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Transcript of Brazil History
Pedro Alvares Cabral
set sail for India from While following Vasco de
route, Pedro Cabral
was blown off course Brazil was discovered
on April 22, 1500 Its borders were establishid
by the Papacy who decided
Spain would claim land West of the 37W Longitude, while Portugal would be given land East of the line. Brazil was found to be a land of resources such as Brazilwood, but a lack of precious metals and labor led to neglect of the find With labor being an issue, slavery became a trend, which resulted in a mixing of races, leading to Brazil becoming a very diverse place. In 1808 the threat of Napoleon
forced Portugal's royal family
to flee for Brazil With the focus of the crown, Brazil was able to take the necessary steps to construct a solid structure for a more locally focused government. After Napoleon's conquest
had ended, the royal family
decided to return to Portugal,
but Prince Pedro wouldn't have
it, stating "Fico" (I Stay)
Thus Brazil was born in 1822! In 1888 slavery was abolished in Brazil. Coffee plantations exploited this cheap labor and became the economic engine for the country. Displeased about being forced to become slave abolitionists, the military rebelled against the crown, and political leadership was shifted to the coffee growers. Agreements such as the one made between Brazil and Japan allowed for immigrant labor to be the fuel needed to utilize Brazils vast resources In November 1889 a republic was instituted. Without compensation for the slave owners, emancipation alienated the powerful land ownership of the government. Separation of church and state and other republican reforms were quickly decreed. The drafting of a constitution was completed in June 1890 and was adopted in February 1891. Brazil became a federal republic, officially styled the United States of Brazil. Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca was elected its first president. Political turbulence, due essentially to the lack of national democratic traditions and experience, marked the early years of the new republic. During 1891 the arbitrary policies and methods of President Fonseca aroused strong congressional opposition. Early in November he dissolved the congress and assumed dictatorial power. A naval revolt later that month forced him to resign in favor of Vice President Floriano Peixoto. The dictatorial regime, survived a military and naval rebellion (1893-1894) and a series of uprisings in southern Brazil. Order was gradually restored in the country during President Prudente José de Moraes Barros administration, the nation's first civilian chief executive. By securing a large foreign loan, Moraes strengthened Brazilian finances and expanded trade and industry. After the outbreak of World War I in 1914, rising demand in foreign markets for Brazilian coffee, rubber, and sugar considerably relieved the economic difficulties of the country. Brazil adopted a policy of neutrality in the early stages of the war, but as a consequence of German attacks on its shipping, the country severed diplomatic relations with Germany in August 1917. In October, President Wenceslau Braz on behalf of Brazil entered the war on the side of the Allies. Naval units were sent to the fighting zones, and the nation's contributions of food and raw materials to the war effort were substantial. During World War II, Brazil again cooperated with the Allies, welcoming Allied air bases, patrolling the South Atlantic, and joining the invasion of Italy after declaring war on the Axis powers. In October 1947 the Brazilian government voted to expel from office all Communists in elective positions. One senator and 14 deputies were affected. After a military revolution in 1964, Brazil had a series of military governments. Gen. João Baptista de Oliveira Figueiredo became president in 1979 and pledged a return to democracy in 1985. Since 1985, Brazil has been regarded as a presidential democracy, voters also decided not to restore the country's constitutional monarchy. In 1988, the present constitution was put into effect. Legislative power rests with the bicameral Congresso Nacional (National Congress). The Lower House has 513 seats and is elected by proportional representation for four years; members of the 81-strong Senate serve eight-year terms. The president, who holds executive power and is elected every four years, appoints and leads a Cabinet of Ministers. The former finance minister Fernando Henrique Cardoso was responsible for much of Brazil's economic recovery after winning the 1994 presidential election. On January 1, 1995, Brazil joined Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay in the formation of the Southern Cone Common Market (MERCOSUR). Also in 1995, Brazil looked toward private investors for financial and technical assistance with large infrastructure projects such as the development and maintenance of highways, telephone networks, and electricity-generating facilities. Cardoso also worked to reduce tensions between landowners and homeless squatters who occupied large unproductive states in the countryside. With 1% of the population owning 45% of the land in 1995, Brazil had the most unequal land distribution pattern in Latin America. In January 1999, the economic crisis spread to Brazil. Rather than boost the currency through financial markets, Brazil instead chose to let the currency float, which sent the real plummeting up to 40%. The Brazilian economy remained sluggish throughout 2001, so in Aug. 2002, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to lend Brazil $30 billion over fifteen months to help stabilize. The economy began to come back after certain events such as; an oil field, named Tupi, was discovered 16,000 feet below the ocean's floor in November 2007. Tupi will yield five to eight billion barrels of crude oil and natural gas, making it the largest oil field discovered across the globe since 2000. In October 2009, Rio de Janeiro was chosen to host the 2014, FIFA World Cup as well as the 2016 Summer Olympics, becoming the first South American city to host the Games.
In October 2010's second round of presidential elections, Dilma Rousseff, defeated José Serra 56% to 44% to become Brazil’s first woman president. Rousseff faces such challenges as improving the country's education, health, and sanitation systems.