Through Five Republics On Horseback Being An Account Of Many Wanderings In South America By G. Whitfield Ray
 -  When the tidings of a new
world beyond the seas reached Europe, Spanish and Portuguese
expeditions vied with each other - Page 4
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When The Tidings Of A New World Beyond The Seas Reached Europe, Spanish And Portuguese Expeditions Vied With Each Other In Exploring Its Coasts And Sailing Up Its Mighty Rivers.

In 1494 the Pope decided that these new lands, which were nearly twice the size of Europe, should become the possession of the monarchs of Spain and Portugal.

Thus by right of conquest and gift South America with its seven and a half million miles of territory and its millions of Indian inhabitants was divided between Spain and Portugal. The eastern northern half, now called Brazil, became the possession of the Portuguese crown and the rest of the continent went to the crown of Spain. South America is 4,600 miles from north to south, and its greatest breadth from east to west is 3,500 miles. It is a country of plains and mountains and rivers. The Andean range of mountains is 4,400 miles long. Twelve peaks tower three miles or more above ocean level, and some reach into the sky for more than four miles. Many of these are burning mountains; the volcano of Cotopaxi is three miles higher than Vesuvius. Its rivers are among the longest in the world. The Amazon, Orinoco and La Plata systems drain an area of 3,686,400 square miles. Its plains are almost boundless and its forests limitless. There are deserts where no rain ever falls, and there are stretches of coast line where no day ever passes without rain.

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