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Confirmation of Liberties

Confirmation of Liberties (English law) confirmed peace and justice for all people in the realm.


Confirmation of Charters and Statutes

Confirmation of Charters and Statutes (English law) extended the King’s law and rights in any patents and letters presented.


Confirmation of Liberties

Confirmation of Liberties reaffirmed that common laws cannot subjugate or repeal English law in the limitation or denial of subjects, cities, and boroughs rights to liberty and freedom.


Antão Gonçalves and Nuno Tristão

The Portuguese captains Antão Gonçalves and Nuno Tristão captured 12 Africans in Cabo Branco (modern Mauritania) and take them to Portugal as slaves.


Antam Goncalves

Antam Goncalves sailed back to Cape Bianco, then returned with more gold dust and ten black Africans. The following year, Portuguese explorers returned from Africa with nearly thirty slaves.


Lançarote de Freitas

Lançarote de Freitas, a tax-collector from the Portuguese town of Lagos, forms a company to trade with Africa and kidnapped and enslaved 235 Africans in Lagos, the first large group of African slaves brought to Europe.


African Slaves Put to Work

Sugar is first planted in the Portuguese island of Madeira and, for the first time, African slaves are put to work on the sugar plantations.

Pope Nicholas V issues Dum Diversas

Pope Nicholas V issues Dum Diversas, a bill authorizing the Portuguese to reduce any non-Christians to the status of slaves.


Spanish Enslave Africans

Spanish traders begin to bring slaves from Africa to Spain.


Pope Nicholas V issues Romanus Pontifex

Pope Nicholas V issues Romanus Pontifex, a bull granting the Portuguese a perpetual monopoly in trade with Africa.


The Castle at Arguin

The first of the Portuguese trading forts, the castle at Arguin (modern Mauritania), is completed.


Portuguese colony on the Cape Verde Islands is founded

The Portuguese colony on the Cape Verde Islands is founded, an important way-station in the slave trade.

Portuguese Expand Slave Trade

Portuguese slave traders start to operate in Seville, Spain.


Spanish Merchants Begin to Trade Slaves

Despite Papal opposition, Spanish merchants begin to trade in large numbers of slaves in the 1470s.


Portuguese Negotiate Slave Trade

Portuguese negotiate the first slave trade agreement that also includes gold and ivory. By the end of the 19th Century, over 11 million Africans would arrive in the Americas.


Carlos de Valera of Castille

Carlos de Valera of Castille in Spain brings back 400 slaves from Africa.


England Agrees Not to Join Slave Trade

A Portuguese embassy to the court of King Edward IV of England concludes with the English government agreeing not to enter the slave trade, against the wishes of many English traders.

Diogo da Azambuja

Diogo da Azambuja builds the castle at Elmina (modern Ghana) which was to become the most substantial and the most notorious slave-trading forts in West Africa.


Diogo Cão Discovers the Congo River

Diogo Cão discovers the Congo river. The region is later a major source of slaves.


The Portuguese Settle in São Tomé

Portuguese settle the West African island of São Tomé. This uninhabited West African island is planted with sugar and populated by African slaves by the Portuguese. The settlement thus extended and developed the sugar-slave complex that had been initiated in Madeira.


Granada Surrenders to the Spanish Forces of the Catholic Kings

The Moorish town of Granada surrenders to the Spanish forces of the Catholic Kings, Ferdinand and Isabella, marking the end of La Reconquista, the war between Moors and Spaniards in the Iberian Peninsula. Both sides retain many slaves taken during the course of the war.

Privileges and Prerogatives Granted to Christopher Columbus

Ferdinand and Elizabeth of Spain grants privileges and prerogatives to Christopher Columbus to discover and subdue some Islands and Continent in the ocean.


Columbus Initiates First Transatlantic Slave Trade

On his second voyage, Columbus again reaches the New World (modern Dominica), and initiates the first transatlantic slave voyage, a shipment of several hundred Taino people sent from Hispaniola to Spain.


The Act 11 of Henry IIV

The Act 11 of Henry IIV (English law) stated that any persons, whosoever he or they be, serve the King in time of war within or without the land shall not be convicted of any crime or forfeit life or possession. Further, no act or law codified afterwards would be utterly void against these persons.


Columbus Enslaves Native Americans

Columbus returns from his second voyage, carrying around 30 Native American slaves.


John Cabot Makes Landfall on Newfoundland

John Cabot, an Italian sponsored by King Henry VII of England, makes landfall on the northern tip of the island of Newfoundland (modern Canada). This discovery became the basis of subsequent English claims to North America.


John Cabot Granted Privileges

King Henry VII grant privileges and permission to John Cabot and his three sons to discover new and unknown lands for the empire.


John Cabot Granted Privileges

More than 200 slaves taken from the northern coast of South America by Amerigo Vespucci and Alonso de Hojeda and sold in Cádiz.

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