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History Of Native Americans In Brazil

595 words - 3 pages

Like many Latin American countries, Brazil was originally inhabited by over two thousand distinct Native American tribes who’s history goes back over 10,000 years. However, they left scarce written records, hence little is know about them. Even so, today, Brazil is home to the largest population of un-contacted people in the world. During the age of colonization, Portugal flourished as it expanded its territories in both Africa and India. Yet, competition among colonizers increased as Portugal continued to zero-sum vie for territory against Spain. Pope Alexander VI fearing trade wars between two Catholic countries, declared in the Treaty of Tordesillas that newly discovered land, outside of Europe, to the west of the antemeridian* line to be considered Spanish and east Portuguese. Yet, unbeknownst to Pope Alexander VI, Brazil jettisoned into the Atlantic well beyond the antemeridian. In 1500 CE Portuguese’s explorers made first contact in Brazil and claimed it for Portugal.

Initially, Portuguese traders began to export the brazil wood tree, Brazil’s namesake, for the lucrative dye trade. Then, to increase settlement, the Portuguese government sold large Fazendas, plantations, to Portuguese emigrants who rapidly began planting sugar. After an unsuccessful stent to subjugate the local population, African slave trade began to dominate the Fazendas labor pool. Over the coarse of the African slave trade over four million slaves were brought to Brazil. These slaves were cheap due to their close proximity to Africa and subjected to the brutal conditions of tropic Fazenda work, leaving many slaves dead after just seven years. In fact, the local slave population never grew in spite of the increase in deported Africans. Despite the brutality of slavery a great number of slaves rose to prominence by either intermarriage or...

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