Independence Day !
was discovered by the Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares
Cabral on April, 22 1500. Thirty years later, the Portuguese
king decided to begin the settlements in order to protect the
territory and keep the foreigner invadaders away.
1532, São Vicente
village, the first formal Portuguese settlement, is founded by
the Portuguese settler Martim Afonso de Sousa and there he begins
the sugar cane plantations.
1550 the African slave trade is introduced in Brazil to substitute
the "Indian" slave labor.
1565, Estácio de Sá, Brazil's third governor nephew,
comes to Brazil in order to help his uncle in the battle against
the French. Between 1612 and 1654 Brazil is often invaded by
the French and the Dutch. Estácio de Sá arrives
at the present Praia Vermelha located in the Guanabara Bay and
founds near the Sugar Loaf mountain the São Sebastião
city (Saint Sebastian city) on March 1. The city was later renamed
São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro, and some years
later only Rio de Janeiro.
1670, the "Quilombo dos Palmares" (place where African
slave refugees used to hide) reaches a population of 50.000 refugees.
An African called Zumbi dos Palmares is their great leader. In 1695 Palmares falls and Zumbi's
head is cut off.
1763, the capital of Brazil is transferred from Salvador to Rio
de Janeiro due to its better localization in relation to the
region of the mines that should be protected to avoid foreign
1815, King Dom João VI raises Brazil to the status of
Kingdom and Brazil is known as United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil
1820, revolutions in Lisbon and O Porto are the crucial issue
for the King's return to Portugal and King Dom João VI
leaves Brazil and sails for Lisbon in 1821. His son, the prince
regent Dom Pedro stays in Brazil.
and his advisers realized that revolutions in other Latin American
countries were encouraging a movement for national independence
in Brazil. A new and aggressive Cortes (parliament) in Portugal
contributed to the demand for independence through a series of
inept actions that offended many influential Brazilians. The
Cortes further alienated Brazilians by attempting to restore
Brazil to colonial status. Pedro and his advisers decided to
take control of the movement for independence. On September 7,
1822, after receiving orders from the Portuguese Cortes curtailing
his authority in Brazil, Dom Pedro, supported by the Brazilian
José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva, one of his advisers,
he declared Brazil's independence by shouting "Independência
ou morte!" (Independence or death) in the São Paulo
state. Thus Brazil became one of the few Latin American colonies
to make a peaceful transition to independence.
October 12, Dom Pedro returns to Rio de Janeiro and is proclaimed
the first emperor of Brazil as Dom Pedro I. On December 1, Dom Pedro I is crowned.
His greatest challenge was to keep this new nation of continental
dimensions from fragmenting into several countries, as had happened
in Spanish America. He counted with the help of Lord Thomas Cochrane,
an admiral who had been thrown out of the British navy, to enforce
his authority in Brazil. Cochrane defeated the small Portuguese
fleet and crushed separatist revolts in the major regional centers
along the coast. With a small hired navy and very few battles,
Brazil retained its unity after gaining its independence. Portugal
recognized Brazil's independence in 1825.
In 1793, Joaquim
José da Silva Xavier, known as "Tiradentes"
(Tooth Puller), because among his many professions was dentistry,
is hanged for leading a movement for the separation of Brazil
from Portugal. The other members of the movement are arrested.
Tiradentes becomes a martyr for the cause of the independence.
1807, Napoleon's troops invade Lisbon. One day before the invasion,
the prince regent Dom João moves with the Royal Family
to Rio de Janeiro.