The recorded history of Brazil is brief when compared to most European countries, having been discovered by Portuguese sailor and explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral just over five hundred years ago. Since then, however, its history has been turbulent, blighted by rebellion, cruelty, dictatorship and poverty. But, it is also a vibrant, exciting and ethnically diverse nation that has, in the face of great adversity, emerged as one of the world's fastest growing major economies. A Short History of Brazil examines the events that have led to Brazil's ascendancy, looking at the indigenous peoples who populated the territory until its discovery in 1500 and chronicling the tempestuous years since, leading to the economic miracle of recent years. It covers the three centuries of Portuguese colonial rule when sugar became the main export, produced with the help of around three million slaves who were forced to make the deadly crossing of the Atlantic from Africa. It describes how Brazil declared independence from Portugal as a monarchy in 1822, the monarchy being replaced by a republic in 1889, and details the pattern of boom and bust in the Brazilian economy since then, covering the lives of some of the authoritarian rulers that seized power along the way. Finally, A Short History of Brazil looks at the many difficulties Brazil faces in the 21st century - the devastating social problems resulting from its dramatic economic inequality and the often ruthless exploitation of the country's natural resources which is a topic of major concern for the entire world. With Brazil's success has come increased global awareness and in the next four years global attention will be focused on the country as it plays host to two of the world's biggest events - the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016. With the eyes of the world on this immense South American country - the world's fifth largest - there could be no better time to examine the dramatic and fascinating history that has brought it to this point.
"Excellent one-volume history of Brazil by leading Brazilian social historian is suitable for advanced students and sophisticated general readers. Emphasizes political and economic history. Treats colonial and 19th-century history seriously as political history; one-third of book covers 1930-80. Unlike other recent one-volume histories, such as those by Skidmore (see item #bi 00004885#) and Levine (see item #bi 00000173#), work does not cover contemporary events (1980-90), and the evaluation of the transition from 1964 dictatorship to electoral politics is reticent. Often narrates events by synthesizing differing interpretations in historiography of key issues: nature of Portuguese imperial state, reasons for 19th-century Brazilian territorial unity, relation between slavery and peasantry. Good summary discussion of demography and class structure, but little overt explanation of political culture and almost no references to folkways and the arts"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 58.
This book deals with a history of Brazil. The largest republic of South America, and the third largest of the western hemisphere, Brazil, which from a variety of circumstances, has ever been regarded an interesting country, is now become doubly so, from being the present residence of the court of Portugal; and as such, we are induced to give a description of it, which, from the nature and size of this work, must necessarily be a short one. Cabral, in the year 1500, first landed on the coast of Brazil, and immediately gave notice to the court of Lisbon of the discovery he had made. The Portugueze, however, were for a length of time very indifferent to the acquisition of so fine a country. This negligence may in a great degree be attributed to the want of civilized inhabitants, and opulent towns, which the Portugueze had been accustomed to meet with in Africa and Asia; whilst the natives of Brazil consisted of different colonies of savages, dwelling in miserable huts, situated either in forests, on the banks of rivers, or on the sea-coast; and subsisting entirely on the produce of the chace, or on fish caught by themselves. The heat of the climate made cloathing not only unnecessary, but absolutely superfluous. The men and women equally painted their bodies, ornamented their necks and arms with necklaces and bracelets of white bones, and adorned their heads with feathers. The Brazilians are nearly of the same stature as the Europeans, but in general not so robust. Their principal arms consisted of clubs and arrows; their wars were not frequent, but cruel; and dreadful was the fate of those prisoners who fell into their hands without being wounded, since they constantly served as a repast to their merciless conquerors...
Anthony Pereira introduces the country and idea of Brazil, from its depiction in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, to Brazil's colonial past, and the country's transformation from a poor agricultural outpost to an integral part of the 21st century global order. Throughout he considers the economic, political, and social challenges the country faces.
"Indispensable introduction to Brazil for students and general readers includes short scholarly articles, interviews, documents, photographs, and many autobiographical pieces. Begins with precontact indigenous peoples, but about half deals with Brazil since 1945. Topics include indigenous peoples, slavery, Vargas and labor, political protest, women, race relations, marginal groups, and popular culture. Overarching themes are mobility and repression"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 58.
From 1501, when the first slaves arrived in Hispaniola, until the nineteenth century, some twelve million people were abducted from west Africa and shipped across thousands of miles of ocean - the infamous Middle Passage - to work in the colonies of the New World. Perhaps two million Africans died at sea. Why was slavery so widely condoned, during most of this period, by leading lawyers, religious leaders, politicians and philosophers? How was it that the educated classes of the western world were prepared for so long to accept and promote an institution that would later ages be condemned as barbaric? Exploring these and other questions - and the slave experience on the sugar, rice, coffee and cotton plantations - Kenneth Morgan discusses the rise of a distinctively Creole culture; slave revolts, including the successful revolution in Haiti (1791-1804); and the rise of abolitionism, when the ideas of Montesquieu, Wilberforce, Quakers and others led to the slave trade's systemic demise. At a time when the menace of human trafficking is of increasing concern worldwide, this timely book reflects on the deeper motivations of slavery as both ideology and merchant institution.