Independence Of Brazil, Unique In The Way It Was Achieved And Announced

1377 words - 6 pages

When we think of a country gaining freedom, we usually picturebloody coups, assassinations, civil wars, and demonstrations. We think ofthousands of guerrillas or freedom fighters protesting the old regime andbidding to overthrow the present government. The above was true for almostall the countries, but this essay will concentrate on the one where one man'spoetic cry "Independence or death!" meant freedom for the whole nation. It istruly my belief that Brazil owes its independent status to Dom Pedro and hishurt pride. I will explain this thought further on, but I'll start by talking abouthow Brazil overgrew its mother country Portugal which led to the events of1822...During colonial days the greater part of the immense area of Brazilwas covered with dense forests. Brazil is dowered with a rich and fertile soil,and, as Joao Pandia Calogeras mentioned, it was capable of yieldingbountiful crops such as corn, manioc, sweet potatoes, and plantains. He goeson to say that the seas, lakes, and rivers teem with fish of every kind. Brazilwas 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, Brazilwas an agricultural colony. Because of such great resources, the coloniessoon became autonomous, self-sustaining units. "Only a few articles werecontributed from Portugal chiefly wine and olive oil" ( Calogeras 23). Cottonwas cultivated, cattle and poultry grew and multiplied. In a short time therewas a surplus of products, and the colonists started to export them to themother country.According to Ronald M. Schneider, by the end of 17th century cattleraising, sugar and tobacco manufacturing have taken on huge proportions. Infact, Capistrano de Abreu went so far as to characterize the colonial epoch inBrazil as "the age of leather" because of the amount of cattle raised. It hasbeen suggested that this type of success tended to develop in colonists afeeling of confidence and self-reliance. "In their struggle and triumph theyreceived little or no aid from the mother country. They harbored no illfeelings toward the metropolis but had come to rely entirely upon their ownmeans and initiative" (Calogeras 33). Little by little , there began to emerge asense of equality between the Portuguese dwelling on the opposite sides ofthe Atlantic. As Rollie E. Popino states, thus was prepared the ground onwhich the seeds of liberty and independence were planted although theyweren't destined to bud until a century later.In 1815 Brazil was elevated to the status of kingdom and that news"had been ill-perceived in Portugal, and especially in Lisbon"(Viotti de Costa65). The old metropolis couldn't forget that Brazil once was a colony overwhich Portugal exercised undisputed control. Calogeras states that in bothPortugal and Brazil, the conviction grew that the old absolutist system wasill-adapted to the 19th century; the demand for some kind of constitutionalgovernment became more and more...

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