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The Treaties of Tordesillas

On June 7, 1494, Castile and Portugal signed a treaty in Tordesillas. This treaty divided the Atlantic Ocean by means of a "line" drawn from pole to pole, 370 leagues to the west side of Cape Verde Islands, so that the eastern hemisphere was for the Portuguese Crown and the western hemisphere for Castilian Crown.

Thus, the Catholic Monarchs and Juan II of Portugal agree about what conquests they could carry out in the world that had just been discovered.

This Ocean division Treaty shows a great novelty: a border dividing both the sea and the earth is established for the first time. Besides, that means a new territory division conception that will determine South America current configuration.


The same day, also in Tordesillas, both powers signed another treaty that solved the disputes both kingdoms had been maintaining all along about african territories and interests. Besides, it not only accounted for the oceanic treaty but also complemented it.

According to the African Treaty, the portuguese and castilian kingdoms divided Fez for future conquests; they also regulated fishing and navigation rights through african atlantic coasts with the result that Castile made sure of Melilla and Cazaza territories and also fishing to Cape Bojador, as well as attacks operations on these territories, from Bojador to Río de Oro. The African agreement will be very valuable for Castile since hardly two years ago, the Catholic Monarchs had concluded the Reconquest with Granada anexation. That agreement carried out with Portugal delimited the area for future conquest and expansion of hispanic cristianism against Islam in North Africa, which was a priority aim of Spanish monarchy

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