Republica Federativa do Brasil: A road to Independence

By Shivam Pathak
At some point of time almost all countries had faced invasions and colonization, whether it is England (Invaded by Normans), China (Invaded by Mongolians), India (Invaded by Britishers), USA (Invaded by Britishers), etc. But in this article I would shed light only on the invasion and colonization of Brazil by Portugal. Before getting down to my topic I would like to answer one of the questions cultivating in your mind that- why it is so important to study about other countries history of independce from colonization. I will tell you why. I think scrutiny on
other countries history of independence is required for a comparative study of history. If we go deep into this topic we would uncover that the way each country fought against their enemies is quiet distinctive with each-others counterparts. For instance Mexico got indepence from Spain after a lot of bloodshed and armed conflict, but in case of Brazil, the way was rather peaceful and simple. Hope at the end of the topic you will be able to understand this topic in a laconic way.
Portugal, identical to Netherlands was a nation of seafarers and traders. So they always look for opportunities to trade. By following their underlying policy the estado of Portugal recognized that colonialism had bigger merchant capitalist elements, so in 16th century a Portuguese nobleman, Pedro Alvares Cabral hold sovereignty over the aboriginal
lands, part of what is now the territory of the Federative Republic of Brazil, under the sponsorship of the kingdom of Portugal. The expansion
of Portuguese colonization in Brazil took high pace when the monarchy of Portugal sensed constant threat of Spanish invasion of Portugal. Portugal started establishing itself in Brazil with a small trade post, which was then expanded by the considerable efforts of the Portuguese personnel. Early Brazil was divided into 15 colonies and granted to worthy elite
Portuguese. In the first century of settlement, it became evident that it was laborious to use Indians as slave labors because they were not docile, had high mortality when exposed to western diseases, could run away and hide quite easily. So the Portuguese turned to imported Africanslaves for manual labor. The ultimate fate of Brazilian Indians
was pretty like that of North American Indians. They were pushed beyond the boundaries of colonial society. In 1807 when imperial French corps and Spanish military troops invaded Portugal, Prince
Regent Joao 4th fled to Rio to escape the French invasion of the motherland. He brought about 10,000 of the mainland establishment with him- the aristocracy, bureaucracy and some of the military who set government and court in Rio and Petropolis running Brazil and Portugal as joint kingdom. In 1809, the forces under Arthur Wellesley, a British expeditionary (later the Duke of Wellington), expelled French forces from Portugal. In the meantime the status of Brazil was elevated from a
colony to a kingdom. When Portugal was liberated Joa 4th decided to return to his motherland,Portugal ,but his son Dom Pedro 1st denied to accompany him and decided to be in Brazil as its King. So, in 1822 Portuguese crown prince became the emperor of Brazil. Dom Pedro remained heir to the Portuguese throne after Portugal’s acknowledgement of Brazil’s independence in 1825, so that when his father Dom Joao died in 1826, he succeeded to the Portuguese throne. He was unable to wear both crowns according to the terms of the constitution he has vested upon Brazil in 1824. He abdicated in favor of his daughter Dona Maria and promulgated a constitution in 1826, Carta Constitucional, which he inflicted on Portugal. The Carta later marked the uncertain death of the Portuguese Empire. The Brazilian Empire became a Republic in 1889 without any fierce struggle. Later in 1831 Dom Pedro abdicated from the throne due to military takeover. Thereafter, Brazil maintained its status as a Republic.

Sources of information employed in this article entails- an article written on “Brazilian Development Experience from 1500 to 1929” by Angus Maddison, and an article on “In the shadow of Independence: Portugal, Brazil and Their Mutual Influence after the End of Empire (late 1820s-early1840s)” by Gabriel Paquette.