The Spaniards Discovered the Philippines – Part 1


The archipelago’s recorded history began half way around the world in a small, dusty town in southwestern Spain. The Treaty of Tordesillas was signed on June 7, 1494, dividing the yet-unexplored world between Spain and Portugal. To the east of meridian 370 leagues (unit of length) west of the Cape Verde islands in the Atlantic, every land would belong to Portugal and to the west the every land would belong to Spain.

The Portuguese set off to navigate Africa’s Cape of Good Hope in search of the riches of the Spice Islands, while the Spanish headed across the vast Pacific in search of new trade routes to the Orient and its spices and to convert the natives to Catholicism.

Magellan Photo Credit: Compton’s Encyclopedia

The captain of Spain’s search was a Portuguese who had taken up the flag of Castile and the Spanish name Hernando de Magallanes. To the English-speaking world…

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