The Treaty of Tordesillas.

Everything begun with Columbus...

Olá, tudo bem?

Have you heard about the Treaty of Tordesillas?

Hoje vamos aprender história! Today we are going to learn a bit of history.

In fact, it was this Treaty - Tratado de Tordesilhas - that, in a way, determined where we would end up speaking Portuguese in the world.

When we talk about the division of the world in two parts - the Portuguese part, and the Spanish part - we have to start with Columbus.

The Treaty of Tordesillas.

After discovering America, Columbus went to Portugal to inform the King John II about the great news.

However, Columbus was taken aback by the monarch when he said that the land Columbus had just discovered was owned by the Portuguese Crown in accordance with the division of the world under the Treaty of Alcáçovas-Toledo in 1480.

The Catholic kings feared the occupation of the lands discovered by Columbus and sent an emissary to Portugal with a fair agreement between the parties.

This was a period in which the Pope Alexander VI also recognized Castile, by the bull Inter Coetera, the legitimacy for the areas found or to be found, 100 miles west of the Azores or Cape Verde.

John II protested vehemently against that decision alleging the infringement of the Treaty ratified in 1780, which the Catholic Monarchs ultimately accepted as damage of the interests of the Portuguese.

But now comes the best part that lead to the Treaty of Tordesillas...

They then decided to negotiate an agreement between the two Crowns - Portugal and Castile - which took place in the town of Tordesillas.

The Portuguese monarch accepted the principle of division of the world by the meridian of Cape Verde, proposing to fix a line (from pole to pole) 370 miles to the west - The line of the Treaty of Tordesillas.

With this claim it was meant that the lands and islands east of that line belonged to Portugal and that, in the opposite hemisphere - south hemisphere - were owned by Castile.

The agreement - treaty of Tordesillas - was signed by the Monarchs in June 7, 1494 and ratified by John II on September 5 of that year.

Now the most exciting part...

It seems that the Portuguese monarch knew not only the existence of a large Atlantic area - Brazil (whose tenure allowed him to avoid the Castilian army to attack the vessels that were heading to the Cape of Good Hope towards India) but he also knew, above all, that the middle world that began in the West Indies, ended before the seas of India, so that he could ensure the inclusion of that area in the exclusive zone of the Portuguese expansion.

Did you know this? Did you know that the Treaty of Tordesillas was so important to determine the Portuguese lands and Portuguese-speaking world? Interesting hein...?

Below, I'll present to you the Portuguese text about the Treaty of Tordesillas in order for you to use in your daily practice.

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Tratado de Tordesilhas

Depois de descobrir a América, Colombo passou por Portugal para informar o rei D. João II da grande novidade. Porém, foi surpreendido pelo monarca quando lhe referiu que a terra que acabara de descobrir era pertença da Coroa Portuguesa de acordo com a divisão do mundo ocorrida por ocasião do Tratado de Alcáçovas-Toledo em 1480.

Os reis católicos recearam a ocupação das terras descobertas por Colombo e mandaram um emissário a Portugal com um acordo justo entre as partes, num período em que também o papa Alexandre VI reconhecia a Castela, pela bula Inter coetera, a legitimidade sobre as áreas achadas ou a descobrir, 100 léguas a ocidente dos Açores ou de Cabo Verde.

D. João II protestou veementemente contra essa decisão alegando a infracção do Tratado ratificado em 1780, situação que os Reis Católicos acabaram por reconhecer lesiva para os interesses dos portugueses.

Decidiu-se então negociar um acordo entre as duas Coroas que teve lugar na vila de Tordesilhas. O monarca português aceitou o princípio da divisão do mundo pelo meridiano de Cabo Verde, propondo que se fixasse uma linha divisória (de pólo a pólo) 370 léguas para ocidente. Com esta reclamação pretendia que as terras e ilhas a oriente dessa linha pertencessem a Portugal e que, no hemisfério oposto, fossem pertença de Castela.

O acordo foi assinado pelos Reis Católicos a 7 de Junho de 1494 e ratificado por D. João II a 5 de Setembro do mesmo ano.

Tudo leva a crer que o monarca português sabia não apenas da existência de uma ampla área atlântica (o Brasil) cuja posse lhe permitia evitar que as armadas castelhanas pudessem atracar para atacar as embarcações que se dirigiam para o Cabo da Boa Esperança, rumo à Índia, mas acima de tudo que, o meio mundo que começava nas Antilhas, acabava antes dos mares da Índia, garantindo a inclusão daquela área na zona exclusiva de expansão portuguesa.

And that's it. I hope you have enjoyed learning about this and the exercise comparing English to Portuguese.

Rafael Tavares

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