Brazil History

About the Brazil history

Prior to its discovery in 1500 by Pedro Alvares Cabral and its colonization by Portugal in 1600, Brazil is thought to have been inhabited by an indigenous, semi-nomadic populations for at least 8,000 years.

Colonial Flag

Brazil remained a colony of Portugal from the 16C to the 19C. A system based on hereditary captaincies, which was devised to safeguard Portugal's claim on Brazil, saw Brazil's land divided and dispersed to the Portuguese nobility.

When the initial exploration for Brasil's gold resources did not prove successful, Brazil's natural agricultural resources of wood, sugarcane, coffee beans, tobacco and cotton were subsequently exploited by the Portuguese. Sugar provided substantial revenues on account of it being a most sought after commodity by the European countries. This demand and supply relied upon the labours of enslaved Amerindian people and after 1532, mainly enslaved African people.

The Brazil history and Portuguese Royalty

It is noted that a significant turning point in the Brazil history came about in 1808 the Portuguese royal family headed by Queen Maria l of Portugal, the government and nobility, fled Napoleon's armies and traveled to Brazil northeast, relocating in Rio de Janeiro. They remained in Rio until 1821.

The Empire Flag

The history of Brazil took a new turn when Prince regent Dom Pedrom l (who was later Pedro IV of Portugal), declared independence on September 1822, thus establishing an independent Brazilian Empire.

A treaty was signed on August 29 1825 with Britain and Portugal, recognizing the Empire's independence. It is felt that since the crown remained in the hands of the House of Braganca, that this was not true independence but rather a case of the splitting of the Portuguese empire in two.

United Kingdom of Portugal

During this period in the history of Brazil, commercial ports were opened to the UK, which at the time was isolated from most other European ports by Napoleon. This effectively brought Brazil under a United Kingdom, under Portuguese Crown.

When king John VI of Portugal left Brazil to return to his European territory in 1821, his elder son, Pedro l, remained behind as regent of Brazil. Following the royal departure from Brazil, the remaining sovereign government in Rio de Janeiro wanted to dissolve the Kingdom of Brazil with a view to returning it to a colony. The Brazilian War of Independence was the result of the conflict which came out of this move.

Though very much liked by the people of Brazil, Dom Pedro was viewed by the landed elites as being too liberal. Following his abdication in 1831, he returned to Portugal, leaving behind his young son - Emperor Pedro II, who was acclaimed emperor in 1840 at the age of 14.

The turning point in Brazil History

The Male Revolt, a rebellion by the enslaved people took place in Bahia in 1835. Having presided over the abolition of slavery in 1888, Pedro II's rule - a parliamentary affair, lasted until 1889 when a republican military coup, led by General Deodoro da Fonseca, ousted him and Brazil became a federal republic. Brazil experienced heavy European immigration, - creating the basis for industrialization.

Democracy in the Brazil History

Temporary Republican Flag

Brasil attracted many immigrants to its shore during the late 19C and early 20C, as well as becoming industrialized. The migrations included European, Arab and Japanese people.

Dictatorship rule in the Brazil History

On three separate occasions in the Brazil history, starting from 1930 Brazil's democracy was replaced by dictatorships under different generals appointed by the military. 1930 - 1934; 1937 - 1945: and 1964 - 1985.

It is stated that the military forces carrying out the coup of 1964 did so with the co-operation of the U.S Government. Since 1985, Brazil has been seen as a presidential democracy. Brazilian voters were given the choice of indicating a preference for a presidential or a parliamentary system in 1993. Voters also decided not to restore the country's constitutional monarchy.

As you can see, the history of Brazil and for its people has been a turbulent one that has been so aptly captured and depicted in the Brasil Flag today and in the Flags of Brasil's State and its regions.

It is always wonderful to have some background information about your holiday destination. The history of Brazil will hopefully have given you a little more insight into Brasil, the North East region and the Brazilian people, before your Brazil travel northeast.

You may also be interested in Maps of Brazil

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