Pope Alexander VI divides New World between Spain and Portugal

(85 words)
  • Editors

Historical Context Note

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 12: Global Voices, Global Histories: World Literatures and Cultures.

Pope Alexander VI published a bull, 'Inter caetera', to divide the New World between Spain and Portugal. It decreed that all lands west and south of a meridian line 100 leagues west of the Azores and Cape Verde islands rightfully belonged to Spain. However, it did not solve the tensions between the two colonising nations, partly since it failed to specify the lands on the other side of this line as Portuguese possessions. This led to Spain and Portugal clarifying matters in the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas.
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Editors. "Pope Alexander VI divides New World between Spain and Portugal". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2010
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=13912, accessed 08 October 2015.]