Brazilian History

The indigenous Indian population in Brazil was widely scattered when Admiral Pedro Cabral, a Portuguese explorer, reached the coast of Brazil on April 22, 1500. During the first permanent Portuguese settlement in Brazil history the Portuguese found a widely scattered group of about one million people, all indigenous to the country. The initial important economic cycle in Brazil history was based upon sugarcane which was in great demand in Europe at the time. The sugarcane fields which were found along the coastline were worked fiercely by native labor and so sugarcane planted its roots in Brazilian economy and society with many people prospering greatly from the crop. Once the Portuguese realised that the number of indigenous people they had toiling in the fields for them would not be enough they started importing millions of slaves from Africa and history began writing quite an interesting story.

According to Brazilian history the field laborers and common slaves became really unhappy with their situations and started revolting against their superiors. They started escaping from the plantations and tried to build their own settlements in more secluded regions so they could have their own communities. The largest settlement of runaway slaves in the Americas was in the 1670's and 1680's and grew into a kingdom of roughly 30,000 people. Eventually the settlements that the previous slaves erected were destroyed by armed troops and government which in some cases ended in violence and bloodshed. The end of slavery as it was known ended in 1888 and by then the Africans had started to mix with the European Brazilian population through work rights and and basic merging of cultures and they became a significant section of the Brazilian population.

In Brazilian history during the first two centuries of the colonial period, other European powers took a stab at establishing their own colonies in several areas of Brazilian territory. There was a major attraction to the abundant natural resources and massive area of virgin land. As the history of colonial Brazil played out, Spanish and Portuguese looked for new land to colonize in defiance of the Treaty of Tordesillas, which essentially created a deep rift between the Portuguese and the Spanish.. From 1555 to 1567 French colonists made an attempt to settle in present-day Rio de Janeiro and again from 1612 to 1614 in the area which is now São Luís.

In the history of colonial Brazil their was yet another invasion, this time by the Dutch. This attempt the Dutch made at colonizing the area went on for some time was seen as a major problem to the Portuguese who had already settle on the land and thought of it as exclusively theirs. . The Dutch began pillaging the coast and between 1630 and 1654 and they managed to set up a more permanent and well controlled stretch of the coast. The Dutch receded from the area in 1661 after many years of open and sometimes vicious war. The initial Brazil attraction was said to be the tropical soil as it was believed to be extremely fertile according to the first Portuguese settlers. In present day Brazil's soils produce 70 million tons of grain crops per year but the output is attributed more to the amount of land being worked and not so much because of the fertility of the soil. A more present-day Brazil attraction would include their plentiful natural resources which are in abundance and consist of timber, petroleum, uranium, tin, platinum, phosphate, nickel iron, ore, gold and bauxite.

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