Chronicles of America 

Rival Spanish and Portuguese Claims

Nearly two years after the discovery of America it became necessary to adjust the claims of Spain and Portugal to territories in the West, and, as a result of negotiations, a line was fixed by the Treaty of Tordesillas, June 7, 1494, bisecting the earth at 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands. To the east of this line, what might be found was to belong to Portugal; to the west of it, to Spain. It was the idea of Magellan, sailing in the service of Spain, as it had been that of Columbus, that the Spice Islands and China could be reached by way of the west; but it was not his idea that Asia bad been found in America. He expected to pass through America by an inter-oceanic strait and to gain the Spice Islands somewhere in the South Sea beyond.




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