Treaty of Tordesillas: History, Background, Content & Purpose

Posted on

Ever heard of the Treaty of Tordesillas? What exactly is the Tordesillas Agreement?

Are you curious to know? Come on, just read the full review of the Tordesillas Agreement in the article below!


History of the Treaty of Tordesillas

Tordesillas is the name of a city in Spain.

In this historical place, an agreement was established which became the beginning of the exploration of the two strong nations of the European continent in the sixteenth century around the oceans in the western and eastern hemispheres.

Treaty of Tordesillas (in Portuguese it is called Tratado de Tordesilhas or in Spanish it is called Tratado de Tordesillas) is a treaty that took place signed in Tordesillas, Spain on June 7, 1494.

The Treaty of Tordesillas stated that in the outside world Europe became the exclusive power of two nations, namely the Spanish and the Portuguese, which began in the west of the Cape Verde Islands.

Well, for the eastern region controlled by the Portuguese. Meanwhile, the western region was controlled by the Spanish.

The treaty was ratified by Spain on 2 July and by Portugal on 5 September 1494, in force until 13 January 1750.

The Tordesillas Agreement was the beginning of the exploration of the Europeans to circle the world’s oceans, one of which was Indonesia.

At that time, the Spanish and Portuguese empires were kingdoms that had a strong naval force, navigation technology, and ship equipment that was very advanced compared to other European countries.

The advantages of the two lead to intense competition, especially in expanding the area and also trade.


Tordesillas Treaty Background

With the Tordesillas agreement, the division of power between the two countries between the Portuguese and Spanish kingdoms avoided the emergence of war between the two countries.

And, before the birth of the Tordesillas agreement there were events behind it and one of them was the discovery of the Americas and Columbus.

1. Discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus

The background of the Tordesillas agreement was in 1492 with the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus.

Where, Christopher Columbus or known as Columbus was an explorer who was born in Portugal.

However, after the death of his wife in 1485, Columbus moved to Spain with his son, Diego.

Why did you move?

Because the Portuguese rulers did not provide support to make a voyage to go to the west side of Spain.

Then, after Columbus moved to Spain he got the full support of the Spanish kings named Ferdinand II and Isabella, even the Spanish king gave approval to make Columbus governor of the land he found.

In return, Columbus promised to spread the Christian religion and he promised to bring home spices, silver, and gold.

And in 1942, Columbus began his exploration towards China and on his voyage, he found a large island that separates the two oceans, the Atlantic and the Pacific.

2. The “Papal Bull” Decision

Another background of the Tordesillas agreement is the decision of satisfaction of a pope named Pope Alexander VI.

Initially after discovering the Americas, in 1943 Columbus returned to Spain and met Pope Alexander VI to tell his problems.

Then, after Pope Alexander VI heard the story of his journey, he understood very well the need to divide the newly discovered land.

Where, the division of land was intended to prevent confusion between the two countries, namely Portugal and Spain, so he issued a “Papal Decree” or “Papal Bull”.

The essence of the decision was to divide the territory between the two Portuguese and Spanish countries.

Then, the division is done by making an imaginary line that stretches from the North to the South.

In the Tordesillas agreement, there is a line called the “Demarcation” or a dividing line that is 300 miles or 483 km from the west of the Cape Verde Islands.

Thus, land found in the territory west of the demarcation line became the property of Spain. And, in the eastern region belongs to the Portuguese.

Contents of Agreement

Contents of the Tordesillas Agreement

The contents of the Tordesillas Agreement are as follows:

Division of shipping territory between Portugal and Spain. Through this treaty that was enforced on June 4, 1474, Spain finally made a voyage to the west from the Cape Verde islands.

The shipping area covers the Americas. Until finally Spain was able to sail to reach the Philippines in 1521.

Meanwhile, the Portuguese sailed to the east in search of spices. Until finally the Portuguese arrived in Maluku in the same year.


Purpose of the Tordesillas Agreement

The Tordesillas Agreement was made, of course, for a specific purpose. Goals directly and indirectly. This treaty will lead to the exploration of the oceans.

Many Europeans followed the Spanish and Portuguese to explore the oceans.

When the understanding or ideology of imperialism and capitalism developed, Europeans with the spirit of gold, glory, and gospel flocked to new areas.

The spirit that turned into a desire to dominate and colonize new lands. The objectives of the Tordesillas agreement include:

  • Satisfying King Ferdinands discontent
  • Anticipating problems arising from Christopher Columbus’ voyage.
  • Share power.
  • Avoid clashes between Portuguese and Spanish countries.
  • Master new lands and worlds.


Consequences of the Treaty of Tordesillas

As a result of the Tordesillas Agreement, namely the development of 3G or Gold, Glory, and Gospel, the following is an explanation below:

1. Gold

The motto of Gold (looking for wealth in the form of gold) gave rise to mercantilistism.

Mercantilism is an ideology that thinks that the wealth of a country can be measured by the amount of gold it has owned as a result of the profits from their trade.

2. Glory

The motto of Glory (seeking wealth, fame, and victory) has produced an ancient imperialism.

Because, judging from the wealth obtained from the colony and the trade routes that have been controlled.

Hence, making many nations vying to dominate other areas.

3. Gospel

Due to the Gospel motto, it is not surprising that the explorers were accompanied by Christian missionaries and some areas were controlled by Spanish and Portuguese traders.

So, it is certain that there will be a conversion, namely the process of converting religion to Catholicism accompanied by a process of cultural assimilation.

The Impact of the Tordesillas Agreement on the Indonesian Nation

The Impact of the Tordesillas Agreement on the Indonesian Nation

Well, there are several impacts of the Tordesillas agreement for the Indonesian people! What are these impacts?

1. Mastering Trade in the Archipelago

In Indonesia and especially in the Maluku region, it was one of the largest spice-producing areas at that time.

So, this invited the Spanish and Portuguese to come and control the trading center in Indonesia, but they did it in a very cunning way.

2. Splitting Between Regions in the Archipelago

The two sides, namely the Spanish and the Portuguese, met in Maluku and precisely in the kingdoms of Ternate and Tidore.

Because there is no unity between the kingdoms of Ternate and Tidore, they are also very easy for the two countries to compete with.

They sided with each kingdom, namely the Portuguese sided with the kingdom of Ternate. Meanwhile, Spain sided with the kingdom of Tidore, the goal was to divide the two kingdoms.

However, this siding was certainly not given for free, because these two kingdoms had to pay tribute to the Portuguese and Spanish.

3. The Occurrence of Colonialism and Imperialism in Indonesia

The agreement is one of the factors in the emergence of colonialism in the State of Indonesia.

The actions of the Portuguese and Spanish that triggered every country to try to dominate and colonize the State of Indonesia, because it is rich in spices.

The following are the countries that had colonized the Indonesian people, namely the Netherlands, Japan, Portugal, Spain and England.

That was the discussion that we could convey from Cerdika regarding the Tordesillas Agreement.

Hopefully the discussion about the Tordesillas Agreement can be useful and can be useful for all of you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *