Treaty of Madrid (13 January 1750)
The Spanish–Portuguese treaty of 1750 or Treaty of Madrid was a document signed by Ferdinand VI of Spain and John V of Portugal on 13 January 1750, concerning their empires and status of their territories of what is now Brazil.
Earlier treaties such as the Treaty of Tordesillas and the Treaty of Zaragoza authored by both countries, and as mediated by the Catholic Church of Rome, stipulated that the Portuguese empire in South America could extend no farther west than the 46th meridian. Had this treaty remained unchanged, the Spanish would have held both what is today the city of São Paulo and all land to the west and south. Thus, Brazil would be only a fraction of its present-day size.
The Treaty of Madrid was based on the principle of Roman law Uti possidetis, ita possideatis (who owns by fact owns by right) and regulated the actual situation, allowing further expansion of the Portuguese Empire at the expense of the Empire of Spain. This expansion eventually led to the formation of the Empire of Brazil.
The treaty also stipulated that Spain would receive the Sacramento Colony and Portugal the Misiones Orientales. These were seven independent Jesuit missions of the upper Uruguay River that resisted Portuguese rule in what is now known as the Guarani War (Guerra Guaranítica). In their attempt to demarcate the new frontier, Spain and Portugal combined armies and crushed the resistance. The movie The Mission is based on these events. The Guarani War occurred between 1754 and 1756. After the war, the Treaty of 1750 was superseded by the Treaty of El Pardo, signed between both countries in 1761.
This treaty also solves the issue of the asiento with Great Britain, which was not mentioned in the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, as it had lessened in importance to both nations. The issue was finally settled by the 1750 Treaty of Madrid in which Britain agreed to renounce its claim to the asiento in exchange for a payment of £100,000. It allowed British trade with Spanish America under favourable conditions.
Result of the treaty
- Simms, Brendan. Three Victories and a Defeat: The Rise and Fall of the First British Empire. Penguin Books, 2008, p. 381.
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