Precolonial and Early colonial History
The indigenous population of Brazil was divided into large indigenous nations composed of several ethnic groups among which stand out the large groups like Tupis, Guaranis, Gês and Arawaks. The former were subdivided into Tupiniquins and Tupinambás, among many subdivision of the others. The boundaries between these groups and their subgroups, before the arrival of Europeans, were marked by wars between them, arising from differences in culture, language and morale. These wars also involved large-scale military actions on land and water, with ritual cannibalism on POWs. While heredity had some weight, leadership status was a more subdued over time, than allocated in succession ceremonies and conventions. Slavery among the Indians had a different meaning than it had for Europeans, since it originated from a diverse socio-economic organization, in which asymmetries were translated into kinship relations.
When the Portuguese arrived in 1500 they saw the natives as noble savages, and miscegenation of the population began right away. Tribal warfare, cannibalism and the pursuit of Amazonian brazilwood for its treasured red dye brought the Portuguese to the point that they should civilize the indigenous population. But the Portuguese, like the Spanish in their South American possessions, had unknowingly brought diseases with them, against which many indigenous groups were helpless due to lack of immunity. These diseases spread quickly and killed thousands expanding on native trade routes completely wiping out natives before they even came into contact with the Portuguese.
The area of Brazil was claimed for Portugal in the year of 1500. King Dom João III split Brazil into 12 separate colonies of differing type and when the decentralization became an issue, Centralization was taken upon and was largely successful. During these periods plantation economies began to take a predominant role and by the 1600's the colonies chief export was Sugarcane which became a large economic structure for the colony and dominated the global market in sugarcane for years. Around 1690 Brazil had a large gold rush which at this point became the backbone of the economy and attracted thousands of settlers bolstering the population of Brazil heavily during the period. Following this a series of small settlement conflicts and colonial conflicts occurred which strengthened portuguese control and eventually led to Brazil being elevated to the status of Kingdom alongside Portugal and the Algarves.
In late 1807, Spanish and Napoleonic forces threatened the security of continental Portugal, causing Prince Regent João, in the name of Queen Maria I, to move the royal court from Lisbon to Brazil. There they established some of Brazil's first financial institutions, such as its local stock exchanges, a National Bank, and ended the monopoly of the colony trade with Portugal, opening it to other nations.
During this time period Brazil gained economic growth, more stability, national systems (later allowing for their own independence) and a National identity which was the cause of the King of Portugal trying to take away many of Brazils systems and rights as a kingdom. This ended up causing a small scale rebellion which in fact ended up in the independence and declaration of the Empire of Brazil.
Creation of the Empire
United Kingdoms of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves
The United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves was a pluricontinental monarchy formed by the elevation of the Portuguese colony named State of Brazil to the status of a kingdom and by the simultaneous union of that Kingdom of Brazil with the Kingdom of Portugal and the Kingdom of the Algarves, constituting a single state consisting of three kingdoms.
The United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves was formed in 1815, following the Transfer of the Portuguese Court to Brazil during the Napoleonic invasions of Portugal, and it continued to exist for about one year after the return of the Court to Europe, being dissolved de facto in 1822, when Brazil proclaimed its independence. The dissolution of the United Kingdom was accepted by Portugal and formalized de jure in 1825, when Portugal recognized the independent Empire of Brazil.
During its period of existence the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves did not correspond to the whole of the Portuguese Empire: rather, the united kingdom was the transatlantic metropolis that controlled the Portuguese colonial empire, with its overseas possessions in Africa and Asia.
Thus, from the point of view of Brazil, the elevation to the rank of a kingdom and the creation of the United Kingdom represented a change in status, from that of a colony to that of an equal member of a political union. In the wake of the liberal revolution of 1820 in Portugal, attempts to compromise the autonomy and even the unity of Brazil led to the breakdown of this united kingdom.
The territory which would come to be known as Brazil was claimed by Portugal on 22 April 1500, when the navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral landed on its coast. Permanent settlement followed in 1532, and Portuguese slowly expanded westwards until they had reached their Spanish Neighbors.. In 1808, the army of French Emperor Napoleon I invaded Portugal, forcing the Portuguese royal family—the House of Braganza, a branch of the thousand-year-old Capetian dynasty—into exile. They re-established themselves in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, which became the unofficial seat of the Portuguese Empire. In 1815, the Portuguese crown prince Dom João, acting as regent, created the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves, which raised the status of Brazil from colony to kingdom. He ascended the Portuguese throne the following year, after the death of his mother, Maria I of Portugal. He returned to Portugal in April 1821, leaving behind his son and heir, Prince Dom Pedro, to rule Brazil as his regent. The Portuguese government immediately moved to revoke the political autonomy that Brazil had been granted since 1808. The threat of losing their limited control over local affairs ignited widespread opposition among Brazilians. José Bonifácio de Andrada, along with other Brazilian leaders, convinced Pedro to declare Brazil's independence from Portugal. In October, the prince was acclaimed Pedro I, first Emperor of the newly created Empire of Brazil, a constitutional monarchy. The declaration of independence was opposed throughout Brazil by armed military units loyal to Portugal. The war of independence was fought across the country, with battles in the northern, northeastern, and southern regions. The last Portuguese soldiers to surrender did so in March 1824, and independence was recognized by Portugal in August 1825.
Inheriting an Empire on the verge of disintegration, Pedro II turned Portuguese-speaking Brazil into an emerging power in the international arena. The nation grew to be distinguished from its Hispanic neighbors on account of its political stability, zealously guarded freedom of speech, respect for civil rights, vibrant economic growth and especially for its form of government: a functional, representative parliamentary monarchy. Brazil was also victorious in three international conflicts (the Platine War, the Uruguayan War and the Paraguayan War) under his rule, as well as prevailing in several other international disputes and domestic tensions.
While not exactly a crisis, Dom Pedro II, who would much rather adhere to his hobbies than rule his empire and spent much of his time traveling. This hands off mentality of the Empire is not good but with the previous death of his son Dom Afonso the Emperor was grief striken. But with his daughter talking with her husband about Having Children the Emperor had become Revitalized with Dom Pedro promising to take their son if they had one, tutor him in the ways of an empire, and have him take the throne of his grandfathers empire over his mother citing the male lines of Succession over Female which would allow their child to take the throne as an enthusiastic heir and continuation of the Empire.
The Brazilian monarchy holds the legal line of succession to the Portuguese throne and in 1876 following a short war of Succession with Portugal took total control of Portugal and all her colonies.
The Monarchy is the current Head of state of Brazil and is comparable in duties, responsibilities and Power to the President of the United States of America. The Monarchy can be heavily limited by the Parliament and other limiting systems of the Government.
The Constitution of the Empire of Brazil specified for the Creation of the a Parliament/General Assembly and was given major governmental power by the constitution. The Constitution endowed the Assembly with both status and authority, and created legislative, moderating, executive and judicial branches as "delegations of the nation" with the separation of those powers envisaged as providing balances in support of the Constitution and the rights it enshrined.
The prerogatives and authority granted to the legislature within the Constitution meant that it would play a Huge role in the functioning of the government. The General Assembly alone could enact, revoke, interpret and suspend laws under Article 13 of the Constitution. The legislature also held the power of the Treasury and was required to annually authorize expenditures and taxes. It alone approved and exercised oversight of government loans and debts. Other responsibilities entrusted to the Assembly included setting the size of the military's forces, the creation of offices within the government, monitoring the national welfare and ensuring that the government was being run in conformity to the Constitution. This last provision allowed the legislature wide authority to examine and debate government policy and conduct
Council of Ministers
The Emperor was the head of both the moderating and executive branches (being aided by the Council of State and the Council of Ministers, respectively); he had the final say and held ultimate control over the national government. He was tasked with ensuring national independence and stability. The Constitution (Article 101) gave him very few avenues for imposing his will upon the General Assembly. His main recourse was the right to dissolve or extend legislative sessions. In the Senate, an emperor's authority to appoint senators did not necessarily give him added influence since senators held their offices for life and were thus freed from government pressure once confirmed. On those occasions when the Chamber of Deputies was dissolved, new elections were required to be held immediately and the new Chamber seated. "This power was effective when held in reserve as a threat. It could not be employed repeatedly, nor would its use work to the emperor's advantage.
War of Portuguese Succession and The Colonial Empire.
The War of Portuguese Succession was a short and relatively small conflict in Which the Empire of Brazil under Dom Pedro II and his forces fought the forces of Portugal. The issue stemmed from Portugals line of succession being blood tied to the Brazilian line, and while not probable the Empire of Brazil and its head family couldve easily called in succession rights earlier.
But with this the Empire with the assistance of the British Empire which recognized the claims of the Brazilian Monarchy launched a simultaneous invasion of Portugal with Surprising strength. After a relatively easy siezure of Porta and most of Northern portugal with the British taking of Lisbon the Royal family had been secured essentially ending all major fighting within 4-6 months of the outset of the conflict. By 1875 the Nation was occupied along with her colonies, and by 1876 the Treaty of Lisbon had gone into effect essentially turning Portugal into an occupied but economically active area of the empire for a period until they were deemed stable enough to be a Dominion of the Empire.
Colonies and Major Territories of the Empire of Brazil
Dominion of Portugal
- Huelva (former province of Spain)
State of Goa
State of Macau
Colony of East Timor
Colony of Mozambique
Colony of Angola
Colony of Greater Gabon
- Equatorial Guinea
Colony of Zambia-Zimbawbwe
Colony of Cameroon-Nigeria
- Northern Cameroon