1494

Treaty of Tordesillas

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The Treaty of Tordesillas – signed in 1494 – was intended to settle the contentious matter of possession of newly discovered lands of the non-Christian world between Portugal and Spain. It divided the New World between the two countries by establishing a north-south line of demarcation at a distance of 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands. All newly discovered territories west of this line went to Spain, and others discovered east of the line went to Portugal. The treaty and its outcome – the division of the world – significantly contributed to the cultural diversity of the two parts.