DISCOVERY OF THE NEW WORLD HAD ENDED HEGEMONY OF PORTUGAL - PART I
Portuguese appropriated north-western coasts of Africa when Castilia was busy with the war for freedom against Arabians. As Portuguese wanted to legalize it, they asked Nicolas V, who had owned throne of Saint Peter in Vatican, to sign a decree. The bull “Dum diversas” was signed on June 18, 1452 and it was the first historical document on division of the world. The Portugal king Juan I asked the Pope to explain the situation in order to prevent chaos. That’s why the Pope Nicolas V noted in his bull (“Inter caetera”) signed on January 8, 1455 that, monopoly of the trade with African coasts belonged to Portuguese. In fact Africa became property of the Portugal king.
But in spite of it, only 1479 may be considered “the year of change” for Portuguese. The Atlantic Ocean was divided into two parts in accordance with the treaty concluded in Alcasovas in September of the same year. Castilia’s consent was necessary in this problem. The Pope Sixtus IV invited both parties to negotiations on June 21, 1481 in order to confirm the treaty of Alcasovas and acquainted them with the bull “Aeterna Regis”. Though the Pope respected Isabella, he gave all territories located in the south of Canaries to Portugal. It became clear that, Portuguese had given presents to Roman Pontifical Councils. That’s why Sixtus IV agreed with all demands of Portuguese.
The Pope V Nikolay (1397-1455) The Pope Sixtus IV (1414-1484)
Besides it, the Portugal kingdom demanded territories of Castilia and didn’t deviate from war. But Castilia didn’t want to return any span of lands to its neighbor.
The king Alfonso V, who gave up his demands for territories of Castilia could get very convenient privileges for Portugal: Canaries remained as the property of Castilia, but Azores and Madeira Islands were registered as the inseparable territory of Portugal. Spanish vessels hadn’t to go below the 28th parallel of the north hemisphere when organized any expedition. Half of the Floridian Peninsula, Anthill Islands, Mexico, Panama and South America became property of Portugal in theory.
The treaty of Alcasovas couldn’t last for a long time. Spaniards demanded to divide the world again peacefully after the first travel of Christopher Columbus. It had become clear that, there were large territories in the west of lands discovered by Columbus. Spaniard Rodrigo Borgia born in Xativa located near Valencia became the owner of Saint Peter’s throne in Vatican. Other interesting fact: the bishop of Aragon was appointed Roman pontificator when Columbus started his first transatlantic travel (August of 1492). He was the second person from Aragon, who was appointed for such high position. First person was bishop of Valencia Alonso de Borgia, who was the Pope with the name Callixtus III.
Nobody expected such coincidence. New Pope Alexander VI (Borja or Borgia) signed the bull “Inter caetera” on May 4, 1493. According to the bull, lands discovered by Spaniards in the western part of the Atlantic Ocean were given to catholic kings (Ferdinand from Aragon and Isabella from Castilia – R. D.). Population of those lands had to be converted to Christianity. The demarcation line was moved for 100 liq away from Azores in order to prevent interference between two kingdoms.
Spanish monarchs Ferdinand from Aragon Spanish monarchs Isabella from Castilia (452-1516) (1451-1504)
Now I want to write about unofficial discovery of Brazil again. I consider dates noted by historians groundless. Historians wrote that, Brazil was discovered in 1480 or 1490 (accurate date hasn’t been written), names of Jan Cousin, Alonso Huelva, Martin Behaim and others have been linked with the discovery. The most convincing date is considered 1494. Why?
Christopher Columbus completed his first travel to coasts of the New World on March 15, 1493. It means that, Spaniards might reach lands located in the western part of the Atlantic Ocean unexpectedly. But there is incomprehensibility in this question: they mightn’t demand territories located below the 28th parallel according to the treaty signed in 1481. Because territories located below 280 east latitude belonged to the Portugal throne according to the treaty signed in Alcasovas. In spite of it, Spaniards couldn’t sail below the 28th parallel and tried to conceal it.
Every lost day was against Portuguese after coasts of the New World were discovered. Portuguese heard about this discovery first of all after Christopher Columbus returned to European coasts as admiral’s vessel had approached Madeira Islands mechanically and had sailed to Lisbon after it. The king Juan II received Columbus in his palace after the discovery was made. The king decided to make decisive steps after that meeting. So Juan II organized secret expedition towards coasts of the New World.
King of Portugal II Juan (1455-1495)
Probably, Duarte Pereira was appointed leader of that expedition as mentioned above. Next processes and Pereira’s work “Esmeraldo de Sita Orbis” (“Emerald about the position of the Earth”) written in 1505-1508 showed that he had sailed to Brazilian coasts six years before Cabral.
(Continue of article: “Pope VI Alexandr Borgia divides the world into two parts”)
Best regards, the member of Azerbaijan Geographic Society,
President grant holder on literature, laureate of the “Golden pen” award,
writer/ investigator Ramiz Daniz