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    Posted: 16-Sep-2005 at 23:45

Brazilian independence

Pedro I, Emperor of Brazil; Pedro IV of Portugal

Pedro as regent

After Joo VI returned to Portugal Republic of Portugal (Portuguese: Repblica Portuguesa) is a democratic republic located on the west and southwest parts of the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe, and is the westernmost country in continental Europe. Portugal is bordered by Spain to the north and east and by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south. In addition, Portugal includes several island territories in the Atlantic, such as the Azores (Aores) and Madeira and Porto Santo (including the Savage Islands).
..... Click the link for more information. in 1821, his heir-apparent Pedro Pedro I of Brazil (English: Peter), known as "Dom Pedro" (October 12, 1798 - September 24, 1834), proclaimed Brazil independent from Portugal and became Brazil's first Emperor. He also held the Portuguese throne briefly as Pedro IV of Portugal, the Soldier-King (Port. o Rei-Soldado), 28th (or 29th according to some historians) king of Portugal.
..... Click the link for more information. became regent of the Kingdom of Brazil, with an informal understanding known as the Bragana Agreement that he was to take the crown if Brazil came to be independent. He meant to rule frugally and started by cutting his own salary Salary is a form of periodic payment from the employer to the employee, which is specified in an employment contract.

Whilst 'wage' and 'salary' are often used interchangeably, 'salary' refers in particular to payment associated with a position over a fixed period of time, such as per week, per month, or per year.
..... Click the link for more information. , centralizing scattered government offices, and selling off most of the royal horses Horse (Equus caballus) is a large ungulate mammal, one of the seven modern species of the genus Equus. It has long played an important role in transport, whether ridden or used for pulling a chariot, carriage, horse-drawn boat, stagecoach, tram, or plough. They have also been used for food.
..... Click the link for more information. and mules mule is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. Compare hinny the offspring of a male horse and a female donkey. The term mule (Latin mulus) was formerly applied to the offspring of any two creatures of different species in modern usage, a "hybrid".

The mule, easier to breed and usually larger in size than a hinny, has monopolised the attention of breeders.
..... Click the link for more information. . He issued decrees that eliminated the royal salt SALT refers to:
Southern African Large Telescope an optical telescope located in the semi-desert region of Karoo, South Africa.
Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, SALT I and SALT II, agreements relating to the offensive nuclear arsenals between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

..... Click the link for more information. tax tax is an involuntary fee paid by individuals or businesses to a state, or to functional equivalents of a state, including tribes, secessionist movements or revolutionary movements.

Taxes may be paid in cash or in kind or as corvee labor. Modern capitalist taxation systems, which are designed to encourage the most efficient circulation of commodified goods and services, are levied in cash.
..... Click the link for more information. , to spur the output of hides To hide is to make someone or something less visible; see camouflage, information hiding.
Hide is the skin of animals; see leather and rawhide.
In feudalism, a hide of land is the amount that was considered sufficient to support a family, varying from 60 to 120 acres (240,000 to 480,000 m) with the land quality.
..... Click the link for more information. and dried beef Beef is meat obtained from a bovine.

Beef is a taboo meat in a number of religions, most notably Hinduism. Also, consumption of beef (along with other meats) is frowned upon by many Buddhists, although it is not strictly taboo.

By contrast, beef is one of the principal meats used in European cuisine and cuisine of the Americas, and is important in Africa, East Asia, and Southeast Asia as well. In the middle east, it is very rare to have lunch without beef.
..... Click the link for more information. ; he forbade arbitrary seizure of private property
property as ownership rights. For information about property in the performing arts, see prop. For information about other sorts of property, see properties.

Use of the termThe concept of property or ownership has no single or universally accepted definition. Like other foundational concepts which have great weight in public discourse, popular usage varies broadly. Various scholarly communities (e.g., law, economics, anthropology, sociology) may treat the concept more systematically, but their definitions likewise vary within and between fields.
..... Click the link for more information. , required a judge's warrant Warrant has several meanings:
In law, a warrant is a form of authorization, such as a writ issued by a judge.
In finance, a warrant is a right, without obligation, to buy or sell something at an agreed price.
In epistemology, the theory of justification deals with understanding how beliefs can be justified or warranted.

..... Click the link for more information. for arrests of freemen, and banned secret trials trial is, in the most general sense, a test, usually a test to see whether something does or does not meet a given standard.
In law, a trial is the presentation of information in a formal setting, usually a court, with the object of determining whether or not a person (or other legal entity such as a corporation) has broken a law.

..... Click the link for more information. , torture Torture is the infliction of severe physical or psychological pain as an expression of cruelty, a means of intimidation, deterrent or punishment, or as a tool for the extraction of information or confessions.

Torture is an extreme violation of human rights. Signatories of the Third Geneva Convention
..... Click the link for more information. , and other indignities. He also sent elected deputies to the Portuguese Assembly (Crtes). However, slaves Slavery is a condition of control over a person against their will, enforced by violence or other forms of coercion. Slavery almost always occurs for the purpose of securing the labor of the person concerned. A specific form, known as chattel slavery, implies the legal ownership of a person or persons.
..... Click the link for more information. continued to be bought and sold and disciplined with force, despite his assertion that their blood was the same color as his.

In September September is the ninth month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of four Gregorian months with the length of 30 days.

September begins (astrologically) with the sun in the sign of Virgo and ends in the sign of Libra. Astronomically speaking, the sun begins in the constellation of Leo and ends in the constellation of Virgo.
..... Click the link for more information. 1821 1821 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar).

EventsFebruary 23 - The Philadelphia College of Apothecaries founds the first pharmacy college.
March 25 - Greece declares its independence from the Ottoman Empire, beginning the Greek War of Independence.
July 10 - The United States takes possession of its newly-bought territory of Florida from Spain.

..... Click the link for more information. , the Portuguese Assembly, with only a portion of the Brazilian delegates present, voted to abolish the Kingdom of Brazil and the royal agencies in Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro (meaning River of January in Portuguese) is the name of both a state and a city in southeastern Brazil. The city is famous for the hotel-lined tourist beaches Copacabana and Ipanema, for the giant statue of Jesus, known as Christ the Redeemer ("Cristo Redentor") on the Corcovado mountain, and for its yearly Carnival celebration. It also has the biggest forest inside an urban region, called "Floresta da Tijuca". The current mayor is Cesar Maia.
..... Click the link for more information. , thus subordinating all provinces of Brazil directly to Lisbon Lisbon (in Portuguese, Lisboa) is the capital and largest city of Portugal. It is the seat of the district of Lisbon.

Geography and Location

Lisbon is situated at 3843' north, 98' west (38.71667, 9.1333), making it the westernmost capital in Europe. It is located in the west of the country, on the Atlantic coast at the point where the river Tagus (Portuguese Tejo) flows into the Atlantic Ocean.
..... Click the link for more information. . Accordingly, troops were sent to Brazil, and all Brazilian units were placed under Portuguese command.

In January January is the first month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of seven Gregorian months with the length of 31 days.

January begins (astrologically) with the sun in the sign of Capricorn and ends in the sign of Aquarius. Astronomically speaking, the sun begins in the constellation of Sagittarius and ends in the constellation of Capricornus.
..... Click the link for more information. 1822 1822 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar).

EventsMarch 30 - Florida becomes a United States territory.
May 24 - Battle of Pichincha: Simn Bolvar secures the independence of Quito.
June 14 - Charles Babbage proposes a Difference engine in a paper to the Royal Astronomical Society entitled "Note on the application of machinery to the computation of astronomical and mathematical tables.

..... Click the link for more information. , tension between Portuguese troops and the Luso-Brazilians (Brazilians born in Portugal) turned violent when Pedro, who had been ordered by the Assembly to return to Lisbon, refused to comply and vowed to stay. He had been moved by petitions from Brazilian towns, and by the argument that his departure and the dismantling of the central government would trigger separatist movements.

Pedro formed a new government headed by Jos Bonifcio de Andrada e Silva of So Paulo. This former royal official and professor of science at Coimbra Coimbra is a city and the capital of the district of Coimbra in Portugal.

Coimbra city is located in the central part of Portugal, 120 km south of Porto, 195 km north of Lisbon. One of Portugal's biggest crossroads, Coimbra is served by the A1, the main highway of Portugal. The city is the main administrative centre of Central Portugal. Coimbra is set by the Mondego River, about 40 km east of Figueira da Foz, a neighbour coastal city with several beaches, summer and seaport facilities on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.
..... Click the link for more information. was crucial to the subsequent direction of events and is regarded as one of the formative figures of Brazilian nationalism, indeed, as the "Patriarch of Independence".

The atmosphere was so charged that Dom Pedro sought assurances of asylum on a British ship in case he lost the looming confrontation; he also sent his family to safety out of the city.

Turmoil in the provinces

After Pedro's decision to defy the Crtes, the "lead feet," as the Brazilians called the Portuguese troops, rioted before concentrating on Cerro Castello, which was soon surrounded by thousands of armed Brazilians. Dom Pedro then "dismissed" the Portuguese commanding general and ordered him to remove his soldiers across the bay to Niteri, where they would await transport to Portugal. In the following days, the Portuguese commander delayed embarcation, hoping that expected reinforcements would arrive. However, the reinforcements that arrived off Rio de Janeiro on March 5, 1822, were not allowed to land. Instead, they were given supplies for the voyage back to Portugal. This round had been won without bloodshed.

Blood had been shed in Recife in the Province of Pernambuco, when the Portuguese garrison there had been forced to depart in November 1821. In mid-February 1822, Brazilians in Bahia revolted against the Portuguese forces there but were driven into the countryside, where they began guerrilla operations, signaling that the struggle in the north would not be without loss of life and property.

To secure Minas Gerais and So Paulo, where there were no Portuguese troops but where there were doubts about independence, Dom Pedro engaged in some royal populism. Towns in Minas Gerais had expressed their loyalty at the time of Pedro's vow to remain, save for the junta in Ouro Prto, the provincial capital. Pedro realized that unless Minas Gerais were solidly with him, he would be unable to broaden his authority to other provinces. With only a few companions and no ceremony or pomp, Pedro plunged into Minas Gerais on horseback in late March 1822, receiving enthusiastic welcomes and allegiances everywhere.

Defender of Brazil

Back in Rio de Janeiro on May 13, he proclaimed himself the "Perpetual Defender of Brazil" and shortly thereafter called a Constituent Assembly (Assemblia Constituinte) for the next year. To deepen his base of support, he joined the freemasons, who, led by Jos Bonifcio Andrada e Silva, were pressing for parliamentary government and independence. More confident, in early August he called on the Brazilian deputies in Lisbon to return, decreed that Portuguese forces in Brazil should be treated as enemies, and issued a manifesto to "friendly nations." The manifesto read like a declaration of independence.

So Paulo and Ipiranga

Seeking to duplicate his triumph in Minas Gerais, Pedro rode to So Paulo in August to assure himself of support there. It was on that trip that he began a disastrous affair with Domitila de Castro that would later weaken his government. Returning from an excursion to Santos, Pedro received messages from his wife and from Andrada e Silva that the Crtes had declared his government traitorous and were dispatching more troops. Pedro then had to choose between returning to Portugal in disgrace, or breaking the last ties to Portugal. In a famous scene at Ipiranga on September 7, 1822, he tore the Portuguese blue and white insignia from his uniform, drew his sword, and swore: "By my blood, by my honor, and by God: I will make Brazil free." Their motto, he said, would be "Independence or Death!"

The reign of Pedro I, 1822-31
Brazilian provinces by the time of independence

Military consolidation

To consolidate his claim, Pedro now Emperor Pedro I of Brazil hired Admiral Thomas Cochrane, one of Britain's most successful naval commanders in the Napoleonic Wars and recently commander of the Chilean naval forces against Spain. He also hired a number of Admiral Cochrane's officers, and the French General Pierre Labatut, who had fought in Colombia. These men were to lead the fight to drive the Portuguese out of Bahia, Maranho, and Par, and to force those areas to replace Lisbon's rule with that of Rio de Janeiro. Money from customs at Rio de Janeiro's port and local donations outfitted the army and the nine-vessel fleet. The use of foreign mercenaries brought needed military skills. The much-feared Cochrane secured Maranho with a single warship, despite the Portuguese military's attempt to disrupt the economy and society with a scorched-earth campaign and with promises of freedom for the slaves. By mid-1823 the contending forces numbered between 10,000 and 20,000 Portuguese, some of whom were veterans of the Napoleonic Wars, versus 12,000 to 14,000 Brazilians, mostly in militia units from the Northeast.

Brazilian independence is popularly believed to have come without bloodshed. In fact, although both sides avoided massive set battles, they did engage in guerrilla tactics, demonstrations, and countermoves. There is little information on casualties, but the fighting provided a female martyr in Mother Joana Anglica, who was bayoneted to death by Portuguese troops invading her convent in Bahia; and an example of female grit in Maria Quitria de Jesus, who, masquerading as a man, joined the imperial army and achieved distinction in several battles.

International recognition

Britain and Portugal eventually recognized Brazilian independence by signing a treaty on August 29, 1825. Until then, the Brazilians feared that Portugal would resume its attack. Portuguese retribution, however, came in a financial form. Secret codicils of the treaty with Portugal required that Brazil assume payment of 1.4 million pounds sterling owed to Britain and indemnify Dom Joo VI and other Portuguese for losses totaling 600,000 pounds sterling. Brazil also renounced future annexation of Portuguese African colonies, and in a side treaty with Britain promised to end the slave trade. Neither of these measures pleased the slave-holding planters.

An imposed Constitution

Organizing the new government quickly brought the differences between the emperor and his leading subjects to the fore. In 1824 Pedro closed the Constituent Assembly that he had convened because he believed that body was endangering liberty. As assembly members, his advisers, Jos Bonifcio de Andrada e Silva and Dom Pedro's brothers, had written a draft constitution that would have limited the monarch by making him equal to the legislature and judiciary, similar to the president of the United States. They wanted the emperor to push the draft through without discussion, which Pedro refused to do. Troops surrounded the assembly as he ordered it dissolved.

Pedro then produced a constitution modeled on that of Portugal (1822) and France (1814). It specified indirect elections and created the usual three branches of government but also added a fourth, the "moderating power", to be held by the emperor. The moderating power would give the emperor authority to name senators and judges and to break deadlocks by summoning and dismissing parliaments and cabinets. He also had treaty-making and treaty-ratifying power. Pedro's constitution was more liberal than the assembly's in its religious toleration and definition of individual and property rights, but less so in its concentration of power in the emperor.

The Confederation of the Equator

The constitution was more acceptable in the flourishing, coffee-driven Southeastern provinces than in the Northeastern sugar and cotton areas, where low export prices and the high cost of imported slaves were blamed on the coffee-oriented government. In mid-1824, with Pernambuco and Cear leading, five Northeastern provinces declared independence as the Confederation of the Equator, but by year's end the short-lived separation had been crushed by Admiral Cochrane. With the Northeast pacified, violence now imperiled the South.

The Cisplatine War

In 1825 war flared again over Buenos Aires' determination to annex the Cisplatine Province (present Uruguay, on the East bank of the Plata River). The empire could little afford the troops, some of whom were recruited in Ireland and Germany, or the sixty warships needed to blockade the Ro de la Plata. A loan from London bankers was expended by 1826, and Pedro had to call the General Assembly to finance the war. The blockade raised objections from the United States and Britain, and defeats on land in 1827 made it necessary to negotiate an end to the US$30 million Cisplatine War. The war at least left Uruguay independent instead of an Argentine province. In June 1828, harsh discipline and xenophobia provoked a mutiny of mercenary troops in Rio de Janeiro; the Irish were shipped home and the Germans sent to the South. The army was reduced to 15,000 members, and the anti-slavery Pedro, now without military muscle, faced a Parliament controlled by slave-owners and their allies.

The slavery question

As coffee exports rose steadily, so did the numbers of imported slaves; in Rio de Janeiro alone they soared from 26,254 in 1825 to 43,555 in 1828. In 1822 about 30 percent, or 1 million, of Brazil's population were African-born or -descended slaves. Slavery was so pervasive that beggars had slaves, and naval volunteers took theirs aboard ship.

Pedro had written that slavery was a "cancer that is gnawing away at Brazil" and that no one had the right to enslave another. He wanted to abolish slavery, but his own liberal constitution gave the law-making authority to the slavocrat-controlled Parliament. In Brazil liberal principles and political formulas were given special meaning. The language of social contract, popular sovereignty, supremacy of law, universal rights, division of powers, and representative government was stripped of its revolutionary content and applied only to a select, privileged minority.

After 1826 the slavocrat agenda was to control the court system; to provide harsh punishments for slave rebellion but mild ones for white revolt; to reduce the armed forces, cleansing them of foreigners unsympathetic to slavery; to keep tariffs low and eliminate the Bank of Brazil in order to deny the central government the ability to stimulate a rival, finance-based industrial capitalism; and to shape immigration policy in such a way as to encourage servile labor instead of independent farmers or craftsmen. Led by Bernardo Pereira de Vasconcelos of Minas Gerais in the assembly, slavocrats argued that slavery was not demoralizing, that foreign capital and technology would not help Brazil, and that railroads would only rust. Others, such as Nicolau de Campos Vergueiro of So Paulo, argued in favor of replacing slavery with free European immigrants. In the end, the Parliament established a contract system that was little better than slavery. There would be no liberal empire. Laws and decrees unacceptable to the slavocrats simply would not take effect, such as the order in 1829 forbidding slave ships to sail for Africa. These items of the slavocrat agenda were the roots of the regional rebellions of the nineteenth century.

Turmoil and abdication

After Dom Joo's death in 1826, despite Pedro's renunciation of his right to the Portuguese throne in favor of his daughter, Brazilian nativist radicals falsely accused the emperor of plotting to overthrow the constitution and to proclaim himself the ruler of a reunited Brazil and Portugal. They raised tensions by provoking street violence against the Portuguese of Rio de Janeiro and agitated for a federalist monarchy that would give the provinces self-government and administrative autonomy. Brazil's fate was in the hands of a few people concentrated in the capital who spread false stories and undermined discipline in the army and police. It would not be the last time that events in Rio de Janeiro would shape the future. When Pedro dismissed his cabinet in April 1831, street and military demonstrators demanded its reinstatement in violation of his constitutional prerogatives. He refused, saying: "I will do anything for the people but nothing [forced] by the people." With military units assembled on the Campo Santana, an assembly ground in Rio de Janeiro, and people in the streets shouting "death to the tyrant," he backed down. Failing to form a new cabinet, he abdicated in favor of his five-year-old son Pedro (later to become Emperor Pedro II of Brazil), and left Brazil as he had arrived on a British warship.

The Regency Era, 1831-40

Flag of the Empire of Brazil

Unrest in the provinces

From 1831 to 1840 the country was ruled by three appointed regents, in the young emperor's name. This was a period of turmoil as local factions struggled to gain control of their provinces and to keep the masses in line. Out of desperation to weaken the radical appeals for federalism, republicanism, and hostility toward the Portuguese, and to protect against contrary calls for Pedro I's restoration, the regency in Rio de Janeiro gave considerable power to the provinces in 1834. Brazil took on the appearance of a federation of local ptrias (autonomous centers of regional power) with loose allegiance to the Rio de Janeiro government, whose function was to defend them from external attack and to maintain order and balance among them. The government's ability to carry out that function was impaired, however, by the low budgets allowed the army and navy, and by the creation of a National Guard, whose officers were local notables determined to protect their private and regional interests. The rebellions, riots, and popular movements that marked the next years did not spring as much from economic misery as from attempts to share in the prosperity stemming from North Atlantic demand for Brazil's exports.

Many of the disturbances were so fleeting they were all but forgotten. For example, in Rio de Janeiro alone there were five uprisings in 1831 and 1832. Another eight of the more famous revolts in the 1834-49 period included the participation of lower-class people, Indians, free and runaway blacks, and slaves, which accounts for their often fierce suppression. Republican objectives were apparent in some of these revolts, such as the War of the Farrapos ("tatters"), also known as the Farroupilha Rebellion (1835-45), in Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. Others, such as the Cabanagem in Par in 1835-37, the Sabinada in Salvador in 1837-38, the Balaiada Rebellion in Maranhao in 1838-41, and the ones in Minas Gerais and So Paulo in 1842, were propelled simultaneously by antiregency and promonarchial sentiments. Such unrest dispels the notion that the history of state formation in Brazil was peaceful. Instead, it shows the confrontation between the national government and the splintering ptrias, which would continue in varying degrees for the next century.

Pedro II as the focus of unity

Pedro I's death from tuberculosis in 1834 had sapped the restorationist impulse and removed the glue that held uneasy political allies together. With the regency attempting to suppress simultaneous revolts in the South and North, it could not easily reassert its supremacy over the remaining provinces. Brazil could well have split apart in those years. It did not for three reasons. First, the military was reorganized as an instrument of national unity under the leadership of Lus Alves de Lima e Silva, who was ennobled as the Duke of Caxias (Duque de Caxias) and who would later be proclaimed Patron of the Brazilian Army. Second, the specter of slave revolt and social disintegration had become all too real. And third, the "vision of Brazil as a union of autonomous ptrias," in Roderick J. Barman's phrase, was replaced by the vision of Brazil as a nation-state. Rather than risk their fortunes and lives, the elites, longing for a focus of loyalty, identity, and authority, rallied around the boy-emperor, who ascended the throne on July 18, 1841, at age fifteen instead of the constitutionally specified age of eighteen. Thus, the second empire was born in the hope that it would be an instrument of national unity, peace, and prosperity.

The reign of Pedro II, 1840-89

The coronation of Pedro II

Reunification and centralization

Through the beginning of Pedro II's reign, in the 1840s, the Brazilian nation-state coalesced as authorities suppressed revolts and rewrote Brazilian law. These laws, however, did not bode well for democracy because they shaped an electoral system based on government-controlled fraud. In 1842, on the advice of conservative courtiers, Pedro II used his constitutional moderating power to dismiss the newly elected liberal Chamber of Deputies and called new elections, which the conservatives won by stuffing the ballot boxes. In so doing, he set a pattern of favoring conservatives over liberals.

The "moderating power" granted to the emperor by the constitution of 1824 to balance the traditional executive, legislative, and judicial branches gave him the right to name senators, to dismiss the legislature, and to shift control of the government from one party to the other. In theory, he was to act as the political balance wheel. It should be noted that the parties were more groupings of members of Parliament than ideologically based movements dependent on distinct electorates. Historian Richard Graham observed that "No particular political philosophy distinguished one group from another." The political system had an artificial aspect to it; it did not relate openly to the real power structure of the country--the senhores da terra ("landowners") who ran local affairs.

A good example of how the real power-holders manipulated the system to protect their narrow interests to the detriment of the national interest was the Land Law of 1850, which set the pattern for modern landholding. The Land Law ended the colonial practice of obtaining land through squatting or royal grants and limited acquisition to purchase, thereby restricting the number of people who could become owners. By creating obstacles to landownership, the law's framers hoped to force free labor to work for existing landlords. However, proprietors sabotaged the law by not surveying their lands and not resolving their conflicting claims in order to keep titles cloudy and hence in their hands. One result of the uncertain titles was that slaves were used as collateral.

End of slavery trade

In 1850, British and domestic pressure finally forced the Brazilian government to outlaw the African slave trade. London, tiring of Brazilian subterfuge, authorized its navy to seize slave ships in Brazilian waters, even in ports. Rather than risk open war with Britain, paralyzation of commerce, widespread slave unrest, and destabilization of the empire, the government outlawed the African slave trade (for more information, see: Lei urea). It deported a number of Portuguese slavers and instructed the provincial presidents, police, judges, and military to crack down. Over the next five years, even clandestine landings stopped, and despite the tempting rise of slave prices in the coffee districts of Rio de Janeiro Province, the trans-Atlantic trade ended. Although the British claimed credit, it should be noted that for the first time a Brazilian government had the power to enforce a law along the length of the coast. Also, internal support for the trade had weakened. Most slave importers were Portuguese, who had been selling the ever more expensive Africans to landowners on credit at climbing interest rates, in some cases forcing the latter into insolvency and loss of property. Xenophobia and the debts of the landed classes combined to support the government action.

Ending the slave trade had a number of consequences. First, because labor needs increased in Rio de Janeiro and So Paulo as the world demand for coffee rose, Northeastern planters sold their surplus slaves to Southern growers. In addition, Parliament passed laws encouraging European immigration, as well as the Land Law of 1850. Second, ending the slave trade freed capital that could then be used for investment in transport and industrial enterprises. Third, it ensured that Britain did not interfere in Brazil's military intervention to end the rule in Buenos Aires of Juan Manuel de Rosas (president of Argentina, 1829-33, 1835-52).

Coffee and industrialization

Coffee dominated exports in the last half of the nineteenth century, going from 50 percent of exports in 1841-50 to 59.5 percent in 1871-80. But sugar exports also increased, and cotton, tobacco, cocoa, rubber, and mat were important. The vast cattle herds that grazed the Northeastern serto, the plains (cerrado) of Minas Gerais, and the pampas of Rio Grande do Sul foreshadowed Brazil's status in 1990 as the world's second largest meat exporter. Meat-salting plants (saladeros) in Rio Grande do Sul shipped sun-dried beef to the expanding coffee-growing region to feed its slaves and freed tenant farmers (colonos ). In addition to beef, Brazilians ate protein-rich beans, rice, and corn, much of which came from Minas Gerais or the immigrant colonies of Rio Grande do Sul. Interregional trade was budding, but for the most part local self-sufficiency was the norm. Indeed, more people produced food for the domestic market than labored on export crops.

Expanding coffee production in the 1850s and 1860s attracted British investment in railroads to speed transport of the beans to the coast. The Santos-So Paulo Railroad (1868) was the first major breach of the coastal escarpment, which had slowed development of the Southern plateau. Similarly, in the Northeast railroads began to cut into the interior from the coast. But generally the pattern was to connect a port with its export-oriented hinterland, creating a series of enclaves that were connected with each other by sea. Well into the twentieth century, Brazil lacked railroads and highways linking its major regions, urban areas, and economic zones. The country was laced together by intricate networks of mule trails that moved goods and people throughout the vast interior. Viewed as archaic by modern observers, the mule train trails nonetheless were important in Brazil's formation, tying the various regions together and spreading a common language and culture.

The war of Paraguay

Main article: Paraguayan War

The empire had lost the East Bank of the Ro de la Plata with the founding of Uruguay in 1828, but it continued to meddle in that republic's affairs. Brazil's most important businessman, Irineu Evangelista de Sousa, the Visconde de Mau, had such heavy financial interests there that his company was effectively the Uruguayan government's bank. Other Brazilians owned about 400 large estates (estancias) that took up nearly a third of the country's territory. They objected to the taxes the Uruguayans imposed when they drove their cattle back and forth to Rio Grande do Sul, and they took sides in the constant fighting between Uruguay's Colorado and Blanco political factions, which later became the Colorado Party and the National Party (Blancos). Some of Rio Grande do Sul's gauchos did not accept Uruguayan independence in 1828 and continually sought intervention.

In the mid-1860s, the imperial government conspired with Buenos Aires authorities to replace the Blanco regime in Montevideo with a Colorado one. The Blancos appealed to Paraguayan dictator Francisco Solano Lpez (president, 1862-70), who harbored his own fears of the two larger countries and who regarded a threat to Uruguay as a menace to Paraguay. A small landlocked country, Paraguay had the largest army in the region: 64,000 soldiers compared with Brazil's standing army of 18,000. In 1864 Brazil and Argentina agreed to act together should Solano Lpez attempt to save the Blancos. In September 1864, wrongly convinced that he would not be so foolish, the Brazilians sent troops into Uruguay to put the Colorados in power. Each side miscalculated the intentions, capabilities, and will of the other. Paraguay reacted by seizing Brazilian vessels on the Rio Paraguai and by attacking the province of Mato Grosso. Solano Lpez, mistakenly expecting help from anti-Buenos Aires caudillos, sent his forces into Corrientes to get at Rio Grande do Sul and Uruguay and found himself at war with both Argentina and Brazil. In May 1865, those two countries and Colorado-led Uruguay signed an alliance that aimed to transfer contested Paraguayan territory to the larger countries, to open Paraguayan rivers to international trade, and to remove Solano Lpez. By September 1865, the allies had driven the Paraguayans out of Rio Grande do Sul, and they took the war into Paraguay when that country spurned their peace overtures.

Fiercely defending their homeland, the Guaran speaking Paraguayans defeated the allies at Curupait in September 1866. The Argentine president, General Bartolom Mitre (1861-68), took the bulk of his troops home to quell opposition to his war policy, leaving the Brazilians to soldier on. The famed General Lima e Silva, Marquis and later Duke of Caxias, took command of the allied forces and led them until the fall of Asuncin in early 1869. With stubborn determination, the Brazilians pursued Solano Lpez until they cornered and killed him. They then occupied Paraguay until 1878.

The war dragged on for several reasons. First, the Paraguayans were better prepared at the outset and conducted an effective offensive into the territories of their adversaries, immediately handing them defeats. Even later, when pushed back onto their own land, they had the advantages of knowing the ground, of having prepared defenses, and of fielding stubbornly loyal troops. Second, it took the Brazilians considerable time to marshal their forces and considerable effort and cost to keep them supplied. Third, the Argentines, hoping to improve their postwar situation in relation to Brazil, delayed operations partly to force the empire to weaken itself by expending its resources. Fourth, this was the era of "unconditional surrender." It was militarily fashionable to pursue Francisco Solano Lpez to the bitter end.

Aftermaths of the war

The war had important consequences for Brazil and the Ro de la Plata region. It left Brazil and Argentina facing each other over a prostrate Paraguay and a dependent Uruguay, a situation that would soon turn into a tense rivalry that repeatedly assumed warlike postures. Historians debate the number of Paraguayan casualties, some asserting that 50 percent of Paraguayans were killed, others arguing that it was much less, possibly 8 to 9 percent of the prewar population total. Nonetheless, the losses from battle, disease, and starvation were severe and disrupted the development of the republic. In Brazil the war contributed to the growth of manufacturing, to the professionalization of the armed forces and their concentration in Rio Grande do Sul, to the building of roads and the settling of European immigrants in the southern provinces, and to the increased power of the central government. Most important for the future, the war brought the military firmly into the political arena. Military officers were keenly aware that the war had exposed the military's lack of equipment, training, and organization. Officers blamed these shortcomings on civilian officials. In the next decades, reformist officers seeking to modernize the army would criticize the Brazilian political structure and its peculiar culture as obstacles to modernization.

The Republican movement

The end of the war coincided with the resurgence of republicanism as disenchanted liberals cast about for a new route to power. The 1867 collapse of the short-lived, French-sponsored Mexican monarchy of Maximilian left Brazil as the hemisphere's only monarchial regime. And because Argentina appeared to prosper in the 1870s and 1880s, it served as a powerful advertisement for republican government. The republican ideology spread in urban areas and in provinces, such as So Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul, where the people did not believe they benefited from imperial economic policies. The republican manifesto of 1870 proclaimed that "We are in America and we want to be Americans." Monarchy was, the writers asserted, hostile to the interests of the American states and would be a continuous source of conflict with Brazil's neighbors.

The republicans embraced the abolition of slavery to remove the stigma of Brazil's being the only remaining slaveholding country (save for Spanish Cuba) in the hemisphere. It was not so much that they believed that slavery was wrong as that it gave the country an image distasteful to Europeans. Abolition, which would come in 1888, did not imply that liberals wanted deep social reform or desired a democratic society. Indeed, their arguments against slavery were weighted toward efficiency rather than morality. Once in power, the republicans looked to discipline the legally free work force with various systems of social control.

The Brazilian social system functioned through intertwined networks of patronage, familial relationships, and friendships. The state, capitalist economy, and institutions such as the church and the army developed within what historian Emlia Viotti da Costa has called "the web of patronage." Contacts and favor rather than ability determined success in virtually all occupations. Brazilian society was, and still is, one in which a person could not advance without friends and family; hence, the continued importance of kinship networks (parentelas) and military school classes (turmas). Such a social system did not lend itself to reform.

Crisis with the Church

The 1870s and 1880s saw a crisis in each of the three pillars of the imperial regime--the church, the military, and the slaveholding system. Together, these crises represented the failure of the regime to adapt without alienating its base. In the 1870s, Rome pressured Brazil's Roman Catholic Church to conform to the conservative reforms of Vatican Council I, which strengthened the power of the pontiff by declaring him infallible in matters of faith and morals. This effort by Rome to unify doctrine and practice worldwide conflicted with royal control of the church in Brazil. The crown had inherited the padroado, or right of ecclesiastical patronage, from its Portuguese predecessor. This right gave the crown control over the church, which imperial authorities treated as an arm of the state. Although some clerics had displayed republican sentiments earlier in the century, a church-state crisis exploded in the mid-1870s over efforts to Europeanize the church.

Crisis in the army

The importance of the military crisis is clearer because it removed the armed prop of the regime. After the Paraguayan War (1864-70), the monarchy was indifferent to the army, which the civilian elite did not perceive as a threat. The fiscal problems of the 1870s slowed promotions to a crawl, salaries were frozen, and officers complained about having to contribute to a widows' fund from their meager salaries. Moreover, the soldiers in the ranks were considered the dregs of society, discipline was based on the lash, and training seemed pointless. The gulf between the military and the civilian oligarchies broadened. The political parties were as indifferent as the government to demands for military reform, for obligatory military service, for better armament, and for higher pay and status. During the 1870s, the discontent was checked by the National Guard's reduced role; by an unsuccessful but welcomed attempt to improve the recruitment system; and, especially, by the cabinet service of war heroes, including the Duke of Caxias as prime minister (1875-78) and Marshal Manuel Lus Osrio, the Marquis of Herval, as minister of war (1878). But the latter died in 1879 and Caxias the year after, leaving leadership to officers less committed to the throne. The junior officer ranks were filled with men from the middle sectors who had entered the army to obtain an education rather than to follow a military career. They were more concerned than their predecessors with social changes that would open opportunities to the lower middle class.

The officer corps was split into three generations. The oldest group had helped suppress the regional revolts of the 1830s and 1840s, had fought in Argentina in 1852, and had survived the Paraguayan War. The numerous mid-level officers were better schooled than their seniors and had been tested in combat in Paraguay. The junior officers had missed the war but had the most education of the three groups and had experienced the empire only when its defects had become clearly apparent. They were the least attached to the old regime and the most frustrated by the lack of advancement in a peacetime army cluttered with veterans of the great war.

Brazilian political tradition permitted officers to hold political office and to serve as cabinet ministers, thereby blurring the civil-military roles. As parliamentary deputies and senators, officers could criticize the government, including their military superiors, with impunity. In the 1880s, officers participated in provincial politics, debated in the press, and spoke in public forums. In 1884 a civilian minister of war attempted to impose order by forbidding officers to write or speak publicly about governmental matters. The subsequent punishments of offending officers led Field Marshal Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca and General Jos Antnio Correia de Cmara(Visconde de Pelotas) to head protests that eventually forced the minister to resign in February 1887 and the cabinet to fall in March 1888.

Photograph of Dom Pedro II in his old age

Abolition of slavery

Even as the church and military crises were unfolding, the slavery issue shook the support of the landed elite. Members of the Liberal and Conservative Parties came from the same social groups: plantation owners (fazendeiros ) made up half of both, and the rest were bureaucrats and professionals. The ideological differences between the parties were trivial, but factional and personal rivalries within them made it difficult for the parties to adjust to changing social and economic circumstances. As a result, the last decade of the empire was marked by considerable political instability. Between 1880 and 1889, there were ten cabinets (seven in the first five years) and three parliamentary elections, with no Parliament able to complete its term. The repeated use of the moderating power provoked alienation, even among traditional monarchists.

Attitudes toward slavery had shifted gradually. Pedro II favored abolition, and during the Paraguayan War slaves serving in the military were emancipated. In 1871 the Rio Branco cabinet approved a law freeing newborns and requiring masters to care for them until age eight, at which time they would either be turned over to the government for compensation or the owner would have use of their labor until age twenty-one. In 1884 a law freed slaves over sixty years of age. By the 1880s, the geography of slavery had also changed, and the economy was less dependent on it. Because of manumissions (many on condition of remaining on the plantations) and the massive flight of slaves, the overall numbers declined from 1,240,806 in 1884 to 723,419 in 1887, with most slaves having shifted from the sugar plantations in the Northeast to the south-central coffee groves. But even planters in So Paulo, where the slave percentage of the total population had fallen from 28.2 percent in 1854 to 8.7 percent in 1886, understood that to continue expansion they needed a different labor system. The provincial government therefore actively began subsidizing and recruiting immigrants. Between 1875 and 1887, about 156,000 arrived in So Paulo. Meanwhile, the demand for cheap sugarcane workers in the Northeast was satisfied by sertanejos (inhabitants of the serto) fleeing the devastating droughts of the 1870s in the serto .

The economic picture was also changing. Slavery immobilized capital invested in the purchase and maintenance of slaves. By turning to free labor, planter capital was freed for investment in railroads, streetcar lines, and shipping and manufacturing enterprises. To some extent, these investments offered a degree of protection from the caprices of agriculture.

Meanwhile, slaves left the plantations in great numbers, and an active underground supported runaways. Army officers petitioned the Regent Princess Isabel to relieve them of the duty of pursuing runaway slaves. Field Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca, commander in Rio Grande do Sul, declared in early 1887 that the military "had the obligation to be abolitionist." The So Paulo assembly petitioned the Parliament for immediate abolition. The agitation reached such a pitch that to foreign travelers, Brazil appeared on the verge of social revolution. The system was coming apart, and even planters realized that abolition was the way to prevent chaos.

The so-called Golden Law of May 13, 1888, which ended slavery, was not an act of great bravery but a recognition that slavery was no longer viable. The economy revived rapidly after a few lost harvests, and only a small number of planters went bankrupt. Slavery ended, but the plantation survived and so did the basic attitudes of a class society. The abolitionists quickly abandoned those they had struggled to free. Many former slaves stayed on the plantations in the same quarters, receiving paltry wages. They were joined by waves of immigrants, who often found conditions so unbearable that they soon moved to the cities or returned to Europe. No freedmen's bureaus or schools were established to improve the lives of the former slaves; they were left at the bottom of the socioeconomic scale, where their descendants remain in the 1990s. New prisons built after 1888 were soon filled with former slaves as society imposed other forms of social control, in part by redefining crime.

The republican coup

In the end, the empire fell because the elites did not need it to protect their interests. Indeed, imperial centralization ran counter to their desires for local autonomy. The republicans embraced federalism, which some saw as a way to counter the oligarchies, which used patronage and clientage to stay in power. In the early republic, however, they would find that the oligarchies adapted easily and used their accumulated power and skills to control the new governmental system. Taking advantage of cabinet crises in 1888 and 1889 and of rising frustration among military officers, republicans favoring change by revolution rather than by evolution drew military officers, led by Field Marshal Fonseca, into a conspiracy to replace the cabinet in November 1889. What started as an armed demonstration demanding replacement of a cabinet turned within hours into a coup d'tat deposing Emperor Pedro II.


Edited by Jalisco Lancer
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TheDiplomat View Drop Down
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  Quote TheDiplomat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Sep-2005 at 05:38

Hi pal,

To my knowledge,the independence of Brazil was a painless one.

The independence of Brazil can be exlained partly by refering to Napeleon as well for the fact that he invaded Portugal in 1807,Joalo VI and the portuguese elite  sealed for Brazil.He and his followers were wildly  welcomed by the natives.Joalo VI ordered Rio to re-build as a beautiful capital.And when he returned to Portugal in 1821,he told his son Pedro,aged 23 then,if Brazil wants to be independent,he should lead it.One year later Pedro I proclaimed independence...

The Brazilian indentity emerged as a common strugle by Indians,Blacks and Portugese settlers when the Netherlands made Parembuca(now recife) a Dutch colony in the mid-seventeenth century.In the process,these 3 races began to think of themselevs as Brazilians.

The economic life was centered on sugar during colonial time(ofcourse before gold was discoved in the1690s as well)..Sugar farming needed lots of labour.But the natives were few in number.So in order to meet the labour demand,Portugal shipped slaves from Africa to Brazil.It is estimated that between 1530s and 1850s(continued even after the independence;stopped after the British preasure.) ,3 million blacks were shipped...Brazil under the Princess Isabel,signed a bill in 1888 stating that it abolished slavery.It was one of the lasts countries to do this.

Dear Amigo Jalisco Lancer,

I have 3 questions pal.

1-what are your thoughts on the 1494 Tordesillas Treaty?

2-Is is true that flexibity is more valued in Brazil and Brazilians are prone to less violance in comprasion with its spanish-speaking neighbours.

3-In the portuguese bullfight,dont they kill the bull?

Regards from Turquia Amigo.


ARDA:The best Turkish diplomat ever!

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  Quote Degredado Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Nov-2005 at 12:53

Originally posted by TheDiplomat

The Brazilian indentity emerged as a common strugle by Indians,Blacks and Portugese settlers when the Netherlands made Parembuca(now recife) a Dutch colony in the mid-seventeenth century.In the process,these 3 races began to think of themselevs as Brazilians.

Actually, that war with the Dutch was just one of the many things that formed the independant Brazilian identity (there's also the constant wars with the Spanish, the Emboaba wars, etc.). Actually, that war was more about Pernambuco than it was about Brazil.


I have 3 questions pal.

1-what are your thoughts on the 1494 Tordesillas Treaty?

2-Is is true that flexibity is more valued in Brazil and Brazilians are prone to less violance in comprasion with its spanish-speaking neighbours.

3-In the portuguese bullfight,dont they kill the bull?

Regards from Turquia Amigo.

1- A political victory for King Joo the second, a true badass, and the best king Portugal ever had (too bad he didn't rule for a longer time)

2- I don't know but I think that may be a more violent than expected.

3-The Portuguese do not kill the public. We kill them in private, where no PETA nazis are there to see.

Vou votar nas putas. Estou farto de votar nos filhos delas
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  Quote TheDiplomat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Nov-2005 at 10:04
Thanks man.
ARDA:The best Turkish diplomat ever!

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