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Henry the Navigator and the Treaty of Tordesillas

Henry the Navigator was the Prince of Portugal and son of King John I. He was born in 1394 and was 21 when his father and brothers were captured in a port in Morocco, by pirates. Even though they were set free by the pirates and returned to Portugal, Henry decided that he wanted to stop the pirate attacks on the Coast of west Africa. He also decided that he would find the source of the west African gold trade.

     He opened a navigation school, which grew quite rapidly, and became one of the most known schools in all of Portugal. It also required him to design new lighter ships for the Portuguese explorers. Although he had a significant role in helping with the explorations, he never went on a mission himself.  However, he still sent over 50 explorations. One important step that he did not do, was to map out the routes. Instead, he just let the captains of the missions figure out a way to get to their destinations. Two significant contributions he made repeatedly were to raise the funds and direct the voyages. Henry’s captains had several great finds and even started a few colonies in Africa. He died in 1460, although the work he had began continued long after his death. So therefore, in the end, his life accomplishments included starting multiple civilizations, and was very helpful to the king of Portugal.

     The Treaty of Tordesillas was a peace agreement between Spain and Portugal that was a long-standing agreement over where colonies could be placed. After the New World was discovered, they established a new treaty to incorporate this territory. The Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494 redrew the imaginary line that divided the Portuguese colonies from Spanish colonies. The line went North-South, straight through the Atlantic Ocean, and all the way around the earth separating the Americas and the other continents. Portugal got the Americas, while Spain got all of the other continents. Therefore, Spain’s potential colony area was massive compared to Portugal’s, after the treaty. At a time, in the treaty, Portugal tried to expand their territory, especially around Brazil, and Spain did little to keep them out. In the end, The Treaty of Tordesillas was an important help for Spain.  


1 thought on “Henry the Navigator and the Treaty of Tordesillas

  1. The first paragraph is not indented, because every time I try to indent it, when I publish it it goes back to not being indented


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