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History of Brazil


History of Beazil Pre-Columbian Era

First humans came to Brazil around10,000 BC. There were the descendants of those people who had come in North America by crossing the land bridge now submerged and called Bering Strait.

We could not found great civilizations in Brazil in Pre-Columbian era, like Aztec, Mayan, Incas or North American Indians. One of the major reason was the lack of naked metal exposing land like the Incas or the Europeans had. Second, as most of Brazil is comprises of dense impenetrable forest and less rich fertilization land. Perhaps Brazil was not completely deprived of any of such civilization as some uncovered areas of Amazon have exposed the traces of some lost civilization. Maybe in future, we would fin ruins of some great ancient civilization in Brazil as well.

Advent of European

Europeans were in search of some alternate way to India as the traditional path from was under the control of Ottoman Empire. As the result of one of such effort, Columbus discovered America in 1492. Though the expedition was sponsored by Spanish monarchy but Columbus was himself a Portuguese. So though his discovery overall caused an inspirational wave for new world exploration in the whole continent but initially it was Iberian Peninsula countries which were most ignited. The signed a treat to sort any conflicting claims in the new world called Treaty of Tordesillas.

Portuguese Colonization

Pope Alexander VI draw the demarcation line 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands. As per this line, all newly discovered areas right of the line would go Portugal and Spain will take land right of it.  Pedro Alvares Cabral was a Portuguese diplomat and an adventurous fleet commander, discovered Brazil in 1500. Earlier Portuguese were interested was limited to exporting Brazilian wood but later when they observed active interest of France there, aghast of increasing French interest forced them to find new colony and made first permanent settlement at Sao Vicente in 1530. Earlier the settlements along the Atlantic coast were divided in 15 regions, which were united by the king in 1549 and Salvador was selected as its capital. Settlers adopted farming and plantation.

Atlantic Slave Trade

The initial idea to get labor was to enslave the indigenous not produced positive results for settlers and also proved disastrous for natives as most of the enslaved were died due to the diseases that white man had brought with them and indigenous of new world were without any immunity to them, forced labor also caused retaliation and most of the natives moved in dense mysterious inland. The settlers moved for African slave.

Gold Boom

Sugar was the main crop during 16th.  In the first half of 17th-century focus was moved to newly discover gold reserves. This boom that lasted till 1760 shifted a segment of the population to the interior of the country. In the second half of 18th century, Brazilian have stated cultivating cotton, cacao and rice.

Dutch Brazil Adventures

Multiple times, in different coastal areas Portuguese claims were encroached and challenged by French and Dutch. Especially Dutch had made some strong effort during mid of 16th century, even they have captured half of Brazil and named it New Holland but eventually Portuguese won in the decisive Second Battle of Guararapes fought in 1649 and pushed both the Dutch and French out of Brazil within a decade. They not even repulsed the other colonial powers but more fortified their areas. They moved their capital from Salvador to Rio De Janeiro in 1763.

Brazil History from 19th century


 

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