Brazil History 1

Brazil History Part I

As a country of South America defined by thesciencetutor, org, Brazil has a common history with other South American countries (South America).

Colonial times

The Portuguese P. A. Cabral reached the Brazilian coast on April 22nd, 1500 near the future Bahia and took it on May 1st. owned for Portugal. Initially, the Portuguese only used Brazil as a base and for the extraction of tree wood. In order to protect the colonial property from the access of other powers, King John III decided. for systematic settlement and dispatched Martim Afonso de Sousa (* 1500, † 1564) who founded São Vicente in 1532. After that, the crown sought to promote colonization with the help of private initiatives and awarded the land, which was divided into 15 territorial strips (Portuguese capitanias, “captains”), with feudal rights to people of noble origin (Portuguese donatários, “donated”). Since colonization stagnated under the Donatários, Tomé de Sousa (* 1503, † 1579) came to Brazil as royal governor general in 1549 and founded São Salvador da Bahia (today Salvador), where the Portuguese colonial administration was based until 1763.

During the settlement of the coastal zones, the warlike Indians were enslaved or displaced inland, where many of them fell victim to the slave hunts of the notorious Bandeirantes of São Paulo. Through these raids, the Portuguese sphere of influence was extended far beyond the border to the Spanish colonization zone established in the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494). The personal union between Portugal and Spain (1580-1640) exposed Brazil to the attacks of the Dutch who conquered Pernambuco in 1630. Under Johann Moritz von Nassau, 1636–44 Governor General of the West Indian Trade Company in Brazil, Dutch colonial possessions in Brazil reached their greatest extent before the Dutch were finally expelled in 1654. On the southern border of Brazil, on the Río de la Plata, Spain and Portugal fought over what is now Uruguay. The Treaty of Madrid (1750, confirmed in the Treaty of San Ildefonso in 1777) established the boundaries of modern Brazil. The economic development of the country was initially limited to the cultivation of tropical crops such as sugar cane and cotton by the slaves who were dragged into the country from Africa. Gold was found by Bandeirantes in Minas Gerais in 1695, then in Mato Grosso (1719) and Goiás (1723). Large diamond deposits have also been discovered since 1730. The Portuguese statesman In the second half of the 18th century, Pombal implemented numerous reforms to improve the administration, economy and defense of Brazil. By moving the capital to Rio de Janeiro in 1763, the increased importance of the south was taken into account.


When the Portuguese court fled to Brazil from Napoleonic troops in 1807, Rio de Janeiro temporarily became the capital of the Portuguese Empire. The liberal revolution of 1820 forced John VI. to return to Lisbon, while his son Peter (Pedro) remained as regent in Brazil. When the Constituent Cortes in Lisbon wanted to transform Brazil back into a colony, he headed the independence movement under the influence of the Andrada e Silva brothers. At the height of Ipiranga near São Paulo, the prince regent proclaimed the independence of Brazil on September 7th, 1822. as Peter I. crowned emperor. Portugal recognized independence in 1825. Foreign and domestic political failures as well as numerous conflicts with parliament and the leading layers in the country forced Peter I to abdicate on April 7, 1831 in favor of his five-year-old son Peter II, who from 1840 independently headed politics. The domestic political situation stabilized under his rule. The strong European immigration and the boom in coffee cultivation strengthened the importance of the south. In 1851 Brazil helped overthrow the Argentine dictator J. M. Rosas, and in 1865–70 Brazil defeated the Paraguayan dictator F. S. López in league with Argentina and Uruguay. Slavery became the greatest domestic political problem. The slave trade was forbidden as early as 1831, and slavery was restricted in 1850; In 1871 the children of slaves were declared free. The extreme abolitionists, however, demanded a total ban on slavery. The »Lei áurea« (the »golden law«) of May 13th, 1888 finally abolished slavery without compensation, but also ushered in the end of the empire. The affected planters, until then one of the most important pillars of the monarchy, moved to the republican camp, which had grown considerably due to disagreement over the question of the succession to the throne and unrest in the ranks of the armed forces. An uprising by the garrison of Rio de Janeiro on November 15, 1889 sealed the fate of the monarchy. The republic was proclaimed

Beginnings of the republic and time of dictatorship

A constituent assembly passed the new constitution of the United States of Brazil on February 24th, 1891. The first two presidents were military. The domestic political situation and the economic development, which was impaired by the breakdown of public finances, only stabilized after the presidents P. J. Moraes Barros (1894–98) and M. F. de Campos Sales (1898–1902). In foreign policy, the Baron do Rio Branco (1902–12) headed as minister, numerous border issues with neighboring states were settled, mostly in favor of Brazil. Success in coffee exports, infrastructural improvements and the beginnings of industrialization during the First World War benefited Brazil’s economy. The economic depression of the post-war years ended the export trade boom and caused financial and domestic political crises in which the army, supported by the reform-oriented lieutenant movement (»tenentismo«), gained political influence. In 1930 G. D. Vargas came to power at the head of an insurrectionary movement.

He developed a personal dictatorship over the two constitutions of 1934 and 1937 (1937: establishment of the “Estado Novo”, German New State, with an authoritarian system of government on a corporate basis). Revolts by the communists (1935) and the fascist “integralists” (1939) were suppressed, and the parties were banned in 1937. After initially subsidizing coffee production, Vargas supported industrialization and diversification of agricultural production and tried to improve the situation of the lower classes through social reforms. During the Second World War, Brazil (1942) sided with the “anti-Hitler coalition” (troops deployed in Italy). In 1945 Brazil co-founded the UN, and in 1948 the OAS.

Brazil History 1