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maanantai 4. toukokuuta 2015

Brazil, Cool Facts #28

27. Cape Verde <=                                                                                                            => 29. Portugal


Everyone knows already that Brazil is good in football, yes it has won 5 times the World Cup. Everyone knows that it's also famous for volleyball, capoeira, samba carnivals and beautiful nature and people. In this post I'm telling stuff about Brazil that you might not have known before and that I find really interesting.

1. Story behind Brazil's name

The name Brazil comes from a tree, Brazilwood. It used to grow plentifully along the Brazilian coast.  The European merchants and sailors called the country "the land of Brazil" (Terra do Brasil) because they were trading it with the Tupi indians who harvested brazilwood and sold it to the European merchants. The official Portuguese name for Brazil was at the beginning "The Land of the Holy Cross" (Terra da Santa Cruz).

Different names of Brazil in the early days

Land of Brazil (Terra do Brasil) = name used by the European merchants and sailors
The Land of the Holy Cross (Terra da Santa Cruz) = official name given by the Portuguese
Land of Parrots (Terra di Papaga) = used by the early sailors
Land of the palm trees (Pindorama) = used by the Guarani indians

2. Brazil's capital cities

Brazil has had three different capital cities during the course of history. Bahia or the current Salvador was the first capital, then it was moved to Rio de Janeiro and finally to Brasilia. The interesting thing is that during Napoleon's invasion to Portugal the capital of the Portuguese Empire was temporarily transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro in 1808.

Here are the time periods of the different cities when they have been the capitals of Brazil.

Salvador          1534-1763  (229 years)
Rio de Janeiro 1763-1960 (197 years)
Brasília            1960- present (55 years)

Brasilia catedral

3. Treaty of Tordesillas

The Treaty of Tordesillas was made in 1494 between Portugal and Spain (Castile at the time). It was about the division of the land areas outside of Europe. As a result South America was divided into Portuguese areas and Spanish areas. The Portuguese areas became the current Brazil, the Spanish areas separated from each other becoming several independent countries.

At one point Holland occupied Brazil for a couple of decades and Portugal got Brazil eventually back after paying Holland 8 million guilders.

Treaty of Tordesillas

4. Story in the Brazilian flag

The starry sky in the Brazilian flag illustrates the actual sky in Rio de Janeiro on November 15th, 1889 at 8.37 o'clock at the morning when Brazil was declared as a republic. At the same time Brazil adopted its current flag, the only difference is that now the flag has 27 stars instead of 21 stars which it had initially. The new flag had a banner with the text: Order and Progress (ordem e progresso). That's quite ironic because the republicans overthrew the progressive emperor Pedro II who had freed the slaves. This was the reason why he was overthrown in 1900 after demonstrations, because he had disrupted the social peace by freeing the slaves and hadn't paid any compensation for the slave owners.

1888 Pedro II frees the 75,000 slaves of Brazil
1889 Brazil declared as a republic
1900 The republicans overthrow Pedro II

27 stars in the flag = represent the 26 states + the capital Brasilia

5. Rubber Boom in Manaus

There was a time when Manaus was one of the most luxurious cities of the world. It had electric lighting before most of the European cities had. This was thanks to the rubber boom that had started at the late 19th century. Many cities in the Amazon area became wealthier because of the rubber trade. It ended when seeds of the rubber tree were smuggled out of the Amazon region and as a result Brazil lost its monopoly of rubber production. Manaus fell into poverty and it lost the artificial lighting for years because it was too expensive to run the generators.

Manaus 1865 before the rubber boom

Brazil is famous for


1494 Treaty of Tordesillas: Portugal and Spain divide South America
1500 Pedro Alvarez Cabral first in the areas appointed to Portugal
1530s First sugar plantations
1600s Portugal occupied by Spain, Holland conquers Brazil's sugar plantations
1630-54 Brazil aka Dutch Brazil or New Holland was managed by the Dutch East India Company
1654 Brazil is sold back to Portugal with 8 million guilders
1763 Rio becomes the capital
1807 Napoleon attacks Portugal, the royalties flee to Brazil
1821 Joao VI returns to Portugal and leaves his son Dom Pedro to Brazil
1822 Brazil is declared as an independent Empire, Dom Pedro I becomes the emperor
1828 Brazil looses Cisplatina which became the modern-day Uruguay
1831 Pedro II becomes the emperor being just 5-years old
1888 Pedro II frees the 750,000 slaves of Brazil
1889 Brazil is declared as a republic
1900 After demonstrations Pedro II is overthrown
1930 Getulio Vargas, military coup
1945 The military displaces Vargas
1950 Vargas returned to the president, his presidency lasted until 1954
1961 Leftist president Joao Goulart
1964 Goulart displaced
1974 General Ernesto Geisel as the president, decreases the repression gradually in Brazil, started to democratize the country
1985 End of the military power, civil president Jose Sarney elected as the president
1994 Fernando Henrique Cardoso elected as the president
2002 Lula da Silva elected as the president
2010 Dilma Roussef elected as the president

Maailman liput maat ja historia - Kimmo Kiljunen

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