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Brazil: History Overview

Written by Sebastien on 21 December 2012. Posted in 2014 Brazil World Cup

The history of Brazil started with the Portuguese people who were among the first to settle in the country. This group of people was in command of Pedro Cabral, with whom the colonial age started in Brazil in 1500. At that time, the group is estimated to have seven million native Indians residing in the area. Most of the native tribes were in bad shape and relied on poor agriculture techniques and temporary resources, even with the populations in a village to be as large as 5000 people. The traditions and cultural values were great but the war between different tribes as well as the cannibalism were common there. The evidences of the ancient Brazilian tribes are very few though there are about 200,000 surviving Brazilian Native Indians who reside in the forest areas.

Many of the European colonial leaders followed the path of Cabral in search of precious goods in Brazil, while they were also looking for unsettled land. Some were also looking for a place to migrate to after the increased poverty in Portugal. The most valuable thing that the portuguese found in Brazil was the pau do brasil (brazil wood tree), which was used to make red dye. Unlike what happened in Spain, the colonial leaders in Brazil weren’t that quick in winning the land for themselves. Most of the portuguese who settled in Brazil were generally sailors looking for trade options instead of developing a territory for themselves.

The internal part of Brazil came in existence for the rest of the world with the finding of Gold in central part of the country in 1690. The gold trade didn’t go as planned and hence the focus again was shifted towards the agriculture production. By the middle of 19th century, coffee became the most traded product of Brazil and replaced the previously important sugar trade. This sudden boom in production of brazilian coffee brought about a million immigrants from Europe and most of them were Italians. In year 1889, the military coup of Brazil was extended as a result of rich coffee trade and resulted in freedom of Brazil from being an imperial country. At that time the country was in hands of the coffee production tycoons. This was continued for the next 30 years. In 1989, Brazil witnessed the first election for its government under Democracy. Today, Brazil has a population of about 148 million people, which is the sixth highest in the world and the country has also shown great contribution in world economy.

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