The Treaty of Tordesillas, signed at Tordesillas on June 7, 1494, and authenticated at Setúbal, Portugal, divided the newly discovered lands outside Europe between Portugal and the Crown of Castile, … Wikipedia
Location: Archivo General de Indias (Spain); Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo (Portugal)
Created: 7 June 1494 in Tordesillas, Spain
Author(s): Pope Alexander VI
Signatories: Ferdinand II of Aragon; Isabella I of Castile; John, Prince of Asturias; John II of Portugal
Ratified: 2 July 1494 in Spain; 5 September 1494 in Portugal
On June 7, 1494, the governments of Spain and Portugal agreed to the Treaty of Tordesillas, named for the city in Spain in which it was created. The Treaty of Tordesillas neatly divided the New World of the Americas between the two countries along a vertical demarcation border which was drawn from pole to pole across the Atlantic Ocean (as shown above). Only a part of Brazil fell into Protugal and the entire continent went to Spain.
Spain and Portugal adhered to the treaty without major conflict, and the results linger throughout the Americas today. Most Latin American nations are Spanish-speaking countries, for instance, but Portuguese is the leading official language in Brazil. This is because the eastern tip of Brazil penetrates the line agreed to in the Treaty of Tordesillas, so the region was colonized by Portugal.
For years following 1494, the Spanish lamented their consent to the Treaty of Todesillas, convinced that they had received the short end of the stick. Their initial discoveries in the New World yielded little mineral wealth, but much disease and discomfort. Their evaluation of this bargain with Portugal changed dramatically in the 1520s as the riches from Aztec Mexico began to be exploited.
Most importantly, however, the Treaty of Tordesillas, completely ignored the millions of people already living in established communities in the Americas. The treaty stipulated that any lands with a “Christian king” would not be colonized. Christianity had not spread to the Americas, and the resulting colonization proved disastrous for indigenous cultures such as the Inca, Taino, Aztec, Tupi, and thousands of other bands throughout the Americas.
Columbus trail blazed route to the New World.
Other Spaniards soon followed exploring interior of Mexico conquering any resistance — Aztec, Mayans and Incas — along the way.
Hernando Cortez — travelled to Mexico and conquered Aztec and their leader Montezuma
Francisco Pizarro — travelled to Peru and conquered Incas. With 200 men, Pizarro conquered land equal in size of China.
Pizarro brought horses that the native people never saw before. The horses allowed Pizarro to move quickly. Also natives did not have ship. These 200 people had weapons — guns, cannons that natives did not have.
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