1494: How a Family Feud in Medieval Spain Divided the World by Stephen R. Bown

By Stephen R. Bown

In 1494, award-winning writer Stephen R. Bown tells the untold tale of the explosive feud among monarchs, clergy, and explorers that break up the globe among Spain and Portugal and made the world’s oceans a battleground.

When Columbus triumphantly back from the USA to Spain in 1493, his discoveries infected an already-smouldering clash among Spain’s well known monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, and Portugal’s João II. Which state was once to manage the world’s oceans? To quell the argument, Pope Alexander VI—the infamous Rodrigo Borgia—issued a proclamation laying the root for the Treaty of Tordesillas of 1494, an edict that created an imaginary line within the Atlantic Ocean dividing the whole recognized (and unknown) global among Spain and Portugal.

Just because the world’s oceans have been approximately to be opened via Columbus’s epochal voyage, the treaty sought to restrict the seas to those preferred Catholic countries. The edict was once to have a profound effect on international heritage: it propelled Spain and Portugal to superpower prestige, prompt many different ecu countries on a collision path, and have become the imperative complaint in centuries of overseas espionage, piracy, and warfare.

The treaty additionally started the struggle for “the freedom of the seas”—the epic fight to figure out no matter if the world’s oceans, and therefore worldwide trade, will be managed through the decree of an autocrat or be open to the ships of any nation—a surprisingly smooth thought, championed within the early 17th century through the Dutch felony theorist Hugo Grotius, whose arguments turned the root of overseas law.
At the center of 1 of the best overseas diplomatic and political agreements of the final 5 centuries have been the strained relationships and passions of a handful of robust contributors. They have been associated by means of a shared heritage, mutual animosity, and private obligations—quarrels, rivalries, and hatreds that dated again many years. but the fight finally stemmed from a tender woman’s selection to defy culture and the king, and to decide on her personal husband.

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In the United States, the GI Bill enabled hundreds of thousands of young veterans to attend university, thereby opening up white-collar and professional jobs for an entire generation of working class or rural youth. After the war, there was also a huge baby boom in the United States, Europe, and Australasia. In the United States, many families moved from agricultural or urban areas to the suburbs, often buying new homes with loans provided for veterans. Road systems, shopping malls, schools, and hospitals were constructed to provide services for these new residents.

The new legislation required a national roll according to racial classifications in the Population Registration Act (1950), and the Group Areas Act (1950) enacted demarcation of land use according to race, which secured the most fertile, resourceful, and beautiful  African National Congress land for the whites and assigned marginalized areas of land to blacks as homelands. When the apartheid laws were introduced in 1948, a conflict between the older and younger generations in the ANC deepened.

In these campaigns the ANC activists deliberately broke the unjust apartheid laws to draw attention to them and have them examined in the courtroom. On June 26, 1955, the Congress of the People, which consisted of the ANC and other civil rights and antiapartheid organizations, formulated the so-called Freedom Charter at Kliptown. It demanded equal rights for people of all skin colors and no discrimination based on race. In 1956 the government arrested 156 leaders of the ANC and its allies and charged them with high treason using the Freedom Charter as the basis of its charge.

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