Line of Demarcation

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The Line of Demarcation was a 1493 geographic line by Pope Alexander VI that divided New World lands for Portugal and Spain, after Christopher Columbus returned from his first voyage. Portugal took land east of this line, and Spain controlled the land to the west.

A year later these countries signed the Treaty of Tordesillas to shift the line to the west of the Cape Verde Islands, which had the possibly accidental result of giving the Portuguese the massive territory of Brazil.

France and Protestant countries (including England) ignored the Line of Demarcation.