History of South America

Madrid Treaty

The Treaty of Madrid , had the objective of replacing the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494), thus establishing new borders between the colonies of Portugal and Spain in America.

Through this Treaty, Portugal ceded Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay) to Spain. This, in turn, gave the territory occupied by the Seven Peoples of the Missions. The agreement was signed on January 13, 1750 between the kingdoms of Portugal and Spain.

To conquer the right to these lands, the Brazilian Alexandre de Gusmão (1695-1753), ambassador and secretary of Dom João V, invoked the right of the “uti possidetis, ita possideatis ”. This principle establishes that the one who occupies a territory is its owner.

As there were Portuguese in the region of the Sete Povos das Missões, the argument was accepted by Spain.

Iberian Union

With the supposed disappearance of King Dom Sebastião in the Battle of Alcácer Quibir (1578), in Morocco, Portugal was left without an heir who could occupy the throne.

Thus, King Felipe II claimed that he was heir to the Portuguese throne as Felipe III. From then on, the Iberian Peninsula was in the hands of the King of Spain.

The Union of Iberian Crowns lasted from 1580 to 1640 and ended with the Portuguese Restoration Coup. The Spanish occupation would generate the myth of "Sebastianismo", created around the figure of the "King Salvador" (Dom Sebastião). They said that Dom Sebastião would return to Portugal and take his people away from Spanish rule.

At this moment, the Treaty of Tordesilhas lost its validity, and the Portuguese established in the colony were able to move freely through the territory.

To learn more:Sebastianism


After the Treaty of Tordesillas, signed in 1494, the limits of conquered lands between the two kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula:Portugal and Spain were established.

With the Iberian Union, in 1580-1640, the Portuguese had occupied several regions that previously belonged to Spain. Therefore, another agreement had to be signed between the two kingdoms.

In 1750, the two nations establish the Treaty of Madrid, where Portugal cedes Colonia del Sacramento to Spain. In turn, this country hands over the territory that today corresponds to the state of Rio Grande do Sul.

There are more texts for you:

  • Colonial Brazil
  • Treaty of Petrópolis
  • The Seven Peoples of Missions

Previous Post
Next Post