Independence of Brazil, unique in the way it was achieved and announced

Essay by Dmitry KopylovCollege, UndergraduateA-, March 1997

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When we think of a country gaining freedom, we usually picture

bloody coups, assassinations, civil wars, and demonstrations. We think of

thousands of guerrillas or freedom fighters protesting the old regime and

bidding to overthrow the present government. The above was true for almost

all the countries, but this essay will concentrate on the one where one man's

poetic cry "Independence or death!" meant freedom for the whole nation. It is

truly my belief that Brazil owes its independent status to Dom Pedro and his

hurt pride. I will explain this thought further on, but I'll start by talking about

how Brazil overgrew its mother country Portugal which led to the events of


During colonial days the greater part of the immense area of Brazil

was covered with dense forests. Brazil is dowered with a rich and fertile soil,

and, as Joao Pandia Calogeras mentioned, it was capable of yielding

bountiful crops such as corn, manioc, sweet potatoes, and plantains.

He goes

on to say that the seas, lakes, and rivers teem with fish of every kind. Brazil

was a veritable giant in comparison with a mother country such as Portugal,

small in area and limited in resources. Prior to the discovery of gold, Brazil

was an agricultural colony. Because of such great resources, the colonies

soon became autonomous, self-sustaining units. "Only a few articles were

contributed from Portugal chiefly wine and olive oil" ( Calogeras 23). Cotton

was cultivated, cattle and poultry grew and multiplied. In a short time there

was a surplus of products, and the colonists started to export them to the

mother country.

According to Ronald M. Schneider, by the end of 17th century cattle

raising, sugar and tobacco manufacturing have taken on huge proportions. In

fact, Capistrano de Abreu went so far as to...