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The Brazilian Revolution (1820-1822)

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Lauren Landry

on 19 March 2013

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Transcript of The Brazilian Revolution (1820-1822)

Lauren Landry The Path to Independence Colonial Brazil The French Revolution had a profound effect on the history of Portugal and Portuguese colonies. Napoleon's desire to control the Mediterranean and squelch the power of all European governments of that time created much unrest among other European governments. France's rumored invasion of Portugal drove the royal crown and 10,000 members of the Portuguese court all the way across the Atlantic Ocean. After they arrived in Rio de Janeiro in 1808, King John VI instated many reforms and made Brazil the seat of government over the entire Portuguese Empire. This outraged members of the Portuguese parliament, or Cortes as it was called, because Brazil was considered equal to its motherland. Napoleon's invasion also caused an era of political and social unrest in the Iberian Peninsula. People began to question the authority of the king, and liberal ideas sparked a revolution in Portugal that eventually brought the very reluctant King John back to Portugal in 1820. Upon his departure, he left his son Dom Pedro as regent to rule Brazil in his absence. Dom Pedro I always felt a strong sense of nationalistic pride toward Brazil, because he had lived there since the age of nine. He was left as regent to rule Brazil in his fathers absence at a very young age of 22. In September 1821, the government of Brazil was put back into colonial status by the Cortes, and Pedro was left nothing more than the Governor of Rio de Janiero. This angered Pedro, who was just beginning to enjoy his new power. The growing hostility of the Cortes toward Brazil also caused Portuguese troops to take over Rio and order Pedro back to Portugal, but he defied the command with an announcement known as Dia do Fico, meaning "I will remain." The enraged Portuguese troops then attempted to surround Pedro's army in a very intense standoff, but the Portuguese troops known as the Legion eventually retreated. Pedro regathered forces from around Brazil, and with cannons bearing down on the Legion's fort, ordered them to return to the motherland, and they oblidged. With the threat of Portuguese forces diminished, Pedro began to focus on creating a stable government with the help of Dr. José Bonafácio de Andrada e Silva. Together they traveled the countryside, rallying supporters of independence for Brazil. When a messenger arrived to inform them that an independent Brazil was not supported by the new Portuguese government, Pedro tore off the Portuguese insignia from his arm furiously. He declared independence right there, on a hill above a stream called the Ipiranga, near the city of Sao Paulo. You Go Dom Pedro! Soon after independence was declared, Dom Pedro I was crowned emporer in Rio. Official separation occured on September 22, 1822, when Pedro wrote to his father, King John XI. It would be incorrect to say that Brazilian independence was won without bloodshed, because although both sides avoided massive battles, civilain lives were lost at the hands of Portuguese troops. Also, a few small battles occured in the year after Brazilian independence was declared, with minimal casualties. In 1824, a Constitution was instated that solidified the government as a constitutional monarchy under Pedro. However, Pedro still maintained an unsettling amount of power. This caused him to be less and less popular with the Brazilian public, and he eventually abdicated his Brazilian throne and returned to Portugal in 1831. Portugal recognized Brazil as an independent, sovereign nation in 1825. Crane Brinton's Stages of Revolution Brazil was originally a colony of Portugal. It's status as a Portuguese colony became firmly established in the late 1600s. It was the jewel of Portuguese colonies due to its booming economy, abundance of gold, and ability to grow sugar cane. During its colonial period, Brazil was governed by a General Government, which was highly centralized and gave the Portuguese crown absolute control over Brazil. Brazil's revolution from 1820-1822 was not a revolution of the people, but more a revolution of the nobility. This revolution was very different than the ones in other areas of Latin America. The general public (planters, merchants, and miners) did not push for change, due to the thriving economy. They also feared that any upsetting of the political system might lead to a slave uprising, like in Haiti. Therefore, Brazil's independence did not upset the existing social organization centered around slavery, nor did it drastically change the original political structure. This revolution was not an overthrow of the government by radical forces, but a somewhat peaceful removal of a colony from its original mother country. Reasons for the Shift in Power The Crown Retreats to Brazil Dom Pedro I "Independence or death!" And After That... "The Yell of the Ipiranga" economically sound, economic growth due to a reform that encouraged free trade Brazil's Revolution civil war/ foreign battles original ruler driven from office protests against the government terror used to rule economically weak common people (planters, merchants, and miners) fear an upsetting of the political system King John VI encouraged his son to lead the revolution no major battles, only civilians killed Portugal accepted an eventual revolution HMMMMMMMM..... focused on attainment of individual rights Why the ? The Revolution of Brazil was not a revolution against the current monarchy, which is apparent in that a "Constitutional" monarchy was established with little argument, and the emporer still held about the same amount of power. The same ruler was even in power before and after the revolution! This revolution was in fact a revolution against the uprising liberal government in Portugal, which tried to limit the government of the crown in both Portugal and Brazil. If it had not been for the Cortes in Portugal ordering the return of King John VI, and then reducing the power of Dom Pedro down to the status of a General, the revolution might not have occured in the same way. Pedro and his supporters did not support removal from the Portuguese crown, but from the up and coming forces that were beginning to diminish the power of the Portuguese regime. The Portuguese liberal revolution of 1820 prompted this whole uprising, and the king urged Pedro to lead a revolution against Portugal so that Brazil would stay in the family's power. This also explains the limited bloodshed and battles- Portugal was experiencing its own domestic issues, and King John still maintained some power, unwanting to battle his son. The true revolution did not occur in Brazil, but in Portugal. Brazil chose to break away from this new government and continue to be ruled under the current monarchial family. It is for this reason that there is a lack Crane Brinton's Stages of Revolution; there was not a revolution for new rights for the people, but for the continuation of a previously established government. INDEPENDENCE!!!!! But wait, what about the Stages of the Revolution? YEAH INDEPENDENCE YEAH!
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