This article analyzes the projects for the occupation or economic exploitation of the old Maranhão before 1626. French, English and Dutch projects competed with the Luso-Spanish plan for the occupation of the border between the North of Brazil and the Indies of Castile in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Thus, the conquest of Maranhão (1615) will be discussed in relation to two questions: 1. Competition for spaces of action in this part of the Atlantic. 2. The major changes in the Luso-Brazilian universe following the Dynastic Union (1580-1640).
State of Maranhão; Iberian Union; seventeenth century