About the Portuguese Exploration Lesson
This lesson introduces students to some of the Portuguese explorers and explains how Portugal and Spain agreed to share the waterways.
• To be able to explain the significance of the Treaty of Tordesillas.
• To be able list some of the Portuguese explorers and their accomplishments.
• To be able to explain the role of the Catholic Church at the time.
After Columbus? voyage to find the New World, both Spain and Portugal sought to claim new lands and began competing with one another. This competition was straining the relations between the two countries, which may have eventually led to war. However, both countries listened to one authority- the leader of the Catholic Church, the pope.
Although the pope wanted both countries to continue exploring, he did not want Spain and Portugal to wind up at war with one another. He was concerned with how a war could affect both the economic and religious affairs in both countries.