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History of Brazil - Century XVIII and XIX

Century XVIII

1707 - War over the gold. Indians and paulistas (from capitany of Sao Paulo) fought against Portuguese and baianos (from capitany of Bahia; the baianos were dubbed Emboabas). The war as called War of Emboabas and was won by the latter, who gained possession of the gold mines.

1709-1710 - Portugal creates the capitanies of Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais, in an attempt to gain a tighter control of the area. The first road is opened, connecting Minas Gerais to Rio de Janeiro.

1718-1722 - The paulistas, after the War of Emboabas, decided to go west. They find gold in where today is Goias and Mato Grosso. These campaigns, called bandeiras, were important for another reason: during the Portugal-Spain merging period of 1580-1640, the Treaty of Tordesillas had no reason to exist; the Portuguese were then free to explore the Spanish colonies, which caused the borders to become blurred. When the merge expired, the possession of land was determined mostly by whom was actually occupying it, and thanks to these paulistas (known as bandeirantes), plenty of territory became Portuguese and eventually Brazilian (see below).Read more about the bandeirantes.

1750 - Portugal and Spain sign the Treaty of Madrid, to agree on the borders between the respective colonies; as per the agreement, Spain would keep the area to the west of Rio da Prata (where today is Uruguay), and Portugal would keep large areas where today is the Amazon, Mato Grosso, Goias and Rio Grande do Sul.

1750-1777 Portugal was ruled by the Marquis of Pombal, an Illuminist; the marquis re-structured the administration of the colony, aiming at centralizing the government. Main actions: the capitanies were extinguished, the Portuguese kingdom took over; a control of borders was established; the capital was transferred from Salvador to Rio de Janeiro in 1762, and massive investments in buildings and urbanization tried to put Rio at the same level as Buenos Aires and other European cities; agriculture was diversified, and industry began to be incentivated; Brazil was promoted from colony to the condition of vice-kingdom.

1785 - Queen Maria dismisses Pombal and issues a law forbidding any kind of industry in Brazil; some businesses in siderurgy and textile which were starting to develop in Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais were aborted.

1792 - Influenced by the liberal ideals of American Independence (1776) and French Revolution (1789), Brazil sees its first major rebelion, the Inconfidencia Mineira. Led by Tiradentes, the rebels contested the growing taxation; Portugal responded with overwhelming power demonstration: all rebels were killed; Tiradentes was hung and his body was broken apart, and became one of the greatest Brazilian heroes. The name of the movement is a reference to the place where it occurred (Minas Gerais) and to the betrayal (inconfidencia) which permitted Portugal to know about the leaders of the rebelion.
Read more about Tiradentes

1800 - Brazilian population was about 3 million. The biggest city was Salvador, followed by Rio de Janeiro and Ouro Preto.

Century XIX

1808 - England and France (led by Napoleon) declare war to each other; Portugal sides with England, and Napoleon threatens with invading Portugal. The entire Portuguese court fleeds to Brazil. Consequences: Brazil is promoted to the condition of United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Algarves; the Brazilian ports were opened for trading with all friend nations; the city of Rio de Janeiro was entirely refurbished; the agribusiness was estimulated and diversified, with special focus on cotton, which was much used by the English industries. Still as consequence of the Napoleonic wars, Portugal and England sign in 1810 the Treaty of Methuen, by which the English were granted special treatment by Portuguese qne Brazilian laws and courts, and in return would provide the military power that Portugal lacked; this treaty left many Brazilians dissatisfied.

1816 - Portugal invades and anexes Uruguay, where several revolutionary groups were seeding ideas of independence of the Spanish colonies

1817 - First Republican revolution in Brazil. The dominant classes of Pernambuco and surrounding states, severely affected by the crisis of sugar cane, proclaimed a Republic with a provisory constitution. By manu military, Portugal crushed the movement.

1821 - Revolution of Oporto, in Portugal. Also struck by libertarian ideas, the Portuguese demand changes in the Monarchy. Don Joao VI, king of Portugal and Brazil, returns to Lisbon, leaving his son Pedro as the regent in Brazil.

1822 - Portugal commands Pedro to return to Portugal. On Jan. 9th 1822, Pedro, responding to Brazilian clamour, announces he is going to stay; the date is know as "O Dia do Fico" ("I Stay").

September, 7th, 1822 - Pedro proclaims independence from Portugal and is crowned emperor, now D. Pedro I. The country was in economic crisis, after decades of exploitation. Even so, the independence was more bought than fought for: Brazil agreed to pay indemnizations to Portugal and, to have the independence recognized by the British in 1825, agreed with paying the debts the Portuguese had assumed with English banks.

1826 - the first two superior education schools in Brazil: School of Laws in Olinda (transferred shortly after to Recife) and in Sao Paulo.

1824 - The first Brazilian constitution is outorgated (without any voting) by D. Pedro I

1824 - D. Pedro I sees the first rebelion against his government: the Confederation of Equador, which united several provinces in the North and Northeast.

1826 - The Parliament is opened. Main parties were the Liberals and the Conservatives.

April, 7th, 1831 - Much critized by the Liberals, D. Pedro I resigns in favour of his son, Pedro II, who was only five years old. A new Regency period is initiated, which should last until Pedro II turned eighteen years old; the first regent was Feijo.

1834 - The Liberals, who were majority in Parliament, pass laws giving more power to local governments; elections are called in the biggest cities, and most are won by the Liberals.

1835 - The excessive power of Liberals upsets other groups; several rebelions eclode all around the country, the most important being Cabanada, in Para, and Guerra dos Farrapos, in Rio Grande do Sul.

1831-1850 - Signs of international attriction between Brazil, whose econonomy was founded on slave work, and European countries, which were going through the Industrial revolution and were seeking more consuming markets.

1837 - Regent Feijo resigns. The Liberals start a campaign to antecipate the majority of Pedro II. In 1841, at age fifteen, Pedro II is declared the second emperor of Brazil. After taking the throne, D. Pedro II nominates a Liberal cabinet, which was replaced the next year by a Conservative, starting an alternating cycle which would last till the end of Empire.

1845 - British approved Aberdeen Bill, which authorized British ships to attack, while in international waters, Brazilian ships envolved with traffic of slaves. Later on, even ships in Brazilian ports were attacked. The growing Brazilian culture of coffee was dependent on the black slaves work force.

May, 13th, 1888 - After even more pressure from international and domestic communities, slavery is abolished in Brazil. The emperor took a providencial trip, and his daughter Princess Isabel signed what became known as Lei Aurea (Golden Law), releasing all the slaves.

November, 15th, 1889 - The military, chiefed by Marechal Deodoro da Fonseca, proclaims the Republic of Brazil. There was no violence. The emperor D. Pedro II was sent to Europe.

1890 - Continuing a process started during the empire, the Brazilian republic welcomes immigrants, who should replace the slaves; hundreds of thousands of immigrants come to Brazil, mostly to Sao Paulo and other southern states.

1891 - The first Constitution of the republican era is promulgated. The states had autonomy, but much power was concentrated in the President.

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