tried to reach an agreement on the anti-meridian but failed. They finally agreed in the Treaty of Zaragoza, that Spain would relinquish its claims to the Moluccas upon the payment of 350,000 ducats of gold by Portugal to Spain. To prevent Spain from invading Portugal's Moluccas, the anti-meridian was to be 297.5 leagues or 17° to the east of the Moluccas, passing through the islands of las Velas and Santo Thome.
When the Portugues founded Colonia del Sacramento on the left part of Rio de Plata in 1680, the governor of Buenos Aires reacted sweeping the colony so Portugal complained to the Spanish Crown. On May 17, 1681 a provisional treaty was signed in Lisbon that was produced by the boards of Elvas and Badajoz in which was noted that in two months was due to issue an opinion of the position of the line of Tordesillas or in case of no solution subtiming to an award of the Pope Innocent XI.
The boards deliberated between the 4 November, 1681 to the 22 January,1682. The Portugues pretended that the 370 leagues had to be counted from the occidental extreme of San Antonio island and the Spanish from the center of San Nicolas. But because they didn´t agree the decision became of the Pope, Spain sent Duke Jovenazo to Rome but Portugal did not send anyone so the Pope postponed the deadline.

6. Effects


As the following century revealed, the Treaty of Tordesillas greately favored Spain economicaly. West of the line Spain asserted claims over Mesoamerica including the wealthy Aztec society, and Andean south America, containig the Inca. The Spanish colonies produced incredible wealth with finds of silver and gold. Portugese found very little such wealth. Other cultural implications of the division also extended far into the future with Latin America and the Caribean being Spanish-speaking regions west of the line, and Brazil being the one nation with Portugues its official language. Treaty influences, however, were limited as other European countries never recognized the agreement and proceeded with their own explorations and claims of the discovery in the western hemisphere.

7. Violation of the treaty


During the 16 century Portugal occupied territories in Brazil which was part of the hemisphere ruled by Castile, they violated the treaty until 1580 because during the years between 1580-1640 Portugal and Castile had the same monarch so he lend the Portuguese to do some expeditions to America. But also Castile violated the treaty when they colonized the Philippines Islands. After four years following in 1494, Castille lamented their consent to the treaty; convinced that they had received the short end of the stick.

John II of Portugal
John II of Portugal
Queen Isabel of Castile
Queen Isabel of Castile


8. Annulment of the Treaty


In the year 1750 the Treaty of Madrid annuled the Treaty of Tordesillas. However the Treaty of Madrid was annuled by the Treaty of El Pardo in the year 1761 how restablished the line of Tordesillas until it was abandoned by the Treaty of San Ildefonso the 1 October, 1777.

9.Treaty of Madrid


The "Treaty of Madrid" was a document signed by Ferdinand VI of Spain and Juan V of Portugal the 13 of January of 1750, was signed to distinguish the territories now known as Brazil that belonged to Portugal and the other territories that belonged to Spain. According to the treaty, Portugal gave to Spain La Colonia del Sacramento and in exchange received the territories of the South, the birth of the river, Las Misiones, the right bank of the river Guaporé, and ceded the river Japura and the river Içá.

10.Treaty of El Pardo


The "Treaty of the El Pardo" was a document signed on 11 March, 1778 by the queen Maria I of Portugal and king Charles III of Spain. This treaty was created to resolve the territorial problems that the Treaty of Tordesillas could´t resolve. Because there were continued wars between Spain and Portugal (from 1761 to 1763 and from 1776 to 1777) for knew who of the kingdoms would reign the territories of the current Uruguay and the current Paraguay. The main issue was the penetration of the Portuguese deep into the South America, violating the Treaty of Tordesillas. The new treaty recognized what it put in previous treaties, that the current Brazil was part of the kingdom of Portugal, but there was a problem because Brazil was part of Portugal and Brazil was in Castilian territory so to compenste it they gave to the Castilians the Annobon and Bioko(which were in Africa).

11.Treaty of San Ildefonso


There are three treaties of San Ildefonso:

-The First Treaty of San Ildefonso
- The Second Treaty of San Ildefonso
- The Third Treaty of San Ildefonso

11.1 First Treaty of San Ildefonso


It was a document signed on 1 October, 1777 between the Spanish Empire and the Portuguese Empire. The agreement mainly settled territorial disputes in Rio de Plata. In this treaty Spain ceded territories in Brazil to Portugal if them mainteined control over Banda Oriental ( the current Uruguay).

11.2 Second Treaty of San Ildefonso


It was a document signed on 19 August, 1796 between the Spanish Empire and the First Frech Republic. The agreement was that they became allies to fight against the Bristish Empire. In the Treaty, France gave Lousiana to Spain.

11.3 Third Treaty of San Ildefonso


It was a document between Spain and France signed the 1 October, 1800 in which Spain returned Lousiana to France.

12. The Treaty of Zaragoza


For eight years after the return of the Victoria, Spain and Portugal were fighting over the Moluccas (also called the Spicies Islands)
The Treaty of Zaragoza stated the continuation of the meridian of Tordesillas in the opposite hemisphere, 297.5 marine leagues
east of the Maluku Islands.
The Phillipines stood on the Spanish side, while the Maluku Islands were provided by Spain to Portugal over the payment of 350,000 gold ducats (equivalent to about 12.5 million Philipine pesos today). The treaty had also a safeguard stating that, if at any time the emperor wished to restore the deal, the sale would be undone and each "will have the right and the action as that is now."

The Treaty of Zaragoza greatly benefited Spain. By it, Portugal bought what it already owned by treaty. Mollucas (including Philippines) are situated on the eastern side of the demarcation lines, so these islands really belonged to the Portugal according to the treaty of Tordesillas. Spain, not being the real owner of the islands, gained by selling what was not hers. But of course, boundaries wee unclair in those early days of exploration and discovery and did not really matter much.


13. Tools


Treaty of Tordesillas Glog



Lines of demarcation