Portugal’s Early Colonization of the New
With the discovery of the New World a series of treaties were made
between the kings of Portugal and Castile, one of the most important being
the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494. The treaty created the Tordesillas
Meridian which would divide the New World between the two kingdoms. All
land east of the meridian was to be property of Portugal, any land west of it
was property of Spain.
In 1500 a Portuguese navigator named Pedro Alvares Cabral landed in
what is now known as Brazil and laid claim to it in the name of the
Monarchy of Portugal.
For almost 30 years the Portuguese showed little interest in colonizing the
New World until they learned that France had been sending excursions to
the land to extract brazilwood. The Portuguese crown decided to send
forces to combat the French and missions to secure and take possession
of the land.
Portugal Puts Brazil On The
In the beginning Brazil was
made up of 15 private,
hereditary captaincies. Only 2 of
the 15 captaincies were
successful and instead the king
decided to establish a central
government in Brazil.
The king sent Tome de
Sausa to Brazil to establish
his government and Sausa
brought along with him
Jesuits. The Jesuits would
set up missions, study native
languages and save many
natives from slavery by
converting them to Roman