By Stephen R. Bown
In 1494, award-winning writer Stephen R. Bown tells the untold tale of the explosive feud among monarchs, clergy, and explorers that cut up the globe among Spain and Portugal and made the world’s oceans a battleground.
When Columbus triumphantly back from the United States to Spain in 1493, his discoveries infected an already-smouldering clash among Spain’s well known monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, and Portugal’s João II. Which country was once to manage the world’s oceans? To quell the argument, Pope Alexander VI—the infamous Rodrigo Borgia—issued a proclamation laying the root for the Treaty of Tordesillas of 1494, an edict that created an imaginary line within the Atlantic Ocean dividing the complete recognized (and unknown) international among Spain and Portugal.
Just because the world’s oceans have been approximately to be opened by means of Columbus’s epochal voyage, the treaty sought to restrict the seas to those preferred Catholic countries. The edict was once to have a profound effect on global background: it propelled Spain and Portugal to superpower prestige, urged many different ecu international locations on a collision path, and have become the primary criticism in centuries of foreign espionage, piracy, and warfare.
The treaty additionally all started the struggle for “the freedom of the seas”—the epic fight to figure out even if the world’s oceans, and therefore worldwide trade, will be managed by means of the decree of an autocrat or be open to the ships of any nation—a fantastically sleek idea, championed within the early 17th century via the Dutch felony theorist Hugo Grotius, whose arguments turned the root of overseas law.
At the center of 1 of the best overseas diplomatic and political agreements of the final 5 centuries have been the strained relationships and passions of a handful of robust members. They have been associated by means of a shared heritage, mutual animosity, and private obligations—quarrels, rivalries, and hatreds that dated again many years. but the fight eventually stemmed from a tender woman’s decision to defy culture and the king, and to decide on her personal husband.
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Additional resources for 1494: How a Family Feud in Medieval Spain Divided the World in Half
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1494: How a Family Feud in Medieval Spain Divided the World in Half by Stephen R. Bown