4. Independence of Portuguese America with CC
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4. Independence of Portuguese America with CC

Welcome to Modern Latin America in 15 Minutes. My name is Dr. Kim Richardson and today we are going to discuss Independence in Portugeuse america. This should be called “Brazil’s Political Emancipation as it slowly evolved from colony to Kingdom to Empire.” If you look at the colonial period map of Brazil, it is not much different than the post-colonial map of Brazil. There is going to be an exception down here in the south, but for the most part it stays intact. What we wanna talk about are these things here these seven points. Hopefully it will make sense as we progress through them. Very good. Number One. The Portuguese were economically tied in with the British. And they had been since the 17th century. The British made war on Napoleon Bonaparte during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars that followed it. And as such, Napoleon Bonaparte especially when he was considering–at least I would think he was considering — of taking over Spain, he orders Portugal to stop trading with the British. The Portuguese refuse, so he marches through Spain to conquer Portugal. Portgual sees that this is going to happen and says “well, I am not going to stay here while we get taken over by Napoleon Bonaparte” so they flee to Brazil. The come all the way over here and land in South America. This is the first example of a continent–uh… not a continent but a monarchy from Europe coming to any of their colonies. Not only did they come to their colonies, they are going to make it their Empire. They first land in Bahia, northeast of Brazil, and then they make their way down to Rio de Janeiro which makes it their capital. so for the first we got Braganzas in Brazil. That is because the last name of the monarchy John VI (he wouldn’t be John VI until his mother dies) but John is going to be Braganza. The first thing he does is he realizes that he needs to loosen the bands of mercantilism. In other words, we need to be able to trade with other people. So he declares, even before he gets to Rio de Janeiro that he is going to allow trade to occur among friendly nations. Whereas in North America it is going to take something like a revolution in order to allow free trade, here you have semi-free trade simply by a declaration. He then makes Rio de Janeiro the capital of the entire Empire. That is important. Here is a great image of it. You can still go visit today, if you wish, in Rio de Janeiro. A great book has been written about this regarding Tropical Versailles all about this region right here and what it was like. Immediately, thousands of people descend on Rio de Janeiro and make it the Empire’s capital. And it is a great place to have a capital of an empire as it has great harbors, great way to protect the harbors, it’s–not only that, but it is a beautiful place to go, not only for soccer but for visiting or research (is what I normally do myself). Well, after he made it his capital–after the Napoleonic wars. Napoleon was defeated in 1815. 1814 and then finally in 1815. And then the Congress of Vienna decided to try to figure out how to put Humpty Dumpty back together again and they ask John VI (by this point he’s just about to become John VI) and says “John, why are you living in a colony still when we have defeated Napoleon Bonaparte?” John says, “Because I like it here.” They say, “Well, you can’t live in a colony, you’ve got to at least elevate it to a kingdom. So that’s what he does, he decrees in 1815 the elevation of Brazil to a kingdom. As it says right here in this great primary document D. João VI by the Grace of God, Prince Regent of Portugal and the Algarves in Africa, Guinea, and the conquest, navigation, and commerce of Ethiopia, Arabia, Persia, and India, etc., make it known to whom this letter of law shall come that there shall constantly be in my royal mind… yada yada yada…Portugal, Argarves, and Brazil shall form, from henceforth, one only and united kingdom. So now they are united. Neither one is a colony neither one is a mother country. However, in Portlugal, it seems that they are now the colony and that Brazil is the mother country. Because after all, the king is in Brazil, and they are way up here a long ways away. So they decide that they have got to find somewhat to recolonize Brazil. An uprising takes place right up here in Oporto the Revolution of Oporto–Revolução de Oporto–and then makes its way down to Lisbon. And in this revolution, in 1820 they say “Hey, D. João, you’ve got to come back or else you are going to lose your throne.” He has no choice. He doesn’t want to lose his throne even though he likes it in Brazil. So he takes everything and he comes back to Portugal. But he leaves behind his son. So they are going to have a revolution here for a little while they are going to have something called the cortês; the cortês is a parliament. The same term for Spain as well. And here–so they have that here in Portugal. But then in Brazil the king –not the king, the prince, Pedro– is back as regent here. If it is combined a dual monarchy–an empire that is a dual kingdom, so to speak, then he is going to stay here and rule. Now, the parliament, cortês, orders him to come back. And he says, “No.” Actually, he says “Eu Fico.” I am going to stay. So Princely Defiance. He refuses to go back. The parliament is very upset and keeps on sending nasty, threatening letters, but he simply refuses to go back. But he sees the writign on the wall. And he says that when his dad John, John VI by this point– goes back to Portugal he says, “Listen, Pedro, if the people here want to declare independence like they are doing in Spanish America, I want you to lead them.” That is what he says. So he does. But he has to make sure they really want independence. So he goes on a tour throughout the empire–the kingdom at this point–the kingdom of Brazil to find out if people are interested. And he finds that they are interested or are at least not disinterested. They are going to at least do it. So he is going to declare independence. Now I want to read this because it is so important. The Declaration of Independence. — what happens here — well, it’s not THE declaration but he declares independence. What happens is that uh…. a letter carrier is ordered to send some letters to the prince. the Prince is trying to decide–he is in São Paulo at this time–whether or not he should declare independence. And it says this: “The prince ordered that I read aloud the letters transported. From the cortes remember that is the Parliament. A letter from D. João his dad another from the princess. Another from José Bonifácio. That is his prime minister. He is the one that is truly leading this movement for independence. And still another from Chamberlain the secret agent of the prince. The Cortês demanded the immediate return of the prince and the imprisonment and trial of José Bonifácio . The princess recommended prudence and asked that the prince heed his minister. José Bonifácio told the prince that he must choose one of two roads to follow: leave immediately for Portugal and hand himself over to the cortes as was the situation of d. Joao VI, his dad, or remain adn proclaim the independence of Portugal. D. Pedro, trembling with anger, seized the letters from my hands and crumpled them. He threw them on the ground and stomped on them… D. Pedro walked silently toward our horses at the side of the road. Suddenty he halted in the middle and said: “The cortes is persecuting me, adn calling me an adolescent and a Brazilian Well, now, let them see their adolescent in action. From today on, our relations with them are finished. I want nothing more from the Portuguese government and I proclaim Brazil forevermore separated from Portugal. Independence. According to legend he draws his sword and says “Independence or death!” He may or may not have said that. But he declares independence. Declaration of Independence. What does that mean? This image is awesome. Right, because here he is with a sword drawn, declaring Independence. Here are these guys over here saying, “Independence? What’s that? How is that going to change for me?” And the answer is, it is not going to change at all. Nothing is going to change except you get independence for Brazil. Remember not revolution–just independence. He is now acclaimed the Emperor of Brazil Here is the cathedral in Rio de Janeiro. Now, though he says he wants independence just like we said we wanted independence in North America July 4, 1776–now you gotta get it. There are about 7 major–at this point–7 major ports and most of them have troops from Portugal. All he has to do is starve them into submission. So he hires this guy–a wonderful character in history: Lord Cochrane, who got into trouble with the law for insider trading and whatnot in England and was ready to be hired out for services so he is hired by D. Pedro and D. Pedro hires him to crush the Portuguese so they could accomplish the aim of independence This he does by surrounding the ports and then starving them into submission while D. Pedro’s troops came from the other side and starved them into submission. So the point is this: it’s — they declare independence but not revolution They get independence with very little bloodshed. Portugal — Brazil is now an independence country. Now this was the shortest of lectures because that is all I wanted to make sure and emphasize. Here are some comparisons: Spanish America: very violent and some people did indeed argue for democracy or at least for a republicanism. Portuguese America: not very violent. And very rare did you see anybody advocating something like democracy. It did occur in a few places–there were some liberal priests, for example, but it was very rare. Brazil– Spanish America is going to divide up into a whole but of small…er… countries. Portuguese America is going to–with the exception of the Spanish speaking, most southern part which truly didn’t belong to them anyway, is going to remain intact. Next time we are going to look at how that remained intact. But for now keep that in mind. It’s going to be a monarchy whereas for the most part spanish America was not a monarchy. As a monarchy it is going to be very conservative. It is not going to be very conservative as an absolutist–they are going to retain a constitution, but it is going to be conservative. So that is the Independence, super-de-duper-ty quick of Brazil.

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