Frenchmen and Spaniards
In 1580 the Avis dynasty came to an end. Philip II of Spain, the grandson of Dom Manuel, supporting his claim with force, succeeded Dom Henrique and set the Portuguese throne under the Hapsburgs. Along with Portugal, all its possessions came under Spanish rule.
For Brazil the early consequences of this state of affairs were favorable. The colony's natural extremes were indicated by the Amazon and the River Plate. The populated parts of Brazil were separated from both rivers by enormous distances. Now, even though the distances remained the same, [colonization] efforts could be concentrated in one direction, instead of being dissipated toward the far reaches of the colony. The River Plate could wait, since it was partly settled. It was time to take possession of the Amazon, which was yet to be explored, but which several different nations had their eyes on. Thus, on the route to the Plate, work was reduced to mere consolidation, to tightening the web. Toward the Amazon, colonial expansion gained momentum. Giving preference, then, to chronological order in our look at the Amazon, we shall follow geographic order beginning at the opposite end of the colony.
Starting in the south, Cananéia was full of people from the São Vicente Captaincy. They also migrated to the area around Angra dos Reis. Through the intermountain plain [baixada] of Santa Cruz, where the Jesuits established a prominent undertaking, they maintained contact with Sao Sebastião [Rio]. The French went on making contact with the natives around Cabo Frio, but less frequently and with diminished profits.