quinta-feira, 4 de novembro de 2010
History of Brazil - Brazilian Slavery An Inconvenient Portuguese History ( Vídeo)
The Native American peoples who were the original inhabitants of what is now Brazil included the Arawak and Carib groups in the north, the Tupí-Guaraní of the east coast and the Amazon River valley, the Ge of eastern and southern Brazil, and the Pano in the west. For the most part these groups were essentially seminomadic peoples, who subsisted by hunting and gathering and simple agriculture. Those groups in the more remote areas of the interior maintained their traditional way of life until the late 20th century, when their existence was threatened by the advancing frontier. See Native Americans.
European Exploration and Early Settlement
The Spanish navigator Vicente Yáñez Pinzón was the first known European in the region now constituting Brazil. Landing near the site of present-day Recife on January 26, 1500, he subsequently drifted northward as far as the mouth of the Orinoco River. The newly found territory fell within the region assigned to Portugal by the terms of the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494), a Spanish-Portuguese agreement that modified the Line of Demarcation promulgated in 1493 by Pope Alexander VI. Probably for this reason, Spain made no territorial claims on the basis of Pinzón's discovery. In April 1500, the Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral also reached the coast of present-day Brazil and formally claimed the surrounding region in the name of Portugal. The territory was named Terra da Vera Cruz (Portuguese for "Land of the True Cross"). An expedition under the command of the Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci was sent to Terra da Vera Cruz by the Portuguese government in 1501. In the course of his explorations Vespucci named many capes and bays, including a bay which he called Rio de Janeiro. He returned to Portugal with a cargo of brazilwood, and from that time forward Terra da Vera Cruz bore the name of the valuable wood Brazil.
In 1530 the Portuguese king John III initiated a program of systematic Brazilian colonization. As a first step the king divided Brazil into 15 districts, or captaincies, and granted each of the districts, in perpetuity, to a person prominent at the Portuguese court. The grantees, known as donatarios, were vested with extraordinary powers over their domains.
Because of the dangers implicit in the French depredations along the Brazilian coast, King John revoked most of the powers held by the donatarios and placed Brazil under the rule of a governor-general. The first governor-general, Thomé de Souza, arrived in Brazil in 1549, organized a central government, with the newly founded city of Salvador, or Bahia, as his capital, instituted comprehensive administrative and judicial reforms, and established a coastal defense system. Large numbers of slaves were brought into the region from Africa to overcome the shortage of laborers. São Paulo, in the south, was founded in 1554.
In 1555 the French founded a colony on the shores of Rio de Janeiro Bay. The Portuguese destroyed the French colony in 1560, and in 1567 they established on its site the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Spanish Rule and Dutch Incursions
Philip II of Spain inherited the Portuguese crown in 1580. The period of Spanish rule was marked by frequent aggressions against Brazil by the English and Dutch, the traditional enemies of Spain. A Dutch fleet seized Bahia in 1624, but the city was recaptured by a combined force of Spaniards, Portuguese, and Native Americans the following year. The Dutch attacked again in 1630, and an expedition sponsored by the Dutch West India Company captured Pernambuco (now Recife) and Olinda. Most of the territory between Maranhão Island and the lower course of the São Francisco River fell to the Dutch in subsequent operations. Under the able governorship of Count Joan Mauritz van Nassau-Siegen, the Dutch-occupied part of Brazil prospered for several years. Nassau-Siegen resigned in 1644, however, in protest against the exploitative policies of the Dutch West India Company. Shortly after his departure the Portuguese colonists, with support from their mother country, rose in rebellion against Dutch rule. The Dutch capitulated in 1654, after nearly a decade of struggle, and in 1661 renounced by treaty their claims to Brazilian territory.
With the successful revolt in Portugal against Spanish overlordship in 1640, Brazil reverted to Portuguese sovereignty and was made a viceroyalty. Generally peaceful conditions prevailed between the Spanish and Portuguese in South America until 1680. In that year the Portuguese dispatched an expedition southward to the east bank of the estuary of the Río de la Plata and founded a settlement called Colonia. This move led to a protracted period of strife over ownership of the region, which eventually emerged as the republic of Uruguay in 1828.
Brazilian expansion southward had been preceded by penetration of large sections of the interior. Jesuit missionaries had begun to operate in the Amazon Valley early in the 17th century. Before the middle of the century, parties of Paulistas, the name by which residents of São Paulo were known, had reached the upper course of the Paraná River. Because these expeditions were undertaken principally for the purpose of enslaving the Native Americans, the Paulistas encountered vigorous opposition from the Jesuits. Supported by the Crown in their efforts to protect the Native Americans, the Jesuits finally triumphed. Many Paulistas thereupon became prospectors, and a feverish hunt for mineral wealth ensued. In 1693 rich gold deposits were discovered in the region of present-day Minas Gerais. The resultant gold rush brought tens of thousands of Portuguese colonists to Brazil. The economic expansion of the viceroyalty was further stimulated by the discovery of diamonds in 1721 and, later, by the development of the coffee- and sugar-growing industries.
In 1750 the Treaty of Madrid between Spain and Portugal confirmed Brazilian claims to a vast region west of the limits promulgated in the Treaty of Tordesillas (see Demarcation, Line of). The Treaty of Madrid was later annulled, but its principles were embodied in the 1777 Treaty of Ildefonso.
The Portuguese foreign minister and premier Marquês de Pombal instituted many reforms in Brazil during the reign of Portugal's King Joseph Emanuel. He freed the Native American slaves, encouraged immigration, reduced taxes, eased the royal monopoly in Brazilian foreign commerce, centralized the governmental apparatus, and transferred the seat of government from Salvador to Rio de Janeiro in 1763. Pombal expelled the Jesuits in 1760, because their influence among the Native Americans and growing economic power were resented by many Brazilians.
The Sojourn of the Portuguese Court
The Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815) profoundly altered the course of Brazilian history. Early in November 1807, Napoleon dispatched an army across the Spanish frontier into Portugal. The Portuguese regent, Prince John, and most of his court embarked from Lisbon shortly before the arrival of the French army and sailed for Brazil (see John VI). Prince John made Rio de Janeiro the seat of the royal government of Portugal and decreed a series of reforms and improvements for Brazil, among them the removal of restrictions on commerce, the institution of measures beneficial to agriculture and industry, and the creation of schools of higher learning.
Prince John inherited the Portuguese crown as John VI in March 1816. In the five-year period before his recall to Portugal, his regime steadily lost favor among the Brazilians. The royal government was corrupt and inefficient, and republican sentiment, widespread in the country following the French Revolution, had gained considerable momentum when the neighboring Spanish colonies declared their independence. In 1816 King John intervened, occupying Banda Oriental (Uruguay), then under the control of Spanish-American revolutionaries. He crushed a revolutionary uprising in Pernambuco the next year. Banda Oriental was annexed to Brazil in 1821 and renamed Cisplatine Province. Before departing for Portugal in 1821, John VI made his second son, Dom Pedro, regent of Brazil. Sharp antagonism to the king's Brazilian reforms had developed meanwhile in Portugal; the Cortes, the Portuguese legislature, enacted legislation designed to return Brazil to its former status as a colony. Dom Pedro was ordered to return to Europe. In 1822, responding to the pleas of the indignant Brazilians, Dom Pedro announced his refusal to leave Brazil. He convoked a Constituent Assembly in June, and in September, when dispatches from Portugal disclosed that the Cortes would make no major concessions to Brazilian nationalism, he proclaimed the country's independence. By vote of the upper house of the Constituent Assembly, he became emperor of Brazil in the same year. All Portuguese troops in Brazil had been forced to surrender by the end of 1823.
The Empire of Brazil
An autocratic ruler, Pedro I lost much of his popular support during the first year of his reign. Because of dissension within the Constituent Assembly, he dissolved it in 1823 and promulgated a constitution in March 1824. In 1825 Brazil, provoked by Argentina's support of a rebellion in Cisplatine Province, became embroiled in war with that country. In 1827 the Brazilians were decisively defeated, and through British mediation Cisplatine Province won independence as Uruguay. Popular opposition to Pedro I mounted during the next few years. In April 1831 he abdicated in favor of Pedro II, the five-year-old heir apparent.
Regencies ruled Brazil for the following decade, a period of political turbulence marked by frequent provincial revolts and uprisings. Toward the end of the decade a movement to place the young emperor at the head of the government gained popular support, and in July 1840 the Brazilian Parliament proclaimed that Pedro II had attained his majority.
Pedro II proved to be one of the most able monarchs of his time. During his reign, which lasted nearly half a century, the population and economy expanded at unprecedented rates. National production increased by more than 900 percent. A network of railroads was constructed. In the realm of foreign affairs the imperial government was actively hostile to neighboring dictatorial regimes. It supported the successful revolutionary war against the Argentine dictator Juan Manuel de Rosas from 1851 to 1852 and, allied with Argentina and Uruguay, fought a victorious war against Paraguay from 1865 to 1870.
The chief domestic political issue of the emperor's reign grew out of a broad movement for the abolition of slavery in Brazil. Importation of African slaves was outlawed in 1853. An organized campaign for emancipation of the 2.5 million slaves already in Brazil was launched a few years later. The abolitionists won their first victory in 1871, when the national Parliament approved legislation freeing children born of slave mothers. For various reasons, including the sacrifices entailed by the Paraguayan war, a parallel movement for a republic developed at about this time. Liberalism became widespread during the next 15 years. Slaves more than 60 years of age were liberated in 1885. In May 1888 all remaining slaves were emancipated.
The Early Republic
Instituted without compensation for the slave owners, emancipation alienated the powerful landed interests from the government. Moreover, sections of the Roman Catholic clergy were hostile to certain of Pedro's policies, many leading army officers were secretly disloyal, and large sections of the populace favored a republic.
Fonseca and Peixoto
In November 1889 a military revolt under the leadership of General Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca forced the abdication of Pedro II. A republic was proclaimed, with Fonseca as head of the provisional government. Separation of church and state and other republican reforms were swiftly decreed. The drafting of a constitution was completed in June 1890. Similar to the Constitution of the United States, it was adopted in February 1891, and Brazil became a federal republic, officially styled the United States of Brazil. Fonseca was elected its first president.
Political turbulence, due essentially to the lack of national democratic traditions and experience, marked the early years of the new republic. During 1891 the arbitrary policies and methods of President Fonseca aroused strong congressional opposition. Early in November he dissolved the congress and assumed dictatorial power. A naval revolt later that month forced him to resign in favor of Vice President Floriano Peixoto. The Peixoto government, another dictatorial regime, survived a military and naval rebellion (1893-1894) and a series of uprisings in southern Brazil.
Order was gradually restored in the country during the administration of President Prudente José de Moraes Barros, the nation's first civilian chief executive. Beginning in 1898, when Manuel Ferraz de Campos Salles, a former governor of São Paulo, became president, energetic measures to rehabilitate the dislocated national economy were adopted. By securing a large foreign loan, Campos Salles strengthened Brazilian finances and expanded trade and industry.
Coffee and rubber production had meanwhile increased steadily in Brazil. Between 1906 and 1910 falling coffee prices on the world market severely disrupted the national economy. The price of Brazilian rubber began to drop toward the close of this period. As a result, social and political unrest was widespread during the administration of President Hermes da Fonseca, a conservative and militarist. Wenceslau Braz Pereira Gomes, an industrialist, was elected to the presidency without opposition in 1914 and held office until 1918.
After the outbreak of World War I in 1914, rising demand in foreign markets for Brazilian coffee, rubber, and sugar considerably relieved the economic difficulties of the country. Brazil adopted a policy of neutrality in the early stages of the war, but as a consequence of German attacks on its shipping, the country severed diplomatic relations with Germany in August 1917. In October, Brazil entered the war on the side of the Allies. Naval units were sent to the fighting zones, and the nation's contributions of food and raw materials to the war effort were substantial.
Industrial retrenchment and sharp curtailment of governmental expenditures were necessitated by the onset of an economic crisis in 1922. In July 1924 a period of unrest culminated in large-scale revolt, especially serious in São Paulo. Most of the army remained loyal to President Artur da Silva Bernardes, who had taken office in 1922, and, after more than six months of fighting, the rebels were defeated. Bernardes ruled by martial law for the remainder of his term. During the administration of his successor, President Washington Luiz Pereira de Souza, the economic crisis deepened, causing numerous strikes and an upsurge of radicalism. Strikes were outlawed by the government in August 1927, and stringent measures against communism were adopted.
The Vargas Period
In the presidential contest of March 1930, the administration-sponsored candidate Julio Prestes was declared the victor over Getúlio Dornelles Vargas, a prominent politician and nationalist of the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Vargas, however, gained the support of many military and political leaders and led a revolt against the government in October. After about three weeks of bitter fighting, President Luiz Pereira de Souza resigned, and Vargas assumed absolute power as provisional president.
In an attempt to ease the economic distress of the country, Vargas reduced coffee production and purchased and destroyed surplus stocks of the commodity. Expenditures entailed by this program intensified the financial problems of the government, however, and Brazil defaulted on its foreign debt. In 1932 the Vargas regime quelled a formidable rebellion in São Paulo after nearly three months of large-scale warfare.
Vargas allayed much of the political unrest in Brazil by convening a Constituent Assembly in 1933. Among the features of the new constitution adopted by this body in 1934 were sections curtailing states' rights and providing for woman suffrage, social security for workers, and the election of future presidents by the congress. On July 17, Vargas was elected president.
In the first year of his constitutional administration Vargas encountered considerable opposition from the radical wing of the Brazilian labor movement. Abortive Communist-led revolts occurred in Pernambuco and Rio de Janeiro in November 1935. Martial law was declared, and Vargas was authorized by the congress to rule by decree. Mass arrests of radicals and other opponents of the government followed. Popular discontent soon attained grave proportions, with a newly formed pro-Nazi party organization (Integralista) winning broad support among the Brazilian middle class. This group soon became a center of antigovernment activity. In November 1937, almost on the eve of the presidential election, Vargas dissolved the congress and proclaimed a new constitution vesting his office with absolute, dictatorial powers. He reorganized the government in imitation of totalitarian Italy and Germany, abolished all political parties, and imposed censorship of the press and mails.
The Estado Novo
The Vargas government, officially styled Estado Novo (New State), was to continue in office pending a national plebiscite on the new organic law. No date was set for the plebiscite. Through a series of decrees extending greater social security to the plantation workers, Vargas mobilized the support of a large section of the population. The only serious challenge to his regime came from the Integralistas, who staged a revolt in 1938. The uprising was crushed within a few hours.
Despite the totalitarian character of his regime, Vargas maintained friendly relations with the United States and other democracies. His administration was openly hostile to the Third Reich, largely because German agents were so active in Brazil. After evidence of Nazi complicity in the Integralista revolt had been uncovered, Vargas imposed severe restrictions on German nationals. The consequent friction between Brazil and Nazi Germany led to a temporary break in their diplomatic relations in October 1938.
Siding with the Allies in World War II, the Vargas regime, aided by the United States, embarked on a vast program of industrial expansion, giving special emphasis to increased production of rubber and other vital war materials. Naval bases and airfields, constructed at strategic coastal points, became important centers of Allied antisubmarine warfare. The Brazilian navy eventually assumed all patrol activities in the South Atlantic Ocean. In 1944 and 1945 a Brazilian expeditionary force participated in the Allied campaign in Italy.
Meanwhile, manifestations of dissatisfaction with the Vargas dictatorship were increasing. Defiant action in February 1945 by a group of influential publishers forced the government to relax censorship of the press. On February 28 it was announced that congressional and presidential elections would be held later in the year. Gradually, all major restrictions against political activity were removed. Amnesty for all political prisoners, including Communists, was decreed in April.
The Dutra Government
During the election campaign a series of unpopular executive orders created fears that Vargas intended to resume the dictatorship. A military coup d'état in October 1945 forced Vargas to resign. José Linhares, chief justice of the supreme court, was appointed head of the provisional government. In the national elections held in December, the former minister of war Eurico Gaspar Dutra won the presidency by a large plurality; he was inaugurated in January 1946. The newly elected congress drafted a new constitution, adopted the following September.
During the summer of 1947, Petrópolis, Brazil, was the site of the International (Pan-American) Conference for the Maintenance of Peace and Security. The Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, drafted by the conference, was signed by Brazil in September. A provision of the treaty stipulates united defense by the signatories against armed aggression directed at any nation of the western hemisphere. See Rio Treaty.
In October 1947 the Brazilian government, provoked by a Soviet magazine article that referred to President Dutra as a puppet of the United States, severed diplomatic relations with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). A few months later the legislature voted to expel from office all Communists in elective positions. One senator and 14 deputies were affected.
Vargas's Second Presidency
Getúlio Vargas returned to power as president in January 1951, after defeating two rival candidates by a large plurality in elections held the previous October. Vargas formed a coalition cabinet representative of all major parties. The government took immediate steps to balance the national budget and develop a program to reduce living costs, increase wages, and extend social reforms. Inflation and high living costs, however, persisted throughout the postwar period, which was marked by an upsurge of Communist underground activities and a revival of nationalism that led to the nationalization of petroleum resources in September 1952. In addition, the so-called austerity program of the government caused anti-Vargas conservatives to become increasingly critical.
In August 1954, during a congressional election campaign, an air force officer was killed in the attempted assassination of an anti-Vargas newspaper editor. The killing brought the governmental crisis to a head: military officers demanded that Vargas resign. Early on August 24, Vargas agreed to relinquish power temporarily in favor of Vice President João Café Filho. Vargas committed suicide a few hours later.
The Kubitschek, Quadros, and Goulart Administrations
The former governor of Minas Gerais, Juscelino Kubitschek, had the support of Vargas's followers and the Communists. Kubitschek won election to the presidency in October 1955 and was inaugurated in January 1956. Kubitschek announced an ambitious five-year economic development plan. The announcement was followed by the acquisition of U.S. Export-Import Bank loans totaling more than $150 million, and by the approval of plans, in September, for a new federal capital, Brasília. The fast pace of industrial development was tempered, however, by a drop in world coffee prices in the mid- and late 1950s. Inflation continued, prodding social unrest that resulted in frequent strikes and riots by workers and students.
Jânio da Silva Quadros, former governor of São Paulo, became president of Brazil in January 1961 and immediately initiated a program of rigorous economies. All governmental ministries were ordered to reduce expenditures by 30 percent, and some civil-service employees were dismissed. Quadros also proposed to eliminate the corruption alleged to have flourished during the Kubitschek administration. President Quadros suddenly resigned his office in August, giving no explanation, and referring only to the "forces of reaction" that had blocked his efforts. Military leaders expressed opposition to the assumption of office by Vice President João Belchoir Marques Goulart, maintaining that he was sympathetic to the Communist regime of Fidel Castro in Cuba. A compromise was reached, however, when the Brazilian legislature amended the constitution in order to strip the presidency of most powers; executive authority was vested in a prime minister and cabinet who were responsible to the legislature. Goulart was installed in office in September 1961.
A year later, Goulart precipitated a cabinet crisis with a request for a national plebiscite to measure support for a return to a presidential form of government. The plebiscite was held and the proposal approved; in January 1963, the legislature enacted the change into law. Later that year Goulart pressed strongly for legislative approval of a program of basic reforms, and early in 1964 he signed decrees setting low-rent controls, nationalizing petroleum refineries, expropriating unused lands, and limiting export of profits. The measures seemed only to aggravate the nation's chronic inflation. On March 31 Goulart was overthrown by an army revolt and fled to Uruguay. General Humberto Castelo Branco, army chief of staff, was elected president.
The new regime, with extraordinary powers under the Institutional Act signed in April, suppressed opposition, particularly from the Left, and deprived some 300 people of political rights. It also adopted moderate versions of many reforms demanded by Goulart and fought inflation with wage controls, tightened tax collections, and other measures. A law passed in 1965 curbed civil liberties, increased the power of the national government, and provided for congressional election of the president and vice president.
The former minister of war Marshal Artur da Costa e Silva, candidate of the government's ARENA Party, was elected president in 1966. The Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB), the only legal opposition party, had refused to enter a candidate in protest against the government's disfranchisement of its most challenging opponents. Also in 1966 ARENA won the national and state legislative elections. President Costa headed a militarily oriented government that was concerned primarily with economic development. Although 1968 was marked by antigovernment activities, including student riots, the economy gained momentum. In December Costa assumed unlimited powers, which resulted in political purges, economic curbs, and censorship. In August 1969 he was incapacitated by a stroke, and in October the military chose as his successor General Emílio Garrastazú Médici; Congress elected him president. The Médici regime intensified repression, and revolutionary groups became more active. As the government encouraged economic growth and development of the vast interior regions, the economy was plagued by high energy costs, runaway inflation, and a large balance-of-payments deficit. The Roman Catholic clergy became increasingly critical of the government's failure to improve the condition of the poor.
In 1974 General Ernest Geisel, the president of Petrobras, the national oil monopoly, became president. At first he followed relatively liberal policies, relaxing press censorship and allowing opposition parties considerable freedom, but in 1976 and 1977 controls were tightened again just before the election of João Baptista de Oliveira Figueiredo, who succeeded Geisel in 1979.
Restoration of Civil Rule
In 1985 Tancredo Neves was selected as Brazil's first civilian president in 21 years; he died before taking office, and José Sarney became president. Faced with resurgent inflation and a huge foreign debt, Sarney imposed an austerity program that included introducing a new unit of currency. A new constitution providing for direct presidential elections was enacted in October 1988, and Fernando Collor de Mello, of the conservative National Reconstruction Party, was elected president in December 1989. His drastic anti-inflation program contributed to Brazil's worst recession in ten years, and allegations of financial corruption further eroded his popularity. In June 1992 Brazil was host to more than 100 world leaders for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, also known as the Earth Summit. In September Collor was impeached by the Chamber of Deputies, and Vice President Itamar Franco became acting president. Collor resigned on December 29, just as his Senate trial was beginning, and Franco was then sworn in as his successor. A plan to restructure and reduce Brazil's foreign debt was implemented in April 1994. In May Brazil signed the Treaty of Tlateloco and joined other Latin American and Caribbean nations in declaring itself free of nuclear weapons.
Fernando Henrique Cardoso, a former finance minister responsible for much of Brazil's economic recovery, won the November 1994 presidential elections, winning twice as many votes as his nearest challenger. In December 1994, former president Collor was acquitted of corruption charges but remains banned from Brazilian politics until the year 2000. On January 1, 1995, Brazil joined Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay in the formation of the Southern Cone Common Market (MERCOSUR). Also in 1995, Brazil looked toward private investors for financial and technical assistance with large infrastructure projects such as the development and maintenance of highways, telephone networks, and electricity-generating facilities.
Cardoso also worked to reduce tensions between landowners and homeless squatters who occupied large unproductive states in the countryside. With 1 percent of the population owning 45 percent of the land in 1995, Brazil had the most unequal land distribution pattern in Latin America. Conflicts over land use and ownership led to a number of violent confrontations in 1995 and 1996 in which more than 40 people were shot and killed by Brazilian police. In November 1995 Cardoso signed a presidential decree that took possession of just over 100,000 hectares (approximately 250,000 acres) of land from large, private estates and reallocated it to more than 3600 poor families.
In January 1996 Cardoso signed a more controversial presidential decree that allowed non-Native Americans to appeal land allocation decisions made by Brazil's Indian Affairs Bureau. Cardoso's decree allowed regional governments, private companies, and individuals to challenge indigenous land claims in certain areas of the country, primarily in the Amazon region of northern Brazil. The law was widely condemned by human rights, Native American, and religious organizations.
(From Microsoft Encarta 97, "Brazil/History/")