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Carey, Henry Charles Geography - History of America. London : Sherwood Jones & Co., 1823 Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division

Carey, Henry Charles Geography – History of America. London : Sherwood Jones & Co., 1823 Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division

You probably have heard of the Spanish conquests in Mexico and Peru in the 1500’s, but have you heard about the Portuguese in Brazil?

In 1500, Portuguese explorer Pedro Alveres Cabral discovered the coast of Brazil. Brazil was first named the island of Vera Cruz due to the Portuguese believing that it was an island. The first permanent settlement in Brazil was founded in 1532 and was called Sao Vicente. In 1549, after more colonies were established, Brazil officially became part of the Portuguese Empire, and had its first Governors. In 1621, Brazil was divided into two different states by Portuguese king Philip II. In 1630, the Netherlands established an independent state in northern Brazil, but by 1654 the Netherlands had given it back to Portugal. In 1775, all of the Brazilian states were united into one state. This ended the colonial Brazilian period.

Portugal still maintained control, however. Now the Portuguese king was wholly in charge of Brazil. Joao VI of Portugal fled his country for Brazil in 1808 due to Napoleon annexing Portugal and he ruled in Brazil until 1821. In 1815 Brazil was officially united with Portugal, but this union didn’t last long.

In 1821, Joao VI left Brazil for Portugal and his son, Pedro, assumed control of Brazil as regent. However, Pedro proclaimed Brazil independent of Portugal and was proclaimed Emperor of Brazil in 1822. For a brief period in 1826, Brazil became once again part of Portugal when Pedro I ascended the throne. However, he quickly abdicated and went back to ruling Brazil.

Brazil would remain independent from then on. Pedro I abdicated in 1831 in favor of his son, Pedro II, who modernized Brazil until he was toppled by a revolution in 1889. From then on Brazil would be a Republic.

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