Brazil

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  • Publicado : 9 de diciembre de 2009
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Prof. Eduardo Vallejo Aznar
IPE (International Politic Economics)

Monica Nieto Pita
Marisol Chiquete Portillo
Bell…………………………….

History

The Portuguese were the first European settlers to arrive in the area, led by adventurous Pedro Cabral, who began the colonial period in 1500. The Portuguese reportedly found native Indians numbering around seven million. Most tribes were peripatetic,with only limited agriculture and temporary dwellings, although villages often had as many as 5000 inhabitants.

Cultural life appears to have been richly developed, although both tribal warfare and cannibalism were ubiquitous. The few remaining traces of Brazil's Indian tribes reveal little of their lifestyle, unlike the evidence from other Andean tribes. Today, fewer than 200,000 of Brazil'sindigenous people survive, most of whom inhabit the jungle areas.

Other Portuguese explorers followed Cabral, in search of valuable goods for European trade but also for unsettled land and the opportunity to escape poverty in Portugal itself.   The only item of value they discovered was the pau do brasil (brazil wood tree) from which they created red dye. Unlike the colonizing philosophy of theSpanish, the Portuguese in Brazil were much less focused at first on conquering, controlling, and developing the country.

Most were impoverished sailors, who were far more interested in profitable trade and subsistence agriculture than in territorial expansion. The country's interior remained unexplored, nonetheless, sugar soon came to Brazil, and with it came imported slaves.  To a degreeunequaled in most of the American colonies, the Portuguese settlers frequently intermarried with both the Indians and the African slaves, and there were also mixed marriages between the Africans and Indians. As a result, Brazil's population is intermingled to a degree that is unseen elsewhere.

Most Brazilians possess some combination of European, African, Amerindian, Asian, and Middle Easternlineage,and this multiplicity of cultural legacies is a notable feature of current Brazilian culture.

The move to open the country's interior coincided with the discovery in the 1690s of gold in the south-central part of the country. The country's gold deposits didn't pan out, however, and by the close of the 18th century the country's focus had returned to the coastal agricultural regions.

In1807, as Napoleon Bonaparte closed in on Portugal's capital city of Lisbon, the Prince Regent shipped himself off to Brazil. Once there, Dom Joao established the colony as the capital of his empire. By 1821 things in Europe had cooled down sufficiently that Dom Joao could return  to Lisbon, and  he left his son Dom Pedro I in charge of Brazil. When the king attempted the following year to returnBrazil to subordinate status as a colony, Dom Pedro flourished his sword and declared the country's independence from Portugal (and his own independence from his father).

In the 19th century coffee took the place of sugar as Brazil's most important product. The boom in coffee production brought a wave of almost one million European immigrants, mostly Italians, and also brought about the Brazilianrepublic.

In 1889, the wealthy coffee magnates backed a military coup, the emperor fled, and Brazil was no more an imperial country. The coffee planters virtually owned the country and the government for the next thirty years, until the worldwide depression evaporated coffee demand. For the next half century Brazil struggled with governmental instability, military coups, and a fragile economy.In 1989, the country enjoyed its first democratic election in almost three decades. Unfortunately, the Brazilians made the mistake of electing Fernando Collor de Mello. Mello's corruption did nothing to help the economy, but his peaceful removal from office indicated at least that the country's political and governmental structures are stable.

Economic history

The economic history of...
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