SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Empire of Brazil

The Empire of Brazil was a 19th-century state that broadly comprised the territories which form modern Brazil and Uruguay. Its government was a representative parliamentary constitutional monarchy under the rule of Emperors Dom Pedro I and his son Dom Pedro II. A colony of the Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil became the seat of the Portuguese colonial Empire in 1808, when the Portuguese Prince regent King Dom João VI, fled from Napoleon's invasion of Portugal and established himself and his government in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. João VI returned to Portugal, leaving his eldest son and heir, Pedro, to rule the Kingdom of Brazil as regent. On 7 September 1822, Pedro declared the independence of Brazil and, after waging a successful war against his father's kingdom, was acclaimed on 12 October as Pedro I, the first Emperor of Brazil; the new country was sparsely populated and ethnically diverse. Unlike most of the neighboring Hispanic American republics, Brazil had political stability, vibrant economic growth, constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech, respect for civil rights of its subjects, albeit with legal restrictions on women and slaves, the latter regarded as property and not citizens.

The empire's bicameral parliament was elected under comparatively democratic methods for the era, as were the provincial and local legislatures. This led to a long ideological conflict between Pedro I and a sizable parliamentary faction over the role of the monarch in the government, he faced other obstacles. The unsuccessful Cisplatine War against the neighboring United Provinces of the Río de la Plata in 1828 led to the secession of the province of Cisplatina. In 1826, despite his role in Brazilian independence, he became the king of Portugal. Two years she was usurped by Pedro I's younger brother Miguel. Unable to deal with both Brazilian and Portuguese affairs, Pedro I abdicated his Brazilian throne on 7 April 1831 and departed for Europe to restore his daughter to the Portuguese throne. Pedro I's successor in Brazil was his five-year-old son, Pedro II; as the latter was still a minor, a weak regency was created. The power vacuum resulting from the absence of a ruling monarch as the ultimate arbiter in political disputes led to regional civil wars between local factions.

Having inherited an empire on the verge of disintegration, Pedro II, once he was declared of age, managed to bring peace and stability to the country, which became an emerging international power. Brazil was victorious in three international conflicts under Pedro II's rule, the Empire prevailed in several other international disputes and outbreaks of domestic strife. With prosperity and economic development came an influx of European immigration, including Protestants and Jews, although Brazil remained Catholic. Slavery, widespread, was restricted by successive legislation until its final abolition in 1888. Brazilian visual arts and theater developed during this time of progress. Although influenced by European styles that ranged from Neoclassicism to Romanticism, each concept was adapted to create a culture, uniquely Brazilian. Though the last four decades of Pedro II's reign were marked by continuous internal peace and economic prosperity, he had no desire to see the monarchy survive beyond his lifetime and made no effort to maintain support for the institution.

The next in line to the throne was his daughter Isabel, but neither Pedro II nor the ruling classes considered a female monarch acceptable. Lacking any viable heir, the Empire's political leaders saw no reason to defend the monarchy. After a 58-year reign, on 15 November 1889 the Emperor was overthrown in a sudden coup d'état led by a clique of military leaders whose goal was the formation of a republic headed by a dictator, forming the First Brazilian Republic; the territory which would come to be known as Brazil was claimed by Portugal on 22 April 1500, when the navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral landed on its coast. Permanent settlement followed in 1532, for the next 300 years the Portuguese expanded westwards until they had reached nearly all of the borders of modern Brazil. In 1808, the army of French Emperor Napoleon I invaded Portugal, forcing the Portuguese royal family—the House of Braganza, a branch of the thousand-year-old Capetian dynasty—into exile, they re-established themselves in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, which became the unofficial seat of the Portuguese Empire.

In 1815, the Portuguese crown prince Dom João, acting as regent, created the United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves, which raised the status of Brazil from colony to kingdom. He ascended the Portuguese throne the following year, after the death of his mother, Maria I of Portugal, he returned to Portugal in April 1821, leaving behind his son and heir, Prince Dom Pedro, to rule Brazil as his regent. The Portuguese government moved to revoke the political autonomy that Brazil had been granted since 1808; the threat of losing their limited control over local affairs ignited widespread opposition among Brazilians. José Bonifácio de Andrada, along with other Brazilian leaders, convinced Pedro to declare Brazil's independence from Portugal on 7 September 1822. On 12 October, the prince was acclaimed Pedro I, first Emperor of the newly created Empire of Brazil, a constitutional monarchy; the declaration of independence was opposed throughout Brazil by armed military units loyal to Portugal. The ensuing war of independence was fought across the country, with battles in the northern and southern regions.

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50th New York State Legislature

The 50th New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 2 to December 4, 1827, during the third year of DeWitt Clinton's second tenure as Governor of New York, in Albany. Under the provisions of the New York Constitution of 1821, 32 Senators were elected on general tickets in eight senatorial districts for four-year terms, they were divided into four classes, every year eight Senate seats came up for election. Assemblymen were elected countywide on general tickets to a one-year term, the whole Assembly being renewed annually. On April 18, 1826, the Legislature amended the senatorial district apportionment: Delaware Co. was transferred from the 6th to the 2nd District. They amended the Assembly district apportionment: Chautauqua, New York, St. Lawrence and Tompkins gained one seat each. State Senator George Brayton resigned on April 1826, leaving a vacancy in the Fifth District. State Senator Jedediah Morgan resigned due to ill health.

At this time, the Democratic-Republican Party was split into two factions: the "Bucktails" and the "Clintonians". On September 21, 1826, the Clintonian state convention met at Utica; the delegates nominated Gov. DeWitt Clinton for re-election. On October 4, 1826, the Bucktail state convention met at Herkimer; the delegates nominated Circuit Judge William B. Rochester for governor. On September 11, 1826, began the affair surrounding the abduction, probable murder, of William Morgan which led to the foundation of the Anti-Masonic Party in 1828; the State election was held from November 6 to 8, 1826. Gov. DeWitt Clinton was re-elected, Nathaniel Pitcher was elected lieutenant governor. Robert Bogardus, John McCarty, Duncan McMartin Jr. Truman Enos, Thomas G. Waterman, William M. Oliver, Charles H. Carroll. Charles Dayan and Victory Birdseye were elected to fill the vacancies. Bogardus and McMartin were Clintonians, the other eight were Bucktails; the Legislature met for the regular session at the Old State Capitol in Albany on January 2, 1827, adjourned on April 17.

Erastus Root was elected Speaker with 74 votes against 33 for Francis Granger. On February 6, the Legislature re-elected U. S. Senator Martin Van Buren to a second term of six years. On February 20, Abraham Keyser, Jr. was re-elected New York State Treasurer. The Legislature met for a special session on September 11; this session was called to debate the report of the Board of Revisers of the State Statutes appointed in 1824. At this time, the members of the Board were John Duer, Benjamin F. Butler and John C. Spencer; the Legislature enacted that 34 presidential electors should be elected by popular ballot in districts, these 34 should co-opt two electors-at-large. The First District consisted of Kings, New York, Queens and Suffolk counties; the Second District consisted of Delaware, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and Westchester counties. The Third District consisted of Albany, Greene, Rensselaer and Schoharie counties; the Fourth District consisted of Clinton, Franklin, Montgomery, St. Lawrence, Saratoga and Washington counties.

The Fifth District consisted of Herkimer, Lewis, Madison and Oswego counties. The Sixth District consisted of Broome, Cortland, Steuben and Tompkins counties; the Seventh District consisted of Cayuga, Ontario, Seneca and Yates counties. The Eighth District consisted of Allegany, Chautauqua, Genesee, Monroe and Orleans counties; the asterisk denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued in office as members of this Legislature. Benjamin Woodward changed from the Assembly to the Senate. Clerk: John F. Bacon The asterisk denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued as members of this Legislature. Clerk: Edward Livingston Sergeant-at-Arms: John C. Ellis Doorkeeper: William Seely Assistant Doorkeeper: James D. Scollard The New York Civil List compiled by Franklin Benjamin Hough The History of Political Parties in the State of New-York, from the Ratification of the Federal Constitution to 1840 by Jabez D. Hammond

Cyclone Xynthia

Cyclone Xynthia was an extraordinarily violent European windstorm which crossed Western Europe between 27 February and 1 March 2010. It reached a minimum pressure of 967 mb on 27 February. In France—where it was described by the civil defence as the most violent since Lothar and Martin in December 1999—at least 51 people were killed, with 12 more said to be missing. A further six people were killed in Germany, three in Spain, one in Portugal, one in Belgium and another one in England. Most of the deaths in France occurred when a powerful storm surge topped by battering waves up to 7.5 m high, hitting at high tide, smashed through the sea wall off the coastal town of L'Aiguillon-sur-Mer. A mobile home park built close to the sea wall was hard-hit; the sea wall was about two hundred years old. The storm cut power to over a million homes in France and a million customers in Portugal lost power. One million homes were left without power in western France. In the Hautes-Pyrénées, falling trees damaged vehicles, the roofs of houses and barns were blown away, rocks were falling onto the road.

In the département of Vendée, cities like La Faute-sur-Mer, L'Aiguillon-sur-Mer, La Tranche-sur-Mer were flooded with water levels reaching up to 1.5 metres. Flooding affected parts of the Charente-Maritime département where high speed wind were registered. Flooded railway tracks led to railway delays in France and the rail services in northern Spain were severely affected. 70 flights from Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport were cancelled by Air France. The storm caused damage in Portugal and Spain; the strongest wind gust recorded in Portugal was 166 km/h while in Spain a gust of 228 km/h was recorded. In France a 241 km/h wind gust was recorded at the Pic du Midi; the storm may have been exacerbated by the spread of volcanic ash from the Soufrière Hills volcano. A cloud of ash from the volcano was dragged over the United Kingdom, forming a visible haze to the north-west of Xynthia on visible satellite imagery. On March 11, 2010, catastrophe risk modeling firm EQECAT estimated wind losses for affected countries excluding Portugal and Spain as follows: Mean damage: €1.3 billion.

One year after the event, the insurance industry loss aggregator PERILS AG published its final loss estimate for Xynthia of €1.32bn, excluding the French indemnified losses. Météo-France issued its second highest warning for 27 February and early 28 February for Andorra, Ariège, Finistère, Haute-Garonne, Gironde, Isère, Haute-Loire and Hautes-Pyrénées, it issued its highest warning level for Vendée, Deux-Sèvres and Vienne. Helicopters were sent to rescue people on their roofs following flooding in Charente-Maritime and Vendée, France. An emergency meeting was held on 28 February by French Prime Minister François Fillon following the effects in France; the Portuguese Institute of Meteorology issued red warnings for the northern parts of the country for winds up to 150 km/h, the rest of the country being with orange warnings for wind gusts up to 120 km/h. The French Government declared the 2010 floods a “catastrophe”. A historical study of coastal surges in France conducted after the storm indicated that there had been no previous coastal surge in France with such a high death toll.

In response to the coastal flooding brought by Xynthia, the French Government announced on 8 April 2010 that it had decided to destroy 1,510 houses in the affected areas of which 823 were in the Vendée and 595 were in Charente-Maritime. The government promised to compensate all home-owners, based on the value of the real estate prior to the storm, with the ministry of finance stating that they would pay €250,000 per house. In Vendée of the 823 homes designated by the French state to be destroyed, nearly 700 homeowners accepted the compensation terms by the state with demolition taking place in March 2011. In 2011 there remained 79 people who decided to fight the destruction of their homes via the legal system; the French Government produced a document called Rapid inundation plan: coastal floods, flash floods and dike failures -“Plan submersions rapides: submersions marines, crues soudaines et ruptures de digues” in February 2011. This plan details the policy response brought about not only as a result of Xynthia in February 2010, but severe June 2010 flash flooding in the Var Department in southern France that led to the deaths of 25 people.

Wind gusts recorded during Xynthia storm in France and Switzerland: GC Capital Ideas Update 2: Windstorm Xynthia EUMeTrain, The Xynthia Storm by ASCAT