Brazil. On April 21, the 500th anniversary of the first
Portuguese (Pedro Álvares Cabral) was celebrated in Brazil.
COUNTRYAAH, the event was surrounded by protests from various popular
movements, including the landless organization MST, which on
May 2 occupied federal buildings in eight different states
in protest of the government's land reform program. However,
the action was criticized by some of MST's most important
support organizations, such as the church and the Labor
Party PT (Partido dos Trabalhadores), and the government
pointed out that 12 million hectares of land have been
distributed since President Fernando Henrique Cardosos took
office in 1995 - twice as much as the previous one decade.
In the second round of mayoral elections on October 29,
PT made great progress and won in 178 cities, including the
industrial metropolis of São Paulo. The elections are
considered to be the informal introduction to the 2002
presidential election. Despite a good economic outlook with
3.5% expected growth and relatively low inflation, the
president's popularity declined steadily during the year,
mainly due to continued high unemployment.
After four months of referral work, the National
Environment Commission (Conama) in April proposed a law
intended to protect 80% of the Amazon forest. The
environmental movement welcomed the proposal, but at the
same time regretted that only 35% of Brazil's savannah areas
receive equivalent protection. The rate of harvesting of
forests in Brazil, which has both the world's largest
biodiversity and the world's most stringent environmental
legislation, has increased again after a slowdown in the
early 1990s, mainly through forestry companies' operations.
Requirements for independence
The export-oriented economic expansion particularly
benefited the local bourgeoisie, which increasingly
expressed its reluctance at the Portuguese intervention in
its trade with Europe. Towards the end of the 18th century,
the first independence movements in the colony arose, but
they were quickly defeated by the central power. Brazil's
most important symbol of liberty, Second Lieutenant
Tiradentes, was executed in 1792 for its prominent role in
the so-called "Mine conspiracy" three years earlier.
Napoleon's 1808 invasion of the Iberian Peninsula
motivated the Portuguese king, Don Juan VI, to move the
court to Brazil, giving the country a de-facto status of
halfway independence. The central power no longer acted as
an intermediary, and Brazil began direct trade with its main
trading partner: Britain. Brazilian commercial citizenship
was favored at the expense of sectors linked to the
Portuguese monopoly. The revolution in Porto, Portugal in
1821 was an attempt to restore the old monopolistic colonial
system. The King returned home to Portugal, but the
Brazilian citizenship did not want to lose the territory it
had won and with the backing of Britain declared Brazil
independent. Brazil was made imperial and the regent crowned
Emperor Pedro I.
Chaotic state formation
The following decade was one of the most volatile in
Brazil's history. In 1831-35, a triple government power
tried in vain to end the civil war in the provinces and
bring an end to the disobedience of the military. In 1834,
the constitution was amended with regard to.
decentralization of government. Provincial assemblies were
set up with extensive local powers, and it was decided to
elect rulers for four-year terms. In 1835, the priest Diego
Antonio Feijóo was elected to this office. For the next 2
years, he fought against the rising resolution in the
country, but without success. In 1837 he had to resign and
was succeeded by Pedro Araújo Lima. In the south, the
gauchos had revolted. It came to span 10 years from 1835-45
and became known as the Farrapo War. The Brazilians were
getting pretty tired of state power, and hoped to find a
total element of an emperor. In 1840, the aging Pedro de
Alcántara was therefore deployed to the throne as Pedro II.
During the empire that stretched until 1889, Brazil
consolidated its national unity and expanded the borders
created by gang rants in the 17th and 18th
centuries. The expansion of the territory was emphasized
with the incorporation of the province of Cisplatina in the
south, the Triple Alliance war against Paraguay where Brazil
conquered 90,000 km2 and finally the end of the
century the annexation of the Bolivian Acre province.
However, in 1828, Cisplatina proclaimed its independence as
the Republic of Oriental del Uruguay, and thus Brazil's
southern border was finally established.
Under Emperor Pedro II, the population grew from 4 to 14
million, but the economy continued to be based on the
latifundi and exports of tropical agricultural products -
primarily coffee. Slavery was first abolished in 1888, and
this development accelerated the merger of the monarchy. But
for the black population, the abolition did not mean major
political or social changes. They remained out of political
life when illiterate people did not have the right to vote.