Minas Gerais is a state in the north of Southeastern Brazil. It ranks as the second most populous, the third by gross domestic product, the fourth largest by area in the country; the state's capital and largest city, Belo Horizonte, is a major urban and finance center in Latin America, the sixth largest municipality in Brazil, after the cities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Fortaleza, but its metropolitan area is the third largest in Brazil with just over 5,500,000 inhabitants, after those of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Nine Brazilian presidents were born in the most of any state. With an area of 586,528 square kilometres —larger than Metropolitan France—it is the fourth most extensive state in Brazil; the main producer of coffee and milk in the country, Minas Gerais is known for its heritage of architecture and colonial art in historical cities such as São João del Rei, Ouro Preto, Diamantina and Mariana. In the south, the tourist points are the hydro mineral spas, such as Caxambu, Lambari, São Lourenço, Poços de Caldas, São Thomé das Letras, Monte Verde and the national parks of Caparaó and Canastra.
The landscape of the State is marked by mountains and large areas of fertile lands. In the Serra do Cipó, Sete Lagoas and Lagoa Santa, the caves and waterfalls are the attractions; some of Brazil's most famous caverns are located there. In recent years, the state has emerged as one of the largest economic forces of Brazil, exploring its great economic potential. Two interpretations are given for the origin of the name Minas Gerais, it comes from "Minas dos Matos Gerais", the former name of the colonial province. So a first and more common understanding affirms that the name means "General Mines", with the word Gerais serving as an adjective to the mines, which were themselves spread in several spots around a larger region. Another explanation is that this ignores the two large geographical spaces which conformed the state in its history: the region of the mines, the region of the Gerais; these corresponded to the areas of Sertão which were farther and hard to access from the mining spots. The confusion comes from the fact that the term "Gerais" is taken as an adjective to "Minas" in the first version, although according to this point of view it refers to the region called Gerais.
A further complication is that this is not a well-defined area on the map of the state, but rather a designation to these parts outside the mining spots, more related to the geography of Sertão, more isolated from the state's nucleus. Minas Gerais is in the north of the southeastern subdivision of Brazil, which contains the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo, it borders on Bahia, Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and the state of Espírito Santo. It shares a short boundary with the Distrito Federal. Minas Gerais is situated between 14°13'58" and 22°54'00" S latitude and between 39°51'32" and 51°02'35" W longitude, it is larger in area than Metropolitan Spain. Minas Gerais features some of the longest rivers in Brazil, most notably the São Francisco, the Paraná and to a lesser extent, the Rio Doce; the state holds many hydroelectric power plants, including Furnas. Some of the highest peaks in Brazil are in the mountain ranges in the southern part of the state, such as Serra da Mantiqueira and Serra do Cervo, that mark the border between Minas and its neighbors São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
The most notable one is the Pico da Bandeira, the third highest mountain in Brazil at 2890 m, standing on the border with Espírito Santo state. The state has huge reserves of iron and sizeable reserves of gold and gemstones, including emerald and aquamarine mines. Emeralds found in this location are comparable to the best Colombia-origin emeralds, are most a bluish-green color; each region of the state has a distinct character, geographically and to a certain extent culturally. The central and eastern area of the state is hilly and rocky, with little vegetation on the mountains. Around Lagoa Santa and Sete Lagoas a typical Karst topography with caves and lakes is found; some of the mountains are entirely iron ore, which led to extensive mining. Recent advances in environmental policy helped to put limits to mining. About 200 kilometres to the east of Belo Horizonte is the second Metropolitan Region of the state, Vale do Aço, which has iron and steel processing companies along the course of the Rio Doce and its tributaries.
Vale do Aço's largest cities are Coronel Fabriciano and Timóteo. Now that mining is restricted large areas of forest are being removed for timber, charcoal and to clear land for cattle ranching; the original forest cover of these inland hills is much fragmented. The city of Governador Valadares is in the limit of this region with the poorer North; the south of Minas Gerais is green, with coffee and milk production. This region is notably cooler than the rest of the state, some locations are subject to temperatures just below the freezing point during the winter; the region is famed for its mineral-water resorts, including the cities of Poços de Caldas, Lambari, São Lourenço and Caxambu. Many industries are located at Pouso Alegre; the southeast of the state, called Zona da Mata was the richest region unti
The Ipiranga Brook, is a river of São Paulo state in southeastern Brazil known as the place where Dom Pedro I declared the independence of Brazil from the United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves. Its name derives from the Tupi words: "Y", which means water or river, "Piranga", which means red, it is mentioned in the country's national anthem. On September 2, 1822, a decree with Lisbon's demands arrived in Rio de Janeiro, while Prince Pedro was in São Paulo. Princess Maria Leopoldina, acting as Princess Regent, met with the Council of Ministers and decided to send her husband a letter advising him to proclaim Brazil's independence; the letter reached Prince Pedro on September 7, 1822. That same day, in a famous scene at the shore of the Ipiranga Brook, he declared the country's independence, ending 322 years of colonial dominance of Portugal over Brazil. According to journalist Laurentino Gomes, who wrote a book about the event, 1822, Prince Pedro "could not wait for his arrival to São Paulo to announce the decision".
List of rivers of São Paulo Independence Day 1822 Independence or Death Brazilian Ministry of Transport
A Jesuit reduction was a type of settlement for indigenous people in North and South America established by the Jesuit Order from the 16th to the 18th centuries. The Spanish and Portuguese Empires adopted a strategy of gathering native populations into communities called "Indian reductions" and Portuguese: "redução"; the objectives of the reductions were to organize and exploit the labor of the native indigenous inhabitants while imparting Christianity and European culture. Secular as well as religious authorities created reductions; the Jesuit reductions called missions, were most extensive and successful in an area straddling the borders of present-day Paraguay and Argentina amongst the Guarani peoples. These missions are called collectively the Rio de la Plata missions or the Paraguay reductions; the Jesuits attempted to create a theocratic "state within a state" in which the native peoples in the reductions, guided by the Jesuits, would remain autonomous and isolated from Spanish colonists and Spanish rule.
A major factor attracting the natives to the reductions was the protection they afforded from enslavement and the forced labor of encomiendas. Under the leadership of both the Jesuits and native caciques, the reductions achieved a high degree of autonomy within the Spanish colonial empire. With the use of native labour, the reductions became economically successful; when the incursions of Brazilian Bandeirante slave-traders threatened the existence of the reductions, Indian militia were set up which fought against the Portuguese colonists. In 1767, the Jesuits were expelled from the Guaraní missions and the Americas by order of the Spanish king, Charles III, the era of Jesuit reductions ended; the reasons for the expulsion related more to politics in Europe than the activities of the Jesuit missions. The Jesuit Rio de la Plata reductions reached a maximum population of 141,182 in 1732 in 30 missions in Brazil and Argentina; the reductions of the Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos in eastern Bolivia reached a maximum population of 25,000 in 1766.
Jesuit reductions in the Llanos de Moxos in Bolivia, reached a population of about 30,000 in 1720. In Chiquitos the first reduction was founded in 1691 and in the Llanos de Moxos in 1682; the Jesuit reductions have been lavishly praised as a "socialist utopia" and a "Christian communistic republic" as well as criticized for their "rigid and meticulous regimentation" of the lives of the Indian people they ruled with a firm hand through Guaraní intermediaries. In the 16th century, priests of different religious orders set out to evangelize the Americas, bringing Christianity to indigenous communities; the colonial governments and missionaries agreed on the strategy of gathering the nomadic indigenous populations in larger communities called reductions in order to more govern and evangelize them. Reductions were construed as an instrument to make the Indians adopt European lifestyles and values. In Mexico the policy was called congregación, took the form of the hospitals of Vasco de Quiroga and the Franciscan Missions of California.
In Portuguese Brazil reductions were known as aldeias. Under colonial rule, Indians were classified as minors, in effect children, to be protected and guided to salvation by European missionaries; the Jesuits, formally founded only in 1540, were late arrivals in the New World, from about 1570 compared to the Dominicans and Franciscans, therefore had to look to the frontiers of colonization for mission areas. The Jesuit reductions originated in the early seventeenth century when Bishop Lizarraga asked for missionaries for Paraguay. In 1609, acting under instructions from Phillip III, the Spanish governor of Asunción made a deal with the Jesuit Provincial of Paraguay; the Jesuits agreed to set up hamlets at strategic points along the Paraná river, that were populated with Indians and maintained a separation from Spanish towns. The Jesuits were to "enjoy a tax holiday for ten years"; this mission strategy continued for 150 years until the Jesuits were expelled in 1767. Fundamentally the purpose, as far as the government was concerned, was to safeguard the frontier with the reductions where Indians were introduced to European culture.
In 1609 three Jesuits began the first reduction in San Ignacio Guazú in present-day Paraguay. For the next 22 years the Jesuits focused most on founding 15 missions in the province of Guayrá, corresponding to the western two-thirds of present-day Paraná state of Brazil, spread over an area of more than 100,000 square kilometres; the total Indian population of this area was about 100,000. The establishment of these missions was not without danger; the Guaraní shamans resisted the imposition of a new religion and up to 7 Jesuits were killed by Indians during the first few years after the missions were established. In 1618 began the first of a series of epidemics that would spread among the missions and kill thousands of the Guaraní; the congregation of the Guaraní into large settlements at the missions facilitated the spread of disease. The missions soon had 40,000 Guaraní in residence. However, tens of thousands of Guaraní living in the same region remained outside the missions, living in their traditional manner and practicing their traditional religion.
The reductions were within Portuguese territory and large-scale raids by the Bandeirante slavers of Sao Paulo on the missions and non-mission Guarani began in 1628. The Bandeirantes decimated and scattered the mission population, they looked upon the reductions with their conc
Slavery in Brazil
Slavery in Brazil began long before the first Portuguese settlement was established in 1532, as members of one tribe would enslave captured members of another. Colonists were dependent on indigenous labor during the initial phases of settlement to maintain the subsistence economy, natives were captured by expeditions called bandeiras; the importation of African slaves began midway through the 16th century, but the enslavement of indigenous peoples continued well into the 17th and 18th centuries. During the Atlantic slave trade era, Brazil received more African slaves than any other country. An estimated 4.9 million slaves from Africa were brought to Brazil during the period from 1501 to 1866. Until the early 1850s, most enslaved Africans who arrived on Brazilian shores were forced to embark at West Central African ports in Luanda. Slave labor was the driving force behind the growth of the sugar economy in Brazil, sugar was the primary export of the colony from 1600 to 1650. Gold and diamond deposits were discovered in Brazil in 1690, which sparked an increase in the importation of African slaves to power this newly profitable mining.
Transportation systems were developed for the mining infrastructure, population boomed from immigrants seeking to take part in gold and diamond mining. Demand for African slaves did not wane after the decline of the mining industry in the second half of the 18th century. Cattle ranching and foodstuff production proliferated after the population growth, both of which relied on slave labor. 1.7 million slaves were imported to Brazil from Africa from 1700 to 1800, the rise of coffee in the 1830s further enticed expansion of the slave trade. Brazil was the last country in the Western world to abolish slavery. By the time it was abolished after years of campaigning by Emperor Pedro II, in 1888, an estimated four million slaves had been imported from Africa to Brazil, 40% of the total number of slaves brought to the Americas; the Portuguese became involved with the African slave trade first during the Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula through the mediation of the Alfaqueque: the person tasked with the rescue of Portuguese captives and prisoners of war.
Slaves exported from Africa during this initial period of the Portuguese slave trade came from Mauritania, the Upper Guinea coast. Scholars estimate that as many as 156,000 slaves were exported from 1441 to 1521 to Iberia and the Atlantic islands from the African coast; the trade made the shift from Europe to the Americas as a primary destination for slaves around 1518. Prior to this time, slaves were required to pass through Portugal to be taxed before making their way to the Americas; the Portuguese first traveled to Brazil in 1500 under the expedition of Pedro Álvares Cabral, though the first Portuguese settlement was not established until 1532. Long before Europeans came to Brazil and began colonization, indigenous groups such as the Papanases, the Guaianases, the Tupinambás, the Cadiueus enslaved captured members of other tribes; the captured worked with their new communities as trophies to the tribe's martial prowess. Some enslaved would escape but could never re-attain their previous status in their own tribe because of the strong social stigma against slavery and rival tribes.
During their time in the new tribe, enslaved indigenes would marry as a sign of acceptance and servitude. For the enslaved of cannibalistic tribes, execution for devouring purposes could happen at any moment. While other tribes did not consume human flesh, their enslaved were still put to work, used as hostages, killed mercilessly. After the arrival of the Portuguese in Brazil, the Native Americans started to trade their prisoners, instead of using them as slaves or food, in exchange for goods, but the enslavement of Europeans could occur, as happened with Hans Staden who, after being set free, wrote a book about the customs of the Native Americans. The colonization effort proved to be a difficult undertaking on such a vast continent, indigenous slave labor was turned to for agricultural workforce needs. Aggressive mission networks of the Portuguese Jesuits were the driving force behind this recruitment, they mobilized an indigenous labor force to live in colonial villages to work the land; these indigenous enslaving expeditions were known as bandeiras.
These expeditions were composed of bandeirantes, adventurers who penetrated westward in their search for Indian slaves. These adventurers came from a wide spectrum of backgrounds, including plantation owners and members of the military, as well as people of mixed ancestry and captured Indian slaves. In 1629, Antônio Raposo Tavares led a bandeira, composed of 2,000 allied índios, "Indians", 900 mamelucos, "mestizos" and 69 whites, to find precious metals and stones and to capture Indians for slavery; this expedition alone was responsible for the enslavement of over 60,000 indigenous people. African slavery became more common in Brazil during the mid 16th century, though the enslavement of indigenous people continued into the 17th and the 18th century in the backlands of Brazil. In the first 250 years after the colonization of the land 70% of all immigrants to the colony were enslaved people. Indigenous slaves remained much cheaper during this time than their African counterparts, though they did suffer horrendous death rates from European diseases.
Although the average African slave lived to only be twenty-three years old due to terrible work conditions, this was still about four years longer than Indigenous slaves, which w
Pedro I of Brazil
Dom Pedro I, nicknamed "the Liberator", was the founder and first ruler of the Empire of Brazil. As King Dom Pedro IV, he reigned over Portugal, where he became known as "the Liberator" as well as "the Soldier King". Born in Lisbon, Pedro I was the fourth child of King Dom João VI of Portugal and Queen Carlota Joaquina, thus a member of the House of Braganza; when their country was invaded by French troops in 1807, he and his family fled to Portugal's largest and wealthiest colony, Brazil. The outbreak of the Liberal Revolution of 1820 in Lisbon compelled Pedro I's father to return to Portugal in April 1821, leaving him to rule Brazil as regent, he had to deal with threats from revolutionaries and insubordination by Portuguese troops, all of which he subdued. The Portuguese government's threat to revoke the political autonomy that Brazil had enjoyed since 1808 was met with widespread discontent in Brazil. Pedro I chose the Brazilian side and declared Brazil's independence from Portugal on 7 September 1822.
On 12 October, he was acclaimed Brazilian emperor and by March 1824 had defeated all armies loyal to Portugal. A few months Pedro I crushed the short-lived Confederation of the Equator, a failed secession attempt by provincial rebels in Brazil's northeast. A secessionist rebellion in the southern province of Cisplatina in early 1825, the subsequent attempt by the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata to annex it, led the Empire into the Cisplatine War. In March 1826, Pedro I became king of Portugal before abdicating in favor of his eldest daughter, Dona Maria II; the situation worsened in 1828. During the same year in Lisbon, Maria II's throne was usurped by Prince Dom Miguel, Pedro I's younger brother; the Emperor's concurrent and scandalous sexual affair with a female courtier tarnished his reputation. Other difficulties arose in the Brazilian parliament, where a struggle over whether the government would be chosen by the monarch or by the legislature dominated political debates from 1826 to 1831.
Unable to deal with problems in both Brazil and Portugal on 7 April 1831 Pedro I abdicated in favor of his son Dom Pedro II, sailed for Europe. Pedro I invaded Portugal at the head of an army in July 1832. Faced at first with what seemed a national civil war, he soon became involved in a wider conflict that enveloped the Iberian Peninsula in a struggle between proponents of liberalism and those seeking a return to absolutism. Pedro I died of tuberculosis on 24 September 1834, just a few months after he and the liberals had emerged victorious, he was hailed by both contemporaries and posterity as a key figure who helped spread the liberal ideals that allowed Brazil and Portugal to move from Absolutist regimes to representative forms of government. Pedro was born at 08:00 on 12 October 1798 in the Queluz Royal Palace near Portugal, he was named after St. Peter of Alcantara, his full name was Pedro de Alcântara Francisco António João Carlos Xavier de Paula Miguel Rafael Joaquim José Gonzaga Pascoal Cipriano Serafim.
He was referred to using the honorific "Dom" from birth. Through his father, Prince Dom João, Pedro was a member of the House of Braganza and a grandson of King Dom Pedro III and Queen Dona Maria I of Portugal, who were uncle and niece as well as husband and wife, his mother, Doña Carlota Joaquina, was the daughter of King Don Carlos IV of Spain. Pedro's parents had an unhappy marriage. Carlota Joaquina was an ambitious woman, who always sought to advance Spain's interests to the detriment of Portugal's. Reputedly unfaithful to her husband, she went as far as to plot his overthrow in league with dissatisfied Portuguese nobles; as the second eldest son, Pedro became his father's heir apparent and Prince of Beira upon the death of his elder brother Francisco António in 1801. Prince Dom João had been acting as regent on behalf of his mother, Queen Maria I, after she was declared incurably insane in 1792. By 1802, Pedro's parents were estranged. Pedro and his siblings resided in the Queluz Palace with their grandmother Maria I, far from their parents, whom they saw only during state occasions at Queluz.
In late November 1807, when Pedro was nine, the royal family escaped from Portugal as an invading French army sent by Napoleon approached Lisbon. Pedro and his family arrived in Rio de Janeiro, capital of Brazil Portugal's largest and wealthiest colony, in March 1808. During the voyage, Pedro read Virgil's Aeneid and conversed with the ship's crew, picking up navigational skills. In Brazil, after a brief stay in the City Palace, Pedro settled with his younger brother Miguel and their father in the Palace of São Cristóvão. Although never on intimate terms with his father, Pedro loved him and resented the constant humiliation his father suffered at the hands of Carlota Joaquina due to her extramarital affairs; as an adult, Pedro would call his mother, for whom he held only feelings of contempt, a "bitch". The early experiences of betrayal and neglect had a great impact on the formation of Pedro's character. A modicum of stability during his childhood was provided by his aia, Maria Genoveva do Rêgo e Matos, whom he loved as a mother, by his aio friar António de Arrábida, who became his mentor.
Both attempted to furnish him with a suitable education. His instruction encompassed a broad array of subjects that included mathematics, political economy, logic and geography, he learned to speak and write not only in Por
The Mascate War known as the War of the Peddlers, was a conflict fought between two rival mercantile groups in colonial Brazil from Oct. 1710 to Aug. 1711. On one side were landowners and sugar mill owners concentrated in Olinda. On the other were Portuguese traders in Recife, pejoratively called peddlers, it ended with a stalemated siege of Recife by planter militas. The installation of a new governor by the crown favoring the peddlers resulted in razing and confiscation of planter property in Olinda. For history 1580-1640, see Iberian UnionFor history 1630-1654, see Dutch BrazilUntil the mid-17th century, Olinda was the main city of the Captaincy of Pernambuco in northeast Brazil, where sugar plantations produced Brazil's major export, sugar. A lack of capital to invest in crops and manpower, combined with the declining price of sugar due to competition from European powers' investments in the West Indies, caused a crisis. In an effort to resolve this, the sugar planters of Olinda began to borrow money from traders in the settlement of Recife.
At that time, Portuguese traders living in Recife agreed to lend money to the planters in Olinda, but charged high interest rates, increasing the planters' indebtedness. Aware of Recife's economic importance, merchants asked king of Portugal that the settlement be elevated to town status. In February 1709, shortly after receiving the Royal Charter which declared it a town, merchants erected the town hall and a pillory. Recife was formally separated from the seat of the Captaincy. Economically dependent on Portuguese merchants, the landowners did not accept the Pernambuco political-administrative emancipation of Recife, before a settlement subject to Olinda; the emancipation of Recife was seen as an aggravating the situation of local landowners before the bourgeoisie Portuguese, which by this mechanism put them at the level of political equality. As the separation between the two cities was being implemented in 1710, the lords of Olinda revolted, with mill owner Bernardo Vieira de Melo among their leaders.
When there was sedition among the peddlers of Recife and the European gentry of Olinda, the sectarians of the hawkers were nicknamed Manoel Gonçalves Tunda-Cumbe and Sebastião Pinheiro Camerão. No condition to resist, the wealthiest merchants of Recife fled to avoid being captured. Having members of the landed aristocracy abandoned Olinda to escape the plantations where they lived, hostilities commenced in Vitória de Santo Antão, led by their Captain General, Pedro Ribeiro da Silva; these forces, thickened in Afogados with reinforcements from São Lourenço de Mata and Olinda, under the leadership of Bernardo Vieira de Melo and his father, Colonel Leonardo Bezerra Cavalcanti, invaded Recife, demolishing the pillory, tearing the Provincial regal, freeing arrested and persecuting people connected to the governor Sebastião de Castro Caldas Barbosa. This, in turn, in order to ensure their safety, he withdrew to Bahia, left the government over the captaincy of Bishop Manuel Álvares da Costa; the crown appointed a new governor Félix José de Mendonça.
The peddlers fought back in 1712, invading Olinda and causing fires and destroying villages and plantations in the region. The new governor and the intervention of troops sent from Bahia ended the war; the commercial bourgeoisie was supported by the metropolis, Recife maintained its autonomy. The city intervened in the region in 1711. After much struggling, which included the intervention of colonial authorities, this fact was consummated in 1711: Recife was to be treated like Olinda from that time on. With the victory of the merchants, the war reaffirmed the dominance of merchant capital on the colonial production. After the victory of the hawkers, traders perceived the predominance of trade in relation to colonial production that had occurred since the lords of Olinda caught the interest on money borrowed so the peddlers can keep their colonial system; the autonomist feeling of Pernambuco, which came from the fight against the Dutch, continued to manifest itself in other conflicts such as the Conspiracy of Suassuna, Pernambucan Revolution of 1817 against Portugal and the Confederation of the Equator against Brazil.
History of Pernambuco Frei Joaquim do Amor Divino Caneca, Coleção Formadores do Brasil, 1994 "The Golden Age of Brazil", Charles Boxer http://www.v-brazil.com/information/geography/pernambuco/history.html
Alagoas is one of the 27 states of Brazil and is situated in the eastern part of the Northeast Region. It borders: Pernambuco, it occupies an area of 27,767 km², being larger than Haiti. Its capital is the city of Maceió, it is made up of 102 municipalities and its most populous cities are Maceió, Palmeira dos Índios, Rio Largo, União dos Palmares, São Miguel dos Campos, Santana do Ipanema, Delmiro Gouveia, Marechal Deodoro, Campo Alegre. It is the second smallest Brazilian state in area, with Sergipe it is sometimes called the Rhode Island of Brazil, it is 16th in population. It is one of the largest producers of sugarcane and coconuts in the country, has an economy based on cattle raising. Land of the sururu, lagoon shellfish which serves as food for the coastal population, of coconut water, Alagoas possesses some of the country's richest folklore; the Alagoano territory constituted the southern part of the Captaincy of Pernambuco and only gained its autonomy in 1817. Its occupation pushed the expansion of the captaincy's sugarcane farming, which required new areas of cultivation, southward.
Thus arose Porto Calvo and Penedo, nuclei which guided the colonization and social life of the region for a long time. The Dutch invasion in Pernambuco was extended to Alagoas in 1631; the invaders were expelled in 1645, after intense fighting in Porto Calvo, leaving the economy in ruins. The escape of African slaves during the Dutch invasion created a serious labour shortage problem on the sugarcane plantations. Grouped in villages called quilombos, the Africans were only dominated at the end of the 17th century with the destruction of the most important quilombo, Palmares. During the empire, the separatist and republican Confederation of the Equator received the support of noteworthy Alagoano figures. Throughout the 1840s, political life was marked by the conflict between the lisos and the cabeludos, liberals. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Alagoano hinterland lived through the pioneering experience of Delmiro Gouveia, a Pernambucano entrepreneur who installed the Estrela thread factory, which came to produce 200 spools daily.
Delmiro Gouveia was killed in October 1917 in circumstances still unclarified, after being pressured, according to rumor, to sell his factory to competing foreign firms. After his death, his machines would be thrown into Paulo Afonso Falls. Nicknamed the Land of the Marshals, for being the birthplace of Deodoro da Fonseca and Floriano Peixoto, Alagoas gave the country numerous illustrious Brazilians among whom are the anthropologist Arthur Ramos, the maestro Hekel Tavares, the philologist Aurélio Buarque de Holanda, the musicians Djavan and Hermeto Pascoal the poet Jorge de Lima, the jurists Pontes de Miranda and Marcos Bernardes de Mello, besides the writers Lêdo Ivo and Graciliano Ramos; the Latin lacus, "reservoir, lake" is the origin, in the primitive vocabulary heritage, of the Portuguese and Italian lago, French lac, one of its derivatives, the Latin lacuna, "pitfall, hole", "lack, neglect", explains the Spanish and Italian laguna. But the Portuguese lagoa, coincidentally with the Spanish lagona and Mirandese llagona, suggests a change in suffix documented in a 938 document from Valencia, under the spelling lacona, in another from 1094, in Sahagún, under the spelling lagona.
The Portuguese lagoa under the spelling lagona, is documented in the 14th century, alternated with the other for a long time. The name appears as a competitor with the names of the lagoons of Manguaba, a lagoa do sul, Mundaú, a lagoa do norte in the 16th century, when settlements were founded near the Alagoa do Norte and the Alagoa do Sul, the Alagoas, with the inclusion of the rest of the lagoons in the area; the suffix -ano is characteristic of Brazil, alagoano, baiano and acriano. The state's name originates with the lakes along its coast near the city of Maceió; the coast is bordered by many fine beaches. Behind the beaches, sometimes only hundreds of meters and defined by steep scarps, lies a stretch of green coastal hills having enough rainfall for considerable agriculture and scarce remnants of the Mata Atlântica that now is limited to steep hill tops or steep valley sides and bottoms; this is the area long dominated by sugar cane. Still farther inland lies the Sertão of the Northeast region of the nation.
The Sertão is a high dry region dominated by scrub, thorn-filled and sometimes toxic, the caatinga. This area and its people are famed in song, it is the land of the cowboy, clad from head to toe with thick leather to avoid the sharp vegetation. See also: History of Alagoas During the first three centuries of its history, Alagoas was part of the captaincy of Pernambuco, only changing into an independent captaincy in 1817; as a reprisal against the Pernambucan Revolution, the King John VI of Portugal ordered a vast portion of the Pernambucan territory to be taken