A Brief History of Brazil by Teresa A Meade

By Teresa A Meade

Merely a little bit smaller in measurement than the U.S., Brazil is the 5th greatest kingdom on the planet. it's domestic to unique Rio de Janeiro, the robust Amazon River, the world-renowned Carnival, and naturally, its shrinking rainforests. a quick historical past of Brazil bargains a concise but finished account of the wealthy and sundry background of Brazil, putting the political, monetary, and cultural occasions of this day into vast old context. The e-book opens with an outline of pre-colonial Brazil and is going directly to research the historical past of Portuguese exploration, during the early years of the slave alternate among Africa and the Americas, and the construction of the biggest slaveholding society within the glossy international. in this period, a colourful African tradition left its mark, joined via impacts from eu, Asian, and heart jap immigrants, all of which mixed to create smooth Brazil. After a short-lived First Republic on the flip of the 20 th century, Brazil skilled greater than 3 a long time of army dictatorship sooner than it constructed the colourful democracy that characterizes the rustic this present day. a quick background of Brazil additionally examines key ancient figures and the hallmarks of Brazilian pop culture: football, Carnival, track, and tv.

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Portuguese merchants established rudimentary trading houses along the coast from which they bartered with the Indians for the wood. The Tupi relied on European axes or felled the trees by burning the bases. They then stripped the trees of their bark and cut the trunks into shorter sections which they carried on their shoulders from the forest interior to the coast. They welcomed the Portuguese metal saws, axes, and knives, all of which considerably reduced the drudgery of harvesting the dye. Warren Dean reports that the new tools eliminated the tiresome chore of flaking stone and tempering wood, and lessened the time to fell trees and carve canoes by a factor of eight.

During the first half of the 19th century alone, more than 1 million slaves were imported to Brazil. By comparison, during the same period of time the slave population in 35 A BRIEF HISTORY OF BRAZIL the United States grew by 2 million through internal reproduction. Slaves in Brazil had a low rate of reproduction and a high mortality rate, especially on the sugar plantations and in the mines. Plantation Agriculture In the initial period, as reported by Alfred Crosby in his studies of European exploration of the Americas, the settlers devoted a considerable amount of effort to investigating the plants in the new lands.

They nonetheless pursued rumors of emerald mines and entered the abundant forests in search of gold. In the forest they found nothing of great interest to them except the wood from a tree that produced a fine dye. It is unclear if the messenger ship that returned to Portugal carried the first sample of a dyewood from a red tree, or if the Portuguese found this wood only on their second expedition to Brazil in 1501. The dyewood’s significance is actually all in its name. The Portuguese called it pau-brasil, possibly from the word for glowing coal.

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