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Two democratic republics of Iberian Peninsula

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  • Pages: 2
  • Word count: 338
  • Category: Democracy

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Two democratic republics of Iberian Peninsula are only pale shades of strong colonial empires of the last. In the sixteenth century The Portugal and Spain were the leading countries in the European exploration of the world in the XV-XVI century. They were centers of colonization of America and East Asia. In this essay we will discuss differences in Spanish and Portugal colonial rule in the sixteenth century.

In city of Tordesillas was signed the treaty which divided the world outside of Europe in an exclusive duopoly between the Spanish and the Portuguese. The border was a north-south meridian in 1100 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands (46° 37′ W). The lands to the east would belong to Portugal and the lands to the west to Spain. The treaty was ratified by Spain and Portugal and after this all world was spited between these two states.

In the reality the Portugal crown got a new land even to the west of the Treaty of Tordesillas line. It was Brazil discovered by Portuguese explorer Pedro Alvares Cabral. Thus in 1529 Spain and Portugal signed the new “world partition”. By the Treaty of Saragossa the western hemisphere was divided between Spain and Portugal by the line in 450 miles to the west of the Malaccan islands. Portugal got Brazil and Spain got monetary compensation in return.
The geographical distribution of Portuguese and Spanish colonial empires was following: Portugal had colonies in west Africa, India, in Brazil, Cape Verde, Angola, Mozambique, Macao and East Timor whereas Spain controlled Latin America. Portugal also set trade affairs with Japan in 1570.

Portuguese expansion was less dependent on foreign assistance and investment than was that of Spain. Both countries developed systems of control in the colonial trade market. The crown strictly regulated commercial activity. But while the Portuguese focused on navigation and geographical observation, the Spanish put their efforts into expedition and colonization.

Duiker W.J. & Jackson J.S World History, Vol. 1, Fourth Edition Wadsworth Publishing; 2003 576 pp.

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