History in Brazil
The arrival of the first indigenous peoples, over 8,000 years ago who by crossing the Bering land bridge into Alaska then entered the rest of North and Central America.
The European first to discover Brazil was Portuguese Pedro Álvares Cabral on April 22, 1500. From the 16th to the 19th centuries, Brazil was a colony of Portugal.
On September 7, 1822, the country declared its independence from Portugal and became a constitutional monarchy, the Empire of Brazil.
A military coup in 1889 established a republican government.
Prior to the arrival of Europeans Brazil had as many as 2,000 nations and tribes.
In the first century after its European discovery, the country's major export—giving its name to Brazil—was brazilwood.
Starting in the 17th century, sugarcane became the base of Brazilian economy and society, with the use of black slaves on large plantations to make sugar production for export to Europe.
Africans became a substantial section of Brazilian population, and long before the end of slavery (1888) they had begun to merge with the European Brazilian population through miscegenation and mulatto work rights.
In 1808, the Portuguese court, fleeing from Napoleon's invasion of Portugal during the Peninsular War in a large fleet escorted by British men-of-war, moved the government apparatus to its then-colony, Brazil, establishing themselves in the city of Rio de Janeiro. From there the Portuguese king ruled his huge empire for 13 years.
Pedro II was deposed on November 15, 1889 by a Republican military coup led by General Deodoro da Fonseca, who became the country's first de facto president through military ascension. The country's name became the Republic of the United States of Brazil (which in 1967 was changed to Federative Republic of Brazil.) From 1889 to 1930, the government was a constitutional democracy, with the presidency alternating between the dominant states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais.
In the late 19th century, coffee started to replace sugar as the country's main export crop. The coffee trade caused Brazil to thrive economically, attracting many European immigrants—particularly from Italy and Germany.
This period, known as the "Old Republic", ended in 1930 with a military coup that placed Getúlio Vargas, a civilian, in the presidency.
A military junta took control in 1930. Getúlio Vargas took power soon after that, and would remain as dictatorial ruler (with a brief democratic period), until his suicide in 1954.
A democratic regime prevailed 1945–64, during which the capital was moved from Rio de Janeiro to Brasília.
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