History of South America

Causes of Brazil's Independence

Among the factors that caused the Independence of Brazil we can highlight the crisis of the colonial system, the Enlightenment ideas and the independences that took place in English and Spanish America.

Furthermore, the Brazilian agrarian elite itself would benefit from a separation between Portugal and Brazil.

Main Causes:Summary

In Brazil, overcoming the colonial pact was of interest to the agrarian aristocracy, the colony's ruling class.

She saw in this the possibility of being definitively freed from metropolitan monopolies and from submission to Portuguese merchants.

The Inconfidência Mineira (1789) was one of the movements that attempted colonial freedom.

The region's development was hampered by the rigors of mercantile politics, which prevented any progress that would benefit the colony.

Among the precursor revolts of Brazilian independence, the Conjuração Baiana (1798) was the one that presented the most popular characteristics.

The population of Salvador, basically made up of slaves, blacks, free, mulattos, whites, poor and mestizos, lived in a situation of penury. Thus, they preached a society where there were no social differences.

D. João's Administration

In 1807, faced with the maneuvers of Napoleon Bonaparte, the Prince Regent of Portugal, D. João, chose to come to Brazil, and thus not lose his crown.

This situation provoked a political reversal:Brazil, which was a colony of Portugal, became the seat of the Portuguese government.

On January 28, 1808, six days after his arrival in Salvador, the opening of Brazilian ports to friendly nations was decreed. This meant that any country could trade with Brazil.

This measure pleased the Brazilian rural aristocracy, which could trade without the intervention of the Portuguese and acquire manufactured goods at low prices.

The opening of the ports meant the end of the colonial pact and could be considered as the first step towards the political independence of Brazil.

United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Algarves

In 1815, Brazil was elevated to the category of United Kingdom to Portugal and Algarves. With this, Brazil ceases to be a colony to acquire the same legal status as the metropolis.

This change caused discontent in Portugal, as it revealed that D. João intended to settle in Brazil. Likewise, Brazil became the center of the Portuguese empire.

In 1816, with the death of Queen D. Maria, D. João became king, being acclaimed D. João VI and remaining in Brazil.

However, a political emancipation movement erupted with the Pernambuco Revolution of 1817. This struggle was based on several factors:

  • Dissatisfaction with the collection of heavy taxes;
  • administrative abuses;
  • arbitrary and oppressive military administration;
  • popular dissatisfaction;
  • the nativist ideals.

Porto's Liberal Revolution

In 1820, with the Liberal Revolution of Porto, which aimed at Portuguese autonomy, the promulgation of a Constitution and retaking the colonization of Brazil. Faced with these facts, D. João VI returns to Portugal and assigns to D. Pedro the regency of Brazil.

Then, various measures from Portugal put pressure on the government of D. Pedro, in an attempt to nullify his political, administrative, military and judicial powers and force him to return to Portugal.

The news reverberated like a declaration of war, sparking riots and expressions of displeasure.

D. Pedro was invited to stay, as his departure would represent the crumbling of Brazil. The Dia do Fico (1822) was another step towards the definitive break with Portugal.

The events unleashed a crisis in the government and the ministers faithful to the Cortes, resigned. The prince formed a new ministry, under the leadership of José Bonifácio, one of the main supporters of Brazilian political emancipation.

It was established that any determination coming from Portugal should only be complied with with the fulfillment of D. Pedro. The latter then went to the province of São Paulo in search of support for his cause.

Upon returning from Santos to the capital of São Paulo, he receives a mail from Portugal demanding his immediate return to Lisbon. He also receives two letters, one from José Bonifácio and another from Dona Leopoldina advising him not to accept this order.

Dom Pedro heeded the advice and cut the remaining political ties with Portugal.

Learn more :

  • Independence of Brazil
  • Questions about the Independence of Brazil
  • Brazil's Independence Day
  • Brazilian Independence Anthem

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