Treaty of Tordesillas ~ 1494

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     In 1493 Pope Alexander VI, issued a papal bull which fixed a demarcation line between new lands that could be claimed by Spain or Portugal. The line followed a circle 100 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands and through the two Poles. Lands already claimed at that time were to remain in the control of the claiming party. This division of the New World applied only to Spain and Portugal. Other countries were not included. Pope Alexander’s line was fixed at 38°W.
     On June 7, 1494 Spain and Portugal signed a Treaty at Tordesillas, Spain dividing the non-Christian world into two zones. The Treaty moved the line east from Pope Alexander’s line to 46°37’W.     

SCN 1993

     In 1994 Portugal commemorated the signing of the Treaty of Tordesillas with the issue of a stamp showing the Kings of Spain and Portugal, with partial flags symbolizing the division of the New World between Spain and Portugal.
     The treaty line is identified on the stamp by red lettering which appears to have been taken from the map painted for Albert Cantino by a Portuguese cartographer for the Duke of Ferrara in 1502.