V. The Modern Period, 1789–1914 > I. Latin America, 1806–1914 > 2. The Wars of Independence, 1806–1872 > j. Brazil
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See The Portuguese Colonial System)
j. Brazil
As a result of the war in Europe, the king of Portugal, John VI, transferred his court to Brazil, leaving Portugal to be governed by a British-dominated regency. He established his capital in Rio de Janeiro and decreed free trade for Brazilian ports. This caused discontent among Portuguese merchants, who were unable to compete with the British.  1
In Pernambuco, a military revolt supported by some planters, merchants, and bureaucrats proclaimed a republic. An army was sent from Bahia, and the rebels surrendered.  2
The Portuguese overthrew the regency in Lisbon and provisionally adopted the Spanish constitution of 1812. The Cortes summoned the king to return and invited Brazil to send representatives to a constituent assembly.  3
Several military conspiracies in Brazil favored liberal measures and constitutional monarchy. A dispute erupted over the demand for the immediate return of the king to Portugal. A Portuguese faction formed by merchants with Portugal-based interests favored the return as a means to revive monopolies, whereas the “Brazilian” faction, which included Brazilian planters and bureaucrats as well as Brazil-based Portuguese merchants, opposed the departure of John VI. Brazilian deputies in Lisbon rejected attempts by the Cortes to reduce Brazil to colonial status. The king decided to return and leave his son, Pedro, in Brazil as prince regent. José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva (1763–1838) was elected president of the São Paulo provisional junta and was named chief of the first “Brazilian” cabinet.  4
Brazilian radicals and liberals gave their allegiance to Prince Pedro (1798–1834), who declared (Jan. 9) his determination to remain in Brazil (“Fico”—I will stay). He soon convoked a Brazilian constituent assembly. José Bonifácio drew support from large landholders, slaveholders, and merchants in Rio to oppose the principle of popular representation for the assembly, a condition radicals tried to reverse, proposing direct popular elections.  5
Sept. 7
The Grito de Ypiranga (Cry of Ypiranga). While in São Paolo Dom Pedro received dispatches from Portugal, which, although offering concessions, returned Brazil to dependent status. He therefore proclaimed Brazilian independence.  6
Oct. 12
The Senate proclaimed Dom Pedro constitutional emperor of Brazil. He pledged acceptance of the constitution to be formulated by the assembly and was crowned Pedro I (Dec. 1). Portuguese garrisons and some Brazilians in the northern provinces opposed separation, but the Brazilian navy subdued them. (See Brazil)  7
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.