- Aug 2018
But that is irrelevant to the fact that had Magallanes been successful in founding his settlement given by king Humabon (whom he baptised) and returned to Spain, the Spaniards would have colonised the Philippines much sooner. The failure of Magallanes convinced the Spanish Crown to not colonise the Philippines until much later. There was the effort by Ruy de Villalobos, but that was even more of a failure, and again, largely thanks to the failure of Magallanes, since Villalobos had nowhere to land and no local allies to make. Only until the Legazpi invasion of the 1570s did Spain finally subjugate these islands.Because the Treaty of Tordesilhas was still in effect and was respected between the two crowns until at least 1640, even during the period that the two crowns had the same king.
The treaty didn’t allow the Castilians to go to the Philippines trough the Atlantic/Indian Ocean route. They had to go through the longer Atlantic/Pacific route. That was why Magalhães even begun the voyage.
One of the consequences of the voyage by Magalhães/Elcano voyage was to mark the Antimeridian of the treaty. So it was signed the Treaty of Zaragoza. Basically the new treaty established the borders between the two crowns in the East. Again those limits were respected for more than a century (with somewhat limited exceptions). Again even during the period that the two crowns had the same king (1580-1640).
So, aside from the treaty, the major delay in the expansionism of the Castilians in the East of Asia was to find a link between Asia and America.
Allow me to go to the basic of the issue to Wikipedia: “The Manila-Acapulco galleon trade finally began when Spanish navigators Alonso de Arellano and Andrés de Urdaneta discovered the eastward return route in 1565. Sailing as part of the expedition commanded by Miguel López de Legazpi to conquer the Philippines in 1565, Arellano and Urdaneta were given the task of finding a return route. Reasoning that the trade winds of the Pacific might move in a gyre as the Atlantic winds did, they had to sail north to the 38th parallel north, off the east coast of Japan, before catching the eastward-blowing winds ("westerlies") that would take them back across the Pacific.”
From: Manila galleon - Wikipedia
The Portuguese were influential, but had Magallenes been successful or just not engaged Lapu Lapu in battle and returned safely to Spain with his gains, the line of demarcation would have been different and the Spaniards would have gotten the Philippines much sooner (building up from Magallanes), most likely changing the landscape of Asia by giving the Spaniards a base for further conquests. Tordesillas only meant so much and I honestly doubt that, while the Portuguese would have complained about the Spaniards getting the Philippines, they would have gone to war with the Spaniards for them.
Even after Zaragoza, the Philippines was still on the Portuguese portion of the line of demarcation, but the Portuguese by then no longer cared and allowed the Spaniards to get all of them, just like the Spaniards didn't care that Brazil was in their side of the line and yet allowed the Portuguese to colonise it. So yes, the Battle of Mactan did indeed stop Spanish colonialism for half a century in Asia.