As travel restrictions to Portugal from the UK are lifted, some might wonder why Portuguese is the language of Brazil while every other country in Latin America speaks Spanish?
The answer lies in the Treaty of Tordesillas, made between Spain and Portugal in 1494.
Under its terms Spanish sovereignty was permitted over any new lands (this was two years after Columbus “discovered” the New World) that lay west of a meridian line 370 leagues (1277 nautical miles) to the west of the Cape Verde Islands, and gave Portugal the rest.
Since Brazil lies east of this meridian, it alone in Latin America fell under the rule of Lisbon.
Source: Atlantic: A Vast Ocean of a Million Stories by Simon Winchester.
blueprint brief – 21 August 2020