Before the arrival of Europeans, Brazil was inhabited by Indian tribes of Arawaks and Caribs in the north, Tupi-Guarani – on the east coast and in the Amazon Valley, Ge – in the east and south of the country, Pano – in the west. The first European in Brazil was the Portuguese navigator Pedro Alvares Cabral in 1500. In the middle of the 16th century, the territory was declared a Portuguese colony. In 1808, when Napoleon’s army launched a war of conquest against Portugal, it was decided to move the king and his court to Rio de Janeiro, where they remained until 1821. The British government took a direct part in this move. It took advantage of the plight of Portugal and provided the necessary ships for the relocation of the royal family, intending to gain greater privileges in trade.
The move of 14 years of royal administration to the colony hastened Brazil’s progress towards independence. The Portuguese monarchy, consciously or not, took certain measures that softened the transition to independence. Among the factors that particularly clearly determine the features of this transition, one can note the change in 1815 of the colonial status of Brazil to the United Kingdom with Portugal, as well as the decision of Don Joao VI to remain in Rio de Janeiro even after the liberation of Europe from Napoleon. After 6 years, in 1821, King Don Joao VI was forced to give in to the political pressure of Portugal. He returned to Lisbon, leaving his heir in Rio and investing him with the title of viceroy regent. Less than a year passed after the return of the king to Portugal, as on September 7, 1822, the heir to the throne proclaimed the independence of Brazil as an empire, solemnly crowned on December 1, 1822 under the name of Emperor Pedro I. After a short period of upheaval (1822-1824), Brazil became an empire headed by the enthroned Don Pedro I, who, nevertheless, continued to be the heir to the Portuguese throne. In 1831, Pedro I abdicated in favor of his son Don Pedro II, who was still a minor at the time. This decision was made partly due to disagreements with the Brazilian parliament, partly due to his love of risk, which forced the former king to return to Portugal to dethrone his brother Miguel, who had usurped the throne of the infant Queen Mary. Unlike his father, Pedro II was a strict, balanced and enlightened monarch. During his half century of rule, Brazil reached political and cultural maturity, and the unity of its territory was firmly guaranteed. Social and political institutions were in a stage of calm development and stability. He created a competent administration, slavery in the country was gradually eliminated, until its complete abolition in 1888. Check a2zdirectory for old history of Brazil.
The abolition of slavery is often cited as the main reason for the fall of the monarchy. In the absence of the emperor in Europe, his daughter, Princess Isabel, became regent. The final crisis of the slave system occurred in the country, and under pressure from the abolitionists, on May 13, 1888, Isabel signed the so-called Golden Law, according to which slavery in Brazil was abolished. In reality, the abolition of slavery was the result of British constant pressure on the Brazilian government to end the slave trade. The fight against the slave trade by the British was explained by their plans for the development of sugar production in their own colonies, which could contribute to the growth of British industrial capitalism. By the end of the 19th century, the slavery system in Brazil was in decline, as it became more profitable to pay wages to immigrant workers, rather than keep slaves. Nevertheless, the “Golden Law” caused a negative reaction from the slave owners, which undermined the political foundations of the monarchy. A few months after the parliamentary crisis, on November 15, 1889, the emperor was deposed by the military, who proclaimed the end of the monarchy and the establishment of a republic. Breaking the system, no matter how deep it was, happened without bloodshed. The emperor and his family were treated with well-deserved respect, but they were asked to leave the country. Accompanied by several of the most trusted persons, they went into exile in France. Such prominent statesmen of the country as Baron do Rio Branco offered their help and support to the new regime.
The young republic adopted a federal system of government that has retained its characteristics to this day. The provinces of the former empire, in accordance with the federal structure, were transformed into states. The presidential system replaced the parliamentary form of government. The administration of the state was carried out by three branches of power: executive, legislative and judicial. A similar system operated at the state level. Until 1930, the country was ruled by presidents elected in accordance with the current constitution.
The republic lasted until 1930, when for the first time the government was removed by force. The main goal of the victorious revolutionary movement, led by Getulio Vargas, was to change the electoral and political system, according to which, as a result of the absence of strong national parties, presidents came to power, supported by the governors of the leading states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais. From 1945 to 1964, the country had a democratic regime, during which time four presidents were replaced, at the same time, the capital of the country was moved from Rio de Janeiro to Brasilia.
On March 31, 1964, the military seized power in the country, and the next five presidents of the country were military. It was not until 1974 that democratic changes began to take place. In 1967, the country was renamed the Federative Republic of Brazil. The state is a member of the UN and most of the specialized agencies of this organization.