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history of Brazil

History of Brazil

The earliest inhabitants of Brazil are believed to be semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers, but the history of Brazil properly begins at 1500 AD, when the Portuguese reached the land. After the rise and fall of many a government, today, Brazil is quickly emerging as a Latin American powerhouse.

The colonial town of Ouro Preto in Brazil.
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Rio de Janeiro, Christus Statue

Colonial history of Brazil

In the 17th century, African slaves were brought over by the thousands to work in Brazil’s sugarcane plantations and, even before the end of slavery, they had become an integral part of society. In the early 18th century, gold was discovered in the highlands, much to Portugal’s delight. The capital was moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1763. The country also became an important coffee producer.

In 1808, Napoleon invaded Portugal forcing the court and king to flee to Rio de Janeiro, from where the Portuguese empire was ruled remotely for the next decade. The king left his eldest son Pedro, as the regent of Brazil when he returned to Portugal, who in turn created an independent monarchy, naming himself Emperor Pedro I of Brazil, just a year later. In 1870, Brazil, along with Argentina and Uruguay, won the War of the Triple Alliance against Paraguay – the bloodiest war in South American history.

Sao Paolo

Democratic Brazil

After 1889, when Brazil became a constitutional democracy, many governments rose and fell, and the country saw much unrest. The capital was moved from Rio de Janeiro to Brasilia in the 1950s, where it remains today. After 1964, Brazil witnessed military dictatorship for two decades until democracy was restored, although hyperinflation and currency devaluation plagued the country. In recent years, Brazil has experienced an economic boom despite some political scandals.

Your luxury Brazil tour is a great way to explore this powerhouse of Latin America!

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