Brazilian history

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Brazilian History

Introduction
Brazil is a country in South America and is the fifth largest country in the world. The official language there is Portuguese because that territory was colonized by Portugal in the 1500´s. Brazil is a federal republic based on its constitution and is divided into twenty six states. Catholicism is the main religion in Brazil and its people are from differentbackgrounds like African slaves, Europeans, and Native Americans.
The capital of Brazil is Brasilia. Rio de Janeiro used to be the capital until 1960 when it moved to Brasilia. Its populations is about 188 million citizens and Brazil is the fifth most populated country in the world.

History
Fossil records found in Minas Gerais show evidence that the area now called Brazil has been inhabited forat least 8,000 years by indigenous populations. The dating of the origins of the first Brazilians, who were called "Indians" (índios) by the Portuguese, is still a matter of dispute among archaeologists.
The current most widely accepted view of anthropologists, linguists and geneticists is that they were part of the first wave of migrant hunters who came into the Americas from Asia, either byland across the Bering Strait or by coastal sea routes along the Pacific, or both.
The Andes and the mountain ranges of northern South America created a rather sharp cultural boundary between the settled agrarian civilizations of the west coast and the semi-nomadic tribes of the east, who never developed written records or permanent monumental architecture. For this reason, very little is knownabout the history of Brazil before 1500.
Archaeological remains indicate a complex pattern of regional cultural developments, internal migrations, and occasional large state-like federations. At the time of European discovery, the territory of current day Brazil had as many as 2,000 nations and tribes. The indigenous peoples were traditionally mostly semi-nomadic tribes who subsisted on hunting,fishing, gathering, and migrant agriculture.
For hundreds of years, the indigenous people of Brazil lived a semi-nomadic life, managing the forests to meet their needs. When the Portuguese arrived in 1500, the Indians were living mainly on the coast and along the banks of major rivers. Initially, the Europeans saw the natives as noble savages, and miscegenation of the population began rightaway.
Tribal warfare, cannibalism and the pursuit of Amazonian Brazil wood for its treasured red dye convinced the Portuguese that they should "civilize" the Indians .But the Portuguese, like the Spanish in their South American possessions, had unknowingly brought diseases with them against which many Indians were helpless due to lack of immunity.
Measles, smallpox, tuberculosis and influenzakilled tens of thousands. The diseases spread quickly along the indigenous trade routes, and whole tribes were likely annihilated without ever coming in direct contact with Europeans.
By the time the first European explorers arrived, all parts of the territory were inhabited by semi-nomadic Indian tribes, who subsisted on a combination of hunting, fishing, gathering, and agriculture.
Thepopulation density was rather low, however; total numbers have been estimated at 1 million people (but recent archaeological discoveries, such as those mentioned above, seem to indicate a much higher number, as high as 3 million).
Although many Brazilian Indians succumbed to warfare, diseases, and the hardships of forced labor and displacement, many were absorbed into the Brazilian population. A fewtribes still subsist in their pre-discovery lifestyle in remote corners of the Amazon rainforest.
Present Brazilian culture owes to those peoples the development of crops like the cassava (still a major staple food in the rural regions) and empirical knowledge for survival in the tropical jungle. It is generally accepted that Brazil was discovered by Europeans on April 22, 1500, by Pedro Álvares...
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