2 July 1494

The Treaty of Tordesillas is ratified by Spain.

The Treaty of Tordesillas was a diplomatic agreement first signed on June 7, 1494, between the Kingdom of Spain and the Kingdom of Portugal. It was mediated by Pope Alexander VI with the intention of resolving conflicts between the two Catholic powers over newly discovered lands during the Age of Discovery.

At that time, Spain and Portugal were the leading maritime nations exploring and colonizing new territories around the world. The treaty aimed to divide the non-Christian world outside of Europe into two spheres of influence, primarily for the purposes of territorial expansion and the acquisition of wealth.

The treaty established a line of demarcation, located 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands, which granted Spain exclusive rights to territories west of the line, and Portugal exclusive rights to territories east of the line. The exact details of the agreement were not precise due to limited knowledge of the geography of the New World, but it was a significant step in resolving territorial disputes between the two powers.

However, it is important to note that the Treaty of Tordesillas was not universally recognized, and other European powers, such as England, France, and the Netherlands, later disregarded the agreement and pursued their own colonial ambitions. Over time, subsequent treaties and agreements would modify the original boundaries established by the Treaty of Tordesillas as European powers expanded their influence and control across the globe.