Age of Exploration andAge of Exploration and
Treaty of TordesillasTreaty of Tordesillas
Marco Polo, an Italian explorer
returned to Venice, Italy from China in
He wrote a book describing the China
(The far east) as a magnificent place
filled with riches and resources.
200 years later, Kings from Europe
were allowing explorers to look for
these resources and valuable materials
A growing interestA growing interest
Most Europeans had no idea the
Western hemisphere existed
Goods from the Far East began
appearing in European markets and
people started becoming interested in
Who and Why?Who and Why?
Signed between Spain and Portugal
◦ June 7, 1494
◦ Ratified by Spain July 2nd.
◦ Agreed to by Portugal on September 5th
Designed to divide the world outside
Intended to resolve disputes between the
two powers when Columbus returned in
Talks were conducted because of a papal
Terms to knowTerms to know
Meridian: A line of longitude running
north-south through the poles and
measured east to west.
Statute mile (Our mile): 5,280 feet.
Nautical mile: 6,076 feet. About 15%
longer than a mile.
League: 3 nautical miles.
Bull: A decree or order issued by the
PapalPapal Bull Inter CaeteraBull Inter Caetera
by Pope Alexander VIby Pope Alexander VI
All lands west of a meridian 100 leagues
west of the Cape Verde Islands would
belong to Spain. ( 345 miles).
All discovered lands east of the line would
belong to Portugal.
All territory currently under Christian rule
would remain untouched.
Time to NegotiateTime to Negotiate
King John of Portugal was not happy!
◦ Wanted the line moved west.
◦ Told Spain that since it would go all the way
around the world, it would limit Spanish control
King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella
Their treaty countered the papal Bull
◦ Uncontested by Pope Alexander VI
◦ Sanctioned by Pope Julius II in a new Bull in
Terms of the TreatyTerms of the Treaty
Moved the line to a position 370 leagues
west of the Cape Verde Islands (1,277
Portugal gained a larger portion of South
Spain gained control (on paper) of most
of the New World.
And we thought we had problems!And we thought we had problems!
No one really knew where the
boundary line was because:
◦ Didn’t know which side of the Cape Verde Islands
they were to measure from, east or west?
(difference of 193 miles).
◦ Was it Cape Verde or Capo Verde on Africa’s
Measurement of a league was different in
◦ Portuguese maritime leagues were different from
Portuguese land leagues!
◦ Portuguese leagues were different from Spanish,
French, and English leagues!
◦ Old leagues were different from New leagues in
After the TreatyAfter the Treaty
Portugal discovers Brazil by
accident in 1500. Cabral
The line wasn’t enforced by
the Spanish so the
Portuguese encroached deep
into South America.
France, England, and the
Netherlands were refused
Francis I of France wanted the Pope to
show him “The clause in Adam’s will
excluding his authority from the New
Initially, the only option left to France,
England, and the Netherlands was piracy.
Later, these countries rejected the Pope’s
Magellan’s voyage around the globe
spurred a new problem: Where should the
line be on the other side of the world?