Felisberto Caldeira Brant, Marquis of Barbacena
Felisberto Caldeira Brant Pontes de Oliveira Horta, the Marquis of Barbacena was a soldier and statesman of both Portugal and the Empire of Brazil. Brant was born in Portugal in 1772, he attended the Royal College of Nobles in Lisbon becoming an officer in the Portuguese army. Early in his career, Brant was sent to Angola, where he served as aide de camp to the royal governor there. In 1807, during the French invasion of Portugal, the Prince Regent, Dom João VI, fled to Brazil with a large retinue. Brant, who had by returned to Portugal, accompanied the Prince Regent to South America. There, he became a pioneer in the field of steam transportation, developing such an interest in the method that he was granted official authorization to study it. By 1821, the Prince Regent had returned to Portugal, leaving his son Dom Pedro I in control of Brazil. Relations between the two regions grew tense, Brazil broke away from the kingdom. Brant supported Dom Pedro, now the Emperor, being sent on a diplomatic mission to London by José Bonifácio, the minister for both internal and foreign affairs.
He met little success during his stay in England, he returned to Brazil by 1826. During the Cisplatine War with Argentina, Brant rose to become commander-in-chief of Brazilian forces, he commanded the Brazilian army during a failed invasion of Argentina, was fought to a draw in the Battle of Ituzaingó. In 1829, Brant was charged with finding a bride for Dom Pedro, he fell from grace shortly afterward. He died in 1842
Gaston, Count of Eu
Prince Gaston of Orleans, Count of Eu, the first son of Louis, Duke of Nemours, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was a French prince and military commander who fought in the Spanish-Moroccan War and the Paraguayan War. Gaston was married to heiress to the Brazilian throne. Gaston was born Louis Philippe Marie Ferdinand Gaston of Orléans on 28 April 1842 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, a suburb of Paris, at the Château de Neuilly, he was the Duke of Nemours and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. His paternal grandparents were King Louis Philippe I, King of the French, Maria Amalia of the Two Sicilies, his maternal grandparents were Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Maria Antonia Koháry. A member of the French royal family, Gaston belonged to the House of Orléans, a cadet branch of the House of Bourbon, that in turn belonged to the Capetian Dynasty. A Prince of Orléans, he was titled Count of Eu at birth by King Louis Philippe, he was a first cousin once removed of both the British Monarch Queen Victoria and of her husband Albert, Prince Consort, through his mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
The prince received a refined education under the historian Auguste Trognon. He learned several foreign languages, which included Latin, English and Portuguese, his grandfather abdicated during the Revolution of 1848. Only five years old at the time, Gaston followed the king and his family who went into exile in Great Britain, establishing themselves in an old mansion at Claremont, in the southern region of England. In 1855, at the age of 13, Gaston began his military career in an artillery course, concluding in the Military School of Segovia, where he became a captain, he had moved to Spain, after following his uncle, the Duke of Montpensier's orientation. The Duke had lived there since his marriage to Infanta Luisa Fernanda, sister of Queen Isabel II of Spain. After years with problems on the border with Morocco caused by constant attacks on Spanish cities by Moroccan pirates, Spain declared war on Morocco; the young Gaston was sent as a subordinate officer to participate in the conflict on the side of the Spanish forces.
The Spanish military consisted of more than 40,000 soldiers, while the Moroccan troops numbered about 140,000 men. The Count participated in all of the battles, after the end of the conflict he returned to Spain with a reputation for his military prowess. A few years his uncle, King Ferdinand II of Portugal proposed that he should marry one of the two daughters of the Emperor Pedro II of Brazil, he only after meeting the princesses. The Emperor's sister, Princess Francisca, married to the Count's uncle, the Prince of Joinville, wrote a letter to her brother describing the Count. "If you could grab this one for one of your daughters it would be excellent. He is robust, handsome, good natured amiable, much instructed, in addition, he possesses now a small military fame." Gaston arrived in Rio de Janeiro on 2 September 1864 in the company of his double first cousin, Prince Ludwig August of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, went directly to the Palace of São Cristóvão to meet the Brazilian imperial family. However, Gaston was less than enthusiastic about the two princesses, whom he considered unattractive.
The young Count was promised to Princess Leopoldina and his cousin to Princess Isabel. However, after getting to know them better, the Emperor decided to invert the pairs. Gaston became attached to Isabel, they were married on 15 October 1864. Earlier, Gaston was awarded the Grand Cross of the Imperial Order of the Southern Cross and a few days accepted the honorary presidency of the Brazilian Geographic and Historical Institute. In 1892, Alfredo d'Escragnolle, the viscount of Taunay, gave his opinion regarding the two cousins when they first arrived in Brazil, he said that the duke of Saxe "had only interest in spending his life in a lazy and amusing way, he liked a lot of hunting and appreciated a lot the many joys that existed in Europe, while the comte d'Eu with all the defects that I can point at him, cared sincerely and a lot for Brazil and, believe it or not, he still loves it today with intensity and no second intention." Gaston and Isabel were travelling in Europe on their honeymoon when Paraguayan forces invaded the Brazilian provinces of Mato Grosso and Rio Grande Do Sul.
From the city of Uruguaiana in the southern region of Brazil, Pedro II sent a letter to the couple requesting Gaston's presence in Brazil, directing the Count to join him and the Brazilian army, together with the Duke of Saxe. Uruguaiana had been conquered by the Paraguayan army; the Conde d'Eu, the Emperor, Pedro II of Brazil, joined President Bartolomé Mitre of Argentina in the Siege of Uruguaiana, which ended 18 September 1865. In his memoirs, the Visconde of Taunay wrote of his experience in the Paraguayan War, along with observances of his fellow soldiers. "While Gaston showed in all occasions a great interest for the things of Brazil, asking, visiting all the places and going after correct and accurate information, while the other did not show anything except for indifference and lack of ambition." He was nominated general commander of the artillery and president of the Commission of Improvements of the Army on 19 November 1865. On two different occasions throughout the conflict, Gaston sent requests to the Emperor asking him to authorize his participation in the war against Paraguay.
The Council of State declined his request. The rationale was a strategic act, b
Isabel, Princess Imperial of Brazil
Dona Isabel, nicknamed "the Redemptress", was the heiress presumptive to the throne of the Empire of Brazil, bearing the title of Princess Imperial. She served as the Empire's regent on three occasions. Isabel was born in Rio de Janeiro, the eldest daughter of Emperor Pedro II and Empress Teresa Cristina, thus a member of the Brazilian branch of the House of Braganza. After the deaths of her two brothers in infancy, she was recognized as her father's heiress presumptive, she married a French prince, Count of Eu, in an arranged marriage, they had three sons. During her father's absences abroad, Isabel acted as regent. In her third and final regency, she promoted and signed a law, named Lei Áurea or the Golden Law, emancipating all slaves in Brazil. Though the action was broadly popular, there was strong opposition to her succession to the throne, her gender, strong Catholic faith and marriage to a foreigner were seen as impediments against her, the emancipation of the slaves generated dislike among powerful planters.
In 1889, her family was deposed in a military coup, she spent the last 30 years of her life in exile in France. Isabel was born at 6:30 p.m. on 29 July 1846 in Rio de Janeiro's Paço de São Cristóvão. She was his wife Teresa Cristina. On 15 November the infant princess was baptized in an elaborate ceremony in Igreja da Glória, her godparents, both represented by proxy, were her uncle, King Ferdinand II of Portugal, her maternal grandmother María Isabella of Spain. She was christened Isabel Cristina Leopoldina Augusta Micaela Gabriela Rafaela Gonzaga, her last four names were always bestowed upon the members of her family, Isabel and Cristina honored Isabel's maternal grandmother and mother, respectively. She was a member of the Brazilian branch of the House of Braganza through her father, from birth was referred to using the honorific Dona, she was the granddaughter of Brazil's Emperor Pedro I, the niece of Queen Maria II of Portugal. Through her mother, she was a granddaughter of Francis I and niece to Ferdinand II, both kings of the Two Sicilies in turn.
At the time of her birth, she had an elder brother named Afonso, heir apparent to the Brazilian throne. Two other siblings followed: Leopoldina in 1847 and Pedro in 1848. Afonso's death in 1847, at the age of 2 1⁄2, propelled Isabel to the position of Pedro II's heir presumptive, she lost the position with the birth of Prince Imperial Pedro. After his death in 1850, Isabel became the definitive heir as Princess Imperial, the title given to the first in the line of succession. Isabel's early years were a time of prosperity in Brazil, her parents provided a healthy upbringing. She and her sister "grew up in a stable, secure environment different from the one her father and aunts had known, light years away from the childhood chaos of Pedro I." The early death of both of his sons had an enormous impact on Pedro II. Aside from his personal grief, the loss of his sons affected his future conduct as monarch and would determine the fate of the Empire. In the Emperor's eyes, the deaths of his children seemed to portend an eventual end of the Imperial system.
The future of the monarchy as an institution no longer concerned him, as he saw his position as being nothing more than that of Head of State for his lifetime. The Emperor's words revealed his inner conviction. After learning of the death of his son Pedro in 1850, he wrote: "This has been the most fatal blow that I could receive, I would not have survived were it not that I still have a wife and two children whom I must educate so that they can assure the happiness of the country in which they were born." Seven years in 1857, when it was more than clear that no more children would be born, the Emperor wrote: "As to their education, I will only say that the character of both the princesses ought to be shaped as suits Ladies who, it may be, will have to direct the constitutional government of an Empire such as Brazil". Although the Emperor still had a legal successor in his beloved daughter Isabel, the male-dominated society of the time left him little hope that a woman could rule Brazil, he was fond and respectful of the women in his life, but he did not consider it feasible that Isabel could survive as monarch, given the political realities and climate.
To historian Roderick J. Barman, the Emperor "could not conceive of women, his daughters included, playing any part in governance. In consequence, although he valued D. Isabel as his daughter, he could not accept or perceive her in cold reality as his successor or regard her as a viable ruler." The main reason for this behavior was his attitude toward the female gender. "Pedro II believed, as did most men of his day", says Barman, "that a single woman could not manage life's problem on her own if she possessed the powers and authority of an empress." Isabel began her education on 1 May 1854, when she was taught how to read and write by a male instructor, republican. As the Portuguese court tradition demanded, the heir of the throne was supposed to have an aio in charge of his education once he achieved the age of seven. After a long search, Pedro II chose the Brazilian-born Luísa Margarida Portugal de Barros, the Countess of Barral, daughter of a Brazilian noble and wife of a French noble. Barral assumed her position on 9 September 1856.
The 40-year-old Countess was a charming and vivacious woman who soon captured
History of Brazil
The history of Brazil starts with indigenous people in Brazil. Europeans arrived in Brazil at the opening of the 16th century; the first European to colonize what is now the Federative Republic of Brazil on the continent of South America was Pedro Álvares Cabral on April 22, 1500 under the sponsorship of the Kingdom of Portugal. From the 16th to the early 19th century, Brazil was a part of the Portuguese Empire; the country expanded south along the coast and west along the Amazon and other inland rivers from the original 15 donatary captaincy colonies established on the northeast Atlantic coast east of the Tordesillas Line of 1494 that divided the Portuguese domain to the east from the Spanish domain to the west. The country's borders were only finalized in the early 20th century. On September 7, 1822, the country declared its independence from Portugal and it became the Empire of Brazil. A military coup in 1889 established the First Brazilian Republic; the country has seen two dictatorship periods: the first during Vargas Era and the second during the military rule under Brazilian military government.
When Portuguese explorers arrived in Brazil, the region was inhabited by hundreds of different types of Jiquabu tribes, "the earliest going back at least 10,000 years in the highlands of Minas Gerais". The dating of the origins of the first inhabitants, who were called "Indians" by the Portuguese, is still a matter of dispute among archaeologists; the earliest pottery found in the Western Hemisphere, radiocarbon-dated 8,000 years old, has been excavated in the Amazon basin of Brazil, near Santarém, providing evidence to overturn the assumption that the tropical forest region was too poor in resources to have supported a complex prehistoric culture". The current most accepted view of anthropologists and geneticists is that the early tribes were part of the first wave of migrant hunters who came into the Americas from Asia, either by land, across the Bering Strait, or by coastal sea routes along the Pacific, or both; the Andes and the mountain ranges of northern South America created a rather sharp cultural boundary between the settled agrarian civilizations of the west coast and the semi-nomadic tribes of the east, who never developed written records or permanent monumental architecture.
For this reason little is known about the history of Brazil before 1500. Archaeological remains indicate a complex pattern of regional cultural developments, internal migrations, occasional large state-like federations. At the time of European discovery, the territory of current day Brazil had as many as 2,000 tribes; the indigenous peoples were traditionally semi-nomadic tribes who subsisted on hunting, fishing and migrant agriculture. When the Portuguese arrived in 1500, the Natives were living on the coast and along the banks of major rivers. Tribal warfare and the pursuit of brazilwood for its treasured red dye convinced the Portuguese that they should Christianize the natives, but the Portuguese, like the Spanish in their South American possessions, had brought diseases with them, against which many Natives were helpless due to lack of immunity. Measles, tuberculosis and influenza killed tens of thousands of indigenous people; the diseases spread along the indigenous trade routes, whole tribes were annihilated without coming in direct contact with Europeans.
Marajoara culture flourished on Marajó island at the mouth of the Amazon River. Archeologists have found sophisticated pottery in their excavations on the island; these pieces are large, elaborately painted and incised with representations of plants and animals. These provided the first evidence that a complex society had existed on Marajó. Evidence of mound building further suggests that well-populated and sophisticated settlements developed on this island, as only such settlements were believed capable of such extended projects as major earthworks; the extent, level of complexity, resource interactions of the Marajoara culture have been disputed. Working in the 1950s in some of her earliest research, American Betty Meggers suggested that the society migrated from the Andes and settled on the island. Many researchers believed that the Andes were populated by Paleoindian migrants from North America who moved south after being hunters on the plains. In the 1980s, another American archeologist, Anna Curtenius Roosevelt, led excavations and geophysical surveys of the mound Teso dos Bichos.
She concluded. The pre-Columbian culture of Marajó may have developed social stratification and supported a population as large as 100,000 people; the Native Americans of the Amazon rainforest may have used their method of developing and working in Terra preta to make the land suitable for the large-scale agriculture needed to support large populations and complex social formations such as chiefdoms. There are many theories regarding, the first European to set foot on the land now called Brazil. Besides the accepted view of Cabral's discovery, some say that it was Duarte Pacheco Pereira between November and December 1498 and some others say that it was first encountered by Vicente Yáñez Pinzón, a Spanish navigator who had accompanied Colombus in his first voyage of discovery to the Americas, having arrived in today's Pernambuco region on 26 January 1500 but was unable to claim the land because of the Treaty of Tordesillas. In April 1500, Brazil was claimed for Portugal on the arrival of the Portuguese fleet commanded by Pedro Álvares Cabral.
The Portuguese encountered stone-using natives d
History of slavery
The history of slavery spans many cultures and religions from ancient times to the present day. However the social and legal positions of slaves have differed vastly in different systems of slavery in different times and places. Slavery occurs rarely among hunter-gatherer populations because it develops under conditions of social stratification. Slavery operated in the first civilizations. Slavery features in the Mesopotamian Code of Hammurabi, which refers to it as an established institution. Slavery became common within much of Europe during the Dark Ages and it continued into the Middle Ages; the Byzantine–Ottoman wars and the Ottoman wars in Europe resulted in the capture of large numbers of Christian slaves. The Dutch, Spanish, British, Arabs and a number of West African kingdoms played a prominent role in the Atlantic slave trade after 1600. David P. Forsythe wrote: "The fact remained that at the beginning of the nineteenth century an estimated three-quarters of all people alive were trapped in bondage against their will either in some form of slavery or serfdom."
The Republic of Ragusa became the first European country to ban the slave trade - in 1416. In modern times Denmark-Norway abolished the trade in 1802. Although slavery is no longer legal anywhere in the world, human trafficking remains an international problem and an estimated 25-40 million people were enslaved as of 2013, the majority in Asia. During the 1983–2005 Second Sudanese Civil War people were taken into slavery. Evidence emerged in the late 1990s of systematic child-slavery and -trafficking on cacao plantations in West Africa. Slavery continues into the 21st-century. Although Mauritania criminalized slavery in August 2007, an estimated up to 600,000 men and children, or 20% of the population of Mauritania, are enslaved, many of them used as bonded labor. Slavery in 21st-century Islamism continues, Islamist quasi-states such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and Boko Haram have abducted and enslaved women and children. Evidence of slavery predates written records, has existed in many cultures.
However, slavery is rare among hunter-gatherer populations. Mass slavery requires a high population density to be viable. Due to these factors, the practice of slavery would have only proliferated after the invention of agriculture during the Neolithic Revolution, about 11,000 years ago. Slavery was known in civilizations as old as Sumer, as well as in every other ancient civilization, including Ancient Egypt, Ancient China, the Akkadian Empire, Babylonia, Ancient Iran, Ancient Greece, Ancient India, the Roman Empire, the Arab Islamic Caliphate and Sultanate and the pre-Columbian civilizations of the Americas; such institutions were a mixture of debt-slavery, punishment for crime, the enslavement of prisoners of war, child abandonment, the birth of slave children to slaves. French historian Fernand Braudel noted that slavery was endemic in Africa and part of the structure of everyday life. "Slavery came in different guises in different societies: there were court slaves, slaves incorporated into princely armies and household slaves, slaves working on the land, in industry, as couriers and intermediaries as traders".
During the 16th century, Europe began to outpace the Arab world in the export traffic, with its slave traffic from Africa to the Americas. The Dutch imported slaves from Asia into their colony in South Africa. In 1807 Britain, which held extensive, although coastal, colonial territories on the African continent, made the international slave trade illegal, as did the United States in 1808. In Senegambia, between 1300 and 1900, close to one-third of the population was enslaved. In early Islamic states of the Western Sudan, including Ghana, Mali and Songhai, about a third of the population was enslaved. In Sierra Leone in the 19th century about half of the population consisted of slaves. In the 19th century at least half the population was enslaved among the Duala of the Cameroon, the Igbo and other peoples of the lower Niger, the Kongo, the Kasanje kingdom and Chokwe of Angola. Among the Ashanti and Yoruba a third of the population consisted of slaves; the population of the Kanem was about a third slave.
It was 40% in Bornu. Between 1750 and 1900 from one- to two-thirds of the entire population of the Fulani jihad states consisted of slaves; the population of the Sokoto caliphate formed by Hausas in northern Nigeria and Cameroon was half-slave in the 19th century. It is estimated. Half the population of Madagascar was enslaved; the Anti-Slavery Society estimated that there were 2,000,000 slaves in the early 1930s Ethiopia, out of an estimated population of between 8 and 16 million. Slavery continued in Ethiopia until the brief Second Italo-Abyssinian War in October 1935, when it was abolished by order of the Italian occupying forces. In response to pressure by Western Allies of World War II Ethiopia abolished slavery and serfdom after regaining its independence in 1942. On 26 August 1942 Haile Selassie issued a proclamation outlawing slavery; when British rule was first imposed on the Sokoto Caliphate and the surrounding areas in northern Nigeria at the turn of the 20th century 2 million to 2.5 million people there were slaves.
Slavery in northern Nigeria was outlawed in 1936. Elikia M'bokolo, April 1998, Le Monde diplomatique. Quot
History of the Empire of Brazil
The land now known as Brazil was claimed by the Portuguese for the first time on 23 April 1500 when the Navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral landed on its coast. Permanent settlement by the Portuguese followed in 1534, for the next 300 years they expanded into the territory to the west until they had established nearly all of the frontiers which constitute modern Brazil's borders. In 1808 the army of French Emperor Napoleon I invaded Portugal, forcing the Portuguese royal family into exile, they established themselves in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, which thus became the unofficial seat of the entire Portuguese Empire. On 12 December 1815 Dom João VI regent on behalf of his incapacitated mother, Queen Dona Maria I, elevated Brazil from colony to Kingdom united with Portugal. In 1820 the Constitutionalist Revolution erupted in Portugal; the movement, initiated by liberals, resulted in a meeting of the Cortes which had as its goal to draft the kingdom’s first constitution. The liberals demanded the return of João VI, residing in Brazil since 1808 and who had succeeded his mother as King in 1816.
He named his son and heir Prince Dom Pedro as regent and departed for Europe on 26 April 1821. The Portuguese Cortes enacted decrees which subordinated the Brazilian provincial governments directly to Portugal, abolished all superior courts and administrative bodies created within Brazil since 1808 and recalled Prince Pedro to Portugal. Two groups emerged, both of which feared that the Cortes was attempting to return Brazil to the status of a mere colony: the Luso-Brazilians and the Nativists. Members of both were Brazilian-born gentry, landowners and rich business men, with a minority who were immigrants from Portugal; the Luso-Brazilians were men who graduated in the University of Coimbra in Portugal before 1816 and were led by José Bonifácio de Andrada. They called for a constitutional and centralized monarchy to prevent the possibility of provincial secessionism. A few, such as Bonifácio, had further goals which included abolishing the slave trade and slavery itself, instituting land reform, economic development of the country free of foreign loans.
The Nativists, men without a higher education who had lived their entire lives in Brazil, desired the opposite. They opposed the end of slavery, wanted a democracy in which only they were enfranchised, preservation of the existing social hierarchy, a monarch who would be a mere figurehead, a weak federal organization in which the provinces would be ruled by the local interests without interference from the central government. Both groups convinced the Prince not to return to Portugal, he replied on 9 January 1822: "Since it is for the good of all and the general happiness of the Nation, I am willing. Tell the people that I am staying."" He appointed José Bonifácio, leader of the Luso-Brazilians, as head of the Cabinet on 18 January 1822. Pedro traveled to São Paulo province to secure its loyalty to the Brazilian cause, but he received a letter from Bonifácio as he was returning to Rio de Janeiro on 7 September; the prince learned. Pedro turned to his companions, who included his Guard of Honor and said: "Friends, the Portuguese Cortes wants to enslave and pursue us.
From today onward our relations are broken. No ties unites us any longer". Pulling off his blue and white armband which symbolized Portugal, he continued: "Armbands off, soldiers. Hail to independence, to freedom and to the separation of Brazil". In a moment which would become the most iconic in Brazilian history, he unsheathed his sword and affirmed that "For my blood, my honor, my God, I swear to give Brazil freedom", cried out: "Independence or death!"Pedro's decision to defy the Cortes was met with armed opposition across Brazil by troops loyal to Portugal. The ensuing Brazilian War of Independence spread throughout most of the country, with battles fought in the northern and southern regions; the last Portuguese soldiers surrendered on 8 March 1824, independence was recognized by Portugal on 29 August 1825. In addition to those Brazilians and Portuguese who fought in the war, much of the credit for this victory is credited to Bonifácio's cabinet, it created an army and a navy out of nothing improved government finances, unified the provinces under a single, cohesive leadership.
On 12 October 1822 Prince Pedro was acclaimed Dom Pedro I, Constitutional Emperor and Perpetual Defender of Brazil. It was concurrently the beginning of Pedro's reign and the birth of the independent Empire of Brazil, he was crowned on 1 December. Meanwhile, Bonifácio initiated a judicial inquiry against the Nativists, who were accused of conspiracy against the monarchy. Many were arrested. Before declaring independence, Pedro had called for holding Brazilian elections to select delegates to a Constituent and Legislative National Assembly. On 3 May 1823, the Constituent Assembly initiated work towards framing a political Constitution for the new nation, its members, called national deputies, numbered 100 although only 88 sat on its sessions. They were indirectly elected by censitary none belonged to political parties. There were factions within it: the Luso-Brazilians, the Nativists, the Absolutists and the Republicans; the latter were a few individuals with little support. The remaining deputies were all monarchists.
The Absolutists were Portuguese who opposed Brazilian independence, although they accepted self-
Independence of Brazil
The Independence of Brazil comprised a series of political and military events that occurred in 1821–1824, most of which involved disputes between Brazil and Portugal regarding the call for independence presented by the Brazilian Empire. It is celebrated on 7 September, the anniversary of the date in 1822 that prince regent Dom Pedro declared Brazil's independence from the former United Kingdom of Portugal and Algarves. Formal recognition came with a treaty three years signed by both the new Empire of Brazil and the Kingdom of Portugal in late 1825; the land now called Brazil was claimed by the Kingdom of Portugal in April 1500, on the arrival of the Portuguese naval fleet commanded by Pedro Álvares Cabral. The Portuguese encountered Indigenous nations divided into several tribes, most of whom shared the same Tupi–Guarani languages family, shared and disputed the territory. Though the first settlement was founded in 1532, colonization was started in 1534 when King John III divided the territory into fifteen hereditary captaincies.
This arrangement proved problematic, in 1549 the king assigned a Governor-General to administer the entire colony. The Portuguese assimilated some of the native tribes while others disappeared in long wars or by European diseases to which they had no immunity.. By the mid-16th century, sugar had become Brazil's most important export due to the increasing international demand for sugar. To profit from the situation, by 1700 over 963,000 African slaves had been brought across the Atlantic Ocean to work in the plantations of Brazil. More Africans were brought to Brazil up until that date than to all the other places in The Americas combined. Through wars against the French, the Portuguese expanded their territory to the southeast, taking Rio de Janeiro in 1567, to the northwest, taking São Luís in 1615, they sent military expeditions to the northwest of the South American continent to the Amazon River basin rainforest and conquered competing English and Dutch strongholds, founding villages and forts from 1669.
In 1680 they reached the far southeast and founded Sacramento on the bank of the Rio de la Plata, in the Banda Oriental region. At the end of the 17th century, sugar exports started to decline, but beginning in the 1690s, the discovery of gold by explorers in the region that would be called Minas Gerais in current Mato Grosso, Goiás and the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais saved the colony from imminent collapse. From all over Brazil, as well as from Portugal, thousands of immigrants came to the mines in an early "gold rush"; the Spanish tried to prevent Portuguese expansion northwest, west and southeast into the territory that belonged to them according to the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas division of the New World of The Americas by the Bishop and Pope of Rome, Pope Alexander VI and succeeded in conquering the Banda Oriental region in 1777. However, this was in vain as the Treaty of San Ildefonso, signed in the same year, confirmed Portuguese sovereignty over all lands proceeding from its territorial expansion, thus creating most of the current Brazilian southeastern border.
During the French invasion of Portugal, by Emperor Napoleon I in 1807, the Portuguese royal family House of Braganza fled across the Atlantic Ocean with the help of the British Royal Navy to Brazil, establishing Rio de Janeiro as the de facto capital of Portugal and Brazil and the Portuguese Empire during the ensuing worldwide Napoleonic Wars. This had the side effect of soon creating within Brazil, many of the institutions required to exist as an independent state. After Napoleon's Imperial French army was defeated at Waterloo in June 1815, in order to maintain the capital in Brazil and allay Brazilian fears of being returned to colonial status, King John VI of Portugal raised the de jure status of Brazil to an equal, integral part of a new status in a United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves, rather than a mere colony, a status which it enjoyed for the next seven years, sending his son, Dom Pedro as prince regent. In 1820 the Constitutionalist Revolution erupted in Portugal; the movement initiated by the liberal constitutionalists resulted in the meeting of the Cortes, that would have to create the kingdom's first constitution.
The Cortes at the same time demanded the return of King Dom John VI, living in Brazil since 1808, who elevated Brazil to a kingdom as part of the United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves in 1815 and who nominated his son and heir prince Dom Pedro as regent, to govern Brazil in his place on 7 March 1821. The king left for Europe on 26 April, while Dom Pedro remained in Brazil governing it with the aid of the ministers of the Kingdom and Foreign Affairs, of War, of Navy and of Finance; the Portuguese military officers headquartered in Brazil were sympathetic to the Constitutionalist movement in Portugal. The main leader of the Portuguese officers, General Jorge de Avilez Zuzarte de Sousa Tavares forced the prince to dismiss and banish from the country the ministers of Kingdom and Finance. Both were loyal allies of Pedro; the humiliation suffered by the prince, who swore he would never yield to the pressure of the military again, would have a decisive influence on his abdication ten years later.
Meanwhile, on 30 September 1821, the Cortes approved a decree that subordinated the governments of the Brazilian provinces directly to Portugal. Prince Pedro became for all purposes only the governor of the Rio de Janeiro Province. Other decrees that came after ordered his return to Europe and