Periods in Colonial Brazilian History

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The study of the periods of Colonial Brazilian History mentioned below is of paramount importance, as it was from this time that the foundations of Brazilian history were laid.

The History of Colonial Brazil was divided into the following periods:

  • The Portuguese maritime expansion and conquest of Brazil, the stages of this expansion, as well as its importance in the context of European society.
  • The “discovery” of Brazil, which we will refer to here as the conquest, because at the time of the “discovery”, the territory was already inhabited by indigenous peoples.
  • the process of setting up the Colony, which led to the foundation of the General Government, as well as the intensification of sugar cane cultivation, the manufacture of sugar in the mills and its commercialisation in Europe, and the intensification of the slave trade.
  • The Dutch invasions of north-eastern Brazil, the founding of São Paulo and the bandeirante expansion that took place from the 17th century onwards.
  • The process of emancipation in Portuguese America. We’ll look at the main revolutionary movements of the 18th century in the colony, which were influenced both by the Enlightenment ideals of the Old World and by certain internal social and political factors. In addition, we will study the move of the Portuguese royal family to Brazil in 1808 and the consequences of this event for the future of Brazil.

Discover the periods of colonial Brazilian history below:

1. Portuguese Maritime Expansion and the Conquest of Brazil

  • The Causes of Portuguese Maritime Expansion                                                                                             
  • Portuguese maritime and commercial expansion was no accident
  • Why did Portugal lead the maritime expansion?
  • The main elements of Portuguese maritime and commercial expansion
  • The main stages of Portuguese expansion
  • The School of Sagres and Prince Henry

2. Occupation of the African Coast, the Atlantic Islands and the Voyage of Vasco da Gama

  • The Occupation of the African Coast and the Atlantic Islands
  • Discovery of the sea route to India – The Voyage of Vasco da Gama

3. Pedro Álvares Cabral’s expedition and the Conquest of Brazil

  • Expedition of Pedro Álvares Cabral
  • Conquest of Brazil
  • Arrival of the Portuguese in Brazil

4 . Pre-colonial period in Brazil: “The Forgotten Years”

  • Portugal’s lack of interest in colonising Brazil
  • First expeditions to Brazil
  • Shippers, Traffickers and Convicts
  • Were the Indians of Brazil Cannibals or Good Savages?

5. Installation of the Portuguese Colony in Brazil

  • Expedition of Martim Afonso de Souza
  • Hereditary Captaincies

6. Installation of the General Government in Brazil and the Founding of Salvador

  • General Government of Brazil
  • Foundation of Salvador

7. Monoculture, Slave Labour and Latifundia in Colonial Brazil

  • The Portuguese Civilising Project in Brazil
  • Slave Trade and Slave Labour
  • Structure of the colonial economy

8. Colonial sugar mills in Brazil

  • Sugar Mill
  • Social and Cultural Importance of the Colonial Sugar Mill

9. The Iberian Union and the Dutch Invasion of Brazil

  • Iberian Union or Spanish Rule
  • Dutch invasions of Brazil
  • First Dutch invasion: Salvador
  • Second Dutch invasion: Pernambuco
  • Historical events related to the Iberian Union and the Dutch invasions of Brazil

10. Foundation of the city of São Paulo and the Bandeirantes

  • Foundation of São Paulo
  • The Bandeirantes
  • The Black Ship

11. Between the colonial regime and the establishment of the Empire in Brazil

  • The protest movements
  • Emancipation Process
  • Inconfidência Mineira
  • Conjuration Fluminense
  • Conjuration of Bahia
  • Suassunas Conspiracy

12. Transfer of the Portuguese court to Brazil

  • Crossing from Portugal to Brazil was an old project
  • The Departure
  • The Journey
  • The Arrival
  • Opening of the Ports
  • Brazil from Colony to United Kingdom

13. The Portuguese Empire in Brazil

  • Transfer of the capital from Lisbon to Brazil
  • Restructuring of the capital Rio de Janeiro
  • Scientific and artistic spirit
  • Court customs
  • Formation of a Middle Class

14. Independence of Brazil – Breaking of colonial ties in Brazil

  • The Revolution in the Northeast
  • The Liberal Revolution of Porto
  • Resistances in Brazil 
  • Grito do Ipiranga
  • Action of the secret societies

See also Historical Periods of Brazil

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