Spain and Portugal World Map

This map shows how the Spanish and Portuguese divided up their spheres of influence. In general, the Portuguese were given free reign to set up trading ports and colonies in Africa and eastward journeys into Asia and Spain was allowed to do the same in South America and then westward journeys into Asia. One exception was parts of Brazil. The Treaty of Tordesillas that was supposed to regulate spheres of influence between the two powers did not appreciate how far South America extended into the Atlantic and so the Portuguese could argue that it came on their side of the dividing line.

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by Stephen Luscombe