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Author Topic: Navigation and Discovery  (Read 346 times)

oliveira

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Navigation and Discovery
« on: December 03, 2007, 07:49:11 PM »
In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, [amazonsearch]Portugal[/amazonsearch], an Iberian kingdom with barely one million inhabitants, was hemmed in by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and by a hostile Castile on the east. Unable to obtain more land to the east, Portuguese explorers and sailors set out across the Atlantic in the late 1480s in search of a route to Asia. They were aware of the existence of lands across the Atlantic before Christopher Columbus (1430?-1506) discovered the Antilles in 1492, but they did not divulge their knowledge so as to forestall the ambitions of Spain, England, and France.

The Portuguese arrived in Brazil in 1500 after Pedro Álvares Cabral’s expedition to India was blown off course.

Descobrimento do Brasil [Discovery of Brazil], Oscar Pereira da Silva. National Library of Brazil. Iconography Division.

These competing ambitions prompted the signing of the Treaty of Tordesilhas in Spain in 1494. According to the terms of the treaty, territories lying east of a meridian 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands would belong to Portugal; the lands to the west of the meridian would belong to Spain. This imaginary vertical line, the Tordesilhas Line, intersected South America from the mouth of the [amazonsearch]Amazon River[/amazonsearch] to Santa Catarina, ran from pole to pole, cut through the easternmost part of the South American continent, and constituted Brazil's first frontier.


This hand-colored map from a famous sixteenth-century atlas shows the Kingdom of Portugal, strategically located on the western side of the [amazonsearch]Iberian Peninsula[/amazonsearch] facing the Atlantic Ocean. The map is illustrated with two ships, probably the Portuguese caravel, a small, but fast, vessel that contributed to Portugal’s early maritime preeminence. "Portugaliae" [Portugal], from Theatrum Orbis Terrarum [Theatre of the world], Abraham Ortelius.[1579?]. Library of Congress. Geography and Map Division.
[amazonsearch]
Pedro Álvares Cabral[/amazonsearch], a Portuguese navigator, claimed Brazil for Portugal in 1500. Cabral named the new land Vera Cruz (True Cross). Thus, the Tordesilhas Line and Cabral's landing in eastern South America ensured the emergence of a Portuguese enclave in the Americas.


The 1494 [amazonsearch]Treaty of Tordesillas[/amazonsearch] established a dividing line between Spanish and Portuguese possessions west of Europe. It replaced an earlier line established by the edict of Pope Alexander VI and sanctioned by Pope Julius II. Descripción de las Yndias Occidentalis [Description of the West Indies], from Description des Indes Occidentales [Description of the West Indies]. Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas. Amsterdam: M. Colin, 1622. Library of Congress. Geography and Map Division.

Portuguese caravela, c 1535.


Note: Christopher Columbus offered his service to Portugals King in 1437. But he was refused, and then he makes the same offer to Castela King (Spain at that epoch was divided in several monarchies). He was accepted! He was born (Génova) Italy

Santa Maria---Christopher Columbus.


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