Treaty of Tordesillas, June 7, 1494

Colonial demarcation lines between Castille/Spain and Portugal in the 15th and 16th Centuries.


On June 7, 1494, Spain and Portugal agreed to fix the boundary between their respective domains along a meridian 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde islands. They established two areas in which they would have a monopoly over discovery, navigation, and trade. Quite rapidly however, Iberian pretentions to exclusive access over certain areas raised a series of difficulties and disputes that were characteristic of the period during which Europeans adapted to a global space that was increasingly better known.