The Brazilian Independence Movement
During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, many Latin American countries went through a time of enlightenment which lead them to independence. One of these movements was the Brazilian independence movement. The Brazilian independence movement was one of the most peacefully-accomplished revolutions in Latin America. In this essay, the underlying and the direct causes to Brazil's movement, the outcome of the movement, the successes and failures of the movement, and a recapitulation of the history of Brazil will be discussed.
Brazil was discovered by Pedro Alvarez Cabral in the name of Portugal on April 22, 1500. During the 1530's colonists from Portugal began to settle in Brazil and started establishing large sugar cane plantations. "Brazilian sugar, sold in Europe, brought wealth to Portugal."(Galloway) Large settlements like Recife, Salvador, and Sao Vicente were created and the Portuguese prospered. In time, two classes had developed. The first class was the reinois, those born in Portugal, and the second, the mazombos, the native-born Brazilians (although still pure Portuguese peoples).
"The mazombos disliked those reinois who arrived in the New World to exploit it and then return with [Brazilian] riches to Portugal."(Burnes,16) After diamonds and gold were found in Minas Gerais, Brazil became a huge profit to Portugal. Over three million "colonists and slaves lived in Brazil. The slaves made up more than half the population."(Galloway) Aside from the conflicts between the mazombo and reinois classes, Brazil was a very prosperous colony. After France invaded Portugal and the Portuguese fled to Brazil, the colony became even more important, reaching "to the status of a kingdom." (Galloway) Afterwards, Brazil's prosperous times went downhill. Soon enough, the Portuguese royal family could return
to Portugal and they left Dom Pedro I to rule.
The Portuguese parliament was "resentful of the exalted position Brazil had...