The Vaccine Revolt or Vaccine Rebellion was a period of civil disorder which occurred in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At the beginning of the 20th century the city of Rio de Janeiro capital of Brazil, although praised for its beautiful palaces and mansions, suffered from serious inadequacies in basic infrastructure; such problems included insufficient water and sewer systems, irregular garbage collection, overcrowded tenements. Many illnesses proliferated in this environment, including tuberculosis, measles and leprosy. Epidemics of yellow fever and bubonic plague occurred on an intermittent basis. Yellow fever was by far the most serious of the three, killing an estimated 60,000 Rio de Janeiro residents between 1850 and 1908. Although periods of respite from this particular disease did transpire as well, they were invariably marred by smaller outbreaks of the others. Beginning in 1902, president Rodrigues Alves launched an initiative to sanitize and beautify the city, he gave plenary powers to the city’s mayor, Pereira Passos, to Director General of Public Health Dr. Oswaldo Cruz, to execute sweeping improvements in public sanitation.
The mayor initiated an extensive urban reform program, popularly termed the Bota Abaixo, in reference to the demolition of older buildings and tenement houses, with subsequent conversion of the land to stately avenues and upscale homes and businesses. This resulted in the displacement of thousands of poor and working-class people to peripheral neighborhoods leading them to become resentful of the city government and suspicious of what it might demand of them in the near future. For his part, Dr. Cruz created the Brigadas Mata Mosquitos, groups of sanitary service workers who entered homes in order to exterminate the mosquitoes, transmitting yellow fever; the campaign distributed rat poison in order to halt the proliferation of the bubonic plague, required proper handling and collection of garbage. To eradicate smallpox, Dr. Cruz convinced the Congress to approve the Mandatory Vaccination Law on October 31, 1904, authorizing sanitary brigade workers, accompanied by police, to enter homes and apply the vaccine by force.
Rio de Janeiro's population was discontented by this time. Many residents had lost their tenement housing to the new developments, while others had had their homes invaded by health workers and police. Articles in the press criticized the action of the government and spoke of possible risks of the vaccine. Moreover, it was rumored that the vaccine would have to be applied to the “intimate parts” of the body, stirring further outrage among the conservative underclasses and helping to precipitate the rebellion that followed. Many intellectual contingents within Brazilian society opposed the law as well, including the Positivist Church, medical associations, much of the National Congress. Although most of these objections stemmed from the practice's perceived infringements upon individual rights, vaccination was still considered a valid subject of debate among the global scientific community at the time. On November 5, the opposition created the Liga Contra a Vacina Obrigatória. Formed by a coalition of radical republican politicians, ideological factions within the army, journalists, this group subsequently began to recruit trade unionists at large gatherings held at the Centro de Classes Operairias.
The violence began when a few young attendees leaving one of these meetings argued with a police officer, were promptly arrested. Witnesses to this incident furiously besieged the police station to which the men were taken, continued to fight with cavalry officers brought in to disperse the excited mob. From November 10 through 14, Rio de Janeiro descended into violence as each party to the conflict became entrenched in its position. Rioters looted shops and burned trams, made barricades, pulled out tracks, broke poles and streetlights, attacked federal troops with rocks, debris and stolen guns. Factory laborers revolted in their own workplaces on the outskirts of town, while impoverished and evicted townspeople attempted to secure control over the heart of the city; the momentum of opposition forces reached its zenith on November 14, when cadets of the Escola Militar da Praia Vermelha mutinied against President Alves for his rejection of the terms presented to him in a thinly-disguised ultimatum by General Olimpio da Silveira.
Silveira's march on the presidential palace was thwarted, when his would-be allies at the academy of Realengo were arrested before they could mobilize. In response, the government declared a state of siege, its forces drove the rebels from their strongholds beginning on November 15, concluding on November 18 after a grueling period of close-quarter fighting in the predominantly Afro-Brazilian district of Saude. The rebellion was contained, leaving 110 wounded. Despite its swift downfall, the revolt convinced the mayor and his cabinet to abandon the forced-vaccination program for the time being; this concession was demonstrated to have been quite superficial, however, as the policy was re-instated several years later. Whatever popular frustrations or progressive ideals that the anti-vaccination movement and its allies might have expressed were swept aside with the re-imposition of lawful authority, as the processes of unequal economic development and gentrification continued to accelerate following t
The Religious Question was a crisis between the Catholic church and the state apparatus of the Brazilian Empire. It led to the imprisonment of two bishops and contributed to the downfall of the government of José Paranhos, Viscount of Rio Branco. Although Catholicism was the state religion of Brazil, Portugal before it, the Catholic clergy had for a time been perceived as understaffed and poorly educated, with a consequent loss of respect for the Church; the Imperial government wanted to reform the church and appointed a series of well educated, reforming bishops. Although these bishops agreed with the government on the need to reform, they did not share Pedro II's views on the subservience of the Church to government and were influenced by Ultramontanism which emphasised loyalty to the Papacy over loyalty to the civil powers. One of the new generation of bishops was the bishop of Dom Vital, he was consecrated a bishop in 1872. He was keen to ensure. All forms of Freemasonry had long been forbidden to all Catholics under pain of excommunication, although it was felt by some Brazilian Masons that they did not share the anti-clericalism of Latin Freemasonry.
There had been some tension earlier in Rio de Janeiro, where a priest had been suspended due to his Masonic membership, although after pressure from the Prime Minister the priest was reinstated. Lay Fraternities and Sodalities played an important part in Brazilian life fulfilling a charitable role and were important in conferring social status, they were attached to churches and would have their own chapels, including some of the most important buildings in Olinda's diocesan seat of Recife. Freemasonry was common among members of the Lay Fraternities. On December 28, 1872, Dom Vital asked Olinda's parish priests to notify Lay Fraternities that they had to expel Freemason who refused to resign. There followed three individual warnings to each fraternity. On January 19, 1873 Dom Vital issued an interdict against those Lay Fraternities that refused his request to expel Freemasons; this meant. This was a challenge to the government as the Prime Minister, Rio Branco, was grand master of the most eminent body in Brazilian Freemasonry, had been a member since at least 1840.
Some of the fraternities appealed to the crown in 1873, claiming that this was not a spiritual matter and so was a matter for the state and not the church. After the appeal was lodged the bishop of Pará, Antônio de Macedo Costa placed Lay Fraternities that refused to expel Freemasons under interdict. In May 1873 Pope Pius XI sent a supportive encyclical Quamquam Dolores to Dom Vital, by extension to the other Brazilian bishops; the Council of State of the Empire of Brazil, presided over by Pedro II, came down on the side of the Freemasons and against the church. In June 1873 they ordered Dom Vital to rescind the interdict. After Dom Vital's refusal the government brought charges to the Supreme Court of Justice, for the crime of attempting against the power of the State, a criminal charge that carried a heavy sentence; the bishop made a public protest in his seat of Recife and was arrested on January 2, 1874. The refusal from Vital and the defiance from Costa led to the bishops being tried before the Supreme Court of Justice of the Empire, where in 1874 they were convicted and sentenced to four years of hard labor, commuted to imprisonment without hard labour.
Rio Branco explained in a letter written in August 1873 that he believed the government "could not compromise in the affair" since "it involved principles essential to the social order and to national sovereignty", a conviction shared by the Emperor Pedro II. The Emperor unequivocally backed the government's actions against the bishops; the trial and imprisonment of the two bishops was unpopular with the public. The Quebra Quilo riots were seen to be influenced by the imprisonment; the imposition of the metric system led to demonstrations in the northeast in 1874 with metric weights and measures destroyed by peasants, land and tax records burned. The riots did not have any lasting impact—although it illustrated popular dissatisfaction and was an embarrassment to the government." The Quebra Quilo riots were suspected of being condoned by priests, together with the arrest of the bishops, drew attention to the Imperial government having become embroiled in a no-win dispute. The crisis would only be smoothed over by the fall of the Cabinet and the Emperor's reluctant grant of a full amnesty to the bishops.
The new Prime Minister, the Duke of Caxias, a Freemason himself, but a staunch Catholic, threatened to resign if the Emperor did not grant the amnesty, which Pedro II grudgingly issued on September 17, 1875. Historian Heitor Lyra blamed all parties for a lack of tact, intransigence which caused harm to the monarchy; the main consequence of the crisis was that the clergy no longer saw any benefit in upholding Pedro II. Although they abandoned the Emperor, most eagerly awaited the accession of his eldest daughter and heir Isabel because of her Ultramontane views. Dom Vital died soon after his release. Catholicism and Freemasonry National Question
Luzia Woman is the name for an Upper Paleolithic period skeleton of a Paleo-Indian woman, found in a cave in Brazil. Some archaeologists believed the young woman may have been part of the first wave of immigrants to South America; the 11,500-year-old skeleton was found in a grotto in Lapa Vermelha, Pedro Leopoldo, Great Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in 1974 by archaeologist Annette Laming-Emperaire. The nickname "Luzia" pays homage to the Australopithecus fossil "Lucy"; the fossil was kept at the National Museum of Brazil, where it was shown to the public until it was fragmented during a fire that destroyed the museum on September 2, 2018. On October 19, 2018, it was announced that most of Luzia's remains were identified from the Museu Nacional debris, which allowed them to rebuild part of her skeleton. Luzia was discovered in 1974 in a rock shelter by a joint French-Brazilian expedition, working not far from Belo Horizonte, Brazil; the remains were not articulated. The skull, separated from the rest of the skeleton but was in good condition, was buried under more than forty feet of mineral deposits and debris.
There were no other human remains at the site. New dating of the bones announced in 2013 confirmed that at an age of 10,030 ± 60 14C yr BP, Luzia is one of the most ancient American human skeletons discovered. Forensics have determined. Although flint tools were found nearby, hers were the only human remains found in Vermelha Cave; the fossil of Luzia was believed to have been destroyed when the National Museum burned, according to officials, but firefighters discovered a human skull within the burned museum. On October 19, 2018 it was announced that the Luzia skull was indeed found, but in a fragmented state. 80% of the fragments were identified as being part of the frontal, bones that are more resistant and the fragment of her femur that belonged to the fossil and was stored. A part of the box that contained Luzia's skull was recovered; the reassembly of the bones has not yet been undertaken. Her facial features included a narrow, oval cranium, projecting face and pronounced chin, strikingly dissimilar to most Native Americans and their indigenous Siberian forebears.
Anthropologists variously described Luzia's features as resembling those of Negroids, Indigenous Australians and the Negritos of Southeast Asia. Walter Neves, an anthropologist at the University of São Paulo, suggested that Luzia's features most resembled those of Australian Aboriginal peoples. Richard Neave of Manchester University, who undertook a forensic facial reconstruction of Luzia, described it as negroid. Neves and other Brazilian anthropologists theorized that Luzia's Paleo-Indian predecessors lived in South East Asia for tens of thousands of years after migrating from Africa and began arriving in the New World as early as 15,000 years ago; the oldest confirmed date for an archaeosite in the Americas is 18,500 and 14,500 cal BP for the Monte Verde site in southern Chile. Some anthropologists have hypothesized that a population from coastal East Asia migrated in boats along the Kuril island chain, the Beringian coast and down the west coast of the Americas during the decline of the Last Glacial Maximum.
In 1998, Neves and archaeologist André Prous studied and dated 11,400 years for the skull of Luzia after naming her. Neves' conclusions have been challenged by research done by anthropologists Rolando González-José, Frank Williams and William Armelagos, who have shown in their studies that the cranio-facial variability could just be due to genetic drift and other factors affecting cranio-facial plasticity in Native Americans. A comparison in 2005 of Lagoa Santa specimens with modern Aimoré people of the same region showed strong affinities, leading Neves to classify the Aimoré as Paleo-Indians. Researchers recreated the skull of Luzia with 3D printers by studies resumed in a laboratory of the National Institute of Technology by master's and doctoral students of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. In November 2018, scientists of the University of São Paulo and Harvard University released a study that contradicts the alleged Australo-Melanesian physical appearance of Luzia. Using DNA sequencing, the results showed.
The bust of Luzia displaying African features was done in the 1990's. "However, skull shape isn't a reliable marker of geographic origin. Genetics is the best basis for this type of inference," Strauss explained."The genetic results of the new study show categorically that there was no significant connection between the Lagoa Santa people and groups from Africa or Australia. So the hypothesis that Luzia's people derived from a migratory wave prior to the ancestors of today's Amerindians has been disproved. On the contrary, the DNA shows that Luzia's people were Amerindian." Luzia stood just under five feet tall. Her remains seem to indicate that she died when she was 20 years old, either in an accident or as the result of an animal attack, she was a member of a group of hunter-gatherers. Collection of fossils in the National Museum of Brazil Genetic history of indigenous peoples of the Americas Settlement of the AmericasHuman remains Arlington Springs Man Peñon woman Buhl Woman Kennewick Man Kwäday Dän Ts'ìnchiArcheological sites Mummy Cave Paisley Caves Xá:ytem Calico Early Man Site Cueva de las Manos—Cave paintings Fort Rock Cave Marmes Rockshelter Media related to Luzia at Wikimedia Commons
Revolta da Armada
The Brazilian Naval Revolts, or the Revoltas da Armada, were armed mutinies promoted by Admirals Custódio José de Melo and Saldanha Da Gama and their fleet of Brazilian Navy ships against the unconstitutional staying in power of the central government in Rio de Janeiro. In November 1891, President Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca, amid a political crisis compounded by the effects of an economic crisis, in flagrant violation of the new constitution, decided to "solve" the political crisis by ordering the closure of Congress, supported by Paulista oligarchy; the Navy, still resentful of the circumstances and outcomes of the coup that had put an end to the monarchy in Brazil, under the leadership of Admiral Custódio José de Melo, rose up and threatened to bombard the town of Rio de Janeiro capital of the Republic. To avoid a civil war, Marshal Deodoro resigned the presidency in 23 November. With the resignation of Deodoro, after just nine months from the beginning of his administration, the vice president, Floriano Peixoto, took office.
The 1891 Constitution, provided for a new election if the presidency or vice-presidency became vacant sooner than two years in office. The opposition accused Floriano of staying as head of the nation illegally; the second revolt started in March 1892, when thirteen generals sent a letter and manifesto to the President Marshal Floriano Peixoto. This document demanded new elections be called to fulfill the constitutional provision and ensure internal tranquility in the nation. Floriano harshly suppressed the movement. Thus, not solved, the political tensions increased; the revolt broke out in September 1893 at Rio de Janeiro, was suppressed only in March 1894 after a long blockade of the city. With many of the Brazilian Navy's most powerful ships either in the hands of the rebels or under repair, the Brazilian government had to improvise a new fleet to battle the rebel fleet; the "cardboard squadron" had to face off against a mutiny that had overtaken most of the powerful ships of the original navy.
Local bloody conflicts in some regions of Brazil ensued. The navy's mutiny off Rio de Janeiro was a challenge, became linked to the Federalist Rebellion; the revolt included the powerful battleship Aquidaban and a collection of small ironclads, modern cruisers and older wood'cruiser' or steam frigate type ships. Two of the navy's major ships were overseas and away from the conflict: the battleship Riachuelo was under repairs in France, the corvette Barrozo was on a round-the world training voyage; this did not leave the government with much left to challenge the mutineers, who could have controlled the seas and influenced the concurrent conflicts on land. The government bought itself a new naval force on the open markets, of small and sometimes unusual ships including torpedo gunboats, various medium and small torpedo boats, small armed yachts, a transport converted to carry a Zalinsky "dynamite gun"; such improvised stocking up was common at that time: the US pressed a similar mix of ships into action to supplement its fleet in the 1898 war with Spain, Japan scrambled to purchase available ships for its conflict with Russia in 1904-5.
In this case, the new fleet was dedicated to confronting the original navy of the same country. Brazilian Navy First Battle of Topolobampo Rebellions and revolutions in Brazil
War of Independence of Brazil
The War of Independence of Brazil was waged between the newly-independent Brazilian Empire and United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves, which had just undergone the Liberal Revolution of 1820. It lasted from February 1822, when the first skirmishes took place, to March 1824, with the surrender of the Portuguese garrison in Montevideo; the war was involved both regular forces and civilian militia. Land and naval battles took place in the territories of Bahia and Rio de Janeiro provinces, the vice-kingdom of Grão-Pará, in Maranhão and Pernambuco, which today are part of Ceará, Piauí and Rio Grande do Norte states. There is a shortage of reliable casualty data. Casualty estimates are based on contemporary reports of battles and historical data, range between a total of 5,700 to 6,200; the population of Colonial Brazil at the turn of the 19th century was 3.4 million. 60% of them were free men of Portuguese descent. At that time slaves were not counted as free people, it is difficult to say how many Reinóis lived in Brazil in 1822, since all inhabitants were subjects of Portugal.
The majority of the population lived near the Atlantic ocean in the provinces of Pernambuco and Minas Gerais. These three regions dominated political life of the colony; the Pernambuco region thrived by producing a crop of great value at the time. The southern Bahia region produced sugar, cotton and molasses, it was the richest region. Further south was Rio de Janeiro, which controlled the diamond production of Minas Gerais; the Portuguese army in Brazil consisted of professional troops and militiamen. All officers were appointed by the Court of Lisbon. In 1817, a Republican revolt broke out in Pernambuco; as a result, 2,000 soldiers of "Auxiliary Division" were sent to Brazil. With the arrival of the troops, native officers in Brazil were not given many responsibilities. At the start of the war, there were about 10,000 Portuguese soldiers and units of the royal cavalry along the Atlantic coast. About 3,000 soldiers were besieged in Montevideo. A similar number of soldiers occupied Salvador and the rest of the troops were scattered throughout the Brazil.
During late 1821 and early 1822, the inhabitants of Brazil took sides in the political upheavals that took place in Rio de Janeiro and Lisbon. Fights between Portuguese soldiers and local militias broke out in the streets of the main cities in 1822 and spread inland, despite the arrival of reinforcements from Portugal. There was a split in the Luso-Brazilian Army, garrisoned in the Cisplatina province. Portuguese regiments retreated to Montevideo and were surrounded by Brazilians, led by Baron de Laguna. Remote and sparsely populated northern provinces of Pará and Maranhão declared loyalty to Portugal. Pernambuco was in favor of independence. While Portuguese forces were able to stop the local militias in certain cities, including Salvador, Montevideo and São Luís, they failed to defeat the militias in most of the other cities and proved ineffective against the guerrilla forces in the rural areas of the country. Supporters of Brazilian Independence created and enlarged the Brazilian Army and the Brazilian Navy by forced enlistment of citizens, foreign immigrants and mercenaries.
They enlisted Brazilian slaves into militias and freed slaves in order to enlist them in the army and the navy. By 1823, the Brazilian Army had grown, replacing its early losses in terms of both personnel and supplies; the remaining Portuguese forces on the defensive, were running out of both manpower and supplies. Outnumbered across a vast territory, the Portuguese were forced to restrict their sphere of action to the provincial capitals along the shore that represented the country's strategic sea ports, including Belém, Salvador and São Luís do Maranhão. Both parties saw the Portuguese warships spread across the country as the instrument through which military victory could be achieved. In early 1822, the Portuguese navy controlled a ship of the line, two frigates, four corvettes, two brigs, four warships of other categories in Brazilian waters. Warships available for the new Brazilian navy were numerous, but in disrepair; the hulls of several ships that were brought by the Royal Family and the Court to be abandoned in Brazil were rotten and therefore of little value.
The Brazilian agent in London, Marquis of Batley received orders to acquire warships equipped and manned on credit. No vendor, was willing to take the risks. There was an initial public offering, the new Emperor signed for 350 of them, inspiring others to do the same. Thus, the new government was successful in raising funds to purchase a fleet. Arranging crews was another problem. A significant number of former officers and Portuguese sailors volunteered to serve the new nation, swore loyalty to it, their loyalty, was under suspicion. For this reason, British officers and men were recruited to fill out the ranks and end the dependence on the Portuguese; the Brazilian Navy was led by British officer Thomas Cochrane. The newly renovated navy experienced a number of early setbacks due to sabotage by Portuguese-born men in the naval crews, but by 1823 the navy had been reformed and the Portuguese members were replaced by native Brazilians, freed slaves, pardoned prisoners as well as more experienced British and American mercenaries.
Treaty of Tordesillas
The Treaty of Tordesillas, signed at Tordesillas in Spain on June 7, 1494, authenticated at Setúbal, divided the newly discovered lands outside Europe between the Portuguese Empire and the Crown of Castile, along a meridian 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde islands, off the west coast of Africa. This line of demarcation was about halfway between the Cape Verde islands and the islands entered by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage, named in the treaty as Cipangu and Antilia; the lands to the east would belong to the lands to the west to Castile. The treaty was signed by Spain, 2 July 1494, by Portugal, 5 September 1494; the other side of the world was divided a few decades by the Treaty of Zaragoza, signed on 22 April 1529, which specified the antimeridian to the line of demarcation specified in the Treaty of Tordesillas. Originals of both treaties are kept at the General Archive of the Indies in Spain and at the Torre do Tombo National Archive in Portugal; this treaty would be observed well by Spain and Portugal, despite considerable ignorance as to the geography of the New World.
Those countries ignored the treaty those that became Protestant after the Protestant Reformation. The treaty was included by UNESCO in 2007 in its Memory of the World Programme; the Treaty of Tordesillas was intended to solve the dispute, created following the return of Christopher Columbus and his crew, who had sailed for the Crown of Castile. On his way back to Spain he first reached Lisbon, in Portugal. There he asked for another meeting with King John II to show him the newly discovered lands. After learning of the Castilian-sponsored voyage, the Portuguese King sent a threatening letter to the Catholic Monarchs stating that by the Treaty of Alcáçovas signed in 1479 and confirmed in 1481 with the papal bull Æterni regis, that granted all lands south of the Canary Islands to Portugal, all of the lands discovered by Columbus belonged, in fact, to Portugal; the Portuguese King stated that he was making arrangements for a fleet to depart shortly and take possession of the new lands. After reading the letter the Catholic Monarchs knew they did not have any military power in the Atlantic to match the Portuguese, so they pursued a diplomatic way out.
On 4 May 1493 Pope Alexander VI, an Aragonese from Valencia by birth, decreed in the bull Inter caetera that all lands west of a pole-to-pole line 100 leagues west of any of the islands of the Azores or the Cape Verde Islands should belong to Castile, although territory under Catholic rule as of Christmas 1492 would remain untouched. The bull did not mention Portugal or its lands, so Portugal could not claim newly discovered lands if they were east of the line. Another bull, Dudum siquidem, entitled Extension of the Apostolic Grant and Donation of the Indies and dated 25 September 1493, gave all mainlands and islands, "at one time or still belonging to India" to Spain if east of the line; the Portuguese King John II was not pleased with that arrangement, feeling that it gave him far too little land—it prevented him from possessing India, his near term goal. By 1493 Portuguese explorers had reached the southern tip of the Cape of Good Hope; the Portuguese were unlikely to go to war over the islands encountered by Columbus, but the explicit mention of India was a major issue.
As the Pope had not made changes, the Portuguese king opened direct negotiations with the Catholic Monarchs, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, to move the line to the west and allow him to claim newly discovered lands east of the line. In the bargain, John accepted Inter caetera as the starting point of discussion with Ferdinand and Isabella, but had the boundary line moved 270 leagues west, protecting the Portuguese route down the coast of Africa and giving the Portuguese rights to lands that now constitute the Eastern quarter of Brazil; as one scholar assessed the results, "both sides must have known that so vague a boundary could not be fixed, each thought that the other was deceived, diplomatic triumph for Portugal, confirming to the Portuguese not only the true route to India, but most of the South Atlantic". The treaty countered the bulls of Alexander VI but was subsequently sanctioned by Pope Julius II by means of the bull Ea quae pro bono pacis of 24 January 1506. Though the treaty was negotiated without consulting the Pope, a few sources call the resulting line the "Papal Line of Demarcation".
Little of the newly divided area had been seen by Europeans, as it was only divided via the treaty. Castile gained lands including most of the Americas; the easternmost part of current Brazil was granted to Portugal when in 1500 Pedro Álvares Cabral landed there while he was en route to India. Some historians contend that the Portuguese knew of the South American bulge that makes up most of Brazil before this time, so his landing in Brazil was not an accident. One scholar points to Cabral's landing on the Brazilian coast 12 degrees farther south than the expected Cape São Roque, such that "the likelihood of making such a landfall as a result of freak weather or navigational error was remote; the line was not enforced—the Spanish did not resist the Portuguese expansion of Brazil across the meridian. However, t
Inconfidência Mineira was an unsuccessful separatist movement in Brazil in 1789. It was the result of a confluence of external and internal causes in what was a Portuguese colony; the external inspiration was the independence of thirteen of the British colonies in North America following the American Revolutionary War, a development that impressed the intellectual elite of the captaincy of Minas Gerais. The main internal cause of the conspiracy was the decline of gold mining in that captaincy; as gold became less plentiful, the region's gold miners faced increasing difficulties in fulfilling tax obligations to the crown, the tax over gold was one-fifth. When the captaincy could not satisfy the royal demand for gold, it was burdened with an additional tax on gold, called derrama. Conspirators seeking independence from Portugal planned to rise up in rebellion on the day that the derrama was instituted. However, the conspirators lacked an overall leader; some of the conspirators were republicans, others were monarchists.
Some favored the abolition of slavery. The conspirators did put forth a few economic and social ideas: the promotion of cotton production, the exploitation of iron and saltpeter reserves, a proposal to give incentives to mothers to have many children, the creation of a citizens' militia; the conspiracy attracted a great number of military personnel and intellectuals, as well as the poets Cláudio Manuel da Costa and Tomás Antônio Gonzaga. Among the best known participants were Joaquim José da Silva Xavier, best known as "Tiradentes". Tiradentes, who came from Andrade's regiment, was the independence movement's most enthusiastic propagandist; the Inconfidência was inspired by the ideals of the French liberal philosophers of the Age of Enlightenment and the successful American Revolution of 1776. The conspirators belonged to the white upper class of minerals-rich Minas Gerais. Many had studied in Europe in the University of Coimbra, some had large debts with the colonial government. In the context of declining gold production, the intention of the Portuguese government to impose the obligatory payment of all debts was a leading cause behind the conspiracy.
The conspirators wanted to create a republic in which the leader would be chosen through democratic elections. The capital would be São João del Rei, Ouro Preto would become a university town; the structure of the society, including the right to property and the ownership of slaves, would be kept intact. Three participants in the independence movement revealed the conspirators' plans to the government, the rebels were arrested in 1789. Among the movement were the lawyer Alvarenga Peixoto, the poets Tomás Antônio Gonzaga and Cláudio Manuel da Costa, the priest José da Silva de Oliveira Rolim, the alferes Joaquim José da Silva Xavier. After Joaquim Silvério dos Reis, a member of the conspiracy, informed on the movement before it could take place, Peixoto was captured and sent to exile in the city of Ambaca, in Portuguese Angola, another colony of the Portuguese Empire, where he remained until the end of his life. Judicial proceedings against the conspirators lasted from 1789 to 1792. Lieutenant Colonel Freire de Andrade, José Álvares Maciel, eight others were condemned to the gallows.
Seven more were condemned to perpetual banishment in Africa, the rest were acquitted. Following the trial Queen Maria I commuted the sentences of capital punishment to perpetual banishment for all except those whose activities involved aggravated circumstances; that was the case for Tiradentes, who took full responsibility for the conspiracy movement and was imprisoned in Rio de Janeiro, where he was hanged on 21 April 1792. Afterwards, his body was torn into pieces, which were sent to Vila Rica in the captaincy of Minas Gerais, to be displayed in the places where he had propagated his revolutionary ideas; the anniversary of his death is celebrated as a national holiday in Brazil. In 1948 the events were portrayed in a film Minas Conspiracy directed by Carmen Santos. In 1963, Minas Gerais incorporated as its state flag the one designed by the Inconfidência, with an equilateral triangle inspired by the Holy Trinity – albeit the inconfidentes wanted a green triangle, while Minas' flag uses a red one – and a Latin motto taken out of Vergil's Eclogues.
List of historical acts of tax resistance Maxwell, Kenneth R. Conflicts and Conspiracies: Brazil & Portugal 1750–1808 Furtado, Júnia Ferreira, Chica da Silva: A Brazilian Slave of the Eighteenth Century