Popes Nicholas V, Calixtus II, and Sixtus IV gave the Portuguese Crown the lands and islands newly discovered under the aegis of Henry the Navigator and his immediate successors. It was a surprise for the Portuguese when the Catholic Monarchs of Spain received a similar concession after Columbus returned from his first voyage. In May 1493 Pope Alexander VI gave Spain all the land and islands discovered or to be discovered 100 leagues west of the Azores or Cape Verde Islands.
Dom Joio II protested this concession, alleging that the pope had infringed on Portugal's rights. After this protest he was able to enter into negotiations with the neighboring monarchs, with whom a treaty was drawn up in Tordesillas. The agreement signed on 7 June 1494 retained in principle what the Pope had declared. The world was to be divided into two hemispheres: one belonging to Portugal, the other to Spain. The number of leagues was changed, however. They were raised from 100 to 370, and the point where the counting would begin would be some unspecified island in the Cape Verde archipelago. The arrangement was merely formal and theoretical. Neither side knew what it was giving away or getting, or if it was winning or losing in this settlement.
Pedro Advares Cabral's discovery of Brazil some years later had been preceded by Vicente Yáñz Pinzón's expedition to that region. But the Spaniards never alleged their primacy nor did they doubt that the Land of the Parrots belonged to Portugal. Their interests were located north