2
Early Brazil (1500-1822)

In 1500, the year that the Portuguese sea captain Pedro Álvares Cabral landed on the Brazilian coast, nearly seven million native people dwelled in the lowland rain forest of greater Amazonia. The rain forest teemed with life. The Amazon and its tributaries contained more than 1,800 varieties of fish, as well as caimans, manatees, and turtles. Humans had inhabited this region for at least ten thousand years, divided into hundreds of tribes representing four major language groups: Tupi (or Tupi- Guaraní), Gê, Carib, and Aruak (Arawak). The largest group, the Tupi- Guaraní, along the Atlantic coast, was the most belligerent, engaging in warfare against other tribes. Other Tupi groups resided on the south bank of the Amazon River and upstream almost to Peru. The Gê lived on the vast central plateau; they may have been descended from peoples who are known to have lived in Minas Gerais more than ten thousand years earlier. It is speculated that they may have been remnants of peoples dispersed by the invading Tupi. The peoples of the Amazon basin, the Tupi, Carib, and Aruak, lived in communities that were in some ways more advanced--they made elaborate pottery, for example--than the societies encountered by the Europeans at the outset of the sixteenth century. The cultural patterns of the Aruaks, whose language family extended as far north as Florida and the circum-Caribbean, may have origi-

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The History of Brazil
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Advisory Board ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Series Foreword ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Timeline of Historical Events xv
  • 1 - An Earthly Paradise 1
  • Notes 29
  • 2 - Early Brazil (1500-1822) 31
  • Notes 52
  • 3 - Independence and Empire (1822-1889) 55
  • Notes 76
  • 4 - The Republic (1889-1930) 77
  • Note 96
  • 5 - The Vargas Era (1930-1954) 97
  • Notes 119
  • 6 - Dictatorship and Democracy (1954-1998) 121
  • Notes 144
  • 7 - Political Culture 147
  • Notes 166
  • 8 - Social and Economic Realities 167
  • Notes 183
  • Notable People in the History of Brazil 185
  • Bibliographic Essay 195
  • Index 203
  • About the Author 209
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