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Brazilian Empire

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The Empire of Brazil was a 19th-century state that broadly comprised the territories which form modern Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

. Its government was a representative
Representative democracy
Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to autocracy and direct democracy...

 parliamentary
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

 constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 under the rule of Emperors Dom
Dom (title)
Dom is a title of respect prefixed to the given name. It derives from Latin Dominus.It is used in English for certain Benedictine and Carthusian monks, and for members of certain communities of Canons Regular. Examples include Benedictine monks of the English Benedictine Congregation...

 Pedro I and his son Dom Pedro II
Pedro II of Brazil
Dom Pedro II , nicknamed "the Magnanimous", was the second and last ruler of the Empire of Brazil, reigning for over 58 years. Born in Rio de Janeiro, he was the seventh child of Emperor Dom Pedro I of Brazil and Empress Dona Maria Leopoldina and thus a member of the Brazilian branch of...

, both members of the House of Braganza
House of Braganza
The Most Serene House of Braganza , an important Portuguese noble family, ruled the Kingdom of Portugal and its colonial Empire, from 1640 to 1910...

—a branch of the thousand-year-old Capetian dynasty
Capetian dynasty
The Capetian dynasty , also known as the House of France, is the largest and oldest European royal house, consisting of the descendants of King Hugh Capet of France in the male line. Hugh Capet himself was a cognatic descendant of the Carolingians and the Merovingians, earlier rulers of France...

. A colony
Colonial Brazil
In the history of Brazil, Colonial Brazil, officially the Viceroyalty of Brazil comprises the period from 1500, with the arrival of the Portuguese, until 1815, when Brazil was elevated to kingdom alongside Portugal as the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves.During the over 300 years...

 of the Kingdom of Portugal
Kingdom of Portugal
The Kingdom of Portugal was Portugal's general designation under the monarchy. The kingdom was located in the west of the Iberian Peninsula, Europe and existed from 1139 to 1910...

, Brazil became the seat of the Portuguese colonial Empire
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

 in 1808, when the Portuguese regent, later King Dom João VI
John VI of Portugal
John VI John VI John VI (full name: João Maria José Francisco Xavier de Paula Luís António Domingos Rafael; (13 May 1767 – 10 March 1826) was King of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves (later changed to just King of Portugal and the Algarves, after Brazil was recognized...

 (John VI), fled from Napoleon I's invasion of Portugal and established himself and his government
Transfer of the Portuguese Court to Brazil
The Transfer of the Portuguese Court to Brazil was an episode in the history of Portugal and the history of Brazil in which the Portuguese royal family and its court escaped from Lisbon on November 29, 1807 to Brazil, just days before Napoleonic forces captured the city on December 1...

 in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

. João VI later returned to Portugal, leaving his eldest son and heir, Pedro, to rule Brazil as regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

.

On 7 September 1822, Pedro declared the independence of Brazil and, after waging a successful war against his father's kingdom, was acclaimed on 12 October as Pedro I, the first Emperor of Brazil. The new country was huge but sparsely populated and ethnically diverse. Unlike most of its Hispanic republic neighbors
Hispanic America
Hispanic America or Spanish America is the region comprising the American countries inhabited by Spanish-speaking populations.These countries have significant commonalities with each other and with Spain, whose colonies they formerly were...

, Brazil had political stability, freedom of speech, respect for civil rights and vibrant economic growth. Its bicameral
Bicameralism
In the government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. Thus, a bicameral parliament or bicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of two chambers or houses....

 parliament was elected under comparatively democratic methods for the era, as were the provincial and local legislatures. This led into a long ideological conflict between Pedro I and a sizable parliamentary faction over the role of the monarch in the government. He also faced other obstacles; the unsuccessful Cisplatine War against the neighboring United Provinces of South America
United Provinces of South America
The United Provinces of South America was the original name of the state that emerged from the May Revolution and the early developments of the Argentine War of Independence...

 led to the secession of a Brazilian province (later to become Uruguay) in 1828. Despite his role in Brazilian independence, he became the king of Portugal in 1826 but immediately abdicated in favor of his eldest daughter. Two years later her throne was usurped by Pedro I's younger brother. Unable to deal with both Brazilian and Portuguese affairs, Pedro I abdicated on 7 April 1831 and immediately departed for Europe to restore his daughter to her throne
Liberal Wars
The Liberal Wars, also known as the Portuguese Civil War, the War of the Two Brothers, or Miguelite War, was a war between progressive constitutionalists and authoritarian absolutists in Portugal over royal succession that lasted from 1828 to 1834...

.

Pedro I's successor was his five-year-old son, Pedro II. As the latter was still a minor, a weak regency was created. The power vacuum resulting from the absence of a ruling monarch as the ultimate arbiter in political disputes led to regional civil wars between local factions. Having inherited an empire on the verge of disintegration, Pedro II, once declared of age, managed to bring peace and stability to the country, which eventually became an emerging international power. Brazil was victorious in three international conflicts (the Platine War
Platine War
The Platine War, also known as the War against Oribe and Rosas was fought between the Argentine Confederation and an alliance consisting of the Empire of Brazil, Uruguay and the Argentine provinces of Entre Ríos and Corrientes...

, the Uruguayan War
Uruguayan War
The Uruguayan War , also known as the War against Aguirre, was fought between Uruguay and an alliance between the Empire of Brazil and Uruguayan Colorados....

 and the Paraguayan War
War of the Triple Alliance
The Paraguayan War , also known as War of the Triple Alliance , was a military conflict in South America fought from 1864 to 1870 between Paraguay and the Triple Alliance of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay...

) under Pedro II's rule, and it prevailed in several other international disputes and domestic strifes. With prosperity and economic development came an influx of European immigration, including Protestants and Jews, although Brazil remained mostly Catholic. Slavery, which had initially been widespread, was restricted by successive legislation until its final abolition in 1888. Brazilian visual arts, literature and theater developed during this time of progress. Although heavily influenced by European styles that ranged from Neoclassicism
Neoclassicism
Neoclassicism is the name given to Western movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that draw inspiration from the "classical" art and culture of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome...

 to Romanticism
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

, each concept was adapted to create a culture that was uniquely Brazilian.

Despite the fact the last four decades of Pedro II's reign were marked by continuous internal peace and economic prosperity, he personally had no desire to see the monarchy survive beyond his lifetime. As the Emperor grew older, he made no effort to maintain support for the institution. Since he lacked viable heirs (the next in line was his daughter Isabel
Isabel, Princess Imperial of Brazil
Dona Isabel , nicknamed "the Redemptress", was the heiress presumptive to the throne of the Empire of Brazil, bearing the title of Princess Imperial....

, and both Pedro II and the ruling classes considered a female monarch unacceptable) the Empire's political leaders believed that there was no reason to defend the monarchy. Despite the lack of enthusiasm among most Brazilians for adopting a republican form of government, on 15 November 1889, after a 58-year reign, the Emperor was overthrown in a sudden coup d'état
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

that had almost no support outside a clique of military leaders whose goal was the formation of a republic headed by a dictator.

Independence and early years




The territory which would come to be known as Brazil was claimed by Portugal on 22 April 1500, when the navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral
Pedro Álvares Cabral
Pedro Álvares Cabral was a Portuguese noble, military commander, navigator and explorer regarded as the discoverer of Brazil. Cabral conducted the first substantial exploration of the northeast coast of South America and claimed it for Portugal. While details of Cabral's early life are sketchy, it...

 landed on its coast. Permanent settlement followed in 1532, and for the next 300 years the Portuguese slowly expanded westwards until they had reached nearly all of the borders of modern Brazil. In 1808, the army of French Emperor Napoleon I
Napoleon I
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

 invaded Portugal, forcing the Portuguese royal family into exile. They re-established themselves
Transfer of the Portuguese Court to Brazil
The Transfer of the Portuguese Court to Brazil was an episode in the history of Portugal and the history of Brazil in which the Portuguese royal family and its court escaped from Lisbon on November 29, 1807 to Brazil, just days before Napoleonic forces captured the city on December 1...

 in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, which became the unofficial seat of the Portuguese Empire
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

.

In 1815, the Portuguese crown prince Dom João (later Dom João VI
John VI of Portugal
John VI John VI John VI (full name: João Maria José Francisco Xavier de Paula Luís António Domingos Rafael; (13 May 1767 – 10 March 1826) was King of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves (later changed to just King of Portugal and the Algarves, after Brazil was recognized...

), acting as regent, created the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves, which raised the status of Brazil from colony to kingdom. He ascended the Portuguese throne the following year, after the death of his mother, Maria I of Portugal
Maria I of Portugal
Maria I was Queen regnant of Portugal and the Algarves from 1777 until her death. Known as Maria the Pious , or Maria the Mad , she was the first undisputed Queen regnant of Portugal...

. He returned to Portugal in April 1821, leaving behind his son and heir, Prince Dom Pedro, to rule Brazil as his regent. The Portuguese government immediately moved to revoke the political autonomy that Brazil had been granted since 1808. The threat of losing their limited control over local affairs ignited widespread opposition among Brazilians. José Bonifácio de Andrada, along with other Brazilian leaders, convinced Pedro to declare Brazil's independence from Portugal on 7 September 1822. On 12 October, the prince was acclaimed Pedro I, first Emperor of the newly created Empire of Brazil, a constitutional monarchy. The declaration of independence was opposed throughout Brazil by armed military units loyal to Portugal. The ensuing war of independence was fought across the country, with battles in the northern, northeastern, and southern regions. The last Portuguese soldiers to surrender did so in March 1824, and independence was recognized by Portugal in August 1825.

Pedro I encountered a number of crises during his reign. A secessionist rebellion in the province of Cisplatina
Cisplatina
The Cisplatina Province was a Portuguese and later a Brazilian province in existence from 1815 to 1828...

 in early 1825 and the subsequent attempt by the United Provinces of South America
United Provinces of South America
The United Provinces of South America was the original name of the state that emerged from the May Revolution and the early developments of the Argentine War of Independence...

 (later Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

) to annex Cisplatina led the Empire into the Cisplatine War: "a long, inglorious, and ultimately futile war in the south". In March 1826, João VI died and Pedro I inherited the Portuguese crown, briefly becoming King Pedro IV of Portugal before abdicating in favor of his eldest daughter, Maria II. The situation worsened in 1828 when the war in the south ended with Brazil's loss of Cisplatina, which would become the independent republic of Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

. During the same year in Lisbon, Maria II's throne was usurped by Prince Miguel, Pedro I's younger brother.

Other difficulties arose when the Empire's parliament, the General Assembly, opened in 1826. Pedro I, along with a significant percentage of the legislature, argued that Brazil's constitution should provide for an independent judiciary and a popularly elected legislature, which would be presided over by a head of state (the Emperor) who held broad executive powers and prerogatives. Others in parliament wanted the monarch to be circumscribed in a more ceremonial role, with the legislature dominant in policy and governance. The struggle over whether the government would be dominated by a social elite or by representatives of the broader citizenry was carried over into debates from 1826 to 1831 on the establishment of the governmental and political structure. Unable to deal with the problems in both Brazil and Portugal simultaneously, the Emperor abdicated on behalf of his son, Pedro II
Pedro II of Brazil
Dom Pedro II , nicknamed "the Magnanimous", was the second and last ruler of the Empire of Brazil, reigning for over 58 years. Born in Rio de Janeiro, he was the seventh child of Emperor Dom Pedro I of Brazil and Empress Dona Maria Leopoldina and thus a member of the Brazilian branch of...

, on 7 April 1831 and immediately sailed for Europe to restore his daughter to her throne
Liberal Wars
The Liberal Wars, also known as the Portuguese Civil War, the War of the Two Brothers, or Miguelite War, was a war between progressive constitutionalists and authoritarian absolutists in Portugal over royal succession that lasted from 1828 to 1834...

.

Anarchy



Following the hasty departure of Pedro I, Brazil was left with a five-year-old boy as head of state. With no precedent to follow, the Empire was faced with the prospect of a period of more than twelve years without a strong executive, as, under the constitution, Pedro II would not attain his majority and begin exercising authority as Emperor until 2 December 1843. A regency was elected to rule the country in the interim. Because the Regency held few of the powers exercised by an emperor and was completely subordinated to the General Assembly, it could not fill the vacuum at the apex of Brazil's government.

The hamstrung Regency proved unable to resolve disputes and rivalries between national and local political factions. Believing that granting provincial and local governments greater autonomy would quell the growing dissent, the General Assembly passed a constitutional amendment in 1834, called the Ato Adicional (Additional Act). Instead of ending the chaos, these new powers only fed local ambitions and rivalries. Violence erupted throughout the country. Local parties competed with renewed ferocity to dominate provincial and municipal governments, as whichever party dominated the provinces would also gain control over the electoral and political system. Those parties which lost elections rebelled and tried to assume power by force, resulting in several rebellions.

The politicians who had risen to power during the 1830s had by then become familiar with the difficulties and pitfalls of power. According to historian Roderick J. Barman, by 1840 "they had lost all faith in their ability to rule the country on their own. They accepted Pedro II as an authority figure whose presence was indispensable for the country's survival." Some of these politicians (who would form the Conservative Party
Conservative Party (Brazil)
The Conservative Party was a Brazilian political party of the imperial period, which was formed circa 1836 and ended with the proclamation of the Republic in 1889...

 in the 1840s) believed that a neutral figure was required—one who could stand above political factions and petty interests to address discontent and moderate disputes. They envisioned an emperor who was more dependent on the legislature than the constitutional monarch envisioned by Pedro I, yet with greater powers than had been advocated at the beginning of the Regency by their rivals (who later formed the Liberal Party). The liberals, however, contrived to pass an initiative to lower Pedro II's age of majority from eighteen to fourteen. The Emperor was declared fit to rule in July 1840.

Consolidation


To achieve their goals, the liberals had allied themselves with a group of high-ranking palace servants and notable politicians: the "Courtier Faction". The courtiers were part of the Emperor's inner circle and had established influence over him, which enabled the appointment of successive liberal-courtier cabinets. Their dominance was short-lived, though. By 1846, Pedro II had matured physically and mentally. No longer an insecure 14-year-old swayed by gossip, suggestions of secret plots, and other manipulative tactics, the young emperor's weaknesses faded and his strength of character came to the fore. He successfully engineered the end of the courtiers' influence by removing them from his inner circle without causing any public disruption. He also dismissed the liberals, who had proved ineffective while in office, and called on the conservatives to form a government in 1848.

The abilities of the Emperor and the newly appointed conservative cabinet were tested by three crises between 1848 and 1852. The first crisis was a confrontation over the illegal importation of slaves. Importing slaves had been banned in 1826 as part of a treaty with Britain. Trafficking continued unabated, however, and the British government's passage of the Aberdeen Act of 1845 authorized British warships to board Brazilian ships and seize anyone who was found to be involved in the slave trade. While Brazil grappled with this problem, the Praieira revolt
Praieira revolt
The Praieira revolt, also known as the Beach rebellion, was a movement in the Pernambuco region of Brazil that lasted from 1848 to 1849. The revolt, influenced by revolutions taking place in Europe, was due in part to unresolved conflicts left over from the period of the Regency and local...

, a conflict between local political factions within Pernambuco
Pernambuco
Pernambuco is a state of Brazil, located in the Northeast region of the country. To the north are the states of Paraíba and Ceará, to the west is Piauí, to the south are Alagoas and Bahia, and to the east is the Atlantic Ocean. There are about of beaches, some of the most beautiful in the...

 province (and one in which liberal and courtier supporters were involved), erupted on 6 November 1848, but was suppressed by March 1849. It was the last rebellion to occur during the monarchy, and its end marked the beginning of forty years of internal peace in Brazil. A bill was promulgated
Promulgation
Promulgation is the act of formally proclaiming or declaring a new statutory or administrative law after its enactment. In some jurisdictions this additional step is necessary before the law can take effect....

 on 4 September 1850 giving the government broad authority to combat the illegal slave trade. With this new tool Brazil moved to eliminate the importation of slaves, and by 1852 this first crisis was over, with Britain accepting that the trade had been suppressed.

The third crisis was a conflict with the Argentine Confederation
Argentine Confederation
The Argentine Confederation is one of the official names of Argentina, according to the Argentine Constitution, Article 35...

 over ascendancy in territories adjacent to the Río de la Plata
Río de la Plata
The Río de la Plata —sometimes rendered River Plate in British English and the Commonwealth, and occasionally rendered [La] Plata River in other English-speaking countries—is the river and estuary formed by the confluence of the Uruguay River and the Paraná River on the border between Argentina and...

 and free navigation of that waterway. Since the 1830s, Argentine dictator Don Juan Manuel de Rosas
Juan Manuel de Rosas
Juan Manuel de Rosas , was an argentine militar and politician, who was elected governor of the province of Buenos Aires in 1829 to 1835, and then of the Argentine Confederation from 1835 until 1852...

 had supported rebellions within Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

 and Brazil. The Empire was unable to address the threat posed by Rosas until 1850, when an alliance was forged between Brazil, Uruguay and disaffected Argentines, leading to the Platine War
Platine War
The Platine War, also known as the War against Oribe and Rosas was fought between the Argentine Confederation and an alliance consisting of the Empire of Brazil, Uruguay and the Argentine provinces of Entre Ríos and Corrientes...

 and the subsequent overthrow of the Argentine ruler in February 1852. The Empire's successful navigation of these crises considerably enhanced the nation's stability and prestige, and Brazil emerged as a hemispheric power. Internationally, Europeans came to see the country as embodying familiar liberal ideals, such as freedom of the press
Freedom of the press
Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the freedom of communication and expression through vehicles including various electronic media and published materials...

 and constitutional respect for civil liberties. Its representative parliamentary monarchy also stood in stark contrast to the mix of dictatorships and instability endemic in the other nations of South America during this period.

Growth


At the beginning of the 1850s, Brazil was enjoying internal stability and economic prosperity. The nation's infrastructure was being developed, with progress in the construction of railroads, the electric telegraph and steamship lines uniting Brazil into a cohesive national entity. After five years in office, the successful conservative cabinet was dismissed and on September 1853, Honório Carneiro Leão, Marquis of Paraná
Honório Carneiro Leão, Marquis of Paraná
Honório Hermeto Carneiro Leão, Marquis of Paraná was a Brazilian politician, diplomat, judge, monarchist and co-founder of the Brazilian Conservative Party during the period of the Empire of Brazil . Paraná was born to a family of humble means in São Carlos do Jacuí, in what was then the captaincy...

, chieftain of the Conservative Party, was charged with forming a new cabinet. Emperor Pedro II wanted to advance an ambitious plan, which became known as "the Conciliation", aimed at strengthening parliament's role in settling the country's political disputes.

Paraná invited several liberals to join the conservative ranks and went so far as to name some as ministers. The new cabinet, although highly successful, was plagued from the start by strong opposition from ultraconservative members of the Conservative Party who repudiated the new liberal recruits. They believed that the cabinet had become a political machine
Political machine
A political machine is a political organization in which an authoritative boss or small group commands the support of a corps of supporters and businesses , who receive rewards for their efforts...

 infested with converted liberals who did not genuinely share the party's ideals and were primarily interested in gaining public offices. Despite this mistrust, Paraná showed resilience in fending off threats and overcoming obstacles and setbacks. However, in September 1856, at the height of his career, he died unexpectedly, although the cabinet survived him until May 1857.

The Conservative Party had split down the middle: on one side were the ultraconservatives, and on the other, the moderate conservatives who supported the Conciliation. The ultraconservatives were led by the Joaquim Rodrigues Torres, Viscount of Itaboraí
Joaquim Rodrigues Torres, Viscount of Itaboraí
Joaquim Rodrigues Torres, the Viscount of Itaboraí was a Brazilian politician and monarchist during the period of the Empire of Brazil ....

, Eusébio de Queirós and Paulino Soares de Sousa, 1st Viscount of Uruguai—all former ministers in the 1848–1853 cabinet. These elder statesmen had taken control of the Conservative Party after Paraná's death. In the years following 1857, none of the cabinets survived long. They quickly collapsed due to the lack of a majority in the Chamber of Deputies.

The remaining members of the Liberal Party, which had languished since its fall in 1848 and the disastrous Praieira rebellion in 1849, took advantage of what seemed to be the Conservative Party's impending implosion to return to national politics with renewed strength. They delivered a powerful blow to the government when they managed to win several seats in the Chamber of Deputies in 1860. When many moderate conservatives defected to unite with liberals to form a new political party, the "Progressive League", the conservatives' hold on power became unsustainable due to the lack of a workable governing majority in the parliament. They resigned, and in May 1862 Pedro II named a progressive cabinet. The period since 1853 had been one of peace and prosperity for Brazil: "The political system functioned smoothly. Civil liberties were maintained. A start had been made on the introduction into Brazil of railroad, telegraph and steamship lines. The country was no longer troubled by the disputes and conflicts that had racked it during its first thirty years."

Paraguayan War


This period of calm came to an end when the British consul in Rio de Janeiro nearly sparked a war between Great Britain and Brazil. He sent an ultimatum
Ultimatum
An ultimatum is a demand whose fulfillment is requested in a specified period of time and which is backed up by a threat to be followed through in case of noncompliance. An ultimatum is generally the final demand in a series of requests...

 containing abusive demands arising out of two minor incidents at the end of 1861 and beginning of 1862. The Brazilian government refused to yield, and the consul issued orders for British warships to capture Brazilian merchant vessels as indemnity
Indemnity
An indemnity is a sum paid by A to B by way of compensation for a particular loss suffered by B. The indemnitor may or may not be responsible for the loss suffered by the indemnitee...

. Brazil prepared itself for the imminent conflict, and coastal defenses were given permission to fire upon any British warship that tried to capture Brazilian merchant ships. The Brazilian government then severed diplomatic ties with Britain in June 1863.

As war with the British Empire loomed, Brazil had to turn its attention to its southern frontiers. Another civil war had begun in Uruguay which pitted its political parties against one another. The internal conflict led to the murder of Brazilians and the looting of their Uruguayan properties. Brazil's progressive cabinet decided to intervene and dispatched an army, which invaded Uruguay in December 1864, beginning the brief Uruguayan War
Uruguayan War
The Uruguayan War , also known as the War against Aguirre, was fought between Uruguay and an alliance between the Empire of Brazil and Uruguayan Colorados....

. The dictator of nearby Paraguay, Francisco Solano López, took advantage of the Uruguayan situation in late 1864 by attempting to establish his nation as a regional power. In November of that year, he ordered a Brazilian civilian steamship seized (triggering the Paraguayan War
War of the Triple Alliance
The Paraguayan War , also known as War of the Triple Alliance , was a military conflict in South America fought from 1864 to 1870 between Paraguay and the Triple Alliance of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay...

) and then invaded Brazil.

What had appeared at the outset to be a brief and straightforward military intervention led to a full-scale war in South America's southeast. However, the possibility of a two-front conflict (with Britain and Paraguay) faded when, in September 1865, the British government sent an envoy who publicly apologized for the crisis between the empires. The Paraguayan invasion in 1864 led to a conflict far longer than expected, and faith in the progressive cabinet's ability to prosecute the war vanished. Also, from its inception, the Progressive League was plagued by internal conflict between factions formed by former moderate conservatives and by former liberals.

The cabinet resigned and the Emperor named the aging Viscount of Itaboraí to head a new cabinet in July 1868, marking the return of the conservatives to power. This impelled both progressive wings to set aside their differences, leading them to rechristen their party as the Liberal Party. A third, smaller and radical progressive wing would declare itself republican in 1870—an ominous signal for the monarchy. Nonetheless, the "ministry formed by the viscount of Itaboraí was a far abler body than the cabinet it replaced" and the conflict with Paraguay ended in March 1870 with total victory for Brazil and its allies. More than 50,000 Brazilian soldiers had died, and war costs were eleven times the government's annual budget. However, the country was so prosperous that the government was able to retire the war debt in only ten years. The conflict was also a stimulus to national production and economic growth.

Apogee



The diplomatic victory over the British Empire and the military victory over Uruguay in 1865, followed by the successful conclusion of the war with Paraguay in 1870, marked the beginning of the "golden age
Golden Age
The term Golden Age comes from Greek mythology and legend and refers to the first in a sequence of four or five Ages of Man, in which the Golden Age is first, followed in sequence, by the Silver, Bronze, and Iron Ages, and then the present, a period of decline...

" of the Brazilian Empire. The Brazilian economy grew rapidly; railroad, shipping and other modernization projects were started; immigration flourished. The Empire became known internationally as a modern and progressive nation, second only to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

; it was a politically stable economy with a good investment potential.

In March 1871, Pedro II named the conservative José Paranhos, Viscount of Rio Branco as the head of a cabinet whose main goal was to pass a law to immediately free all children born to female slaves. The controversial bill was introduced in the Chamber of Deputies in May and faced "a determined opposition, which commanded support from about one third of the deputies and which sought to organize public opinion against the measure." The bill was finally promulgated in September and became known as the "Law of Free Birth". Rio Branco's success, however, seriously damaged the long-term political stability of the Empire. The law "split the conservatives down the middle, one party faction backed the reforms of the Rio Branco cabinet, while the second—known as the escravocratas (English: slavocrats)—were unrelenting in their opposition", forming a new generation of ultraconservatives.

The "Law of Free Birth", and Pedro II's support for it, resulted in the loss of the ultraconservatives' unconditional loyalty to the monarchy. The Conservative Party had experienced serious divisions before, during the 1850s, when the Emperor's total support for the conciliation policy had given rise to the Progressives. The ultraconservatives led by Eusébio, Uruguai and Itaboraí who opposed conciliation in the 1850s had nonetheless believed that the Emperor was indispensable to the functioning of the political system: the Emperor was an ultimate and impartial arbiter when political deadlock threatened. By contrast, this new generation of ultraconservatives had not experienced the Regency and early years of Pedro II's reign, when external and internal dangers had threatened the Empire's very existence; they had only known prosperity, peace and a stable administration. To them—and to the ruling classes in general—the presence of a neutral monarch who could settle political disputes was no longer important. Furthermore, since Pedro II had clearly taken a political side on the slavery question, he had compromised his position as a neutral arbiter. The young ultraconservative politicians saw no reason to uphold or defend the Imperial office.

Decline



The weaknesses in the monarchy took many years to become apparent. Brazil continued to prosper during the 1880s, with the economy and society both developing rapidly, including the first organized push for women's rights
Women's rights
Women's rights are entitlements and freedoms claimed for women and girls of all ages in many societies.In some places these rights are institutionalized or supported by law, local custom, and behaviour, whereas in others they may be ignored or suppressed...

. By contrast, letters written by Pedro II reveal a man grown world-weary with age, increasingly alienated from current events and pessimistic in outlook. He remained meticulous in performing his formal duties as Emperor, albeit often without enthusiasm, but he no longer actively intervened to maintain stability in the country. His increasing "indifference towards the fate of the regime" and his inaction to protect the imperial system once it came under threat have led historians to attribute the "prime, perhaps sole, responsibility" for the dissolution of the monarchy to the emperor himself.

The lack of an heir who could feasibly provide a new direction for the nation also threatened the long-term prospects for the Brazilian monarchy. The Emperor's heir was his eldest daughter, Isabel
Isabel, Princess Imperial of Brazil
Dona Isabel , nicknamed "the Redemptress", was the heiress presumptive to the throne of the Empire of Brazil, bearing the title of Princess Imperial....

, who had no interest in, nor expectation of, becoming the monarch. Even though the Constitution allowed female succession to the throne, Brazil was still a very traditional, male-dominated society, and the prevailing view was that only a male monarch would be capable as head of state. Pedro II, the ruling circles and the wider political establishment all considered a female successor to be inappropriate, and Pedro II himself believed that the death of his two sons and the lack of a male heir were a sign that the Empire was destined to be supplanted.

A weary Emperor who no longer cared for the throne, an heir who had no desire to assume the crown, an increasingly discontented ruling class who were dismissive of the Imperial role in national affairs: all these factors presaged the monarchy's impending doom. The means to achieve the overthrow of the Imperial system would soon appear within the Army ranks. Republicanism
Republicanism
Republicanism is the ideology of governing a nation as a republic, where the head of state is appointed by means other than heredity, often elections. The exact meaning of republicanism varies depending on the cultural and historical context...

 had never flourished in Brazil outside of certain elitist circles, and had little support in the provinces. A growing combination of republican and Positivist
Positivism
Positivism is a a view of scientific methods and a philosophical approach, theory, or system based on the view that, in the social as well as natural sciences, sensory experiences and their logical and mathematical treatment are together the exclusive source of all worthwhile information....

 ideals among the army's junior and mid-level officer ranks, however, began to form a serious threat to the monarchy. These officers favored a republican dictatorship
Dictatorship
A dictatorship is defined as an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by an individual, the dictator. It has three possible meanings:...

, which they believed would be superior to the liberal democratic monarchy. Beginning with small acts of insubordination at the beginning of the 1880s, discontent in the army grew in scope and audacity during the decade, as the Emperor was uninterested and the politicians proved incapable of re-establishing the government's authority over the military.

Fall



The nation enjoyed considerable international prestige during the final years of the Empire and had become an emerging power
Emerging Powers
The term emerging powers is a recognition of the rising, primarily economic, influence of a group of nations who have recently increased their presence in global affairs...

 within the international arena. While Pedro II was receiving medical treatment in Europe, the parliament passed, and Princess Isabel signed on 13 May 1888, the Golden Law
Lei Áurea
The Lei Áurea , adopted on May 13, 1888, was the law that abolished slavery in Brazil.It was preceded by the Rio Branco Law of September 28, 1871 , which freed all children born to slave parents, and by the Saraiva-Cotegipe Law , of September 28, 1885, that freed slaves when they reached the age of...

, which completely abolished slavery in Brazil. Predictions of economic and labor disruption caused by the abolition of slavery proved to be unfounded. Nonetheless, the end of slavery was the final blow to any remaining belief in the crown's neutrality, and this resulted in an explicit shift of support to Republicanism by the ultraconservatives—themselves backed by rich and powerful coffee farmers who held great political, economic and social power in the country.

To avert a republican backlash, the government exploited the credit readily available to Brazil as a result of its prosperity to fuel further development. The government extended massive loans at favorable interest rates to plantation owners and lavishly granted titles and lesser honors to curry favor with influential political figures who had become disaffected. The government also indirectly began to address the problem of the recalcitrant military by revitalizing the moribund National Guard, by then an entity which existed mostly only on paper.

The measures taken by the government alarmed civilian republicans and the positivists in the military. The republicans saw that it would undercut support for their own aims, and were emboldened to further action. The reorganization of the National Guard was begun by the cabinet in August 1889, and the creation of a rival force caused the dissidents among the officer corps to consider desperate measures. For both groups, republicans and military, it had become a case of "now or never". Although there was no desire among the majority of Brazilians to change the country's form of government
Form of government
A form of government, or form of state governance, refers to the set of political institutions by which a government of a state is organized. Synonyms include "regime type" and "system of government".-Empirical and conceptual problems:...

, republicans began pressuring the Positivist officers to overthrow the monarchy.

The Positivists launched a coup and instituted the republic on 15 November 1889. The few people who witnessed what occurred did not realize that it was a rebellion. Historian Lídia Besouchet noted that, "[r]arely has a revolution been so minor." Throughout the coup Pedro II showed no emotion, as if unconcerned about the outcome. He dismissed all suggestions put forward by politicians and military leaders for quelling the rebellion. The Emperor and his family were sent into exile on 17 November. Although there was significant monarchist reaction after the fall of the Empire, this was thoroughly repressed, and neither Pedro II nor his daughter supported a restoration. Despite being unaware of the plans for a coup, once it occurred and in light of the Emperor's passive acceptance of the situation, the political establishment supported the end of the monarchy in favor of a republic. They were unaware that the goal of the coup's leaders was the creation of a dictatorial republic rather than a presidential or parliamentary republic.

Parliament



Article 2 of Brazil's Constitution defined the roles of both the Emperor and the Assembléia Geral (General Assembly or Parliament
Parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

), which in 1824 was composed of 50 senators and 102 general deputies, as the nation's representatives. The Constitution endowed the Assembly with both status and authority, and created legislative, moderating, executive and judicial branches as "delegations of the nation" with the separation of those powers envisaged as providing balances in support of the Constitution and the rights it enshrined.

The prerogatives and authority granted to the legislature within the Constitution meant that it could and would play a major and indispensable role in the functioning of the government—it was not just a rubber stamp
Rubber stamp (politics)
A rubber stamp, as a political metaphor, refers to a person or institution with considerable de jure power but little de facto power; one that rarely disagrees with more powerful organs....

. The General Assembly alone could enact, revoke, interpret and suspend laws under Article 13 of the Constitution. The legislature also held the power of the purse
Power of the purse
The power of the purse is the ability of one group to manipulate and control the actions of another group by withholding funding, or putting stipulations on the use of funds. The power of the purse can be used to save their money and positively or negatively The power of the purse is the ability...

 and was required to annually authorize expenditures and taxes. It alone approved and exercised oversight of government loans and debts. Other responsibilities entrusted to the Assembly included setting the size of the military's forces, the creation of offices within the government, monitoring the national welfare and ensuring that the government was being run in conformity to the Constitution. This last provision allowed the legislature wide authority to examine and debate government policy and conduct.

Regarding matters of foreign policy, the Constitution (under Article 102) required that the General Assembly be consulted about declarations of war, treaties and the conduct of international relations. A determined legislator could exploit these Constitutional provisions to block or limit government decisions, influence appointments and force reconsideration of policies.

During its annual four-month sessions the Assembly conducted public debates. These were widely reported and formed a national forum for the expression of public concerns from all parts of the country. It was frequently a venue for expressing opposition to policies and airing grievances. Legislators enjoyed immunity from prosecution for speeches made from the floor and in the discharge of their offices. Only their own chambers within the Assembly could order the arrest of a member during his tenure. "With no actual responsibility for the actual conduct of affairs, the legislators were free to propose sweeping reforms, advocate ideal solutions, and denounce compromising and opportunistic conduct by the government."

Emperor and council of ministers



The Emperor was the head of both the moderating and executive branches (being aided by the Council of State
Privy council
A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the monarch's closest advisors to give confidential advice on...

 and the Council of Ministers
Cabinet (government)
A Cabinet is a body of high ranking government officials, typically representing the executive branch. It can also sometimes be referred to as the Council of Ministers, an Executive Council, or an Executive Committee.- Overview :...

, respectively); he had the final say and held ultimate control over the national government. He was tasked with ensuring national independence and stability. The Constitution (Article 101) gave him very few avenues for imposing his will upon the General Assembly. His main recourse was the right to dissolve or extend legislative sessions. In the Senate, an emperor's authority to appoint senators did not necessarily give him added influence since senators held their offices for life and were thus freed from government pressure once confirmed. On those occasions when the Chamber of Deputies was dissolved, new elections were required to be held immediately and the new Chamber seated. "This power was effective when held in reserve as a threat. It could not be employed repeatedly, nor would its use work to the emperor's advantage."

During the reign of Pedro I the Chamber of Deputies was never dissolved and legislative sessions were never extended or postponed. Under Pedro II
Pedro II of Brazil
Dom Pedro II , nicknamed "the Magnanimous", was the second and last ruler of the Empire of Brazil, reigning for over 58 years. Born in Rio de Janeiro, he was the seventh child of Emperor Dom Pedro I of Brazil and Empress Dona Maria Leopoldina and thus a member of the Brazilian branch of...

, the Chamber of Deputies was only ever dissolved at the request of the President of the Council of Ministers (Prime minister). There were eleven dissolutions during Pedro II's reign and, of these, ten occurred after consultation with the Council of State
Privy council
A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the monarch's closest advisors to give confidential advice on...

, which was beyond what was required by the Constitution. A Constitutional balance of power existed between the General Assembly and the executive branch under the Emperor. The legislature could not operate alone and the monarch could not force his will upon the Assembly. The system functioned smoothly only when both Assembly and Emperor acted in a spirit of cooperation for the national good.

A new element was added when the office of "President of the Council of Ministers" was officially created in 1847—although it had existed in practice since 1843. The president of the Council owed his position to both his party and to the Emperor and these could sometimes come into conflict. 19th-century abolitionist leader and historian Joaquim Nabuco
Joaquim Nabuco
Joaquim Aurélio Barreto Nabuco de Araújo was a Brazilian writer, statesman, and a leading voice in the abolitionist movement of his country.-Biography:...

 said that the "President of the Council in Brazil was no Russian Chancellor
Chancellor
Chancellor is the title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the Cancellarii of Roman courts of justice—ushers who sat at the cancelli or lattice work screens of a basilica or law court, which separated the judge and counsel from the...

, Sovereign's creature, nor a British Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

, made only by the trust of the [House of] Commons: the delegation
Delegation
Delegation is the assignment of authority and responsibility to another person to carry out specific activities. However the person who delegated the work remains accountable for the outcome of the delegated work. Delegation empowers a subordinate to make decisions, i.e...

 of the Crown was to him as necessary and important as the delegation of the Chamber, and, to exert with safety his functions, he had to dominate the caprice, the oscillations and ambitions of the Parliament, as well as to preserve always unalterable the favor, the good will of the emperor."

Provincial and local government



When enacted in 1824, the Imperial Constitution created the Conselho Geral de Província (Provincial General Council), the legislature of the provinces. This council was composed of either 21 or 13 elected members, depending on the size of a province's population. All "resolutions" (laws) created by the councils required approved by the General Assembly, with no right of appeal. Provincial Councils also had no authority to raise revenues, and their budgets had be to be debated and ratified by the General Assembly. Provinces had no autonomy and were entirely subordinate to the national government.

With the 1834 constitutional amendment known as the Additional Act, Provincial General Councils were supplanted by the Assembleias Legislativas Provinciais (Provincial Legislative Assemblies). The new Assemblies enjoyed much greater autonomy from the national government. A Provincial Assembly was composed of 36, 28 or 20 elected deputies, the number depending on the size of the province's population. The election of provincial deputies followed the same procedure as used to elect general deputies to the national Chamber of Deputies.

The responsibilities of the Provincial Assembly included defining provincial and municipal budgets and levying the taxes necessary to support them; providing primary and secondary schools (higher education
Higher education
Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

 was the responsibility of the national government); oversight and control of provincial and municipal expenditures; and providing for law enforcement and maintenance of police forces. The Assemblies also controlled the creation and abolishment of, and salaries for, positions within provincial and municipal civil services. The nomination, suspension and dismissal of civil servants was reserved for the president (governor) of the province, but how and under what circumstances he could exercise these prerogatives was delineated by the Assembly. The expropriation of private property
Eminent domain
Eminent domain , compulsory purchase , resumption/compulsory acquisition , or expropriation is an action of the state to seize a citizen's private property, expropriate property, or seize a citizen's rights in property with due monetary compensation, but without the owner's consent...

 (with due monetary compensation) for provincial or municipal interests was also a right of the Assembly. In effect, the Provincial Assembly could enact any kind of law—with no ratification by Parliament—so long as such local laws did not violate or encroach upon the Constitution. However, provinces were not permitted to legislate in the areas of criminal law, criminal procedure laws, civil rights and obligations, the armed forces, the national budget or matters concerning national interests, such as foreign relations.

The provincial presidents were appointed by the national government and were, in theory, charged with governing the province. In practice, however, their power was intangible, varying from province to province based upon each president's relative degree of personal influence and personal character. Since the national government wanted to ensure their loyalty, presidents were, in most cases, sent to a province in which they had no political, familial or other ties. In order to prevent them from developing any strong local interests or support, presidents would be limited to terms of only a few months in office. As the president usually spent a great deal of time away from the province, often traveling to their native province or the imperial capital, the de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

governor was the vice-president, who was chosen by the Provincial Assembly and was usually a local politician. With little power to undermine provincial autonomy, the president was an agent of the central government with little function beyond conveying its interests to the provincial political bosses. Presidents could be used by the national government to influence, or even rig, elections, although to be effective the president had to rely on provincial and local politicians who belonged to his own political party. This interdependency created a complex relationship which was based upon exchanges of favors, private interests, party goals, negotiations, and other political maneuvering.

The Câmara Municipal (Municipal Chamber) was the legislative body in towns and cities and had existed in Brazil since the beginning of the colonial period in the 16th century. The Chamber was composed of vereadores (councilmen), the number of which depended on the size of the town. Unlike the Provincial General Council, the Constitution gave Municipal Chambers great autonomy. However, when the Provincial Assembly replaced the Provincial General Council in 1834, many of the powers of Municipal Chambers (including the setting of municipal budgets, oversight of expenditures, creation of jobs, and the nomination of civil servants) were transferred to the provincial government. Additionally, any laws enacted by the Municipal Chamber had to be ratified by the Provincial Assembly—but not by Parliament. While the 1834 Additional Act granted greater autonomy to the provinces from the central government, it transferred the towns' remaining autonomy to the provincial governments. There was no office of mayor, and towns were governed by a Municipal Chamber and its president (who was the councilman who won the most votes during elections).

Elections


Until 1881, voting was mandatory and elections occurred in two stages
Indirect election
Indirect election is a process in which voters in an election don't actually choose between candidates for an office but rather elect persons who will then make the choice. It is one of the oldest form of elections and is still used today for many upper houses and presidents...

. In the first phase voters chose electors who then selected a slate of senatorial candidates. The Emperor would choose a new senator (member of the Senate, the upper house
Upper house
An upper house, often called a senate, is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house; a legislature composed of only one house is described as unicameral.- Possible specific characteristics :...

 in the General Assembly) from a list of the three candidates who had received the highest number of votes. The Electors also chose the General Deputies (members of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house
Lower house
A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house.Despite its official position "below" the upper house, in many legislatures worldwide the lower house has come to wield more power...

), provincial deputies (members of the Provincial Assemblies) and councilmen (members of the Municipal Chambers
Municipal council
A municipal council is the local government of a municipality. Specifically the term can refer to the institutions of various countries that can be translated by this term...

) without the involvement of the Emperor in making a final selection. All men over the age of 25 with an annual income of at least Rs 100$000 (or 100,000 réis; the equivalent in 1824 to $98.00 U.S.) were eligible to vote in the first phase. The voting age was lowered to 21 for married men. To become an elector it was necessary to have an annual income of at least Rs 200$000.

The Brazilian system was relatively democratic for a period during which indirect elections were common in democracies. The income requirement was much higher in the United Kingdom, even after the reforms of 1832
Reform Act 1832
The Representation of the People Act 1832 was an Act of Parliament that introduced wide-ranging changes to the electoral system of England and Wales...

. At the time the only nations not requiring a minimum level of income as a qualification for voting were France and Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 where universal suffrage
Universal suffrage
Universal suffrage consists of the extension of the right to vote to adult citizens as a whole, though it may also mean extending said right to minors and non-citizens...

 was introduced only in 1848. It is probable that no European country at the time had such liberal legislation as Brazil. The income requirement was low enough that any employed male citizen could qualify to vote. As an illustration, the lowest paid civil employee in 1876 was a janitor who earned Rs 600$000 annually.

Most voters in Brazil had a low income. For example, in the Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais is one of the 26 states of Brazil, of which it is the second most populous, the third richest, and the fourth largest in area. Minas Gerais is the Brazilian state with the largest number of Presidents of Brazil, the current one, Dilma Rousseff, being one of them. The capital is the...

 town of Formiga in 1876, the poor constituted 70% of the electorate. In Irajá in the province of Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro (state)
Rio de Janeiro is one of the 27 states of Brazil.Rio de Janeiro has the second largest economy of Brazil behind only São Paulo state.The state of Rio de Janeiro is located within the Brazilian geopolitical region classified as the Southeast...

, the poor were 87% of the electorate. Former slaves could not vote, but their children and grandchildren could, as could the illiterate (which few countries allowed). In 1872, 10.8% of the Brazilian population voted (13% of the non-slave population). By comparison, electoral participation in the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 in 1870 was 7% of the total population; in Italy
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

 it was 2%; in Portugal 9%; and in the Netherlands 2.5%. In 1832, the year of the British electoral reform, 3% of the British voted. Further reforms in 1867 and 1884 expanded electoral participation in the UK to 15%.

Although electoral fraud
Electoral fraud
Electoral fraud is illegal interference with the process of an election. Acts of fraud affect vote counts to bring about an election result, whether by increasing the vote share of the favored candidate, depressing the vote share of the rival candidates or both...

 was common, it was not ignored by emperors, politicians or observers of the time. The problem was considered a major issue and attempts were made to correct abuses, with legislation (including the electoral reforms of 1855, 1875 and 1881) repeatedly being enacted to combat fraud. The 1881 reforms brought significant changes: they eliminated the two-stage electoral system, introduced direct and facultative voting, and allowed the votes of former slaves and enfranchised non-Catholics. Conversely, illiterate citizens were no longer allowed to vote. Participation in elections dropped from 13% to only 0.8% in 1886. In 1889, about 15% of the Brazilian population could read and write, so disenfranchising the illiterate does not solely explain the sudden fall in voting percentages. The discontinuation of mandatory voting and voter apathy
Voter apathy
In politics, voter apathy is a term used to describe a perceived apathy among voters in an election. Voter apathy is often cited as a cause of low turnout among eligible voters....

 may have been significant factors contributing to the reduction in the number of voters.

Armed Forces


Under Articles 102 and 148 of the Constitution, the Brazilian Armed Forces were subordinate to the Emperor as Commander-in-Chief
Commander-in-Chief
A commander-in-chief is the commander of a nation's military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function. As a practical term it refers to the military...

. He was aided by the Ministers of War and Navy
Ministry of Defence (Brazil)
The Ministry of Defence of Brazil, is the civilian cabinet organization responsible for managing the Military of Brazil. It is headed by the Minister of Defence....

 in matters concerning the Army
Brazilian Army
The Brazilian Army is the land arm of the Brazilian Military. The Brazilian Army has fought in several international conflicts, mostly in South America and during the 19th century, such as the Brazilian War of Independence , Argentina-Brazil War , War of the Farrapos , Platine War , Uruguayan War ...

 and the Armada
Brazilian Navy
The Brazilian Navy is a branch of the Brazilian Armed Forces responsible for conducting naval operations. It is the largest navy in Latin America...

 (Navy)—although the President of the Council of Ministers usually exercised oversight of both branches in practice. The ministers of War and Navy were, with few exceptions, civilians.

The military was organized along similar lines to the British and American armed forces of the time, in which a small standing army could quickly augment its strength during emergencies from a reserve militia force (in Brazil, the National Guard). Brazil's first line of defense relied upon a large and powerful navy to protect against foreign attack. As a matter of policy, the military was to be completely obedient
Civilian control of the military
Civilian control of the military is a doctrine in military and political science that places ultimate responsibility for a country's strategic decision-making in the hands of the civilian political leadership, rather than professional military officers. One author, paraphrasing Samuel P...

 to civilian governmental control and to remain at arm's length from involvement in political decisions.

Military personnel were allowed to run for and serve in political office while remaining on active duty. However they did not represent the Army or the Armada, but were instead expected to serve the interests of the city or province which had elected them. Pedro I chose nine military officers as Senators
Senate of Brazil
The Federal Senate of Brazil is the upper house of the National Congress of Brazil. Created by the first Constitution of the Brazilian Empire in 1824, it was inspired by the United Kingdom's House of Lords, but with the Proclamation of the Republic in 1889 it became closer to the United States...

 and appointed five (out of fourteen) to the Council of State
Privy council
A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the monarch's closest advisors to give confidential advice on...

. During the Regency, two were named to the Senate and none to the Council of State (this body was dormant during the Regency). Pedro II
Pedro II of Brazil
Dom Pedro II , nicknamed "the Magnanimous", was the second and last ruler of the Empire of Brazil, reigning for over 58 years. Born in Rio de Janeiro, he was the seventh child of Emperor Dom Pedro I of Brazil and Empress Dona Maria Leopoldina and thus a member of the Brazilian branch of...

 chose four officers as Senators during the 1840s, two in the 1850s and three others during the remaining years of his reign. He also appointed seven officers to be State Councilors during the 1840s and 1850s, and three others after that.

The Brazilian Armed Forces were created in the aftermath of Independence. They were originally composed of Brazilian- and Portuguese-born officers and troops who had remained loyal to the government in Rio de Janeiro during the war of secession from Portugal. The Armed Forces were crucial to the successful outcomes of international conflicts faced by the Empire, starting with Independence (1822–1824), followed by the Cisplatine War
Argentina-Brazil War
The Cisplatine War or the Argentine–Brazilian War was an armed conflict over an area known as Banda Oriental or "Eastern Shore" in the 1820s between the United Provinces of River Plate and the Empire of Brazil in the aftermath of the United Provinces' emancipation from Spain.-Background:Led by...

 (1825–1828), then the Platine War
Platine War
The Platine War, also known as the War against Oribe and Rosas was fought between the Argentine Confederation and an alliance consisting of the Empire of Brazil, Uruguay and the Argentine provinces of Entre Ríos and Corrientes...

 (1851–1852), the Uruguayan War
Uruguayan War
The Uruguayan War , also known as the War against Aguirre, was fought between Uruguay and an alliance between the Empire of Brazil and Uruguayan Colorados....

 (1864–1865) and, finally, the Paraguayan War (1864–1870). They also played a part in quelling rebellions, beginning with the Confederation of the Equator
Confederation of the Equator
The Confederation of the Equator was a short-lived rebellion that occurred in the northeastern region of Brazil during that nation's struggle for independence from Portugal. The secessionist movement was led by wealthy landowners who opposed early reforms by the nation's first leader, Emperor...

 (1824) under Pedro I, followed by the uprisings during Pedro II's early reign (these latter included the War of the Ragamuffins (1835–1845), Cabanagem
Cabanagem
The Cabanagem was a social revolt that occurred in the then-province of Grão-Pará, Brazil.Among the causes for this revolt were the extreme poverty of the Paraense people and the political irrelevance to which the province was relegated after the independence of Brazil.The name "Cabanagem" refers...

 (1835–1840), Balaiada
Balaiada
The Balaiada was a social revolt that occurred between 1838 and 1841 in the interior of the province of Maranhão, Brazil.-Background:During the imperial period, the Maranhão region, which exported cotton, suffered a grave economic crisis because of competition with the increasingly productive...

 (1838–1841), among others).

The Armada was constantly being modernized with the latest developments in naval warfare. It adopted steam navigation in the 1830s, ironclad plate armor in the 1860s, and torpedoes in the 1880s. By 1889, Brazil had the fifth or sixth most powerful navy in the world and the most powerful battleships in the western hemisphere
Western Hemisphere
The Western Hemisphere or western hemisphere is mainly used as a geographical term for the half of the Earth that lies west of the Prime Meridian and east of the Antimeridian , the other half being called the Eastern Hemisphere.In this sense, the western hemisphere consists of the western portions...

. The Army, despite its highly experienced and battle-hardened officer corps, was plagued during peacetime by units which were badly paid, inadequately equipped, poorly trained and thinly spread across the vast Empire.

Dissension resulting from inadequate government attention to Army needs was restrained under the generation of officers who had begun their careers during the 1820s. These officers were loyal to the monarchy, believed the military should be under civilian control
Civilian control of the military
Civilian control of the military is a doctrine in military and political science that places ultimate responsibility for a country's strategic decision-making in the hands of the civilian political leadership, rather than professional military officers. One author, paraphrasing Samuel P...

, and abhorred the caudillism
Caudillo
Caudillo is a Spanish word for "leader" and usually describes a political-military leader at the head of an authoritarian power. The term translates into English as leader or chief, or more pejoratively as warlord, dictator or strongman. Caudillo was the term used to refer to the charismatic...

 (Hispanic-American dictatorships) against which they had fought. But by the early 1880s, this generation (including commanders such as the Duke of Caxias
Luís Alves de Lima e Silva
Luís Alves de Lima e Silva, Duke of Caxias , nicknamed "the Peacemaker" and "Iron Duke", was an army officer, politician and monarchist of the Empire of Brazil. Caxias pursued a military career, as had his father and many relatives before him. In 1823, he fought as a young officer during most of...

, the Count of Porto Alegre
Manuel Marques de Sousa, Count of Porto Alegre
Manuel Marques de Sousa, the Count of Porto Alegre , was a Brazilian military officer, monarchist and politician.-Early years:...

, and the Marquis of Erval
Manuel Luís Osório, Marquis of Erval
Manuel Luís Osório, Marquis of Erval , was a Brazilian military officer, monarchist and politician.-References:* Carvalho, José Murilo de. D. Pedro II: ser ou não ser. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2007....

) had died, were retired, or no longer exercised direct command.

Dissatisfaction became more evident during the 1880s, and some officers began to display open insubordination. The Emperor and the politicians did nothing to improve the military nor meet their demands. The dissemination of Positivist
Positivism
Positivism is a a view of scientific methods and a philosophical approach, theory, or system based on the view that, in the social as well as natural sciences, sensory experiences and their logical and mathematical treatment are together the exclusive source of all worthwhile information....

 ideology among young officers brought further complications, as Positivism opposed the monarchy under the belief that a dictatorial republic would bring improvements. A coalition between a mutinous Army faction and the Positivist camp was formed and directly led to the republican coup on 15 November 1889. Battalions and even full regiments of soldiers loyal to the Empire, who shared the ideals of the older generation of leaders, attempted to restore the monarchy. Attempts at a restoration proved futile and supporters of the Empire were executed, arrested or forcibly retired.

Foreign relations



Upon independence from Portugal, the immediate focus of Brazil's foreign policy was to gain widespread international recognition. The first nation to recognize Brazilian sovereignty was the United States, in May 1825. Other nations followed in establishing diplomatic relations over the next few years. Portugal recognized the separation in August 1825. The Brazilian government subsequently made it a priority to establish its international borders through treaties with its neighbors. The task of securing recognized frontiers was complicated by the fact that, between 1777 and 1801, Portugal and Spain had annulled their previous treaties setting out the borders between their American colonial empires. However, the Empire was able to sign several bilateral treaties with neighbors, including Uruguay (in 1851), Peru (in 1851 and 1874), the Republic of New Granada
Republic of New Granada
The Republic of New Granada was a centralist republic consisting primarily of present-day Colombia and Panama with smaller portions of today's Ecuador, and Venezuela. It was created after the dissolution in 1830 of Gran Colombia. It was later abolished in 1858 when the Granadine Confederation was...

 (later Colombia, in 1853), Venezuela (in 1859), Bolivia (in 1867) and Paraguay (in 1872). By 1889, most of its borders were firmly established. The remaining issues—including the purchase of the region of Acre
Acre (state)
Acre is one of the 27 states of Brazil. It is situated in the southwest of the Northern Region, bordering Amazonas to the north, Rondônia to the east, Bolivia to the southeast and the Ucayali Region of Peru to the south and west. It occupies an area of 152,581.4 km2, being slightly smaller...

 from Bolivia which would give Brazil its present-day configuration—were only finally resolved after the country became a republic.

A number of conflicts occurred between the Empire and its neighbors. Brazil experienced no serious conflicts with its neighbors to the north and west, due to the buffer of the nearly impenetrable and sparsely populated Amazonian rainforest. In the south, however, the colonial disputes inherited from Portugal and Spain over the control of the navigable rivers and plains which formed the frontiers continued after independence. The lack of mutually agreed borders in this area led to several international conflicts, from the Cisplatine War
Argentina-Brazil War
The Cisplatine War or the Argentine–Brazilian War was an armed conflict over an area known as Banda Oriental or "Eastern Shore" in the 1820s between the United Provinces of River Plate and the Empire of Brazil in the aftermath of the United Provinces' emancipation from Spain.-Background:Led by...

 to the Paraguayan War
War of the Triple Alliance
The Paraguayan War , also known as War of the Triple Alliance , was a military conflict in South America fought from 1864 to 1870 between Paraguay and the Triple Alliance of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay...

.

"Brazil is, next to ourselves, the great power on the American continent", affirmed James Watson Webb
James Watson Webb
General James Watson Webb was a United States diplomat, newspaper publisher and a New York politician in the Whig and Republican parties.-Biography:...

, the U.S. minister to Brazil, in 1867. The Empire's rise was noticed as early as 1844 by John C. Calhoun
John C. Calhoun
John Caldwell Calhoun was a leading politician and political theorist from South Carolina during the first half of the 19th century. Calhoun eloquently spoke out on every issue of his day, but often changed positions. Calhoun began his political career as a nationalist, modernizer, and proponent...

, the U.S. Secretary of State: "Next to the United States, Brazil is the most wealthy, the greatest and the most firmly established of all the American powers." By the early 1870s, the international reputation of the Empire of Brazil had improved considerably, and it remained well-regarded internationally until its end in 1889. Christopher Columbus Andrews
Christopher Columbus Andrews
Christopher Columbus Andrews was an American soldier, diplomat, newspaperman, author, and forester.-Early life and career:...

, an American diplomat in the Brazilian capital in the 1880s, later recalled Brazil as an "important Empire" in his memoirs. In 1871, Brazil was invited to arbitrate the dispute between the United States and Britain which became known as the Alabama Claims
Alabama Claims
The Alabama Claims were a series of claims for damages by the United States government against the government of Great Britain for the assistance given to the Confederate cause during the American Civil War. After international arbitration endorsed the American position in 1872, Britain settled...

. In 1880, the Empire acted as arbiter between the United States and France over the damage caused to U.S. nationals during the French intervention in Mexico
French intervention in Mexico
The French intervention in Mexico , also known as The Maximilian Affair, War of the French Intervention, and The Franco-Mexican War, was an invasion of Mexico by an expeditionary force sent by the Second French Empire, supported in the beginning by the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Spain...

. In 1884, Brazil was called upon to arbitrate between Chile and several other nations (France, Italy, Britain, Germany, Belgium, Austria-Hungary and Switzerland) over damages arising from the War of the Pacific
War of the Pacific
The War of the Pacific took place in western South America from 1879 through 1883. Chile fought against Bolivia and Peru. Despite cooperation among the three nations in the war against Spain, disputes soon arose over the mineral-rich Peruvian provinces of Tarapaca, Tacna, and Arica, and the...

.

The Brazilian government eventually felt confident enough to negotiate a trade deal with the United States in 1889, the first to be undertaken with any nation since the disastrous and exploitative trade treaty with Britain in 1826 (canceled in 1844). American historian Steven C. Topik said that Pedro II's "quest for a trade treaty with the United States was part of a grander strategy to increase national sovereignty and autonomy." Unlike the circumstances of the previous pact, the Empire was in a strong position to insist on favorable trade terms, as negotiations occurred during a time of Brazilian domestic prosperity and international prestige.

Currency


The unit of currency
Currency
In economics, currency refers to a generally accepted medium of exchange. These are usually the coins and banknotes of a particular government, which comprise the physical aspects of a nation's money supply...

 from the Empire's founding, and until 1942, was the real ("royal" in English, its plural form was réis and is reais in modern Portuguese), and was derived from the Portuguese real
Portuguese real
The real was the unit of currency of Portugal from around 1430 until 1911. It replaced the dinheiro at the rate of 1 real = 840 dinheiros and was itself replaced by the escudo at a rate of 1 escudo = 1000 réis...

. It was usually called milréis (English: thousand royals) and written as 1$000. A thousand milréis (1:000$000)—or one million réis—was known as conto de réis." One conto de réis was represented by the symbol Rs written before the value and by a dollar sign was written before any amounts lower than 1,000 réis. Thus, 350 réis was written as "Rs 350"; 1,712 réis as "Rs 1$712"; and 1,020,800 réis was written as "Rs 1:020$800". For millions, a period was used as a separator between millions, billions, trillions, etc. (e.g., 1 billion réis was written as "Rs 1.000:000$000"). A colon functioned to separate millions from thousands, and the $ sign was inserted between thousands and hundreds (999 or fewer).

Overview




Brazil's international trade
International trade
International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and services across international borders or territories. In most countries, such trade represents a significant share of gross domestic product...

 reached a total value of Rs 79.000:000$000 between 1834 and 1839. This continued to increase every year until it reached Rs 472.000:000$000 between 1886 and 1887: an annual growth rate of 3.88% since 1839. The absolute value of exports from the Empire in 1850 was the highest in Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

 and triple that of Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 which was in fourth place. Brazil would keep its high standing in exports and general economic growth until the end of the monarchy. Brazilian economic expansion, especially after 1850, compared well with that of the United States and European nations. The national tax revenue amounted to Rs 11.795:000$000 in 1831 and rose to Rs 160.840:000$000 in 1889. By 1858, national tax revenues ranked as the eighth-largest in the world. Imperial Brazil was, despite its progress, a country where wealth was very unequally distributed. However, for purposes of comparison, according to historian Steven C. Topik, in the United States, "by 1890, 80 percent of the population lived on the margin of subsistence, while 20 percent controlled almost all wealth."

As new technologies appeared, and with increases in internal productivity, exports increased considerably. This made it possible to reach equilibrium in the balance of trade
Balance of trade
The balance of trade is the difference between the monetary value of exports and imports of output in an economy over a certain period. It is the relationship between a nation's imports and exports...

. During the 1820s sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

 constituted about 30% of total exports while cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 constituted 21%, coffee
Coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

 18% and leather
Leather
Leather is a durable and flexible material created via the tanning of putrescible animal rawhide and skin, primarily cattlehide. It can be produced through different manufacturing processes, ranging from cottage industry to heavy industry.-Forms:...

 and skins 14%. Twenty years later coffee would reach 42%, sugar 27%, leather and skins 9%, and cotton 8% of the total exports. This did not mean a reduction in the production of any of these items and, in fact, the opposite occurred. Growth occurred in all sectors, some more than others. In the period between 1820 and 1840, Fausto says "Brazilian exports had doubled in volume and had tripled in nominal value" while the valuation denominated in Pounds sterling
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

 increased by over 40%. Brazil was not the only country where agriculture played an important role on exports. Around 1890, in the United States, by then the richest nation in the Americas, agricultural goods represented 80% of all its exports.

In the 1820s, Brazil exported 11,000 tons of cacao and by 1880 this had increased to 73,500 tons. Between 1821 and 1825, 41,174 tons of sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

 were exported, rising to 238,074 tons between 1881 and 1885. Until 1850, rubber
Rubber
Natural rubber, also called India rubber or caoutchouc, is an elastomer that was originally derived from latex, a milky colloid produced by some plants. The plants would be ‘tapped’, that is, an incision made into the bark of the tree and the sticky, milk colored latex sap collected and refined...

 production was insignificant, but between 1881 and 1890, it had reached third place among Brazilian exports. This was about 81 tons between 1827 and 1830 reaching 1,632 tons in 1852. By 1900 the country was exporting 24,301,452 tons of rubber. Brazil also exported around 3,377,000 tons of coffee
Coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

 between 1821 and 1860 while between 1861 and 1889 this reached 6,804,000 tons. Technological innovations also contributed to the growth of exports, in particular the adoption of steam navigation and railroads allowed for faster and more convenient cargo transportation.

Development


Development on an immense scale occurred during this period, anticipating similar advancements in European countries. In 1850, there were fifty factories valued at more than Rs 7.000:000$000. At the end of the Imperial period in 1889, Brazil had 636 factories representing an annual rate of increase of 6.74% over the number in 1850, and valued at approximately Rs 401.630:600$000 (which represents an annual growth rate in value of 10.94% from 1850 to 1889). The "countryside echoed with the clang of iron track being laid as railroads were constructed at the most furious pace of the nineteenth century; indeed, building in 1880s was the second greatest in absolute terms in Brazil's entire history. Only eight countries in the entire world laid more track in the decade than Brazil." The first railroad line, with only 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) of track, was opened on 30 April 1854 at a time when many European countries had no rail service. By 1868, there were 718 kilometres (446.1 mi) of railroad lines, and by the end of the Empire in 1889 this had grown to 9200 kilometres (5,716.6 mi) with another 9000 kilometres (5,592.4 mi) under construction making it the country with "the largest rail network in Latin America".

Factories were constructed throughout the Empire in the 1880s, allowing Brazil's cities to be modernized and "receive the benefits of gas, electrical, sanitation, telegraph and tram companies. Brazil was entering the modern world." It was the fifth country in the world to install modern city sewers
Sanitary sewer
A sanitary sewer is a separate underground carriage system specifically for transporting sewage from houses and commercial buildings to treatment or disposal. Sanitary sewers serving industrial areas also carry industrial wastewater...

, the third to have sewage treatment
Sewage treatment
Sewage treatment, or domestic wastewater treatment, is the process of removing contaminants from wastewater and household sewage, both runoff and domestic. It includes physical, chemical, and biological processes to remove physical, chemical and biological contaminants...

and one of the pioneers in the installation of a telephone
Telephone
The telephone , colloquially referred to as a phone, is a telecommunications device that transmits and receives sounds, usually the human voice. Telephones are a point-to-point communication system whose most basic function is to allow two people separated by large distances to talk to each other...

 service. In addition to the foregoing improvements to infrastructure, it was also the first South American nation to adopt public electric lighting (in 1883) and the second in the Americas (behind the United States) to establish a transatlantic telegraphic line connecting it directly to Europe in 1874. The first domestic telegraph line appeared during 1852 in Rio de Janeiro. By 1889, there were 18925 kilometres (11,759.5 mi) of telegraph lines connecting the country's capital to distant Brazilian provinces such as Pará
Pará
Pará is a state in the north of Brazil. It borders the Brazilian states of Amapá, Maranhão, Tocantins, Mato Grosso, Amazonas and Roraima. To the northwest it also borders Guyana and Suriname, and to the northeast it borders the Atlantic Ocean. The capital is Belém.Pará is the most populous state...

 and even linking to other South American countries such as Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 and Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

.

Demographics



Since the second half of the 18th century, when Brazil was still a colony, the government had attempted to gather data regarding the population. However, few captaincies (later called provinces) collected the requested information. After independence the government instituted a commission for statistics in an 1829 decree with a mandate to hold a national census. The commission was a failure and was disbanded in 1834. In the ensuing years, provincial governments were tasked with collecting census information, but their census reports were often incomplete or not submitted at all. In 1851, another attempt at a nationwide census failed when rioting broke out. This was the result of the erroneous belief among Brazilians of mixed-race descent that the survey was a subterfuge designed to enslave anyone having African blood.

The first true national census with exhaustive and broad coverage was carried out in 1872. The small number of people and small number of towns reported by the census reveal Brazil's enormous territory to have been sparsely populated. It showed Brazil as having a total population of 9,930,478 inhabitants. Estimates made by the government in prior decades showed 4,000,000 inhabitants in 1823 and gave a figure of 7,000,700 in 1854. The population was distributed across 20 provinces and one neutral district (the Empire's capital) with 641 municipalities.

Among the free population 23.4% of males and 13.4% of females were considered literate. Men represented 52% (5,123,869) of the total population. Figures for the population by age showed 24.6% were children younger than 10 years old; 21.1% were adolescents and young men between 11 and 20; 32.9% were adults between 21 and 40; 8.4% were between 41 and 50; 12.8% were between 51 and 70; and lastly, only 3.4% were over 71. The residents in the combined northeast and southeast regions comprised 87.2% of the nation's population. The second national census was held in 1890 when the Brazilian republic was only a few months old. Its results showed that the population had grown to 14,333,915 inhabitants since the 1872 census.

Ethnic groups


Four ethnic groups were recognized in Imperial Brazil: white
White Brazilian
White Brazilians make up 48.4% of Brazil's population, or around 92 million people, according to the IBGE's 2008 PNAD . Whites are present in the entire territory of Brazil, although the main concentrations are found in the South and Southeastern parts of the country...

, black
Afro-Brazilian
In Brazil, the term "preto" is one of the five categories used by the Brazilian Census, along with "branco" , "pardo" , "amarelo" and "indígena"...

, Indian
Indigenous peoples in Brazil
The Indigenous peoples in Brazil comprise a large number of distinct ethnic groups who inhabited the country prior to the European invasion around 1500...

 and pardo. The pardo (English: brown) was a designation for multiracial Brazilians which is still officially used, though some scholars prefer the term mestiço (English: mixed one). The term denotes a broad category which includes caboclo
Caboclo
A caboclo or caboco is a person of a mixed Brazilian Indian and European ancestry. In Brazil, a caboclo is a specific type of mestiço as is the mulato, a person of a mixed Afro-Brazilian and European ancestry....

s
(descendants of whites and Indians), mulatto
Mulatto
Mulatto denotes a person with one white parent and one black parent, or more broadly, a person of mixed black and white ancestry. Contemporary usage of the term varies greatly, and the broader sense of the term makes its application rather subjective, as not all people of mixed white and black...

es (descendants of whites and blacks) and cafusos
Zambo
Zambo or Cafuzo are racial terms used in the Spanish and Portuguese Empires and occasionally today to identify individuals in the Americas who are of mixed African and Amerindian ancestry...

(descendants of blacks and Indians).

The caboclos formed the majority of the population in the Northern, Northeastern
Northeast Region, Brazil
The Northeast Region of Brazil is composed of the following states: Maranhão, Piauí, Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe and Bahia, and it represents 18.26% of the Brazilian territory....

 and Central-Western regions. A large mulatto population inhabited the eastern coast of the northeastern region from Bahia to Paraíba and were also present in northern Maranhão, southern Minas Gerais, eastern Rio de Janeiro and in Espírito Santo
Espírito Santo
Espírito Santo is one of the states of southeastern Brazil, often referred to by the abbreviation "ES". Its capital is Vitória and the largest city is Vila Velha. The name of the state means literally "holy spirit" after the Holy Ghost of Christianity...

. The cafusos were the smallest and most difficult to distinguish from the two other mixed-race subgroups since the descendants of caboclos and mulattoes also fell into this category and were found in the northeast sertão (English: backcountry
Backcountry
A backcountry area in general terms is a geographical region that is:* isolated* remote* undeveloped* difficult to accessThe term may apply to various regions that are reasonably close to urban areas but are:* not immediately accessible by car...

). These groups may still be found in the same areas today.
Ethnic groups in Brazil (1872 and 1890)
Years Whites Pardos Blacks Indians Total
1872 38.1% 38.3% 19.7% 3.9% 100%
1890 44.0% 32.4% 14.6% 9% 100%

White Brazilians descended from the original Portuguese settlers. From the 1870s onwards this ethnic group also included other European immigrants: mainly Italians, Spaniards and Germans. Although whites could be found throughout the country, they were the majority group in the southern region
Southern Region, Brazil
The South Region of Brazil is one of the five regions of Brazil. It includes the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul and covers 576,409.6 km ², being the smallest portion of the country...

 and in São Paulo province. Whites also comprised a significant proportion (40%) of the population in the northeastern provinces of Ceará
Ceará
Ceará is one of the 27 states of Brazil, located in the northeastern part of the country, on the Atlantic coast. It is currently the 8th largest Brazilian State by population and the 17th by area. It is also one of the main touristic destinations in Brazil. The state capital is the city of...

, Paraíba
Paraíba
Paraíba Paraíba Paraíba (Tupi: pa'ra a'íba: "bad to navigation"; Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation: is a state of Brazil. It is located in the Brazilian Northeast, and is bordered by Rio Grande do Norte to the north, Ceará to the west, Pernambuco to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the east...

 and Rio Grande do Norte
Rio Grande do Norte
Rio Grande do Norte is one of the states of Brazil, located in the northeastern region of the country, occupying the northeasternmost tip of the South American continent. Because of its geographic position, Rio Grande do Norte has a strategic importance. The capital and largest city is Natal...

. Black Brazilians of Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa as a geographical term refers to the area of the African continent which lies south of the Sahara. A political definition of Sub-Saharan Africa, instead, covers all African countries which are fully or partially located south of the Sahara...

n ancestry inhabited the same areas as mulattoes. The majority of the population of Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, Bahia, Sergipe
Sergipe
Sergipe , is the smallest state of the Brazilian Federation, located on the northeastern Atlantic coast of the country. It borders on two other states, Bahia to the south and west and Alagoas to the north, and to the east is the Atlantic Ocean...

, Alagoas
Alagoas
Alagoas is one of the 27 federative units of Brazil and is situated in the eastern part of the Northeast Region. It borders: Pernambuco ; Sergipe ; Bahia ; and the Atlantic Ocean . It occupies an area of 27,767 km², being slightly larger than Haiti...

 and Pernambuco
Pernambuco
Pernambuco is a state of Brazil, located in the Northeast region of the country. To the north are the states of Paraíba and Ceará, to the west is Piauí, to the south are Alagoas and Bahia, and to the east is the Atlantic Ocean. There are about of beaches, some of the most beautiful in the...

 provinces (the last four having the smallest percentages of whites in the whole country—less than 30% in each) were black or pardo. The Indians, the indigenous peoples of Brazil, were found mainly in Piauí
Piauí
Piauí is one of the states of Brazil, located in the northeastern part of the country.Piauí has the shortest coastline of any of the non-landlocked Brazilian states at 66 km , and the capital, Teresina, is the only state capital in the north east to be located inland...

, Maranhão
Maranhão
Maranhão is a northeastern state of Brazil. To the north lies the Atlantic Ocean. Maranhão is neighbored by the states of Piauí, Tocantins and Pará. The people of Maranhão have a distinctive accent...

, Pará
Pará
Pará is a state in the north of Brazil. It borders the Brazilian states of Amapá, Maranhão, Tocantins, Mato Grosso, Amazonas and Roraima. To the northwest it also borders Guyana and Suriname, and to the northeast it borders the Atlantic Ocean. The capital is Belém.Pará is the most populous state...

 and Amazonas.

Because of the existence of distinct racial and cultural communities, 19th century Brazil developed as a multi-ethnic nation. However the data is problematic as no reliable information is available for the years prior to 1872. The first official national census was compiled by the government in 1872 showing that out of 9,930,479 inhabitants there were 38.1% whites, 38.3% pardos, 19.7% blacks and 3.9% Indians. The second official national census in 1890 revealed that in a population of 14,333,915, 44% were whites, 32.4% pardos, 14.6% blacks and 9% Indians.

European immigration



Prior to 1808, the Portuguese were the only European people to settle Brazil in significant numbers. Although British, Germans, Italians and Spanish had previously immigrated to Brazil, they had only done so as a small number of individuals or in very small groups. These earliest non-Portuguese settlers did not have a significant impact on the culture of Portugal's Brazilian colony. The situation changed after 1808 when King João VI began to encourage immigration from European countries outside Portugal.

The first to arrive in numbers were the Swiss, of whom some 2,000 settled in Rio de Janeiro province during 1818. They were followed by Germans and Irish, who immigrated to Brazil in the 1820s. German settlers gravitated mostly to the southern provinces, where the environment was more like their homeland. In the 1830s, due to the instability of the Regency, European immigration ground to a halt, only recovering after Pedro II took the reins of government and the country entered a period of peace and prosperity. Farmers in the southeast, enriched by lucrative coffee exports, created the "partnership system" (a form of indentured servitude
Indentured servant
Indentured servitude refers to the historical practice of contracting to work for a fixed period of time, typically three to seven years, in exchange for transportation, food, clothing, lodging and other necessities during the term of indenture. Usually the father made the arrangements and signed...

) to attract immigrants. The scheme endured until the end of the 1850s, when the system collapsed and was abandoned. The failure was rooted in the large debts European settlers incurred in order to subsidize their travel and settlement expenses, leaving them as virtual slaves to their employers. Immigration suffered another decline during the Paraguayan War
War of the Triple Alliance
The Paraguayan War , also known as War of the Triple Alliance , was a military conflict in South America fought from 1864 to 1870 between Paraguay and the Triple Alliance of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay...

, which lasted from 1864 to 1870.

Immigrant numbers soared during the 1870s in what came to be called the "great immigration". Up to that point, around 10,000 Europeans arrived in Brazil annually, but after 1872, their numbers increased dramatically. From 1872 until 1879, the nationalities forming the bulk of the new settlers were composed of Portuguese (31.2%), Italians (25.8%), Germans (8.1%) and Spanish (1.9%). In the 1880s, Italians would surpass the Portuguese (61.8% to 23.3% respectively), and the Spanish would displace the Germans (6.7% to 4.2% respectively). Other, smaller groups also arrived, including Russians, Poles and Hungarians. Since nearly all European immigrants settled in the southeastern and southern areas of the Empire, ethnic distribution, already unequal before the mass immigration, became even more divergent between regions.

It is estimated by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics that 500,000 Europeans immigrated to Brazil between 1808 and 1883. The figure for European settlers arriving between 1884 and 1893 climbed to 883,668. The number of Europeans immigrating continued to rise in the following decades, with 862,100 between 1894 and 1903; and 1,006,617 between 1904 and 1913. For a nation that had a small, widely scattered population (4,000,000 in 1823 and 14,333,915 in 1890), the immigration of more than 1,380,000 Europeans had a tremendous effect upon the country's ethnic composition. In 1872, the year of the first reliable national census, white Brazilians represented just over a third (38.1%) of the total population; in 1890, they had increased to a little under half (44.0%) of all Brazilians.

Slavery


In 1823, a year after independence, slaves made up 29% of the population of Brazil, a figure which fell throughout the lifetime of the Empire: from 24% in 1854, to 15.2% in 1872, and finally to less than 5% in 1887—the year before slavery was completely abolished. Slaves were mostly adult males from southwestern Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

. Slaves brought to Brazil differed ethnically, religiously and linguistically, each identifying primarily with his or her own nation of origin, rather than by a shared African ethnicity. Some of the slaves brought to the Americas
Atlantic slave trade
The Atlantic slave trade, also known as the trans-atlantic slave trade, refers to the trade in slaves that took place across the Atlantic ocean from the sixteenth through to the nineteenth centuries...

 had been captured while fighting inter-tribal wars in Africa and had then been sold to slave dealers.
While slaves were usually black or mulatto there were reported cases of white slaves—the product of generations of inter-ethnic sexual relations between male slave owners and their female mulatto slaves (although this was very rare and was not approved of socially). Slaves and their descendants were usually found in regions devoted to producing exports for foreign markets. Sugarcane
Sugarcane
Sugarcane refers to any of six to 37 species of tall perennial grasses of the genus Saccharum . Native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of South Asia, they have stout, jointed, fibrous stalks that are rich in sugar, and measure two to six metres tall...

 plantations on the eastern coast of the northwest region
Northeast Region, Brazil
The Northeast Region of Brazil is composed of the following states: Maranhão, Piauí, Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe and Bahia, and it represents 18.26% of the Brazilian territory....

 during the 16th and 17th centuries are typical of economic activities dependent on slave labor. In northern Maranhão
Maranhão
Maranhão is a northeastern state of Brazil. To the north lies the Atlantic Ocean. Maranhão is neighbored by the states of Piauí, Tocantins and Pará. The people of Maranhão have a distinctive accent...

 province, slave labor was used in cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 and rice
Rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

 production in the 18th century. In this period, slaves were also exploited in Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais is one of the 26 states of Brazil, of which it is the second most populous, the third richest, and the fourth largest in area. Minas Gerais is the Brazilian state with the largest number of Presidents of Brazil, the current one, Dilma Rousseff, being one of them. The capital is the...

 province where gold was extracted. Slavery was also common in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro (state)
Rio de Janeiro is one of the 27 states of Brazil.Rio de Janeiro has the second largest economy of Brazil behind only São Paulo state.The state of Rio de Janeiro is located within the Brazilian geopolitical region classified as the Southeast...

 and São Paulo
São Paulo (state)
São Paulo is a state in Brazil. It is the major industrial and economic powerhouse of the Brazilian economy. Named after Saint Paul, São Paulo has the largest population, industrial complex, and economic production in the country. It is the richest state in Brazil...

 during the 19th century for the cultivation of coffee
Coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

 which became vital to the national economy.

Most slaves worked as plantation laborers. Relatively few Brazilians owned slaves and most small and medium-sized farms employed free workers. Slaves could be found scattered throughout society in other capacities: some were used as house servants, farmers, miners, prostitutes, gardeners and in many other roles. Many emancipated slaves went on to acquire slaves and there were even cases of slaves who had their own slaves. Even the harshest slave owners adhered to a long-established practice of selling slaves along with their families, taking care not to separate individuals.

The prevalence of slavery was not geographically uniform across Brazil. Around 1870 only five provinces (Rio de Janeiro with 30%, Bahia
Bahia
Bahia is one of the 26 states of Brazil, and is located in the northeastern part of the country on the Atlantic coast. It is the fourth most populous Brazilian state after São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro, and the fifth-largest in size...

 with 15%, Minas Gerais with 14%, São Paulo with 7% and Rio Grande do Sul
Rio Grande do Sul
Rio Grande do Sul is the southernmost state in Brazil, and the state with the fifth highest Human Development Index in the country. In this state is located the southernmost city in the country, Chuí, on the border with Uruguay. In the region of Bento Gonçalves and Caxias do Sul, the largest wine...

 also with 7%) held 73% of the nation's total slave population. These were followed by Pernambuco
Pernambuco
Pernambuco is a state of Brazil, located in the Northeast region of the country. To the north are the states of Paraíba and Ceará, to the west is Piauí, to the south are Alagoas and Bahia, and to the east is the Atlantic Ocean. There are about of beaches, some of the most beautiful in the...

 (with 6%) and Alagoas
Alagoas
Alagoas is one of the 27 federative units of Brazil and is situated in the eastern part of the Northeast Region. It borders: Pernambuco ; Sergipe ; Bahia ; and the Atlantic Ocean . It occupies an area of 27,767 km², being slightly larger than Haiti...

 (with 4%). Among the remaining 13 provinces none individually had even 3%.

Slaves who were freed immediately became citizens with all civil rights
Civil rights
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...

 guaranteed—the only exception being that, until 1881, freed slaves were barred from voting in elections, although their children and descendants could vote.

Nobility




The nobility
Nobility
Nobility is a social class which possesses more acknowledged privileges or eminence than members of most other classes in a society, membership therein typically being hereditary. The privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be...

 of Brazil differed markedly from its counterparts in Europe: noble titles were not hereditary, with the sole exception of members of the Imperial Family, and those who had received a noble title were not considered to belong to a separate social class
Social class
Social classes are economic or cultural arrangements of groups in society. Class is an essential object of analysis for sociologists, political scientists, economists, anthropologists and social historians. In the social sciences, social class is often discussed in terms of 'social stratification'...

, and received no appanage
Appanage
An apanage or appanage or is the grant of an estate, titles, offices, or other things of value to the younger male children of a sovereign, who would otherwise have no inheritance under the system of primogeniture...

s, stipend
Stipend
A stipend is a form of salary, such as for an internship or apprenticeship. It is often distinct from a wage or a salary because it does not necessarily represent payment for work performed, instead it represents a payment that enables somebody to be exempt partly or wholly from waged or salaried...

s or emoluments. However, many ranks, traditions, and regulations in Brazil's system of nobility were co-opted directly from the Portuguese aristocracy. During Pedro I's reign there were no clear requisites for someone to be ennobled. During Pedro II's reign (apart from the Regency period during which the regent could not grant titles or honors) the nobility evolved into a meritocracy
Meritocracy
Meritocracy, in the first, most administrative sense, is a system of government or other administration wherein appointments and responsibilities are objectively assigned to individuals based upon their "merits", namely intelligence, credentials, and education, determined through evaluations or...

with titles granted in recognition of an individual's outstanding service to the Empire or for the public good. Noble rank did not represent "recognition of illustrious ancestry."

It was the Emperor's right as head of the Executive branch to grant titles and honors. The titles of nobility were, in ascending order, baron, viscount, count, marquis and duke. Apart from position in the hierarchy there were other distinctions between the ranks: counts, marquises and dukes were considered "Grandees of the Empire
Grandee
Grandee is the word used to render in English the Iberic high aristocratic title Grande , used by the Spanish nobility; Portuguese nobility, and Brazilian nobility....

" while the titles of barons and viscounts could be bestowed "with Greatness" or "without Greatness". All ranks of the Brazilian nobility were to be addressed as "Your Excellency".

Between 1822 and 1889, 986 people were ennobled. Only three became Dukes: Auguste de Beauharnais, 2nd Duke of Leuchtenberg
Auguste de Beauharnais, 2nd Duke of Leuchtenberg
Auguste Charles Eugène Napoléon de Beauharnais, 2nd Duke of Leuchtenberg was the first Prince consort of Maria II of Portugal.-Family:...

 (as Duke of Santa Cruz, brother-in-law to Pedro I), Dona Isabel Maria de Alcântara Brasileira (as Duchess of Goiás, illegitimate daughter of Pedro I) and lastly Luís Alves de Lima e Silva (as Duke of Caxias, hero of the Paraguayan War
War of the Triple Alliance
The Paraguayan War , also known as War of the Triple Alliance , was a military conflict in South America fought from 1864 to 1870 between Paraguay and the Triple Alliance of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay...

). The other titles granted were as follows: 47 marquises, 51 counts, 146 viscounts "with Greatness", 89 viscounts "without Greatness", 135 barons "with Greatness" and 740 barons "without Greatness" resulting in a total of 1,211 noble titles. There were fewer nobles than noble titles because many were elevated more than once during their lifetime, such as the Duke of Caxias who was first made a baron, then a count, then a marquis and finally was elevated to a duke. Grants of nobility were not limited to male Brazilians: Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald
Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald
Admiral Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald, 1st Marquess of Maranhão, GCB, ODM , styled Lord Cochrane between 1778 and 1831, was a senior British naval flag officer and radical politician....

, a Scot
Scottish people
The Scottish people , or Scots, are a nation and ethnic group native to Scotland. Historically they emerged from an amalgamation of the Picts and Gaels, incorporating neighbouring Britons to the south as well as invading Germanic peoples such as the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse.In modern use,...

, was made Marquis of Maranhão for his role in the Brazilian War of Independence, and 29 women received grants of nobility in their own right. As well as being unrestricted by gender
Gender
Gender is a range of characteristics used to distinguish between males and females, particularly in the cases of men and women and the masculine and feminine attributes assigned to them. Depending on the context, the discriminating characteristics vary from sex to social role to gender identity...

, no racial distinctions were made in conferring noble status. Caboclos, mulattoes, blacks and even Indians were ennobled.

The lesser nobility, who were untitled, were made up of members of the Imperial Orders. There were six of these: the Order of Christ
Order of Christ (Brazil)
The Imperial Order of Our Lord Jesus Christ , simply named Order of Christ, is an order of chivalry instituted by emperor Pedro I of Brazil on 7 December 1822, on the basis of the Portuguese Order of Christ founded by King Dom Dinis and Pope John XXII in 1316-1319. Knights of the Order of Christ...

, the Order of Saint Benedict of Aviz, the Order of Saint James of the Sword, the Order of the Southern Cross
Order of the Southern Cross
The National Order of the Southern Cross is a Brazilian order of chivalry founded by Emperor Pedro I on 1 December 1822. This order was intended to commemorate the independence of Brazil and the coronation of Pedro I...

, the Order of Pedro I
Order of Pedro I
The Imperial Order of Dom Pedro I is an Brazilian order of chivalry instituted by Emperor Pedro I of Brazil on 16 April 1826.On 22 March 1890, the order was cancelled as national order by the interim government of United States of Brazil....

 and the Order of the Rose
Order of the Rose
The Imperial Order of the Rose is an Brazilian order of chivalry, instituted by Emperor Pedro I of Brazil on 17 October 1829 to commemorate his marriage to Amélie of Leuchtenberg....

. The first three had grades of honor beyond the Grand Master (reserved for the Emperor only): knight, commander and grand cross. The latter three, however, had different ranks: the Order of the Southern Cross with four, the Order of the Rose with six, and the Order of Pedro I with three.

Religion



Article five of the Constitution declared Catholicism to be the state religion
State religion
A state religion is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state...

. However, the clergy
Clergy
Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. A clergyman, churchman or cleric is a member of the clergy, especially one who is a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professional....

 had long been understaffed, undisciplined and poorly educated, all of which led to a general loss of respect for the Catholic Church. During Pedro II's reign, the Imperial government embarked upon a program of reform designed to address these deficiencies. As Catholicism was the official religion, the Emperor exercised a great deal of control over Church affairs and paid clerical salaries, appointed parish priests, nominated bishops
Bishop (Catholic Church)
In the Catholic Church, a bishop is an ordained minister who holds the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders and is responsible for teaching the Catholic faith and ruling the Church....

, ratified papal bulls and supervised seminaries. In pursuing reform, the government selected bishops whose moral fitness, stance on education and support for reform met with their approval. However, as more capable men began to fill the clerical ranks, resentment of government control over the Church increased. Catholic clerics moved closer to the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 and his doctrines. This resulted in clashes during the 1870s between the clergy and the government, since the former wanted a more direct relationship with Rome and the latter sought to maintain its oversight of church affairs.

The Constitution did allow followers of other, non-Catholic, faiths to practice their religious beliefs, albeit only in private. The construction of non-Catholic religious buildings was forbidden. From the outset these restrictions were ignored by both the citizenry and authorities. In Belém
Belém
Belém is a Brazilian city, the capital and largest city of state of Pará, in the country's north region. It is the entrance gate to the Amazon with a busy port, airport and bus/coach station...

, Pará's capital, the Jewish first synagogue was built in 1824. Jews migrated to Brazil soon after its independence and settled mainly in the northeastern provinces of Bahia and Pernambuco and in the northern provinces of Amazonas and Pará. Other Jewish groups came from the Alsace-Lorraine
Alsace-Lorraine
The Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine was a territory created by the German Empire in 1871 after it annexed most of Alsace and the Moselle region of Lorraine following its victory in the Franco-Prussian War. The Alsatian part lay in the Rhine Valley on the west bank of the Rhine River and east...

 region of Germany and from Russia. By the 1880s, there were several Jewish communities and synagogues scattered throughout Brazil.

The Protestants were another group that began settling in Brazil at the beginning of the 19th century. The first Protestants were English, and an Anglican
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

 church was opened in Rio de Janeiro in 1820. Others were established afterwards in São Paulo, Pernambuco and Bahia provinces. They were followed by German and Swiss Lutherans who settled in the South and Southwest regions and built their own houses of worship. Following the U.S. Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 in the 1860s, immigrants from the southern United States seeking to escape Reconstruction settled in São Paulo. Several American churches sponsored missionary activities, including Baptists, Lutherans, Congregationalists and Methodists.

Among African slaves, Catholicism was the religion of the majority. Most slaves came originally from the midwestern and southwestern portions of the African coast. For over four centuries this region had been the subject of Christian mission activities. Some Africans and their descendants, however, held onto elements of polytheistic religious traditions by merging them with Catholicism. This resulted in the creation of syncretic
Syncretism
Syncretism is the combining of different beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought. The term means "combining", but see below for the origin of the word...

 creeds such as Candomblé
Candomblé
Candomblé is an African-originated or Afro-Brazilian religion, practised chiefly in Brazil by the "povo de santo" . It originated in the cities of Salvador, the capital of Bahia and Cachoeira, at the time one of the main commercial crossroads for the distribution of products and slave trade to...

. Islam
Islam in Brazil
Islam in Brazil was first practiced by African slaves. The early Brazilian Muslims led the largest slave revolt in Brazil, which then had the largest slave population of the world. The next significant migration of Muslims was by Arabs from Syria and Lebanon...

 was also practiced among a small minority of African slaves, although it was harshly repressed and by the end of the 19th century had been completely extinguished. By the beginning of the 19th century, the Indians in most of eastern Brazil had been either assimilated or decimated. Some tribes resisted assimilation and either fled farther west, where they were able to maintain their diverse polytheistic beliefs, or were restricted to aldeamentos (reservations), where they eventually converted to Catholicism.

Visual arts


According to historian Ronald Raminelli, "visual arts
Visual arts
The visual arts are art forms that create works which are primarily visual in nature, such as ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, design, crafts, and often modern visual arts and architecture...

 suffered huge innovations in the Empire in comparison to the colonial period." With independence in 1822, painting, sculpture and architecture were influenced by national symbols and the monarchy, as both surpassed religious themes in their importance. The previously dominant old Baroque style
Baroque architecture in Portugal
-Baroque Architecture:The Baroque architecture in Portugal enjoys a very special situation and a different timeline from the rest of Europe. It is conditioned by several political, artistic and economic factors, that originate several phases, and different kinds of outside influences, resulting in...

 was superseded by Neoclassicism
Neoclassicism
Neoclassicism is the name given to Western movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that draw inspiration from the "classical" art and culture of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome...

. New developments appeared, such as the use of iron in architecture and the appearance of lithography
Lithography
Lithography is a method for printing using a stone or a metal plate with a completely smooth surface...

 and photography
Photography
Photography is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film...

, which revitalized the visual arts.

The government's creation of the Imperial Academy of the Fine Arts
Escola Nacional de Belas Artes
Escola de Belas Artes is one of the centers of the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro and dates back to colonial times....

 in the 1820s played a pivotal role in influencing and expanding the visual arts in Brazil, mainly by educating generations of artists but also by serving as a stylistic guideline. The Academy's origins lay in the foundation of the Escola Real das Ciências, Artes e Ofícios (Royal School of the Sciences, Arts and Crafts) in 1816 by the Portuguese King João VI. Its members—of whom the most famous was Jean-Baptiste Debret
Jean-Baptiste Debret
Jean-Baptiste Debret was a French painter, who produced many valuable lithographs depicting the people of Brazil.-Biography:...

—were French émigré
Émigré
Émigré is a French term that literally refers to a person who has "migrated out", but often carries a connotation of politico-social self-exile....

es who worked as painters, sculptors, musicians and engineers. The school's main goal was to encourage French aesthetics
Aesthetics
Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and taste, and with the creation and appreciation of beauty. It is more scientifically defined as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste...

 and the Neoclassical style to replace the prevalent baroque style. Plagued by a lack of funds since its inception, the school was later renamed as the Academy of Fine Arts in 1820, and in 1824 received its final name under the Empire: Imperial Academy of the Fine Arts.

It was only following Pedro II's majority in 1840, however, that the Academy became a powerhouse, part of the Emperor's greater scheme of fomenting a national culture and consequently uniting all Brazilians in a common sense of nationhood. Pedro II would sponsor the Brazilian culture through several public institutions funded by the government (not restricted to the Academy of Fine Arts), such as Brazilian Historic and Geographic Institute
Brazilian Historic and Geographic Institute
The Brazilian Historic and Geographic Institute , founded October 21, 1838, is the oldest and traditional authority to promote research and preservation of historical and geographical, cultural and social sciences in Brazil....

and Imperial Academy of Music and National Opera. That sponsorship would pave the way not only for the careers of artists, but also for those engaged in other fields, including historians such as Francisco Adolfo de Varnhagen
Francisco Adolfo de Varnhagen
Francisco Adolfo de Varnhagen, Viscount of Porto Seguro was a Brazilian military, diplomat and historian. He is the patron of the 39th chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.-Life:...

and musicians such as the operatic composer Antônio Carlos Gomes
Antônio Carlos Gomes
Antônio Carlos Gomes was the first New World composer whose work was accepted by Europe.-Life:He was born in Campinas, Brazil, son of Maestro Manuel José Gomes and Fabiana Maria Jaguari Cardoso....

.

By the 1840s, Romanticism
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

 had largely supplanted Neoclassicism, not only in painting, but also in sculpture and architecture. The Academy did not resume its role of simply providing education: prizes, medals, scholarships in foreign countries and funding were used as incentives. Among its staff and students were some of the most renowned Brazilian artists, including Simplício Rodrigues de Sá, Félix Taunay
Félix Taunay
Félix Émile Taunay, 2nd Baron of Taunay was a French painter, drawing and Greek teacher. He was the father of famous writer and politician Alfredo d'Escragnolle Taunay, the Viscount of Taunay....

, Manuel de Araújo Porto-alegre, Pedro Américo
Pedro Américo
Pedro Américo de Figueiredo e Melo was one of the most important academic painters of Brazil. He was also a writer and a teacher....

, Victor Meirelles
Victor Meirelles
Victor Meirelles de Lima was a 19th century painter. He studied art in Paris but painted most of his works in and about his native Brazil. His religious and military paintings helped him become one of the most popular and celebrated Brazilian painters...

, Rodolfo Amoedo
Rodolfo Amoedo
Rodolfo Amoedo was a Brazilian history painter. He began his career as an artist in 1873 as a student of Victor Meirelles. In 1878 he won the first prize at the Brazilian Academy, which allowed him to travel to Paris, where he lived from 1879 to 1887 studying at the École des Beaux Arts...

, Almeida Júnior, Rodolfo Bernardelli and João Zeferino da Costa
João Zeferino da Costa
João Zeferino da Costa was a Brazilian artist and painter. Among his most famous works are the panels in the Candelária Church, recording the adventures of the traveler.-References:...

.

In the 1880s, after having been long regarded as the official style of the Academy, Romanticism declined, and other styles were explored by a new generation of artists. Among the new genres was Landscape art
Landscape art
Landscape art is a term that covers the depiction of natural scenery such as mountains, valleys, trees, rivers, and forests, and especially art where the main subject is a wide view, with its elements arranged into a coherent composition. In other works landscape backgrounds for figures can still...

, the most famous exponents of which were Georg Grimm, Giovanni Battista Castagneto, França Júnior
França Júnior
Joaquim José da França Júnior was a Brazilian playwright, journalist and, initially, a painter. Alongside Martins Pena, he is one of the most famous adepts of the "comedy of customs" genre....

 and Antônio Parreiras
Antônio Parreiras
Antônio Parreiras was a Brazilian painter. Although much of his work was made up of historical and nude paintings, he expressed himself best in his landscapes, which combined European influences with those of his native Brazil....

. Another style which gained popularity in the fields of painting and architecture was Eclecticism
Eclecticism
Eclecticism is a conceptual approach that does not hold rigidly to a single paradigm or set of assumptions, but instead draws upon multiple theories, styles, or ideas to gain complementary insights into a subject, or applies different theories in particular cases.It can sometimes seem inelegant or...

.

Literature and theater



In the first years after independence, Brazilian literature was still heavily influenced by Portuguese literature and its predominant Neoclassical style. In 1837, Gonçalves de Magalhães published the first work of Romanticism in Brazil, beginning a new era in the nation. The next year, 1838, saw the first play
Play (theatre)
A play is a form of literature written by a playwright, usually consisting of scripted dialogue between characters, intended for theatrical performance rather than just reading. There are rare dramatists, notably George Bernard Shaw, who have had little preference whether their plays were performed...

 performed by Brazilians with a national theme, which marked the birth of Brazilian theater. Until then themes were often based on European works even if not performed by foreign actors. Romanticism at that time was regarded as the literary style that best fitted Brazilian literature, which could reveal its uniqueness when compared to foreign literature. During the 1830s and 1840s, "a network of newspapers, journals, book publishers and printing houses emerged which together with the opening of theaters in the major towns brought into being what could be termed, but for the narrowness of its scope, a national culture".

Romanticism reached its apogee between the late 1850s and the early 1870s as it divided into several branches, including Indianism and sentimentalism
Sentimentalism (literature)
Sentimentalism , as a literary and political discourse, has occurred much in the literary traditions of all regions in the world, and is central to the traditions of Indian literature, Chinese literature, and Vietnamese literature...

. The most influential literary style in 19th-century Brazil, many of the most renowned Brazilian writers were exponents of Romanticism: Manuel de Araújo Porto-alegre, Gonçalves Dias, Gonçalves de Magalhães, José de Alencar
José de Alencar
José Martiniano de Alencar was a Brazilian lawyer, politician, orator, novelist and dramatist. He is one of the most famous writers of the first generation of Brazilian Romanticism, writing historical, regionalist and Indianist romances — being the most famous The Guarani...

, Bernardo Guimarães
Bernardo Guimarães
Bernardo Joaquim da Silva Guimarães was a Brazilian poet and novelist. He is the author of the famous romances A Escrava Isaura and O Seminarista. He also introduced to the Brazilian poetry the "verso bestialógico" , poems whose verses are very nonsensical, although very metrical...

, Álvares de Azevedo
Álvares de Azevedo
Manuel Antônio Álvares de Azevedo was a Brazilian Romantic poet, short story writer, playwright and essayist...

, Casimiro de Abreu
Casimiro de Abreu
Casimiro José Marques de Abreu was a Brazilian poet, novelist and playwright, adept of the "Ultra-Romanticism" movement...

, Castro Alves
Castro Alves
Antônio Frederico de Castro Alves was a Brazilian poet and playwright, famous for his Abolitionist and Republican poems...

, Joaquim Manuel de Macedo
Joaquim Manuel de Macedo
Joaquim Manuel de Macedo was a Brazilian novelist, doctor, teacher, poet, playwright and journalist, famous for the romance A Moreninha.He is the patron of the 20th chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.-Life:...

, Manuel Antônio de Almeida
Manuel Antônio de Almeida
Manuel Antônio de Almeida was a Brazilian writer, medician and teacher. He is famous for the book Memoirs of a Police Sergeant, written under the pen name Um Brasileiro...

 and Alfredo d'Escragnolle Taunay.

In theater, the most famous Romanticist was the playwright Martins Pena
Martins Pena
Luís Carlos Martins Pena was a Brazilian playwright, famous for introducing to Brazil the "comedy of customs", winning the epithet of "the Brazilian Molière"....

, although others, such as Joaquim Manuel de Macedo
Joaquim Manuel de Macedo
Joaquim Manuel de Macedo was a Brazilian novelist, doctor, teacher, poet, playwright and journalist, famous for the romance A Moreninha.He is the patron of the 20th chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.-Life:...

, also achieved fame. Although Brazilian Romanticism found its place in literature, it did not have the same success in theater, as most of the plays performed were either Neoclassic tragedies or Romantic works from Portugal or translations from Italian, French or Spanish. As in other areas, the theater was sponsored by the government (after the opening of the Brazilian Dramatic Conservatory, in 1845) which tried to help national theater companies with financial aid in exchange for staging plays in Portuguese.

The first reactions to Romanticism appeared in the 1870s, but it would only be in the next decade that new literary styles would take its place. The first to appear was Realism
Literary realism
Literary realism most often refers to the trend, beginning with certain works of nineteenth-century French literature and extending to late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century authors in various countries, towards depictions of contemporary life and society "as they were." In the spirit of...

, which had among its most notable writers Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis
Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis
Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis , often known as Machado de Assis, Machado, or Bruxo do Cosme Velho , was a Brazilian novelist, poet, playwright and short story writer. He is widely regarded as the greatest writer of Brazilian literature, but he did not gain widespread popularity outside Brazil in...

 and Raul Pompeia
Raul Pompéia
Raul d'Ávila Pompeia was a Brazilian novelist, short story writer and chronicler. He is famous for the Impressionist romance O Ateneu.He is patron of the 33rd chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.-Biography:...

. Newer styles that coexisted with Realism, Naturalism
Naturalism (literature)
Naturalism was a literary movement taking place from the 1880s to 1940s that used detailed realism to suggest that social conditions, heredity, and environment had inescapable force in shaping human character...

 and Parnassianism, were both connected to the former's evolution. Among the best-known Naturalists were Aluísio Azevedo
Aluísio Azevedo
Aluísio Tancredo Gonçalves de Azevedo was a Brazilian novelist, caricaturist, diplomat, playwright and short story writer. Initially a Romantic writer, he would later adhere to the Naturalist movement...

 and Adolfo Caminha
Adolfo Caminha
Adolfo Ferreira Caminha was a Brazilian Naturalist novelist, famous for his polemical novel Bom-Crioulo, which deals with homosexuality.-Life:...

. Notable Parnassians were Gonçalves Crespo
Gonçalves Crespo
António Cândido Gonçalves Crespo was a Brazilian-born Portuguese poet. Born to a slave mother on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro on March 11, 1846, he came to Portugal at the age of ten. He was educated at the University of Coimbra, but "devoted himself almost exclusively to the Muses at Lisbon."...

, Alberto de Oliveira
Alberto de Oliveira
Antônio Mariano de Oliveira was a Brazilian poet, pharmacist and professor, more well-known by his pen name Alberto de Oliveira...

, Raimundo Correia
Raimundo Correia
Raimundo da Mota de Azevedo Correia was a Brazilian Parnassian poet, judge and magistrate. Alongside Alberto de Oliveira and Olavo Bilac, he was a member of the "Parnassian Triad"....

 and Olavo Bilac
Olavo Bilac
Olavo Brás Martins dos Guimarães Bilac was a Brazilian Parnassian poet, journalist and translator. Alongside Alberto de Oliveira and Raimundo Correia, he was a member of the "Parnassian Triad"...

.

Brazilian theater became influenced by Realism in 1855, decades earlier than the style's impact upon literature and poetry. Famous Realist playwrights included José de Alencar, Quintino Bocaiuva
Quintino Bocaiúva
Quintino Bocaiúva was a politician and writer from Brazil.-References:...

, Joaquim Manuel de Macedo, Júlia Lopes de Almeida
Júlia Lopes de Almeida
Júlia Valentina da Silveira Lopes de Almeida was a Brazilian author and considered to be the first woman to have achieved a national reputation in Brazil for her writing. Her works dealt with the abolitionist movement in Brazil.-Life:...

 and Maria Angélica Ribeiro. From the 1850s until the end of the Empire, Brazilian plays staged by national companies continued to compete for audiences alongside foreign plays and companies. Performing arts in Imperial Brazil also encompassed the staging of musical duets, dancing, gymnastics, comedy and farces. Less prestigious, but more popular with the working classes were puppeteers and magicians, as well as the circus, with its travelling companies of performers, including acrobats, trained animals, illusionists and other stunt-oriented artists.

See also


  • Brazilian Civil War describes the political and economic instability during the post-Imperial era and the setback to Brazil's international influence.
  • Monarchies in the Americas
    Monarchies in the Americas
    There are currently 13 monarchies in the Americas; that is: self-governing states and territories in North and South America where supreme power resides with an individual, who is recognised as the head of state...

  • Monarchy of Canada
  • Empire of Haiti (1804–1806)
  • Kingdom of Haiti
    Kingdom of Haiti
    The Kingdom of Haiti was the state established by Henri Christophe on March 28, 1811 when he was proclaimed King Henri I having previously ruled as president. This was Haiti's second attempt at monarchal rule as Jean-Jacques Dessalines had previously ruled over the Empire of Haiti...

  • Empire of Haiti (1849–1859)
  • First Mexican Empire
    First Mexican Empire
    The Mexican Empire was the official name of independent Mexico under a monarchical regime from 1821 to 1823. The territory of the Mexican Empire included the continental intendencies and provinces of New Spain proper...

  • Second Mexican Empire
    Second Mexican Empire
    The Second Mexican Empire was the name of Mexico under the regime established from 1864 to 1867. It was created by Napoleon III of France, who attempted to use the Mexican adventure to recapture some of the grandeur of earlier Napoleonic times...


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