1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Brazil
BRAZIL, a republic of South America, the largest political division of that continent and the third largest of the western hemisphere. It is larger than the continental United States excluding Alaska, and slightly larger than the great bulk of Europe lying east of France. Its extreme dimensions are 2629 m. from Cape Orange (4° 21′ N.) almost due south to the river Chuy (33° 45′ S. lat.), and 2691 m. from Olinda (Ponta de Pedra, 8° 0′ 57″ S., 34° 50′ W.) due west to the Peruvian frontier (about 73° 50′ W.). The most northerly point, the Serra Roraima on the Venezuela and British Guiana frontier (5° 10′ N.), is 56 m. farther north than Cape Orange. The area, which was augmented by more than 60,000 sq. m. in 1903 and diminished slightly in the boundary adjustment with British Guiana (1904), is estimated to have been 3,228,452 sq. m. in 1900 (A. Supan, Die Bevölkerung der Erde, Gotha, 1904). A subsequent planimetric calculation, which takes into account these territorial changes, increases the area to 3,270,000 sq. m.
Boundaries.—Brazil is bounded N. by Colombia, Venezuela and the Guianas, N.E., E. and S.E. by the Atlantic, S. by Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia, and W. by Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. Its territory touches that of every South American nation, except Chile, and with each one there has been a boundary dispute at some stage in its political life. The Spanish and Portuguese crowns attempted to define the limits between their American colonies in 1750 and 1777, and the lines adopted still serve in great part to separate Brazil from its neighbours. Lack of information regarding the geographical features of the interior, however, led to some indefinite descriptions, and these have been fruitful sources of dispute ever since. The Portuguese were persistent trespassers in early colonial times, and their land-hunger took them far beyond the limits fixed by Pope Alexander VI. In the boundary disputes which have followed, Brazil seems to have pursued this traditional policy, and generally with success.
Beginning at the mouth of the Arroyo del Chuy, at the southern extremity of a long sandbank separating Lake Mirim from the Atlantic (33°45′ S. lat.), the boundary line between Brazil and Uruguay passes up that rivulet and across to the most southerly tributary of Lake Mirim, thence down the western shore of that lake to the Jaguarão and up that river to its most southerly source. The line then crosses to the hill-range called Cuchilla de Sant' Anna, which is followed in a north-west direction to the source of the Cuareim, or Quarahy, this river becoming the boundary down to the Uruguay. This line was fixed by the treaty of 1851, by which the control of Lake Mirim remains with Brazil. Beginning at the mouth of the Quarahy, the boundary line between Brazil and Argentina ascends the Uruguay, crosses to the source of the Santo Antonio, and descends that small stream and the Iguassú to the Paraná, where it terminates. This line was defined by the treaty of 1857, and by the decision of President Cleveland in 1895 with regard to the small section between the Uruguay and Iguassú rivers. The boundary with Paraguay was definitely settled in 1872. It ascends the Paraná to the great falls of Guayrá, or Sete Quedas, and thence westward along the water-parting of the Sierra de Maracayú to the cerro of that name, thence northerly along the Sierra d'Amambay to the source of the Estrella, a small tributary of the Apá, and thence down those two streams to the Paraguay. From this point the line ascends the Paraguay to the mouth of the Rio Negro, the outlet of the Bahia Negra, where the Bolivian boundary begins. As regards the Peruvian boundary, an agreement was reached in 1904 to submit the dispute to the arbitration of the president of Argentina in case further efforts to reach an amicable settlement failed. The provisional line, representing the Brazilian claim, begins at the termination of the Bolivian section (the intersection of the 11th parallel with the meridian of 72° 26′ W. approx.) and follows a semicircular direction north-west and north to the source of the Javary (or Yavary), to include the basins of the Purús and Juruá within Brazilian jurisdiction. The line follows the Javary to its junction with the Amazon, and runs thence north by east direct to the mouth of the Apaporis, a tributary of the Yapurá, in about 1° 30′ S. lat., 69° 20′ W. long., where the Peruvian section ends. The whole of this line, however, was subject to future adjustments, Peru claiming all that part of the Amazon valley extending eastward to the Madeira and lying between the Beni and the east and west boundary line agreed upon by Spain and Portugal in 1750 and 1777, which is near the 7th parallel. With regard to the section between the Amazon and the Apaporis river, already settled between Brazil and Peru, the territory has been in protracted dispute between Peru, Ecuador and Colombia; but a treaty of limits between Brazil and Ecuador was signed in 1901 and promulgated in 1905. The boundary with Colombia, fixed by treaty of April 24, 1907, follows the lower rim of the Amazon basin, as defined by Brazil. The Colombian claim included the left bank of the Amazon eastward to the Auahy or Avahy-paraná channel between the Amazon and Yapurá, whence the line ran northward to the Negro near the intersection of the 66th meridian. The Brazilian line ran north and north-west from the mouth of the Apaporis to the 70th meridian, which was followed to the water-parting south of the Uaupés basin, thence north-east to the Uaupés river, which was crossed close to the 69th meridian, thence easterly along the Serra Tunaji and Isana river to Cuyari, thence northerly up the Cuyari and one of its small tributaries to the Serra Capparro, and thence east and south-east along this range to the Cucuhy rock (Pedra de Cucuhy) on the left bank of the Negro, where the Colombian section ends. Negotiations for the settlement of this controversy, which involved fully one-third of the state of Amazonas, were broken off in 1870, but were resumed in 1905. The boundary with Venezuela, which was defined by a treaty of 1859, runs south-eastward from Cucuhy across a level country intersected by rivers and channels tributary to both the Negro and Orinoco, to the Serra Cupuy watershed which separates the rivers of the Amazon and Orinoco valleys. This watershed includes the ranges running eastward and northward under the names of Imeri, Tapiira-peco, Curupira, Parima and Pacaraima, the Venezuelan section terminating at Mt. Roraima. On the 9th of December 1905 protocols were signed at Caracas accepting the line between Cucuhy and the Serra Cupuy located in 1880, and referring the remainder, which had been located by a Brazilian commission in 1882 and 1884, to a mixed commission for verification.
The disputed boundary between Brazil and British Guiana, which involved the possession of a territory having an estimated area of 12,741 sq. m., was settled by arbitration in 1904 with the king of Italy as arbitrator, the award being a compromise division by which Great Britain received about 7336 sq. m. and Brazil about 5405. The definite boundary line starts from Mt. Roraima and follows the water-parting east and south to the source of the Ireng or Mahu river, which with the Takutú forms the boundary as far south as 1° N. to enclose the basin of the Essequibo and its tributaries, thence it turns east and north of east along the Serra Acaria to unite with the unsettled boundary line of Dutch Guiana near the intersection of the 2nd parallel north with the 56th meridian. Negotiations were initiated in 1905 for the definite location of the boundary with Dutch Guiana. Running north-east and south-east to enclose the sources of the Rio Paru, it unites with the French Guiana line at 2° 10′ N., 55° W., and thence runs easterly along the water-parting of the Serra Tumuc-Humac to the source of the Oyapok, which river is the divisional line to the Atlantic coast. The boundary with French Guiana (see Guiana), which had long been a subject of dispute, was settled by arbitration in 1900, the award being rendered by the government of Switzerland. The area of the disputed territory was about 34,750 sq. m.
The coastal plain consists in great part of sandy beaches, detritus formations, and partially submerged areas caused by uplifted beaches and obstructed river channels. Mangrove swamps, lagoons and marshes, with inland canals following the Relief. coast line for long distances, are characteristic features of a large extent of the Brazilian coast. Parts of this coastal plain, however, have an elevation of 100 to 200 ft., are rolling and fertile in character, and terminate on the coast in a line of bluffs. In the larger depressions, like that of the Reconcavo of Bahia, there are large alluvial areas celebrated for their fertility. This plain is of varying width, and on some parts of the coast it disappears altogether. In Rio Grande do Sul, where two large lakes have been created by uplifted sand beaches, the coastal plain widens greatly, and is merged in an extensive open, rolling grassy plain, traversed by ridges of low hills (cuchillas), similar to the neighbouring republic of Uruguay. The western part of this plain is drained by the Uruguay and its tributaries, which places it within the river Plate (La Plata) basin.The two great river basins of the Amazon-Tocantins and La Plata comprise within themselves, approximately, three-fifths of the total area of Brazil. Large areas of these great river plains are annually flooded, the flood-plains of the Amazon extending nearly across the whole country and comprising thousands of square miles. The Amazon plain is heavily forested and has a slope of less than one inch to the mile within Brazilian territory—one competent authority placing it at about one-fifth of an inch per mile. The La Plata basin
Of the two highland regions of Brazil, that of the northern slope of the Amazon basin belongs physically to the isolated mountain system extending eastward from the Negro and Orinoco to the Atlantic, the water-parting of which forms the boundary line between the Guianas and Brazil. The culminating point is near the western extremity of this chain and its altitude is estimated at 8500 ft. The ranges gradually diminish in elevation towards the east, the highest point of the Tumuc-Humac range, on the frontier of French Guiana, being about 2600 ft. The Brazilian plateau slopes southward and eastward, traversed by broken ranges of low mountains and deeply eroded by river courses. The table-topped hills of Almeyrin (or Almeirim) and Ereré, which lie near the lower Amazon and rise to heights of 800 and 900 ft., are generally considered the southernmost margin of this plateau, though Agassiz and others describe them as remains of a great sandstone sheet which once covered the entire Amazon valley. Its general elevation has been estimated to be about 2000 ft. It is a stony, semi-arid region, thinly wooded, having good grazing campos in its extreme western section. Its semi-arid character is due to the mountain ranges on its northern frontier, which extract the moisture from the north-east trades and leave the Brazilian plateau behind them with a very limited rainfall, except near the Atlantic coast. The more arid districts offer no inducement for settlement and are inhabited only by a few roving bands of Indians, but there were settlements of whites in the grazing districts of the Rio Branco at an early date, and a few hundreds of adventurers have occupied the mining districts of the east. In general, Brazilian Guiana, as this plateau region is sometimes called, is one of the least attractive parts of the republic.
The great Brazilian plateau, which is the most important physical division of Brazil, consists of an elevated tableland 1000 to 3000 ft. above the sea-level, traversed by two great mountain systems, and deeply eroded and indented by numerous rivers. A thick sandstone sheet once covered the greater part if not all of it, remains of which are found on the elevated chapadas of the interior and on isolated elevations extending across the republic toward its western frontier. These chapadas and elevations, which are usually described as mountain ranges, are capped by horizontal strata of sandstone and show the original surface, which has been worn away by the rivers, leaving here and there broad flat-topped ridges between river basins and narrower ranges of hills between river courses. From the valleys their rugged, deeply indented escarpments, stretching away to the horizon, have the appearance of a continuous chain of mountains. The only true mountain systems, however, so far as known, are the two parallel ranges which follow the contour of the coast, and the central, or Goyana, system. The first consists of an almost continuous range crossing the northern end of Rio Grande do Sul and following the coast northward to the vicinity of Cape Frio, and thence northward in broken ranges to the vicinity of Cape St Roque, and a second parallel range running from eastern São Paulo northeast and north to the eastern margin of the São Francisco basin in northern Bahia, where that river turns eastward to the Atlantic. The first of these is generally known as the Serra do Mar, or Coast Range, though it is locally known under many names. Its culminating point is in the Organ Mountains (Serra dos Orgãos), near Rio de Janeiro, which reaches an elevation of 7323 ft. The inland range, which is separated from the Coast Range in the vicinity of Rio de Janeiro by the valley of the Parahyba do Sul river, is known as the Serra da Mantiqueira, and from the point where it turns northward to form the eastern rim of the São Francisco basin, as the Serra do Espinhaço. This range is also known under various local names. Its culminating point is toward the western extremity of the Mantiqueira range where the Itatiaya, or Itatiaia-assu, peak rises to an elevation of 8898 ft. (other measurements give 9823 ft.), probably the highest summit in Brazil. This range forms the true backbone of the maritime mountainous belt and rises from the plateau itself, while the Coast Range rises on its eastern margin and forms a rim to the plateau. North of Cape Frio the Coast Range is much broken and less elevated, while the Serra do Espinhaço takes a more inland course and is separated from the coast by great gently-sloping, semi-barren terraces. The second system—the Central or Goyana—consists of two distinct chains of mountains converging toward the north in the elevated chapadão between the Tocantins and São Francisco basins. The eastern range of this central system, which crosses western Minas Geraes from the so-called Serra das Vertentes to the valley of the Paracatú, a western tributary of the São Francisco, is called the Serra da Canastra and Serra da Matta da Corde. Its culminating point is toward its southern extremity in the Serra da Canastra, 4206 ft. above sea-level. The western range, or what is definitely known of it, runs across southern Goyaz, south-west to north-east, and forms the water-parting between the Paraná and Tocantins-Araguaya basins. Its culminating point is in the Montes Pyreneos, near the city of Goyaz, and is about 4500 ft. above sea-level.
The great part of this immense region consists of chapadões, as the larger table-land areas are called, chapadas or smaller sections of the same, and broadly excavated river valleys. How extensive this work of erosion has been may be seen in the Tocantins-Araguaya basin, where a great pear-shaped depression, approximately 100 to 500 m. wide, 700 m. long, and from 1000 to 1500 ft. deep, has been excavated northward from the centre of the plateau. Southward the Paraná has excavated another great basin and eastward the São Francisco another. Add to these the eroded river basins of the Xingú, Tapajós and Guaporé on the north and west, the Paraguay on the south-west, and the scores of smaller rivers along the Atlantic coast, and we may have some conception of the agencies that have been at work in breaking down and shaping this great table-land, perhaps the oldest part of the continent. The most southern of these chapadões, that of the Paraná basin, in which may be included the northern part of the Uruguay and eastern part of the Paraguay basins, includes the greater part of the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catharina, Paraná and São Paulo, the south-western corner of Minas Geraes, a part of southern Goyaz, and the south-eastern corner of Matto Grosso. The greatest elevation is on its eastern or Atlantic margin where the average is about 3280 ft. above sea-level. The plateau breaks down abruptly toward the sea, and slopes gradually some hundreds of feet toward the south and west. There has been considerable denudation toward the west, the eastern tributaries of the Paraná rising very near the coast. The northern and western parts of this plateau have an average elevation a little less than that of the Atlantic margin, and their slopes are toward the south and east, those of Goyaz and Matto Grosso being abrupt and deeply eroded. This great chapadão is in many respects the best part of Brazil, having a temperate climate, extensive areas of fertile soil, rich forests and a regular rainfall. Its Atlantic slopes are heavily wooded, but the western slopes exhibit grass-covered campos between the river courses. The São Francisco chapadão, which has a general elevation of about 2600 ft., covers the greater part of the states of Minas Geraes and Bahia, and a small part of western Pernambuco, and might also be considered continuous with those of the Parnahyba and Tocantins-Araguaya basins. This region is more tropical in character, partially barren, and has an uncertain rainfall, a large part of the São Francisco basin and the upper Atlantic slope of its eastern rim being subject to long-continued droughts. This region is well wooded along the river courses of Minas Geraes, the lower Atlantic slopes of Bahia, which are perhaps outside the plateau proper, and on the weather side of some of the elevated ridges where the rainfall is heavy and regular. It has extensive campos and large areas of exposed rock and stony steppes, but is richly provided with mineral deposits. It breaks down less abruptly toward the Atlantic, the slopes in Bahia being long and gradual. The Parnahyba chapadão covers the state of Piauhy, the southern part of Maranhão, and the western part of Ceará. Its general elevation is less than that of the São Francisco region, owing to the slope of the plateau surface toward the Amazon depression and to denudation. It resembles the São Francisco region in its uncertain rainfall and exposure to droughts, and in having large areas of campos suitable for grazing purposes. It is thinly wooded, except in the north, where the climatic conditions approach those of the Amazon valley. Its climate is more tropical and its development has gone forward less rapidly than in the more temperate regions of the south. The Amazonian chapadão, which includes the remainder of the great Brazilian plateau west of the São Francisco and Parnahyba regions and which appears to be the continuation of these tablelands westward, is much the largest of these plateau divisions. It covers the greater part of the states of Matto Grosso and Goyaz, a large part of southern Pará, the southern margin of Amazonas, and a considerable part of western Maranhão. It includes the river basins of the Tocantins-Araguaya, Xingú, Tapajós, and the eastern tributaries of the Guaporé-Madeira. A considerable part of it has been excavated by these rivers to a level which gives their valleys the elevation and character of lowlands, though isolated hills and ranges with the characteristic overlying horizontal sandstone strata of the ancient plateau show that it was once a highland region. The southern margin of this plateau breaks down abruptly toward the south and overlooks the Paraná and Paraguay basins from elevations of 2600 to 3000 ft. There is great diversity in the character and appearance of this extensive region. It lies wholly within the tropics, though its more elevated districts enjoy a temperate climate. Its chapadas are covered with extensive campos, its shallow valleys with open woodlands, and its deeper valleys with heavy forests. The rainfall is good, but not heavy. The general slope is toward the Amazon, and its rivers debouch upon the Amazonian plain through a succession of falls and rapids.There remains only the elevated valley of the Parahyba do Sul, lying between the so-called Serra das Vertentes of southern Minas Geraes and the Serra do Mar, and extending from the Serra da Bocaina, near the city of São Paulo, eastward to Cape Frio and the coastal plain north of that point. It includes a small part of eastern São Paulo, the greater part of the state of Rio de Janeiro, a small corner of Espirito Santo, and a narrow strip along the southern border of Minas Geraes. It is traversed by two mountain chains, the Serra da Mantiqueira and Serra do Mar, and the broad, fertile valley of the Parahyba do Sul which lies between them, and which slopes gently toward the east from a general elevation exceeding 2000 ft. in São Paulo. This region is the smallest of the chapadão divisions of the great plateau, and might be considered either a southward extension of the São Francisco or an eastward extension of the Paraná chapadão. It is one of the most favoured regions of
Outside the two great river systems of the Amazon and river Plate (Rio de la Plata), which are treated under their respective titles, the rivers of Brazil are limited to the numerous small streams and three or four large rivers which flow Rivers.eastward from the plateau regions directly into the Atlantic. The Amazon system covers the entire north-western part of the republic, the state of Amazonas, nearly the whole of Pará and the greater part of Matto Grosso being drained by this great river and its tributaries. If the Tocantins-Araguaya basin is included in the hydrographic system, the greater part of Goyaz and a small part of Maranhão should be added to this drainage area. The Tocantins is sometimes treated as a tributary of the Amazon because its outlet, called the Rio Pará, is connected with that great river by a number of inland channels. It is an entirely separate river, however, and the inland communication between them is due to the slight elevation of the intervening country above their ordinary levels and to the enormous volume of water brought down by the Amazon, especially in the flood season. As the outlet of the Tocantins is so near to that of the Amazon, and their lower valleys are conterminous, it is convenient to treat them as parts of the same hydrographic basin.
The rivers of the great Brazilian plateau which flow directly to the Atlantic coast may be divided into two classes: those of its northward slope which flow in a northerly and north-easterly direction to the north-east coast of the republic, and those which drain its eastern slope and flow to the sea in an easterly direction. The former reach the coastal plain over long and gradual descents, and are navigable for considerable distances. The latter descend from the plateau much nearer the coast, and are in most cases navigable for short distances only. In both classes navigation is greatly impeded by sandbars at the mouths of these rivers, while in the districts of periodical rainfall it is greatly restricted in the dry season. The more important rivers of the first division, which are described in more detail under the titles of the Brazilian states through which they flow, are the following: the Gurupy, Tury-assú, Mearim, Itapicurú and Balsas, in the state of Maranhão; the Parnahyba and its tributaries in Piauhy; Jaguaribe in Ceará; and the Apody and Piranhas in Rio Grande do Norte. Of these the Parnahyba is the most important, having a total length of about 900 m., broken at intervals by rapids and navigable in sections. It receives only one important tributary from Maranhão—the Rio das Balsas, 447 m. long—and five from Piauhy, the Urussuhy-assú, Gurgueia, Canindé, Poty and Longa. Piauhy is wholly within its drainage basin, although the river forms the boundary line between that state and Maranhão throughout its entire length. All the rivers in this division are influenced by the periodical character of the rainfall, their navigable channels being greatly shortened in the dry season (August-January). In Ceará the smaller rivers become dry channels in the dry season, and in protracted droughts the larger ones disappear also.
The rivers of the second division are included in a very great extension of coast and are influenced by wide differences in climate. Their character is also determined by the distance of the Serra do Mar from the coast, the more southern rivers having short precipitous courses. The more northern rivers are subject to periodical variations in volume caused by wet and dry seasons, but the greater distance of the coast range and the more gradual breaking down of the plateau toward the sea, give them longer courses and a greater extent of navigable water. North of the São Francisco the watershed projecting from the plateau eastward toward Cape St Roque, known as the Serra da Borborema in Parahyba and Rio Grande do Norte where its direction becomes north-east, leaves a triangular section of the easterly slope in which the river courses are short and much broken by rapids. The rainfall, also, is limited and uncertain. The largest of this group of small rivers is the Parahyba do Norte, belonging to the state of Parahyba, whose length is said to be less than 200 m., only 5 or 6 m. of which are navigable for small steamers. The São Francisco, which belongs to the inland plateau region, is the largest river of the eastern coast of Brazil and exists by virtue of climatic conditions wholly different from those of the coast where it enters the Atlantic. The tributaries of the lower half of this great river, which belong to the Atlantic coast region, are small and often dry, but the upper river where the rainfall is heavier and more regular receives several large affluents. The river is navigable up to the Paulo Affonso falls, 192 m. from the coast, and above the falls there is a much longer stretch of navigable water.
From the São Francisco to Cape Frio there are many short rivers rising on the slopes of the plateau and crossing the narrow coastal plain to the sea. There are also a few of greater length which rise far back on the plateau itself and flow down to the plain through deeply cut, precipitous courses. The navigable channels of these rivers are restricted to the coastal plain, except where a river has excavated for itself a valley back into the plateau. The more important of these rivers are the Itapicurú, Paraguassú, Contas or Jussiape, Pardo or Patype, and Jequitinhonha, of Bahia; the Mucury, and Doce, of Espirito Santo; and the Parahyba do Sul of the state of Rio de Janeiro. Of the Bahia group, the Jequitinhonha, sometimes called the Belmonte on its lower course, is the longest and most important, rising near Serro in the state of Minas Geraes and flowing in a curving north-east direction for a distance of about 500 m., 84 of which are navigable inland from the sea. The Mucury and Doce also rise in Minas Geraes, and are much broken in their descent to the lower plains, the former having a navigable channel of 98 m. and the latter of 138 m. The Parahyba, or Parahyba do Sul, which enters the sea about 30 m. north of Cape S. Thomé, is the largest and most important of the Atlantic coast rivers south of the São Francisco. It rises on an elevated tableland in the state of São Paulo and flows across the state of Rio de Janeiro from west to east, through a broad fertile valley producing coffee in its most elevated districts and sugar on its alluvial bottom-lands nearer the sea. It has a total length of 658 m., 57 of which are navigable between S. Fidelis and its mouth, and about 90 m. of its upper course.
South of Cape Frio there are no large rivers along the coast because of the proximity of the Serra do Mar—the coastal plain being very narrow and in places disappearing altogether. There are many short streams along this coast, fed by heavy rainfalls, but they have no geographic importance and no economic value under existing conditions. The largest of these and the only one of commercial value is the Ribeira de Iguape, which has its source on the tablelands of Paraná and after receiving several affluents west of the Serra do Mar breaks through a depression in that range and discharges into the Atlantic some miles below Santos on the southern boundary of the state of São Paulo. This river has a navigable channel of 118 m. below Xiririca, and communicates with an inland canal or waterway extending for many miles along this coast and known as the Iguape, or Mar Pequeno. In Rio Grande do Sul the Atlantic coastal plain extends westward more than half-way across the state, and is well watered by numerous streams flowing eastward to the Lagôa dos Patos. Of these only two are of large size—the Guayba and Camaquam. The first is formed by the confluence of the Jacuhy, Cahy, Sinos and Gravatahy, and is known under this name only from Porto Alegre to the Ponta de Itapuã, where it enters the Lagôa dos Patos. This river system drains a large part of the northern mountainous region of the state, and has a considerable extension of navigable channels between the plateau margin and the lake. In the extreme southern part of the state, the Lagôa Mirim empties into the Lagôa dos Patos through a navigable channel 61½ m. long, called the Rio São Gonçalo.The Brazilian rivers of the Rio de la Plata system are numerous and important. Those of the Paraguay drain the south-western part of Matto Grosso, and the tributaries of the Paraná cover the western slopes of the Serra do Mar from Rio Grande do Sul north to the south-west part of Minas Geraes, and include the south-east part of Matto Grosso and the south part of Goyaz within their drainage basin. This is one of the most important fluvial systems of Brazil, but its economic value is impaired by the great waterfalls of Guayrá, or Sete Quedas, and Uribú-punga, and by the rapids and waterfalls in the majority of its affluents near their junction with the main stream. Between the two great waterfalls of the Paraná there is an open channel of 276 m., passing through a rich and healthy country, and receiving large tributaries from one of the most fertile regions of Brazil. Among the larger of these are the great falls of the Iguassú, near the junction of that river with the Paraná. Though the Uruguay plays a less important part, its relations to the country are similar to those of the Paraná, and its tributaries from the plateau region are similarly broken by falls and rapids. The Paraguay is in great part a lowland river, with a sluggish current, and is navigable by large river steamers up to Corumbá, and by smaller steamers to Cuyabá and the mouth of the Jaurú.
Lakes.reservoirs whose areas expand and contract with the rise and fall of the great river. The coastal plain is also intersected by lagoons, lakes and inland channels formed by uplifted beaches. These inland channels often afford many miles of sheltered navigation. The lakes formed in this manner are generally shallow, and are sometimes associated with extensive swamps, as in southern Bahia. The lakes of the Alagôas coast, however, are long, narrow and deep, occupying valleys which were deeply excavated when the land stood at a higher level, and which were transformed into lakes by the elevation of the coast. The largest of these are the Lagôa do Norte, on whose margin stands the city of Maceió, and the Lagôa do Sul, a few miles south of that city. Both have outlets to the sea, and the former is salt There is a large number of these lakes along the coasts of Espirito Santo and Rio de Janeiro, some of them of considerable size. The two largest lakes of this class are on the coast of Rio Grande do Sul and are known as the Lagôa dos Patos and Lagôa Mirim. Both of these lakes lie nearly parallel with the coast line, are separated from the ocean by broad sand beaches filled with small lakes, and communicate with the ocean through the same channel. The Lagôa dos Patos is about 124 m. long with a maximum width of 37 m., and Lagôa Mirim is 108 m. long with a maximum width of 15 m. Both are navigable, though comparatively shallow and filled with sandbanks. So far as known, there are no lakes of noteworthy size in the interior of the country. There are a few small lakes in Maranhão and Piauhy, some in Goyaz in the great valley of the Araguaya, and a considerable number in Matto Grosso, especially in the Paraguay basin, where the sluggish current of that river is unable to carry away the rainfall in the rainy season.
Coast.Rio de Janeiro or Guanabara, beside which stands the capital of the republic. These two are freely accessible to the largest ships afloat. The bays of Espirito Santo, Paranaguá and São Francisco have similar characteristics, but they are smaller and more difficult of access. The first is the harbour for the city of Victoria, and the other two for ports of the same name in southern Brazil. The port of Pernambuco, or Recife, is formed by a stone reef lying across the entrance to a shallow bay at the mouth of two small rivers, Beberibe and Capibaribe, and is accessible to steamers of medium draught. Santa Catharina and Maranhão have well-sheltered harbours formed by an island lying in the mouth of a large bay, but the latter is shallow and difficult of access. Pará, Parnahyba, Parahyba, Santos and Rio Grande do Sul are river ports situated near the sea on rivers having the same name; but, with the exception of Pará and Santos, they are difficult of access and are of secondary importance. There are still other bays along the coast which are well adapted for commercial purposes but are used only in the coasting trade. Many of the Atlantic coast rivers would afford excellent port facilities if obstructions were removed from their mouths.
From the above account it will appear that, excepting near the coast and in the basin of the Amazon, there is no evidence that any part of Brazil has been under the sea since the close of the Devonian period. During the Triassic and Jurassic periods even the basin of the Amazon appears to have been dry land. Eruptive rocks occur in the Devonian and Carboniferous beds, but there is no evidence of volcanic activity since the Palaeozoic epoch. The remarkable “stone reefs” of the north-east coast are ancient beaches hardened by the infiltration of carbonate of lime. They are quite distinct in their formation from the coral reefs of the same coast.
Climate.—Brazil lies almost wholly within the torrid zone, less than one-twelfth of its area lying south of the tropic of Capricorn. In general terms, it is a tropical country, with sub-tropical and temperate areas covering its three southern states and a great part of the elevated central plateau. The forest-covered, lowland valley of the Amazon is a region of high temperatures which vary little throughout the year, and of heavy rainfall. There is no appreciable change of seasons, except that produced by increased rainfall in the rainy season. The average temperature according to Castelnau is about 78°F., or 82.40° to 84.20° F. according to Agassiz. There is an increase in the rainfall from August to October, and again from November to March, the latter being the regular rainy season, but the time varies considerably between the valley of the upper Amazon and those of the upper Madeira and Negro. There is usually a short dry season on the upper Amazon in January and February, which causes two annual floods—that of November-December, and the great flood of March-June. The subsidence of the latter usually lasts until October. The average rainfall throughout the whole Amazon valley is estimated by Reclus as “probably in excess of 2 metres” (78.7 in.), and the maximum rise of the great flood is about 45 ft. The prevailing winds in the Amazon valley are easterly and westerly (or south-westerly), the former warm and charged with moisture, the latter dry and cold. The easterly winds, which are deflections of the trade winds, blow upstream with great regularity and force, more especially in the winter or dry season, and are felt as far inland as the mouths of the Madeira and Negro. Above these they are less regular and are attracted northward by the heated llanos of Venezuela in winter, or southward by the heated campos of Matto Grosso in summer. The cold south-westerly winds are felt when the sun is north of the equator, and are most severe, for a few days, in the month of May, when a tempo da friagem (cold period) causes much discomfort throughout the upper Amazon region. There are winter winds from the Andes, but in the summer season there are cold currents of air from up-river (ventos da cima) which are usually followed by downpours of rain.The coastal plain as far south as Santos is a region of high temperatures and great humidity. The year is usually divided into a winter (inverno) and summer (verão), corresponding approximately to a dry and wet season. The “dry” season, however, is a season of moderate rainfall, except on the north-east coast where arid conditions prevail. Another exception is that of the Pernambuco coast, where the rainy season comes between March and August, with the heaviest rainfall from May to July, which is the time of the southern winter. Going southward there is also a gradual decrease in the mean annual temperature, the difference between Rio de Janeiro and the Amazon being about 5°. The north-east coast, which is sandy and barren, shows an average mean annual temperature (at
The climatic conditions of the Brazilian plateau are widely different from those of the coast in many respects. There is less uniformity in temperature, and the elevated chapadas are generally hotter during the day and cooler at night than are localities of the same latitude on the coast. The Brazilian Guiana plateau, lying immediately north of the equator, is in great part a hot, stony desert. Geographically it belongs to the Amazon basin, as its western and southern slopes are drained by tributaries of that great river. Climatically, however, it is a region apart. It lies in the north-east trade winds belt, but the mountain chain on its northern frontier robs these winds of their moisture and leaves the greater part of the Brazilian plateau rainless. Its eastern and western extremities, however, receive more rain, the former being well forested, while the latter is covered with grassy campos. South of the Amazon valley and filling a great part of the eastern projection of the continent, is another arid, semi-barren plateau, lying within the south-east trade winds belt, and extending from Piauhy southward to southern Bahia. It covers the state of Piauhy and the western or inland parts of the states of Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Parahyba, Pernambuco and Bahia. The year is divided into a dry and wet season, the first from June to December, when rain rarely falls, the streams dry up and the campos are burned bare, and the second from January to May when the rains are sometimes heavy and the campos are covered with luxuriant verdure. The rains are neither regular nor certain, however, and sometimes fail for a succession of years, causing destructive sêccas (droughts). The interior districts of Ceará, Pernambuco and Bahia have suffered severely from these sêccas. The sun temperature is high on these barren tablelands, but the nights are cool and refreshing. The prevailing winds are the south-east trades, which have lost some of their moisture in rising from the coastal plain. In summer, becoming warmed by the heated surface of the plateau, they sweep across it without a cloud or drop of rain. In winter the plateau is less heated, and cold currents of air from the west and south-west cause precipitation over a part if not all of this region. South and south-west of this arid plateau lie the inhabited tablelands of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Minas Geraes, where the climate is greatly modified by a luxuriant vegetation and southerly winds, as well as by the elevation. Minas Geraes is forested along its water courses and along its southern border only; its sun temperature, therefore, is high and the rainfall in its northern districts is comparatively light. São Paulo is partly covered by open campos, and these also serve to augment the maximum temperature. In both of these states, however, the nights are cool, and the mean annual temperature ranges from 68° to 77°, the northern districts of Minas Geraes being much warmer than the southern. In São Paulo and southern Minas Geraes there are sometimes frosts. In the Parahyba valley, which extends across the state of Rio de Janeiro, the mean temperature is somewhat higher than it is in São Paulo and Minas Geraes, and the nights are warmer, but the higher valleys of the Serra do Mar enjoy a delightfully temperate climate. The rainfall throughout this region is abundant, except in northern Minas Geraes, where the climatic conditions are influenced to some extent by the arid eastern plateau. South of São Paulo the tablelands of Paraná, Santa Catharina and Rio Grande do Sul enjoy a temperate climate, with an abundant rainfall. There are occasional frosts, but snow is never seen. Of Goyaz and Matto Grosso very little can be said. The lower river valleys of the Tocantins-Araguaya, Xingú, Tapajós and Paraguay are essentially tropical, their climate being hot and humid like that of the Amazon. The higher valleys of the Paraná and its tributaries, and of the rivers which flow northward, are sub-tropical in character, having high sun temperatures and cool nights. Above these, the chapadas lie open to the sun and wind and have a cool, bracing atmosphere even where high sun temperatures prevail. The mean annual temperature at Goyaz (city), according to a limited number of observations, is about 77°. There is no absolutely dry season in this part of the great Brazilian plateau, though the year is customarily divided into a dry and wet season, the latter running from September to April in Goyaz, and from November to April in Matto Grosso. The prevailing winds are from the north-west in this region, and westerly winds in the rainy season are usually accompanied by rain.
Fauna.—The indigenous fauna of Brazil is noteworthy not only for the variety and number of its genera and species, but also for its deficiency in the larger mammals. Of this, one of the best authorities on the subject (H. W. Bates in The Naturalist on the River Amazons) says: “Brazil, moreover, is throughout poor in terrestrial mammals, and the species are of small size.” It is noteworthy, also, for the large number of species having arboreal habits, the density and extent of the Amazon forests favouring their development rather than the development of those of terrestrial habits. Of Quadrumana there are about fifty species in Brazil, all arboreal, thirty-eight of which inhabit the Amazon region. They belong mostly to the Cebidae family, and are provided with prehensile tails. The Carnivora are represented by six species of the Felidae, the best known of which is the onça, or jaguar (F. onça, L.), and the cougar, or puma (F. concolor); three species of the Canidae, the South American wolf (C. jubatus), and two small jackals (C. brasiliensis and C. vetulus); and a few species of the Mustelina including two of the otter, two Galictis and one Mephitis. Of the plantigrades, Brazil has no bears, but has the related species of raccoon (Nasua socialis and N. solitaria), popularly called coatis. The opossum (Didelphis) is represented by three or four species, two of which are so small that they are generally called wood rats. The rodents are numerous and include several peculiar species. Only one species of hare is found in Brazil, the Lepus brasiliensis, and but one also of the squirrel (Scyurus). Of the amphibious rodents, the prêá (Cavia aperea), mocó (C. rupestris), paca (Coelogenys paca), cutia (Dasyprocta aguti) and capybara (Hydrochoerus capybara) are noteworthy for their size and extensive range. Their flesh is used as an article of food, that of the paca being highly esteemed. Of the Muridae there are several genera and a large number of species, some of them evidently importations from the Old World. Brazil has three groups of animals similar to the common rat—the Capromydae, Loncheridae and Psammoryctidae—the best known of which is the “tuco-tuco” (Clenomys brasiliensis), a small burrowing animal of Rio Grande do Sul which excavates long subterranean galleries and lives on roots and bulbs. One of the characteristic orders of the Brazilian fauna is that of the Edentata, which comprises the sloth, armadillo and ant-eater. These animals are found only in the tropical regions of South America. The range of the sloth is from the Guianas south into Minas Geraes, the armadillo as far south as the Argentine pampas and the ant-eater from the Amazon south to Paraguay, though it is found in the Amazon region principally. The sloth (Bradypus) is an arboreal animal which feeds almost exclusively on the foliage of the Cecropias. It includes two recognized genera and half a dozen species, the best known of which is B. didactylus. The common name in Brazil is preguiça, which is equivalent to its English name. Of armadillos, commonly called tatú in Brazil, the largest species is the Dasypus gigas, but the best known is the tatú-été (D. octocinctus), which is highly esteemed for its flesh. The ant-eaters (Myrmecophaga) are divided into three or four species, one of which (M. jubata) is exclusively terrestrial, and the others arboreal. The popular name for the animal is tamanduá. The M. jubata, or tamanduá bandeira, is sometimes found as far south as Paraguay. Of the ruminants, Brazil has only four or five species of Cervidae, which are likewise common to other countries of South America. The largest of these is the marsh deer (C. paludosus), which in size resembles its European congeners. The others are the C. campestris, C. nemorivagus, C. rufus and a small species or variety called C. nanus by the Danish naturalist Dr P. W. Lund. The pachyderms are represented by three species of the peccary (Dicotyles) and two of the anta, or tapir (Tapirus). The former are found over a wide range of country, extending into Bolivia and Argentina, and are noted for their impetuous pugnacity. The tapir also has an extensive range between the coast and the foothills of the Andes, and from northern Argentina to south-eastern Colombia. It is the largest of the Brazilian mammals, and inhabits densely forested tracts near river courses. The two species are T. americanus, which is the larger and best known, and the anta chure, found in Minas Geraes, which is said to be identical with the T. Roulini of Colombia. Perhaps the most interesting mammal of Brazil is the manati, or sea-cow (Manatus americanus), which inhabits the lower Amazon and sometimes reaches a length of 15 to 20 ft. It is taken with the harpoon and its oil is one of the commercial products of the Amazon valley.The avifauna of Brazil is rich in genera, species and individuals, especially in species with brilliantly-coloured plumage. It is estimated that more than half the birds of Brazil are insectivorous, and that more than one-eighth are climbers. The range in size is a wide one—from the tiny humming-bird to the ema, rhea, or American ostrich. Although the order which includes song-birds is numerous in species and individuals, it is noticeably poor in really good songsters. On the other hand it is exceptionally rich in species having strident voices and peculiar unmusical calls, like the pacô (Coracina scuttata) and the araponga (Chasmorhynchus nudicollis). Two species of vultures, twenty-three of falcons and eight of owls represent the birds of prey. The best known vulture is the common urubú (Cathartes foetens, Illig), which is the universal scavenger of the
The reptilian fauna exhibits an exceptionally large number of interesting genera and species. A great part of the river systems of the country with their flooded areas are highly favourable to the development of reptilian life. Most prominent among these is the American alligator, of which there are, according to Netterer, two genera and eight species in Brazil. They are very numerous in the Amazon and its tributaries and in the Paraguay, and are found in all the rivers of the Atlantic coast. Three of the Brazilian species are voracious and dangerous. The largest of the Amazon species are the jacaré-assú (Caïman niger), jacaré (C. fissipes) and jacaré-tinga (C. sclerops). The Amazon is also the home of one of the largest fresh-water turtles known, the Emys amazonica, locally called the jurará-assú or tartaruga grande. These turtles are so numerous that their flesh and eggs have long been a principal food supply for the Indian population of that region. Another Amazon species, the E. tracaxa, is still more highly esteemed for its flesh, but it is smaller and deposits fewer eggs in the sandy river beaches. Lagartos (Iguanas) and lizards are common everywhere. The ophidians are also numerous, especially in the wooded lowlands valleys, and the poisonous species, though less numerous than others, include some of the most dangerous known—the rattlesnake surucucú (Lachesis rhombeatus), and jararáca (Bothrops). The Amazon region is frequented by the giboia (boa constrictor), and the central plateau by the sucuriú (Eunectes murinus), both distinguished for their enormous size. The batrachians include a very large number of genera and species, especially in the Amazon valley.
The fauna of the rivers and coast of Brazil is richer in species and individuals than that of the land. All the rivers are richly stocked, and valuable fishing grounds are to be found along the coast, especially that of southern Bahia and Espirito Santo where the garoupa (Serranus) is found in large numbers. Some of the small fish along the coast are highly esteemed for their flavour. Whales were once numerous between Capes St Roque and Frio, but are now rarely seen. Of the edible river fish, the best known is the pirarucú (Sudis gigas), a large fish of the Amazon which is salted and dried for market during the low-water season. Fish is a staple food of the Indian tribes of the Amazon region, and their fishing season is during the period of low water. The visit of Professor Louis Agassiz to the Amazon in 1865 resulted in a list of 1143 species, but it is believed that no less than 1800 to 2000 species are to be found in that great river and its tributaries.
In strong contrast to the poverty of Brazil in the larger mammals is the astonishing profusion of insect life in every part of the country. The Coleoptera and Lepidoptera are especially numerous, both in species and individuals. A striking illustration of this extraordinary profusion was given by the English naturalist H. W. Bates, who found 7000 species of insects in the vicinity of only one of his collecting places on the Amazon (Ega), of which 550 species were of butterflies. Within an hour's walk of Pará are to be found, he says, about 700 species of butterflies, “whilst the total number found in the British Islands does not exceed 66, and the whole of Europe supports only 321.” (H. W. Bates, The Naturalist on the River Amazons.) One of the rare species of the Amazon Morphos (M. hecuba) measures 8 to 9 in. across its expanded wings. Dipterous insects are also very numerous in species, especially in those of sanguinary habits, such as the mosquito, pium, maroim, carapanā, borochudo, &c. In some places these insects constitute a veritable plague, and the infested regions are practically uninhabitable. The related species of the Oestridae family, which include the widely disseminated chigoe or bicho do pé (Pulex penetrans), and the equally troublesome berne (Cutiterebra noxialis), which is so injurious to animals, are equally numerous. The most numerous of all, however, and perhaps the most harmful to civilized man, are the termites and ants, which are found everywhere in the uninhabited campo and forest regions, as well as in the cultivated districts. Nature has provided several species of animals, birds and reptiles, to feed upon these insects, and various poisonous and suffocating compounds are used to destroy them, but with no great degree of success. It is not uncommon to find once cultivated fields abandoned because of their ravages and to see large campos completely covered with enormous ant-hills. The termites, or “white ants,” are exceptionally destructive because of their habit of tunnelling through the softer woods of habitations and furniture, while some species of ants, like the saúba, are equally destructive to plantations because of the rapidity with which they strip a tree of its foliage. Spiders are represented by a very large number of species, some of which are beautifully coloured. The largest of these is the Mygale with a body 2 in. in length and outstretched legs covering 7 in., a monster strong enough to capture and kill small birds. A large Mygale found on the island of Siriba, of the Abrolhos group, feeds upon lizards, and has been known to attack and kill young chickens. One of the most troublesome pests of the interior is a minute degenerate spider of the genus Ixodes, called carrapato, or bush-tick, which breeds on the ground and then creeps up the grass blades and bushes where it waits for some passing man or beast. Its habit is to bury its head in its victim's skin and remain there until gorged with blood, when it drops off. Scorpions are common, but are considered less poisonous than some European species.
Flora.—Brazil not only is marvellously rich in botanical species, but included at the beginning of the 20th century the largest area of virgin forest on the surface of the earth. The flora falls naturally into three great divisions: that of the Amazon basin where exceptional conditions of heat and moisture prevail; that of the coast where heat, varying rainfall, oceanic influences and changing seasons have greatly modified the general character of the vegetation; and that of the elevated interior, or sertão, where dryer conditions, rocky surfaces, higher sun temperatures and large open spaces produce a vegetation widely different from those of the other two regions. Besides these, the flora of the Paraguay basin varies widely from that of the inland plateau, and that of the Brazilian Guiana region is essentially distinct from the Amazon. The latter region is densely forested from the Atlantic to the Andes, but with a varying width of about 200 m. on the coast to about 900 m. between the Bolivian and Venezuelan llanos, and thus far civilization has made only a very slight impression upon it. Even where settlements have been located, constant effort is required to keep the vegetation down. Along the coast, much of the virgin forest has been cut away, not only for the creation of cultivated plantations, but to meet the commercial demand for Brazil-wood and furniture woods.The chief characteristic of the Amazonian forest, aside from its magnitude, is the great diversity of genera and species. In the northern temperate zone we find forests of a single species, others of three or four species; in this great tropical forest the habit of growth is solitary and an acre of ground will contain hundreds of species—palms, myrtles, acacias, mimosas, cecropias, euphorbias, malvaceas, laurels, cedrellas, bignonias, bombaceas, apocyneas, malpigias, lecythises, swartzias, &c. The vegetation of the lower river-margins, which are periodically flooded, differs in some particulars from that of the higher ground, and the same variation is to be found between the forests of the upper and lower Amazon, and between the Amazon and its principal tributaries. The density of the forest is greatly augmented by the cipós, or lianas, which overgrow the largest trees to their tops, and by a profusion of epiphytes which cover the highest branches. As a rule the trees of the Amazon forest are not conspicuously high, a few species rarely reaching a height of 200 ft. The average is probably less than one-half that height. This is especially true of the flood plains where the annual inundations prevent the formation of humus and retard forest growth. The largest of the Amazon forest trees are the massaranduba (Mimusops elata), called the cow-tree because of its milky sap, the samaúma (Eriodendron samauma) or silk-cotton tree, the páu d' arco (Tecoma speciosa), páu d' alho (Catraeva tapia), bacori (Symphonea coccinea), sapucaia (Lecythis ollaria), and castanheira or brazil-nut tree (Bertholletia excelsa). The Amazon region has a comparatively narrow
Of the great inland region, which includes the arid campos of the north, the partially-wooded plateaus of Minas Geraes, Goyaz and Matto Grosso, the temperate highlands of the south, and the tropical lowlands of the Paraguay basin, no adequate description can be given without taking each section in detail, which can be done to better advantage in describing the individual states. In general, the carrasco growth extends over the whole central plateau, and heavy forests are found only in the deep river valleys. Those opening northward have the characteristic flora of the Amazon basin. The Paraguay basin is covered with extensive marshy tracts and open woodlands, the palms being the conspicuous feature. The vegetation is similar to that of Paraguay and the Chaco, and aquatic plants are specially numerous and luxuriant. On the temperate uplands of the southern states there are imposing forests of South American pine (Araucaria brasiliensis), whose bare trunks and umbrella-like tops give to them the appearance of open woodland. These forests extend from Paraná into Rio Grande do Sul and smaller tracts are also found in Minas Geraes. Large tracts of Ilex paraguayensis, from which maté, or Paraguay-tea, is gathered, are found in this same region.The economic plants of Brazil, both indigenous and exotic, are noticeably numerous. Coffee naturally occupies first place, and is grown wherever frosts are not severe from the Amazon south to Paraná. The states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Geraes are the largest producers, but it is also grown for export in Espirito Santo, Bahia and Ceará. The export in 1905 was 10,820,604 bags of 132 ℔ each, with an official valuation of £21,420,330. Sugar cane, another exotic, has an equally wide distribution, and cotton is grown along the coast from Maranhão to São Paulo. Other economic plants and fruits having a wide distribution are tobacco, maize, rice, beans, sweet potatoes, bananas, cacáo (Theobroma cacao), mandioca or cassava (Manihot utilitissima), aipim or sweet mandioca (M. aipi), guavas (Psidium guayava, Raddi), oranges, lemons, limes, grapes, pineapples, mamão (Carica papaya), bread-fruit (Artocarpus incisa), jack fruit (A. integrifolia), and many others less known outside the tropics. Among the palms there are several of great economic value, not only as food producers but also for various domestic uses. The fruit of the pupunha or peach palm (Guilielma speciosa) is an important food among the Indians of the Amazon valley, where the tree was cultivated by them long before the discovery of America. Humboldt found it among the native tribes of the Orinoco valley, where it is called pirijao. The ita palm, Mauritia, flexuosa (a fan-leaf palm) provides an edible fruit, medullary meal, drink, fibre, roofing and timber, but is less used on the Amazon than it is on the lower Orinoco. The assaí (Euterpe oleracea) is another highly-prized palm because of a beverage made from its fruit along the lower Amazon. A closely-related species or variety (Euterpe edulis) is the well-known palmito or cabbage palm found over the greater part of Brazil, whose terminal phylophore is cooked and eaten as a vegetable. Another highly useful palm is the carnauba or carnahuba (Copernicia cerifera) which supplies fruit, medullary meal, food for cattle, boards and timber, fibre, wax and medicine. The fibre of the piassava (Leopoldinia piassava, or Attalea funifera) is widely used for cordage, brushes and brooms. There are many other palms whose fruit, fibre and wood enter largely into the domestic economy of the natives, but the list given shows how important a service these trees rendered to the aboriginal inhabitants of tropical America, and likewise how useful they still are to the people of tropical Brazil. Another vegetable product of the Amazon region is made from the fruit of the Paullinia sorbilis, Mart., and is known by the name of guaraná. It is largely consumed in Bolivia and Matto Grosso, where it is used in the preparation of a beverage which has excellent medicinal properties. The Brazilian flora is also rich in medicinal and aromatic plants, dye-woods, and a wide range of gum and resin-producing shrubs and trees. The best known of these are sarsaparilla, ipecacuanhá, cinchona, jaborandi and copaiba; vanilla, tonka beans and cloves; Brazil-wood and anatto (Bixa orellana); india-rubber and balata. India-rubber is derived principally from the Hevea guayanensis, sometimes called the Siphonia elastica, which is found on the Amazon and its tributaries as far inland as the foothills of the Andes. Other rubber-producing trees are the maniçoba (Jatropha Glasiovii) of Ceará, and the mangabeira (Hancornia speciosa), of the central upland regions.
Population.—The first explorers of Brazil reported a numerous Indian population, but, as the sea-coast afforded a larger and more easily acquired food supply than did the interior, the Indian population was probably numerous only in a comparatively small part of this immense territory, along the sea-coast. Modern explorations have shown that the unsettled inland regions of Brazil are populated by Indians only where the conditions are favourable. They are to be found in wooded districts near rivers, and are rarely found on the elevated campos. The immediate result of European colonization was the enslavement and extermination of the Indians along the coast and in all those favoured inland localities where the whites came into contact with them. The southern districts and the Amazon and its tributaries were often raided by slave-hunting expeditions, and their Indian populations were either decimated, or driven farther into the inaccessible forests. But there is no record that the inland districts of western and north-western Brazil were treated in this manner, and their present population may be assumed to represent approximately what it was when the Europeans first came. According to the census of 1890 the Indian population was 1,295,796, but so far as the migratory tribes are concerned the figures are only guesswork. A considerable number of these Indians have been gathered together in aldeas under the charge of government tutors, but the larger part still live in their own villages or as nomads.
Down to the beginning of the 19th century the white colonists were almost exclusively Portuguese. The immigration from countries other than Portugal during the first half of that century was small, but before its close it increased rapidly, particularly from Italy. Fully nine-tenths of these immigrants, including those from the mother country, were of the Latin race. The introduction of African slaves followed closely upon the development of agricultural industries, and continued nominally until 1850, actually until 1854, and according to some authors until 1860. About 1826 it was estimated that the negro population numbered 2,500,000 or three times the white population of that period. The unrestricted intermixture of these three races forms the principal basis of the Brazilian population at the beginning of the 20th century. Brazil has never had a “colour line,” and there has never been any popular prejudice against race mixtures. According to the census of 1872 the total population was 9,930,478, of which 1,510,806 were slaves; the race enumeration gave 3,787,289 whites, 1,959,452 Africans, 386,955 Indians, and 3,801,782 mixed bloods. The Indian population certainly exceeded the total given, and the white population must have included many of mixed blood, the habit of so describing themselves being common among the better classes of South American mestizos. The census of 1890 increased the total population to 14,333,915, which, according to an unofficial analysis (Statesman's Year Book, 1905), was made up of 6,302,198 whites, 4,638,495 mixed bloods, 2,097,426 Africans, and 1,295,796 Indians. This analysis, if correct, indicates that the vegetative increase of the whites has been greater than that of the Africans and mixed races. This is not the conclusion of many observers, but it may be due to the excessive infant mortality among the lower classes, where an observance of the simplest sanitary laws is practically unknown. The census of the 31st of December 1900 was strikingly defective; it was wholly discarded for the city of Rio de Janeiro, and had to be completed by office computations in the returns from several states. The compilation of the returns was not completed and published until May 1908, according to which the total population was 17,318,556, of which 8,825,636 were males and 8,492,920 females. Not including the city of Rio de Janeiro, whose population was estimated at 691,565 in conformity with a special municipal census of 1906, the total population was 16,626,991, of which 15,572,671 were Roman Catholics, 177,727 Protestants, 876,593 of other faiths. The returns also show a total of 3,038,500 domiciles outside the federal capital, which gives an average of 5.472 to the domicile. These returns will serve to correct the exaggerated estimate of 22,315,000 for 1900 which was published in Brazil and accepted by many foreign publications.
The racial character of the people is not uniform throughout the republic, the whites predominating in the southern states, the Indians in Amazonas and, probably, Matto Grosso, and the mixed races in the central and northern coast states. The excess of whites over the coloured races in the southern states is due to their smaller slave population and to the large number of immigrants attracted to them. Slavery was not abolished until the 13th of May 1888, but a number of successful colonies had already been founded in these states. Other colonies were founded in Bahia, Espirito Santo and Rio de Janeiro during the same period, but they were unsuccessful, partly because of the competition of slave labour. Since the abolition of slavery immigration has poured a large number of labourers into the coffee-producing states, and with beneficial results. This strengthening of the white population of the South with fresh European blood must eventually divide Brazil into two distinct sections: the white states of the south, and the mixed or coloured states of the north. The introduction of European immigrants dates from 1818 when a Swiss colony was located at Nova Friburgo, near Rio de Janeiro, and it was continued under the direction and with the aid of the imperial government down to the creation of the republic. Since then the state governments have assumed charge of immigration, and some of them are spending large sums in the acquisition of labourers. The old system of locating immigrants in colonies, or colonial nuclei, which involved an enormous outlay of money with but slight benefit to the country, has been superseded by a system of locating the immigrants on the large plantations under formal contracts. In some of the coffee districts these contracts have resulted very profitably to the Italian labourers. The total number of colonists and immigrants entering Brazil between 1804 and 1902, inclusive, according to official returns, was 2,208,353. The arrivals fluctuate greatly in number from year to year, influenced by the prevailing economic conditions in the country. At first the Portuguese outnumbered all other nationalities in the immigration returns, but since the abolition of slavery the Italians have passed all competitors and number more than one-half the total arrivals. Of the 700,211 immigrants located in the state of São Paulo from 1827 to the end of 1896, no less than 493,535 were Italians, and their aggregate throughout the republic was estimated in 1906 at more than 1,100,000. The German immigration, of which so much has been written for political ends, has been greatly over-estimated; trustworthy estimates in 1906 made the German contingent in the population vary from 350,000 to 500,000. They are settled chiefly in colonies in the southern states, and form a most desirable body of settlers.
Divisions and Towns.—The republic is divided into twenty states and one federal district, which are the same as the provinces and “municipio neutro” of the empire. Their names also remain unchanged, except that of the federalized district in which the national capital is located, which is called the “districto federal.” The republic has no territories, although Amazonas, Matto Grosso, Pará and Goyaz cover an immense region of uninhabited and only partially explored territory. The states are subdivided into comarcas, or judicial districts, and into municipios, or townships, which is the smallest autonomous division. The constitution provides for the autonomy of the municipalities in order to safeguard the permanence of representative institutions. The parochia, or parish, an ecclesiastical division, is often used for administrative purposes, but it has no political organization. The names, areas, and populations of the states, together with the names and populations of their capitals, are as follows:—
|Federal District||538||522,651||691,565||Rio de Janeiro||522,651|
|Maranhão||177,569||430,854||499,308||S. Luiz do Maranhão4||29,308|
|Minas Geraes||221,961||3,184,099||3,594,471||Ouro Preto||59,249|
|Rio de Janeiro||26,635||276,884|||274,317||Nictheroy||34,269|
|Rio Grande do Norte||22,196||268,273||1,149,070||Natal||13,725|
|Rio Grande do Sul||91,337||897,455||926,035||Porto Alegre||52,421|
|São Paulo||112,312||1,384,753||2,282,279||São Paulo||64,934|
|Government lines (21):—||Miles.|
|Administered by the state (6)||2228|
|Leased to private parties (15)||2174|
|Private lines (24)—|
|With national interest guarantees (12)||1290|
|Without such guarantees (12)||815|
|Private and state lines operated by virtue of state|
|concessions, with and without interest guarantees (49)||4093|
The use of tramways for the transportation of passengers in cities dates from 1868, when the first section of the Botanical Garden line of Rio de Janeiro was opened to traffic. The line was completed with its surplus earnings and continued under the control of the American company which built it until 1882, when it was sold to a Brazilian company. Subsequently the tramways of the city have been mostly concentrated in the hands of a single Canadian company. All the large cities of Brazil are liberally provided with tramways, those of the city of São Paulo, where electric traction is used, being noticeably good. The substitution of electricity for animal traction was begun in São Salvador in 1906. Mules are universally employed for animal traction, and narrow gauge lines with single-mule trams are generally used where the traffic is light.
Brazil is lamentably deficient in steamship communication considering its importance in a country where the centres of population are separated by such distances of coasts and river. Previous to the creation of the republic, the coastwise service was performed by two national companies (now united), and partially by foreign lines calling at two or more ports. A considerable number of foreign sailing vessels also carried on an important coasting trade. The coastwise service centres at Rio de Janeiro, from which port the Lloyd Brazileiro sends steamers regularly south to Montevideo, and north to Pará and Manáos, calling at the more important intermediate ports. From Montevideo river steamers are sent up the Paraná and Paraguay rivers to Corumbá and Cuyabá, in the state of Matto Grosso. The company receives a heavy subsidy from the national government. Parts of this coastwise traffic are covered by other companies, two of which receive subsidies. There were also six lines of river steamers receiving subsidies from the national government in 1904, and the aggregate paid to these and the coastwise lines was 2,830,061 milreis. The largest of the river lines is the Amazon Steam Navigation Co. (an English corporation), whose service covers the main river and several of its principal tributaries. Two subsidized companies maintain services on the São Francisco river—one below the Paulo Affonso falls, and the other above, the latter covering 854 m. of navigable channel between Joazeiro and Pirapora. Besides these there are other companies engaged in the coasting and river traffic, either with subsidies from the state governments, as feeders for railway lines, or as private unsubsidized undertakings.
The telegraph lines, which date from 1852, are owned and operated by the national government, with the exception of the lines constructed by private railway companies, and the cable lines of the Amazon and the coast. The government lines extend from Pará to the Argentine and Uruguayan frontiers, where they connect with the telegraph systems of those republics, and from Rio de Janeiro westward across country, in great part unsettled, to the capitals of Goyaz and Matto Grosso. At Pará connexion is made with the cable laid in the bed of the Amazon to Manáos, which is owned and operated by a subsidized English company. At Vizeu, Pará, connexion is made with a French cable to the West Indies and the United States, and at Pernambuco with two cable lines to Europe. A coastwise cable runs from Pará to Montevideo with double cables between Pernambuco and Montevideo. There were in 1903 a total of 15,150 m. of land lines, with 29,310 m. of wire and 1102 telegraph offices. The government maintains reciprocal rates with most of the private railway lines.
The Brazilian postal service is under the general supervision of the minister of communications and public works, and is administered by a director-general. Owing to the size of the country and the sparsely-populated state of a large part of the interior, the transportation of the mails is attended with much difficulty and expense. Although the postal rates are high, the service is not self-sustaining, the receipts for 1904 being 7,018,344 milreis, against a total expenditure of 10,099,545 milreis. There were 2847 post offices (agencias), of which 2166 were of the 4th or lowest grade. Brazil is a member of the Postal Union, and like Argentina exacts higher nominal rates of postage upon outgoing mail than those agreed upon to cover the depreciation in her own currency. The letter rate was at first 200 reis (nearly 5½ d.), but it has been increased to 300 reis, which is equivalent to 8 d. at par and 4½ d. at 15 d. exchange. An inland parcel post was in operation long before the overthrow of the monarchy, and a similar service with Portugal has been successfully maintained for a number of years, notwithstanding the difficulties interposed by customs regulations. National and international money order systems are also in operation.
The constitution of Brazil provides that the coastwise trade shall be carried on by national vessels, but this provision did not go into effect until 1896. And even then, because of the insufficient number of Brazilian vessels it was provided in the regulations that foreign vessels could be enrolled in that trade by using the Brazilian flag and employing a certain proportion of Brazilians on the crew. One of the purposes of this restrictive provision was that of creating a national merchant marine, but the disinclination of Brazilians for maritime pursuits has been a serious obstacle to its realization. In 1901 the merchant navy included 228 steamers of 91,465 tons net, and 343 sailing vessels of 76,992 tons net. These vessels are all engaged in the coasting and river trade of the country. Efforts have been made, however, to engage in foreign trade, and subsidies were offered for a passenger and freight service to the United States. On the 23rd of February 1906 the government completed a new contract with the Lloyd Brazileiro Company for its coastwise and river service, and included clauses providing for a line to the United States. This foreign service (monthly) began in August 1906.
Although the coast of Brazil shows a large number of bays and tide-water river channels which are apparently suitable for commercial ports, a close examination of them reduces the number of good ports to less than a dozen. The others are either difficult of access, or are rendered practically useless by dangerous reefs, sand bars and shoals. Important improvements have been undertaken in some of these ports. Those at Santos and Manáos, for example, have produced good results. In many cases, as at Rio de Janeiro, Santos and Manáos, the cost and maintenance of the new port-works are met by an additional tax on merchandise, though the immediate expenditures are met by advances from the national treasury, and at Rio de Janeiro by a foreign loan.Commerce.—The imports, exports and domestic trade of Brazil
Brazil is essentially an agricultural country. No other country has been able to equal Brazil in the production of coffee, and under better labour conditions the country might compete with the foremost in the production of cane sugar, cotton and tobacco. Besides these it might easily excel in producing many of the tropical fruits for which there is a commercial demand. During the colonial period sugar cane was cultivated from Parahyba S. to the vicinity of Santos, and sugar was the principal export of the colony. Before the middle of the 19th century coffee became one of the leading exports, and its cultivation in the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Geraes has been so increased since that time that it represents over four-fifths in value of the total export of agricultural produce. The principal sugar-producing states are Alagôas, Sergipe, Pernambuco, Bahia and Rio de Janeiro, and the production is between 200,000 and 300,000 tons, the greater part of which is consumed in the country. Cotton has been widely cultivated since early colonial days, principally in the northern Atlantic states. Tobacco is also widely cultivated, and the product of some states, such as Bahia, Minas Geraes and Goyaz, has a high local reputation for its excellence. Cacáu (cocoa) is cultivated extensively in the Amazon Valley and along the coast as far south as southern Bahia, and forms one of the leading exports. In 1906 São Paulo offered premiums for its cultivation in the state. Rice has been cultivated in places, but without much success, although the quality produced compared favourably with the imported article. Indian corn grows luxuriantly everywhere, but it does not mature well in the humid regions of the Amazon region and the coast. The product of the elevated inland regions is good, but the costs of transportation and the small profits afforded have prevented its extensive cultivation, and it is imported from the La Plata republics for consumption along the coast. Much has been said in regard to the production of wheat, and efforts have been made in various places to promote its cultivation. It was once cultivated in Rio Grande do Sul with some success, and it has been grown in Minas Geraes and São Paulo, but in no case have the returns been sufficient to give it a permanent standing among the productions of the country. The great majority of the people are unused to wheaten bread, using the coarse flour of the mandioca root instead, consequently the demand for wheat and flour is confined to the large cities, which can obtain them from Argentina more cheaply than they can be produced in the country. One of the most common and important productions of Brazil is mandioca (Manihot), of which there are two well-known species, M. utilissima and M. aipi. The first named, which is poisonous in its native state, is the cassava of Spanish America. From it is made farinha de mandioca, which is the bread of the common people of Brazil, and tapioca. The poison is extracted by soaking the bruised or grated roots in water, after which the coarse flour is roasted. Mandioca was cultivated by the natives before the discovery of America, and the wide area over which it has been distributed warrants the conclusion that the discovery of its value as a food and the means of separating its poisonous properties must have occurred at a very remote period. The peanut, or ground-nut (Arachis hypogaea), is another widely-cultivated plant, dating from pre-Columbian times. Very little attention has thus far been given to the cultivation of fruit for exportation, the exceptions being bananas for the Argentine and Uruguayan markets, and oranges and pineapples for European markets. The coast region from Ceará to Rio de Janeiro is adapted to the cultivation of a great variety of fruits of a superior quality. Ceará, Bahia, and Rio de Janeiro are celebrated for their oranges, and Pernambuco for its delicious pineapples. Tangerines, lemons, limes, grapes, guavas, figs, cashews or cajús (Anacardium occidentale), mangabas (Hancornia speciosa), joboticabas (Eugenia cauliflora and E. jaboticaba, Mart.), cocoa-nuts, mangos, fruitas de conde (Anona squamosa), plantains, &c. are produced in abundance and with little labour. In some parts of southern Brazil the fruits and vegetables of the temperate zone do well, but within the tropics they thrive well only at a considerable elevation above sea-level. Apples, peaches, quinces, raspberries, strawberries, &c., are produced under such conditions, but the flavour of their kind grown in colder climates is usually wanting. The vegetable productions are less numerous, but they include sweet potatoes, cabbages, cauliflower, lettuce, beans, peas, onions, garlic, tomatoes, okra, radishes, cucumbers, couve, chuchu (Sechium edule), and aipim (Manihot aipi). The white potato, known as “batata inglez” (English potato), is grown in elevated localities, but it deteriorates so greatly after the first planting that fresh imported seed is necessary every second or third year.
The pastoral industries, which date from early colonial times, have suffered many vicissitudes, and their development has failed to keep pace with the country's growth in population. Horses are used to some extent for riding, but very little for carriage and draught purposes, consequently there has been no great incentive for their breeding. They are largely used and raised in Rio Grande do Sul, but in the warmer regions of the north only to a limited extent. The hardier mules are generally employed for draught, carriage, and saddle purposes in every part of the country, and their breeding is a lucrative industry in the southern states. Cattle-raising is the principal industry in Rio Grande do Sul, and receives considerable attention in Minas Geraes, Matto Grosso, Santa Catharina, Paraná, Piauhy and Rio Grande do Norte. It was estimated that there were 30,000,000 head of cattle in the republic in 1904, but the estimate was unquestionably too large. A very large part of the jerked beef consumed in Brazil is imported from Argentina and Uruguay, and some beef cattle also are imported. These importations at Rio de Janeiro in 1906 were 12,464,170 kilograms of jerked beef and 12,575 head of cattle. In the Rio Branco region of Amazonas and in Piauhy, where the national government has long been the owner of extensive cattle ranges, the industry is in a state of decadence. This is partly due to such pests as the vampire bat and bush ticks (carrapatos), and partly to the unprogressiveness of the cattlemen. Cattle-raising was once a flourishing industry on the island of Marajó, at the mouth of the Amazon, and it is followed to some extent at Alemquer and other points along the Amazon, but the cattle are small, and commonly in bad condition. In southern Bahia the industry has been nearly extinguished through increasing aridity and droughts, but in the state of Rio de Janeiro the planters are increasing their herds. Minas Geraes produces cheese, butter and milk, as well as beef cattle for neighbouring cities. Matto Grosso classifies cattle-raising as a principal industry, but under present conditions the accessible markets are too small for any large development. In Rio Grande do Sul, where it has attained its greatest development, about 400,000 beeves are slaughtered annually for the manufacture of jerked beef (xarque), beef extract, &c. Little attention has been given to sheep in Brazil except in the southern states, and even there the flocks are small. They were to be found in Ceará and Piauhy in colonial times, and small flocks are still to be seen in the latter state, but no use is made of their wool, and the market for mutton is extremely limited because of popular prejudices. Woollen manufactures have been established in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul. The exportation of wool amounted to 1,130,160 ℔ in 1906. Goats have been found highly profitable in many of the middle Atlantic states, where the long dry seasons render the campos unsuitable for cattle pasturage. The export of goat skins from these states is large. Swine do well in all parts of the country, especially in Minas Geraes, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul, and domestic pork and lard are slowly supplanting the heavily-taxed foreign products.Although the coast and river fisheries of Brazil are numerous and valuable, cured fish is one of the staple imports, and foreign products
The extractive or forest industries of Brazil were among the first to engage the attention of Europeans, and have always been considered a principal source of colonial and national wealth. The varied uses of india-rubber in modern times, however, have given them a greatly enhanced importance and value. Of the exports of 1905, 36% were of this class, while those of the pastoral and mining industries combined were not quite 6½%. In 1906 the percentages were 31 and 6.67, showing a considerable loss for the former and a slight gain for the latter. The principal products of this class are india-rubber, maté, Brazil nuts, vegetable wax, palm fibre, cabinet woods, and medicinal leaves, roots, resins, &c. Before the discovery of the cheaper aniline colours, dye-woods were among the most valuable products of the country; in fact, Brazil derives her name from that of a dye-wood (Brazil-wood—Caesalpinia echinata), known as bresill, brasilly, bresilji, braxilis, or brasile long before the discovery of America (see Humboldt's Géographic du nouveau continent, tom. ii. p. 214), which for many generations was the most highly prized of her natural productions. Of the total exports of this group (1905) very nearly 90% was of india-rubber, which percentage was reduced to 85 in the following year. The exportation for 1906 was 69,761,123 ℔ of Hevea, 5,871,968 ℔ of maniçoba, and 1,440,131 ℔ of mangabeira rubber, the whole valued at 124,941,433 milreis gold. The dried leaves and smaller twigs of maté (Paraguayan tea—Ilex paraguayensis) are exported to the southern Spanish American republics, where (as in Rio Grande do Sul) the beverage is exceedingly popular. The export in 1906 amounted to 127,417,950 ℔, officially valued at 16,502,881 milreis gold. The collection of Brazil nuts along the Amazon and its tributaries is essentially a poor man's industry, requiring no other plant than a boat. The harvest comes in January and February, in the rainy season, and the nut-gatherers often come one or two hundred miles in their boats to the best forests. The nuts are the fruit of the Bertholletia excelsa, one of the largest trees of the Amazon forest region, and are enclosed, sixteen to eighteen in number, in a hard, thick pericarp. Another nut-producing tree is the sapucaia (Lecythis ollaria), whose nuts are enclosed in a larger pericarp, and are considered to be better flavoured than those first described. The crop is a variable one, the export in 1905 having been 198,226 hectolitres, while that of 1906 was 96,770 hectolitres. It could undoubtedly be largely increased. Vegetable wax, which is an excellent substitute for beeswax, is a product of the carnahuba palm (Copernicia cerifera), and is an important export from Ceará. Palm, or piassava fibre, derived from the piassava palm, is used in the manufacture of brooms, brushes, &c. It is found as far south as southern Bahia, and the export could be very largely increased. The export of cabinet woods is not large, considering the forest area of Brazil and the variety and quality of the woods. This is principally due to the cost and difficulties of transporting timbers to the coast. The export is confined principally to rosewood. Of the medicinal plants, the best-known products are ipecacuanhá, sarsaparilla, copaiba, jaborandi and cinchona, but this is only a part of the list. Besides these, tonka beans, anatto, vanilla, and castor-oil seeds form a part of the exports.
The mineral exports are surprisingly small. Gold was discovered by the Portuguese soon after their settlement of the coast in the 16th century, but the washings were poor and attracted little attention. The richer deposits of Minas Geraes were discovered about 1693, and those of Matto Grosso early in the following century. Abandoned placer mines are to be found in every part of the unsettled interior, showing how thoroughly it had been explored by gold-hunters in those early days. Some good mines, like Morro Velho and the abandoned Gongo Soco, have been developed in Minas Geraes, but the great majority are small and not very productive. Diamonds were discovered in Minas Geraes, near the town now called Diamantina, during the first half of the 18th century, the dates given ranging from 1725 to 1746, but the productiveness of the district has greatly decreased. Diamonds have also been found in Bahia, Goyaz and Paraná. Other precious stones found in Brazil are the topaz, ruby aquamarine, tourmaline, chrysoberyl, garnet and amethyst. Among the minerals are silver, platinum, copper, iron, lead, manganese, chromium, quicksilver, bismuth, arsenic and antimony, of which only iron and manganese have been regularly mined. The copper deposits of Minas Geraes are said to be promising. Manganese is mined in Minas Geraes for export. Iron ores have been found in most of the states, and are especially abundant in Minas Geraes. The Ypanema mine and ironworks, near Sorocaba, São Paulo, which belong to the national government, have been in operation since 1810 and small charcoal forges were in operation in colonial times and supplied the mines with a considerable part of the iron needed by them. Many of the richer deposits have never been developed because of a lack of fuel and limestone. Bituminous coal of an inferior quality is mined to a limited extent in Rio Grande do Sul, and another mine has been opened in Santa Catharina. These coal deposits extend from Rio Grande do Sul north into the state of São Paulo. Salt, which does not figure in the list of exports, is produced along the coast between Pernambuco and Cape St Roque. The annual production is about 240,000 tons.To illustrate the comparative productiveness and relationship of these sources of national wealth and industry, the following official returns of export for the years 1905 and 1906 are arranged in the four general classes previously discussed, the values being in Brazilian gold milreis, worth 2s. 3d. or 54.6 cents to the milreis:—
|Natural and Forest.|
|Maté (Paraguay tea)||11,088,108||16,502,881|
|Palm wax (Carnahuba)||1,847,273||3,733,478|
|Medicinal leaves, roots, resins, &c||191,534||263,137|
|Pastoral and Animal.|
|Beef extract, &c||81,607||110,925|
|Gold, in bars||3,734,469||4,379,160|
|Old metals. 263,506||382,073|
|Total, all products||396,827,679||471,639,822|
Government.—The overthrow of the monarchy by a military revolt in Rio de Janeiro on 15th November 1889, resulted in the creation of a federal republic under the name of United States of Brazil (Estados Unidos do Brazil). The constitution under which the republic is governed was drafted by a constituent assembly convened on the 15th of November 1890, and was adopted on the 24th of February 1891. The supreme powers of the nation are vested in three partially independent branches of government—executive, legislative, and judicial—represented by the president and his cabinet, a national congress of two chambers, and a supreme tribunal. The states forming the federation consist of the twenty provinces and municipal district of the empire, but the number may be increased or diminished by the states concerned with the approval of the national congress. The states are self-governed, and have exclusive control of the public lands, mines, industries, and all local affairs. They have the sole right also to impose duties on exports and taxes upon real estate, industries and professions, and transfers of property. Among other things they are charged with the supervision and support of primary education, with the maintenance of order, and with the organization and support of a system of state courts. Both the national and state governments exercise the right to impose stamp and consumption taxes, and the municipalities likewise are permitted to impose licence and consumption taxes. The national government reserves for itself the exclusive right to direct the foreign affairs of the republic, to maintain an army and navy, to impose duties on imports, to regulate foreign commerce, to collect port dues, to issue money and create banks of issue, and to maintain a postal and national telegraph service. It also supervises secondary and superior education, issues patents, and provides federal courts for the trial of cases amenable to federal laws. The national government is forbidden to interfere in the peculiar affairs of the states except to repel foreign invasion, to maintain a republican form of government, to re-establish order at the request of a state, or to enforce federal laws and sentences. The states are forbidden, likewise, to tax federal property, to tax inter-state commerce, to impose duties of their own on foreign imports, or to resist the execution of judicial sentences originating in other states. The separation of church and state is provided for by the constitution, and both the nation and the states are forbidden to establish, subsidize or restrict the exercise of any religious worship. Foreigners are eligible to Brazilian citizenship, and the right of suffrage is conferred upon all male citizens over twenty-one years of age, except beggars, illiterates, the rank and file of the armed forces, members of monastic orders, &c., bound by private vows, and all unregistered citizens.
The executive power of the nation is vested in a president, elected for a term of four years by a direct vote of the electors. He must be a native Brazilian over thirty-five years of age, in the full enjoyment of his political rights, and is ineligible for the next succeeding term. A vice-president is elected at the same time and under the same conditions, who is president of the senate ex officio, and succeeds to the presidency in case the office becomes vacant during the last two years of the presidential term. Should the vacancy occur during the first two years of the term, a new election must be held. The president receives a salary of 120,000 milreis and the vice-president of 36,000 milreis. The president is advised and assisted by a cabinet of six ministers, viz. foreign affairs; finance; agriculture, industry and commerce; communications (Viacao) and public works; war; and marine. The ministers are appointed and removed by the president, take no part in the sessions of congress, and are responsible to the president alone for their advisory acts. The president sanctions and promulgates, or vetoes, or ignores the laws, and resolutions voted by congress, and issues decrees and regulations for their execution. His veto may be over-ridden by a two-thirds vote in each chamber, and permitting ten days to pass without signing an act is considered as acquiescence and it is promulgated by congress. The president is charged with the duties (among others) of commanding the armed forces of the republic, appointing the prefect of the national capital, designating members of the supreme tribunal and diplomatic representatives for the approval of the senate, to negotiate treaties, &c., ad referendum to congress, and maintain relations with foreign powers, to declare war in case of invasion and to declare martial law in case of grave internal disorder, and to advise congress at the opening of the annual session of the progress and state of public affairs. He may be impeached before the senate for his official acts and suspended from office, or tried by the supreme tribunal for criminal offences.
The legislative power is vested in a national congress of two chambers, elected by direct suffrage, and convened on the 3rd of May each year. The regular annual sessions are of four months' duration, but they may be extended to complete necessary legislation. The senate consists of sixty-three members (three from each state and the federal district) elected for a period of nine years, one-third of each delegation being renewed every three years. The senators must be not less than thirty-five years of age, and are exempt from all legal processes not previously authorized by the senate during their term of office, except in cases of arrest in flagrante delicto for a capital crime. The chamber of deputies contains 212 members, the membership being distributed among the states on a basis of one for each 70,000 of population, but with a minimum representation of four for each state. The deputies are elected by direct suffrage for the legislative session of three years, and have the same immunities from legal process as the senators. The chamber has the right of initiative in the organization of the annual budget laws and those relative to the numerical strength of the army and navy. The members of both houses receive a per diem subsidy.
The judicial system of the republic consists of a supreme federal tribunal of fifteen judges in the national capital, and a district tribunal in the capital of each state, which forms a federal judicial district. The judges are appointed for life and can be removed only by judicial sentence and impeachment. One member of the supreme tribunal holds the position of solicitor-general of the republic. The judges and solicitor-general are appointed by the president with the approval of the senate, but the tribunal chooses its own presiding officers and secretaries and, nominally, is independent of executive control. The supreme tribunal has original and appellate jurisdiction, but its power to pass on the constitutionality of federal laws and executive acts seems to fall short of that of the United States Supreme Court. It has authority, however, to review the acts and laws of state governments and to decide upon their constitutionality. The district federal court has but one judge (juiz de secção) and a solicitor of the republic, and has original jurisdiction in federal causes. Each state has its own local laws and courts, independent of federal control, but subject to the review of the supreme tribunal, and with rights of appeal to that tribunal in specified cases. The federal district, which has a municipal council instead of a legislature, has a system of municipal and higher courts peculiar to itself. Limited judicial powers are exercised by chiefs of police, and by certain department commissions, or boards, of an executive character. The members of the army and navy are governed by special laws, enjoy immunities from civil process, and are subject to the jurisdiction of military courts. The civil code of the republic is based upon Roman law.
Army.—The nominal strength of the army in 1906 was 29,489, including the officers of the general and subordinate staffs and the officers and cadets of the military schools. This total represents the nominal strength of the army in times of peace. Its actual strength, however, is about 15,000 men, some of the regimental and battalion organizations being skeletons. Its organization consists of 40 battalions of infantry with one transport and one depot company, 14 regiments of cavalry of 4 squadrons each, 6 regiments of field artillery with 24 batteries and 6 battalions of heavy artillery with 24 batteries, and two battalions of engineers. Efforts to organize a national guard have been unsuccessful, although officers have been appointed and the organization perfected, on paper. The police force, however, is organized on a military footing and armed, and is available for service in case of necessity. It is credited with 20,000 men. According to law military service is obligatory, but the government has been unable to enforce it. Impressment is commonly employed to fill the ranks, and in cases of emergency the prison population is drawn upon for recruits. The president is nominally commander-in-chief of the army, but the actual command is vested in a general staff in the national capital, and in the general commanding each of the seven military districts into which the republic is divided. The most important of these districts is that of Rio Grande do Sul, where a force of 11,226 men is stationed. The principal war arsenal is in Rio de Janeiro. The rifle used by the infantry is a modified Mauser of the German 1888 model. Military instruction is given at the Eschola Militar of Rio de Janeiro. The military organization is provided with an elaborate code and systems of military courts, which culminate in a supreme military tribunal composed of 15 judges holding office for life, of which 8 are general army officers, 4 general naval officers and 3 civil judges.
Navy.—The naval strength of the republic consisted in 1906 of a collection of armoured and wooden vessels of various ages and types of construction, of which three armoured vessels (including the two designed for coast defence), four protected cruisers, five destroyers and torpedo-cruisers, and half a dozen torpedo boats represented what may be termed the effective fighting force. The loss of the armoured turret ship “Aquidaban” by a magazine explosion in the bay of Jacarepagua, near Rio de Janeiro, in 1905, had left Brazil with but one fighting vessel (the “Reachuelo”) of any importance. Many of the wooden and iron vessels listed in the Naval Annual, 1906, though obsolete and of no value whatever as fighting machines, are used for river and harbour service, and in the suppression of trifling insurrections. The Annual describes 21 vessels of various types, and mentions 23 small gunboats used for river and harbour service. Besides these there are a number of practice boats (small school-ships), transports, dispatch boats and launches. A considerable part of the armament is old, but the more modern vessels are armed with Armstrong rifled guns. The naval programme of the republic for 1905 provided for the prompt construction of 3 battleships of the largest displacement, 3 armoured cruisers, 6 destroyers, 12 torpedo boats and 3 submarine boats; and by 1909 the reorganization of the navy was far advanced. The principal naval arsenal is located at Rio de Janeiro. The government possesses dry docks at Rio de Janeiro. The naval school, which has always enjoyed a high reputation among Brazilians, is situated on the island of Enxadas in the bay of Rio de Janeiro. There are smaller arsenals at Pará, Pernambuco, São Salvador and Ladario (Matto Grosso) and a shipbuilding yard of considerable importance at the Rio de Janeiro arsenal.
Education.—Education is in a backward condition, and it is estimated that 80% of the population can neither read nor write. The lowest rate of illiteracy is to be found in the southern half of the republic. Public instruction, is, by constitutional provision, under secular control, but religious denominations are permitted to have their own schools. Primary instruction is free but not compulsory, and the schools are supported and supervised by the states. An incomplete return in 1891 gave 8793 schools and 376,399 pupils. Secondary and higher education are under both federal and state control, the former being represented by lyceums in the state capitals, and by such institutions as the Gymnasio Nacional (formerly Collegio Dom Pedro II.) in Rio de Janeiro. Many of the states also maintain normal schools of an inferior type, that of São Paulo being the best and most modern of the number. Higher, or superior, instruction is confined almost exclusively to professional schools— the medical schools of Rio de Janeiro and Bahia, the law schools of São Paulo and Pernambuco, the polytechnic of Rio de Janeiro, and the school of mines of Ouro Preto. There are many private schools in all the large cities, from the primary schools maintained by the church and various corporations and religious associations to schools of secondary and collegiate grades, such as the Protestant mission schools of Petropolis, Piracicaba, Juiz de Fóra, São Paulo and Paraná, the Lyceu de Artes e Ofiicios (night school) of Rio de Janeiro, and the Mackenzie College of São Paulo. Perhaps the best educational work in Brazil is done in these private schools. In addition to these there are a number of seminaries for the education of priests, where special attention is given to the classics and belles-lettres.
Religion.—The revolution of 1889 and the constitution adopted in 1891 not only effected a radical change in the form of government, but also brought about the separation of church and state. Before that time the Roman Catholic Church had been recognized and supported by the state. Not only are the national and state governments forbidden by the constitution to establish or subsidize religious worship, but its freedom is guaranteed by a prohibition against placing obstructions upon its exercise. The relations of the state with the disestablished church since 1889 have been somewhat anomalous, the government having decided to continue during their lives the stipends of the church functionaries at the time of disestablishment. The census of 1890 divided the population into 14,179,615 Roman Catholics, 143,743 Protestants, 3300 of all other faiths, 7257 of no religious profession, and 600,000 unchristianized Indians. The increase of population through immigration is overwhelmingly Catholic, and the nation must, therefore, continue Roman Catholic whether the church is subsidized by the state or not. The moral character of churchmen in Brazil has been severely criticized by many observers, and the ease with which disestablishment was effected is probably largely due to their failings. The church had exercised a preponderating influence in all matters relating to education and the social life of the people, and it was felt that no sweeping reforms could be secured until its domination had been broken. The immediate results of disestablishment were civil marriage, the civil registry of births and deaths, and the secularization of cemeteries; but the church retains its influence over all loyal churchmen through the confessional, the last rites of the church, and their sentiment against the profanation of holy ground. Formerly Brazil constituted an ecclesiastical province under the metropolitan jurisdiction of an archbishop residing at Bahia, with 11 suffragan bishops, 12 vicars-general and about 2000 curates. In 1892 the diocese of Rio de Janeiro was made an archbishopric, and four new dioceses were created. Three more have been added since, making twenty dioceses in all. In 1905 the archbishop of Rio de Janeiro was made a cardinal. The church has eleven seminaries for the education of priests, and maintains a large number of private schools, especially for girls, which are patronized by the better classes. The church likewise exercises a far-reaching influence over the people through the beneficent work of its lay orders, and through the hospitals and asylums under its control in every part of the country. A Misericordia hospital is to be found in almost every town of importance, and recolhimentos for orphan girls in all the large cities. In no country have these charities received more generous support than in Brazil. The Protestant contingent consists of a number of small congregations scattered throughout the country, a few Portuguese Protestants from the Azores, a part of the German colonists settled in the central and southern states, and a large percentage of the North Europeans and Americans temporarily resident in Brazil. The Positivists are few in number, but their congregations are made up of educated and influential people.
Art, Science and Literature.—The Brazilian people have the natural taste for art, music and literature so common among the Latin nations of the Old World. The emperor Dom Pedro II. did much to encourage these pursuits, and many promising young men received their education in Europe at his personal expense. Still earlier in the century (1815) the regent Dom John VI. brought out a number of French artists to educate his subjects in the fine arts, and the Escola Real de Sciencias, Artes e Officios was founded in the following year. From this beginning resulted the Academia de Bellas Artes of a later date, to which was added a conservatory of music in 1841. The institution is now called the Escola Nacional de Bellas Artes. Free instruction in the fine arts has been given in this school. The higher results of artistic training, however, are less marked than a widespread dilettantism. The Brazilian composer Carlos Gomes (1839 – 1896) is the best known of those who have adopted music as a profession, his opera Il Guarani having been produced at most of the European capitals. The most prominent among Brazilian painters is Pedro Americo, and in sculpture Rodolpho Bernardelli has done good work. In science Brazil has accomplished very little, although many eminent foreign naturalists have spent years of study within her borders. João Barbosa Rodrigues has done some good work in botany, especially in the study of the palms of the Amazon, and João Baptista de Lacerda has made important biological investigations at the national museum of Rio de Janeiro. There are several scientific societies and institutions in the country, but they rarely undertake original work. The most active are the geographical societies, but very little has been done in the direction of scientific exploration. Some interesting results have been obtained from the boundary surveys, from Dr E. Cruls's exploration of a section of the Goyaz plateau in 1892 in search of a site for the future capital of the republic, and from some of the river and railway surveys. In 1875 a geological commission was organized under the direction of Professor Charles Frederick Hartt, but it was disbanded two years later. In 1906 Congress resolved to undertake a national geological survey under the direction of Mr Orville A. Derby, one of Professor Hartt's assistants. The coal resources of the southern states were investigated in 1904, under the auspices of the national government, by Dr J. C. White, of the U.S. Geological Survey, who found strata of fairly good coal at depths of 100 to 200 ft. extending from Rio Grande do Sul north to São Paulo. The more important contributions to our present knowledge of Brazil, however, have been obtained through the labours of foreign naturalists. Beginning with the German mineralogist W. L. von Eschwege, who spent nineteen years in Brazil (1809 – 1828), the list includes A. de Saint-Hilaire (1816 – 1820 and 1830), J. B. von Spix and C. F. von Martins (1817 – 1820), Prince Max zu Neuwied (1815 – 1817), P. W. Lund (1827 – 1830, and 1830 to 1880, the year of his death), George Gardner (1836 – 1841), A. R. Wallace (1848 – 1852), H. W. Bates (1848 – 1859), Hermann Burmeister (1850 – 1852), Louis Agassiz (1865 – 1866), Charles Frederick Hartt (1865 – 1866, 1872 and 1875 – 1878) and Karl von den Steinen (1884 – 1885 and 1887 – 1888). These explorations cover every branch of natural science and resulted in publications of inestimable scientific value. There should also be mentioned the monumental work of C. F. P. von Martius on the Flora Braziliensis, and the explorations of Agassiz and Lund. Among other scientists of a later date who have published important works on Brazil are the American geologists O. A. Derby and J. C. Branner, the Swiss naturalist E. A. Goeldi, the German botanist J. Huber, the German ethnologist H. von Ihring, and'the German geographer Fried. Katzer. The Instituto Historico e Geographico Brazileiro, though devoted chiefly to historical research, has rendered noteworthy service in its encouragement of geographical exploration and by its publication of various scientific memoirs. The Museu Nacional at Rio de Janeiro, which has occupied the imperial palace of São Christovão since the overthrow of the monarchy, contains large collections of much scientific value, but defective organization and apathetic direction have rendered them of comparatively slight service. The Observatorio Nacional at Rio de Janeiro is another prominent public institution. The botanical gardens of Brazil are developing into permanent exhibitions of the flora of the regions in which they are located. That of Rio de Janeiro is widely celebrated for its avenues of royal palms, but it has also rendered an important service to the country in the dissemination of exotic plants.
Brazilian literature has been seriously prejudiced by partisan politics and dilettantism. The colonial period was one of strict repression, the intellectual life of the people being jealously supervised by the church to protect itself against heresy, and their progress being restricted by the Portuguese crown to protect its monopoly of the natural resources of the country. The arrival of Dom John VI. in 1808 broke down some of these restrictions, and the first year of his residence in Rio de Janeiro saw the establishment of the first printing press in Brazil and the publication of an official gazette. There was no freedom of the press, however, until 1821, when the abolition of the censorship and the constitutional struggle in Portugal gave rise to a political discussion that marked the opening of a new era in the development of the nation, and aroused an intellectual activity that has been highly productive in journalistic and polemical writings. In no country, perhaps, has the press exercised a more direct and powerful influence upon government than in Brazil, and in no other country can there be found so high a percentage of journalists in official life. Some of the political writers have played an important part in moulding public opinion on certain questions, as in the case of A. C. Tavares Bastos, whose Cartas do Solitario were highly instrumental in causing the Amazon to be thrown open to the world's commerce and also in preparing the way for the abolition of slavery; and in that of Joaquim Saldanha Marinho, whose discussions in 1874 – 1876 of the relations between church and state prepared the way for their separation. The personal element is conspicuous in the Brazilian journalism, and for a considerable period of its history libellous attacks on persons, signed by professional sponsors, popularly called testas de ferro (iron heads), were admitted at so much a line in the best newspapers.
The singular adaptability of the Portuguese language to poetical expression, coupled with the imaginative temperament of the people, has led to an unusual production and appreciation of poetry. The percentage of educated men who have written little volumes of lyrics is surprisingly large, and this may be accounted for by the old Portuguese custom of reciting poetry with musical accompaniment. The most popular of the Brazilian poets are Thomaz Antonio Gonzaga, Antonio Gonçalves Dias and Bernardo Guimarães. Among the dramatists and novelists may be mentioned Joaquim Manoel de Macedo, José Martiniano de Alencar, Bernardo Guimarães, A. de Escrangnolle Taunay and J. M. Machado de Assis. José M. de Alencar is usually described as the greatest of Brazilian novelists. The most popular of his romances are Iracema and O Guarany. In historical literature Brazil has produced one writer of high standing—Francisco Adolpho Varnhagen (Visconde de Porto Seguro), whose Historia Geral do Brazil is a standard authority on that subject. The two English authorities, Robert Southey's History of Brazil, covering the colonial period, and John Armitage's History of Brazil, covering the period between the arrival of the Braganza family (1808) and the abdication of Dom Pedro I. (1831), have been translated into Portuguese. Another Brazilian historian of recognized merit is João Manoel Pereira da Silva, whose historical writings cover the first years of the empire, from its foundation to 1840. Among the later writers João Capistrano de Abren has produced some short historical studies of great merit. In the field of philosophic speculation, Auguste Comte has had many disciples in Brazil.
|External debt:||£s. d.|
|Loans of 1883, 1888 and 1889.||26,478,500|
|Oestede Minas R.R. loan||3,388,100|
|Loan of 1898||7,331,600|
|Funding loan of 1898||8,613,717 9 9|
|Railway rescission loan of 1901||15,467,015 16 1|
|Port works loan of 1903||8,500,000|
|£69,778,933 5 10|
|Internal debt, funded:||Milreis|
|5 % apolices, Law of 1827||483,546,600|
|4½% ” ” 1879||20,548,000|
|6 % ” ” 1897||37,082,000|
|5 % ” ” 1903||17,300,000|
|(at 15d. £34,904,787)||=========|
|Internal debt, not funded:||Milreis|
|Savings bank and other deposits:|
|In gold, 19,053,861 r (say)||34,296,950|
|Floating indebtedness (a/cs current, bills, &c.)||?|
|Total, not funded, approx.||945,902,317|
|(at 15d. £59,118,895 stg.)||=========|
|Approximate total indebtedness||£163,802,675|
(A. J. L.)
Brazil was discovered in February 1499 (o.s.) by Vicente Yañez Pinzon, a companion of Columbus. He descried the land near Cape St Augustine, and sailed along the coast as far as the river Amazon, whence he proceeded to the The Portuguese in Brazil. mouth of the Orinoco. He made no settlement, but took possession of the country in the name of the Spanish government, and carried home, as specimens of its natural productions, some drugs, gems and Brazil-wood. Next year the Portuguese commander, Pedro Alvares Cabral, appointed by his monarch to follow the course of Vasco da Gama in the East, was driven by adverse winds so far from his track, that he reached the Brazilian coast, April 24, and anchored in Porto Seguro (16° S. lat.) on Good Friday. On Easter day an altar was erected, mass celebrated in presence of the natives, the country declared an apanage of Portugal, and a stone cross erected in commemoration of the event. Cabral despatched a small vessel to Lisbon to announce his discovery, and, without forming any settlement, proceeded to India on the 3rd of May. On the arrival of the news in Portugal, Emanuel invited Amerigo Vespucci to enter his service, and despatched him with three vessels to explore the country. The navigator's first voyage was unsuccessful; but, according to his own account, in a second he discovered a safe port, to which he gave the name of All-Saints and where he erected a small fort. Vespucci's narrative is, however, suspected of being apocryphal (see Vespucci, Amerigo).
The poor and barbarous tribes of Brazil, and their country, the mineral riches of which were not immediately discovered, offered but few attractions to a government into the coffers of which the wealth of India and Africa was flowing. For nearly thirty years the kings of Portugal paid no further attention to their newly-acquired territory than what consisted, in combating the attempts of the Spaniards to occupy it, and dispersing the private adventurers from France who sought its shores for the purposes of commerce. The colonization of Brazil was prosecuted, however, by subjects of the Portuguese monarchy, who traded thither chiefly for Brazil-wood. The government also sought to make criminals of some use to the state, by placing them in a situation where they could do little harm to society, and might help to uphold the dominion of their nation.
The first attempt on the part of a Portuguese monarch to introduce an organized government into his dominions was made by John III. He adopted a plan which had been found to succeed well in Madeira and the Azores,— First organization in Brazil. dividing the country into hereditary captaincies, and granting them to such persons as were willing to undertake their settlement, with unlimited powers of jurisdiction, both civil and criminal. Each captaincy extended along fifty leagues of coast. The boundaries in the interior were undefined. The first settlement made under this new system was that of São Vicente Piratininga, in the present province of São Paulo. Martim Affonso de Sousa, having obtained a grant, fitted out a considerable armament and proceeded to explore the country in person. He began to survey the coast about Rio de Janeiro, to which he gave that name, because he discovered it on the 1st of January 1531. He proceeded south as far as La Plata, naming the places he surveyed on the way from the days on which the respective discoveries were made. He fixed upon an island in 24½° S. lat., called by the natives Guaibe, for his settlement. The Goagnazes, or prevailing tribe of Indians in that neighbourhood, as soon as they discovered the intentions of the new-comers to fix themselves permanently there, collected for the purpose of expelling them. Fortunately, however, a shipwrecked Portuguese, who had lived many years under the protection of the principal chief, was successful in concluding a treaty of perpetual alliance between his countrymen and the natives. Finding the spot chosen for the new town inconvenient, the colonists removed to the adjoining island of São Vicente, from which the captaincy derived its name. Cattle and the sugar-cane were at an early period introduced from Madeira, and here the other captaincies supplied themselves with both.
Pero Lopes de Sousa received the grant of a captaincy, and set sail from Portugal at the same time as his brother, the founder of São Vicente. He chose to have his fifty leagues in two allotments. That to which he gave the name of Santo Amaro adjoined São Vicente, the two towns being only three leagues asunder. The other division lay much nearer to the line between Parahyba and Pernambuco. He experienced considerable difficulty in founding this second colony, from the strenuous opposition of a neighbouring tribe, the Petiguares; at length he succeeded in clearing his lands of them, but not long afterwards he perished by shipwreck.
Rio de Janeiro was not settled till a later period; and for a considerable time the nearest captaincy to Santo Amaro, sailing along the coast northwards, was that of Espirito Santo. It was founded by Vasco Fernandes Coutinho, who having acquired a large fortune in India, sank it in this scheme of colonization. He carried with him no less than sixty fidalgos. They named their town by anticipation, Our Lady of the Victory (Victoria); but it cost them some hard fighting with the Goagnazes to justify the title.
Pedro de Campo Tourinho, a nobleman and excellent navigator, received a grant of the adjoining captaincy of Porto Seguro. This, it will be remembered, is the spot where Cabral first took possession of Brazil. The Tupinoquins at first offered some opposition; but having made peace, they observed it faithfully, notwithstanding that the oppression of the Portuguese obliged them to forsake the country. Sugar-works were established, and considerable quantities of the produce exported to the mother country.
Jorge de Figueiredo, Escrivam da Fazenda, was the first donatory of the captaincy Ilhéos, 140 m. south of Bahia. His office preventing him from taking possession in person, he deputed the task to Francisco Romeiro, a Castilian. The Tupinoquins, the most tractable of the Brazilian tribes, made peace with the settlers, and the colony was founded without a struggle.
The coast from the Rio São Francisco to Bahia was granted to Francisco Pereira Coutinho; the bay itself, with all its creeks, was afterwards added to the grant. When Coutinho formed his establishment, where Villa Velha now stands, he found a noble Portuguese living in the neighbourhood who, having been shipwrecked, had, by means of his fire-arms, raised himself to the rank of chief among the natives. He was surrounded by a patriarchal establishment of wives and children; and to him most of the distinguished families of Bahia still trace their lineage. The regard entertained by the natives for Caramuru (signifying man of fire) induced them to extend a hospitable welcome to his countrymen, and for a time everything went on well. Coutinho had, however, learned in India to be an oppressor, and the Tupinambas were the fiercest and most powerful of the native tribes. The Portuguese were obliged to abandon their settlement; but several of them returned at a later period, with Caramuru, and thus a European community was established in the district.
Some time before the period at which these captaincies were established, a factory had been planted at Pernambuco. A ship from Marseilles took it, and left seventy men in it as a garrison; but she was captured on her return, and carried into Lisbon, and immediate measures were taken for reoccupying the place. The captaincy of Pernambuco was granted to Don Duarte Coelho Pereira as the reward of his services in India. It extended along the coast from the Rio São Francisco, northward to the Rio de Juraza. Duarte sailed with his wife and children, and many of his kinsmen, to take possession, of his new colony, and landed in the port of Pernambuco. To the town which was there founded he gave the name of Olinda. The Cabetes, who possessed the soil, were fierce and pertinacious; and, assisted by the French, who traded to that coast, Coelho had to gain by inches what was granted him by leagues. The Portuguese managed, however, to beat off their enemies; and, having entered into an alliance with the Tobayanes, followed up their success.
Attempts were made about this time to establish two other captaincies, but without success. Pedro de Goes obtained a grant of the captaincy of Parahyba between those of São Vicente and Espirito Santo; but his means were too feeble to enable him to make head against the aborigines, and the colony was broken up after a painful struggle of seven years. João de Barros, the historian, obtained the captaincy of Maranhão. For the sake of increasing his capital, he divided his grant with Fernão Alvares de Andrade and Aires da Cunha. They projected a scheme of conquest and colonization upon a large scale. Nine hundred men, of whom one hundred and thirteen were horsemen, embarked in ten ships under the command of Aires da Cunha. But the vessels were wrecked upon some shoals about one hundred leagues to the south of Maranhão; the few survivors, after suffering immense hardships, escaped to the nearest settlements, and the undertaking was abandoned.
By these adventures the whole line of Brazilian coast, from the mouth of La Plata to the mouth of the Amazon, had become studded at intervals with Portuguese settlements, in all of which law and justice were administered, however inadequately. It is worthy of observation, that Brazil was the first colony founded in America upon an agricultural principle, for until then the precious metals were the exclusive attraction. Sufficient capital was attracted between the year 1531 (in which De Sousa founded the first captaincy) and the year 1548 to render these colonies an object of importance to the mother country. Their organization, however, in regard to their means of defence against both external aggression and internal violence, was extremely defective. Their territories were surrounded and partly occupied by large tribes of savages. Behind them the Spaniards, who had an establishment at Asuncion, had penetrated almost to the sources of the waters of Paraguay, and had succeeded in establishing communication with Peru. Orellana, on the other hand, setting out from Peru, had crossed the mountains and sailed down the Amazon. Nor had the French abandoned their hopes of effecting an establishment on the coast.
The obvious remedy for these evils was to concentrate the executive power, to render the petty chiefs amenable to one tribunal, and to confide the management of the defensive force to one hand. In order to this the powers of the several captains were revoked, whilst their property in their grants was reserved to them. A governor-general was appointed, with full powers, civil and criminal. The judicial and financial functions in each province were vested in the Ouvidor, whose authority in the college of finance was second only to that of the governor. Every colonist was enrolled either in the Milicias or Ordenanzas. The former were obliged to serve beyond the boundaries of the province, the latter only at home. The chief cities received municipal constitutions, as in Portugal. Thome de Sousa was the first person nominated to the important post of governor-general. He was instructed to build a strong city in Bahia and to establish there the seat of his government. In pursuance of his commission he arrived at Bahia in April 1549, with a fleet of six vessels, on board of which were three hundred and twenty persons in the king's pay, four hundred convicts and about three hundred free colonists. Care had been taken for the spiritual wants of the provinces by associating six Jesuits with the expedition.
Old Caramuru, who still survived, rendered the governor essential service by gaining for his countrymen the goodwill of the natives. The new city, to which the name of São Salvador was given, was established on the heights above the Bay of All Saints (Todos os Santos), from which its later name of Bahia is taken. Within four months one hundred houses were built, and surrounded by a mud wall. Sugar plantations were laid out in the vicinity. During the four years of Sousa's government there were sent out at different times supplies of all kinds. Female orphans of noble families were given in marriage to the officers, and portioned from the royal estates, and orphan boys were sent to be educated by the Jesuits. The capital rose rapidly in importance, and the captaincies learned to regard it as a common head and centre of wealth. Meanwhile the Jesuits undertook the moral and religious culture of the natives, and First Jesuit missions. of the scarcely less savage colonists. Strong opposition was at first experienced from the gross ignorance of the Indians, and the depravity of the Portuguese, fostered by the licentious encouragement of some abandoned priests who had found their way to Brazil. Over these persons the Jesuits had no authority; and it was not until the arrival of the first bishop of Brazil in 1552, that anything like an efficient check was imposed upon them. Next year Sousa was succeeded by Duarte da Costa, who brought with him a reinforcement of Jesuits, at the head of whom was Luis de Gran, appointed, with Nobrega the chief of the first mission, joint provincial of Brazil.
Nobrega's first act was one which has exercised the most beneficial influence over the social system of Brazil, namely, the establishment of a college on the then unreclaimed plains of Piratininga. It was named São Paulo, and has been at once the source whence knowledge and civilization have been diffused through Brazil, and the nucleus of a colony of its manliest and hardiest citizens, which sent out successive swarms of hardy adventurers to people the interior. The good intentions of the Jesuits were in part frustrated by the opposition of Costa the governor; and it was not until 1558, when Mem de Sa was sent out to supersede him, that their projects were allowed free scope.
Rio de Janeiro was first occupied by French settlers. Nicholas Durand de Villegagnon, a bold and skilful seaman, having visited Brazil, saw at once the advantages which might accrue his country from a settlement there. In order to Settlement of Rio de Janeiro. secure the interest of Coligny, he gave out that his projected colony was intended to serve as a place of refuge for the persecuted Huguenots. Under the patronage of that admiral, he arrived at Rio de Janeiro in 1558 with a train of numerous and respectable colonists. As soon, however, as he thought his power secure, he threw off the mask, and began to harass and oppress the Huguenots by every means he could devise. Many of them were forced by his tyranny to return to France; and ten thousand Protestants, ready to embark for the new colony, were deterred by their representations. Villegagnon, finding his force much diminished in consequence of his treachery, sailed for France in quest of recruits; and during his absence the Portuguese governor, by order of his court, attacked and dispersed the settlement. For some years the French kept up a kind of bush warfare; but in 1567 the Portuguese succeeded in establishing a settlement at Rio.
Mem de Sa continued to hold the reins of government in Brazil upon terms of the best understanding with the clergy, and to the great advantage of the colonies, for fourteen years. On the expiration of his power, which was nearly contemporary with that of his life, an attempt was made to divide Brazil into two governments; but this having failed, the territory was reunited in 1578, the year in which Diego Laurenço da Veiga was appointed governor. At this time the colonies, although not yet independent of supplies from the mother country, were in a flourishing condition; but the usurpation of the crown of Portugal by Philip II. changed the aspect of affairs. Brazil, believed to be inferior to the Spanish possessions in mines, was consequently abandoned in comparative neglect for the period intervening between 1578 and 1640, during which it continued an apanage of Spain.
No sooner had Brazil passed under the Spanish crown, than English adventurers directed their hostile enterprises against its shores. In 1586 Witherington plundered Bahia; in 1591 Cavendish made an abortive attack on Santos; English and French aggressions. in 1595 Lancaster attacked Olinda. These exploits, however, were transient in their effects. In 1612 the French attempted to found a permanent colony in the island of Marajò, where they succeeded in maintaining themselves till 1618. This attempt led to the erection of Maranhão and Pará into a separate Estado. But it was on the part of the Dutch that the most skilful and pertinacious efforts were made for securing a footing in Brazil; and they alone of all the rivals of the Portuguese have left traces of their presence in the national spirit and institutions of Brazil.
The success of the Dutch East India Company led to the establishment of a similar one for the West Indies, to which a monopoly of the trade to America and Africa was granted. This body despatched in 1624 a fleet against Struggle with the Dutch. Bahia. The town yielded almost without a struggle. The fleet soon after sailed, a squadron being detached against Angola, with the intention of taking possession of that colony, in order to secure a supply of slaves. The fall of Bahia for once roused the Spaniards and Portuguese to joint action, and a great expedition speedily sailed from Cadiz and Lisbon for Bahia. Once more, though strongly garrisoned, the town was retaken without any serious fighting in May 1625. The honours bestowed upon the Indian chiefs for their assistance in this war broke down in a great measure the barrier between the two races; and there is at this day a greater admixture of their blood among the better classes in Bahia than is to be found elsewhere in Brazil.
In 1630 the Dutch attempted again to effect a settlement; and Olinda, with its port, the Recife-Olinda, was destroyed, but the Recife was fortified and held, reinforcements and supplies being sent by sea from Holland. The Dutch settlement in Brazil. Dutch were unable, however, to extend their power beyond the limits of the town, until the arrival of Count John Maurice of Nassau-Siegen in 1636. His first step was to introduce a regular government among his countrymen; his second, to send to the African coast one of his officers, who took possession of a Portuguese settlement, and thus secured a supply of slaves. In the course of eight years, the limited period of his government, he succeeded in asserting the Dutch supremacy along the coast of Brazil from the mouth of São Francisco to Maranhão. The Recife was rebuilt and adorned with splendid residences and gardens and received from its founder the name of Mauritstad. He promoted the amalgamation of the different races, and sought to conciliate the Portuguese by the confidence he reposed in them. His object was to found a great empire; but this was a project at variance with the wishes of his employers—an association of merchants, who were dissatisfied because the wealth which they expected to see flowing into their coffers was expended in promoting the permanent interests of a distant country. Count Maurice resigned his post in 1644. His successors possessed neither his political nor his military talents, and had to contend with more difficult circumstances.
In 1640 the revolution which placed the house of Braganza on the throne of Portugal restored Brazil to masters more inclined to promote its interests and assert its possession than the Spaniards. It was indeed high time that some exertion should be made. The northern provinces had fallen into the power of Holland; the southern, peopled in a great measure by the hardy descendants of the successive colonists who had issued on all sides from the central establishment of São Paulo, had learned from their habits of unaided and successful enterprise to court independence. They had ascended the waters of the Paraguay to their sources. They had extended their limits southwards till they reached the Spanish settlements of La Plata. They had reduced to slavery numerous tribes of the natives. They were rich in cattle, and had commenced the discovery of the mines. When, therefore, the inhabitants of São Paulo saw themselves about to be transferred, as a dependency of Portugal, from one master to another, they conceived the idea of erecting their country into an independent state. Their attempt, however, was frustrated by Amador Bueno, the person whom they had selected for their king. When the people shouted “Long live King Amador,” he cried out “Long live John IV.,” and took refuge in a convent. The multitude, left without a leader, acquiesced, and this important province was secured to the house of Braganza.
Rio and Santos, although both evinced a desire of independence, followed the example of the Paulistas. Bahia, as capital of the Brazilian states, felt that its ascendancy depended upon the union with Portugal. The government, thus left in quiet possession of the rest of Brazil, had time to concentrate its attention upon the Dutch conquests. The crown of Portugal was, however, much too weak to adopt energetic measures. But the Brazilian colonists, now that the mother country had thrown Revolt against the Dutch. off the Spanish yoke, determined even without assistance from the homeland to rise in revolt against foreign domination. The departure of Count Maurice, moreover, had seriously weakened the position of the Dutch, for his successors had neither his conciliatory manners nor his capacity. João Fernandes Vieyra, a native of Madeira, organized the insurrection which broke out in 1645. This insurrection gave birth to one of those wars in which a whole nation, destitute of pecuniary resources, military organization and skilful leaders, but familiar with the country, is opposed to a handful of soldiers advantageously posted and well officered. But home difficulties and financial necessities prevented the West India Company from sending adequate reinforcements from Holland. In 1649 a rival company was started in Portugal known as the Brazil Company, which sent out a fleet to help the colonists in Pernambuco. Slowly the Dutch lost ground and the outbreak of war with England sounded the knell of their dominion in Brazil. In 1654 their capital and last stronghold fell into the hands of Vieyra. It was not, however, till 1662 that Holland signed a treaty with Portugal, by which all territorial claims in Brazil were abandoned in exchange for a cash indemnity and certain commercial privileges. After this, except some inroads on the French expedition to Brazil, 1710. frontiers, the only foreign invasion which Brazil had to suffer was from France. In 1710 a squadron, commanded by Duclerc, disembarked 1000 men, and attacked Rio de Janeiro. After having lost half of his men in a battle, Duclerc and all his surviving companions were made prisoners. The governor treated them cruelly. A new squadron with 6000 troops was entrusted to the famous admiral Duguay Trouin to revenge this injury. They arrived at Rio on the 12th of September 1711. After four days of hard fighting the town was taken. The governor retreated to a position out of it, and was only awaiting reinforcements from Minas to retake it; but, Duguay Trouin threatening to burn it, he was obliged on the 10th of October to sign a capitulation, and pay to the French admiral 610,000 crusados, 500 cases of sugar, and provisions for the return of the fleet to Europe. Duguay Trouin departed to Bahia to obtain fresh spoils; but having lost in a storm two of his best ships, with an important part of the money received, he renounced this plan and returned directly to France.
After this the Portuguese governed their colony undisturbed. The approach of foreign traders was prohibited, while the regalities reserved by the crown drained the country of a great proportion of its wealth.
The important part which the inhabitants of São Paulo have played in the history of Brazil has been already adverted to. The establishment of the Jesuit college had attracted settlers to its neighbourhood, and frequent marriages had taken place between the Indians of the district and the colonists. A hardy and enterprising race of men had sprung from this mixture, who, first searching whether their new country were rich in metals, soon began adventurous raids into the interior, making excursions also against the remote Indian tribes with a view to obtaining slaves, and from the year 1629 onwards repeatedly attacked the Indian reductions of the Jesuits in Paraguay, although both provinces were then nominally subject to the crown of Spain. Other bands penetrated into Minas and still farther north and westward, discovering mines there and in Goyaz and Cuyabá. New colonies were thus formed round those districts in which gold had been found, and in the beginning of the 18th century five principal settlements in Minas Geraes had been elevated by royal charter to the privileges of towns. In 1720 this district was separated from São Paulo, to which it had previously been dependent. As early as 1618 a code of laws for the regulation of the mining industry had been drawn up by Philip III., the executive and judicial functions in the mining districts being vested in a provedor, and the fiscal in a treasurer, who received the royal fifths and superintended the weighing of all the gold, rendering a yearly account of all discoveries and produce. For many years, however, these laws were little more than a dead letter. The same infatuated passion for mining speculation which had characterized the Spanish settlers in South America now began to actuate the Portuguese; labourers and capital were drained off to the mining districts, and Brazil, which had hitherto in great measure supplied Europe with sugar, sank before the competition of the English and French. A new source of wealth was now opened up; some adventurers from Villa do Principe in Minas, going north to the Seria Frio, made the discovery of diamonds about the year 1710, but it was not till 1730 that the discovery was for the first time announced to the government, which immediately declared them regalia. While the population of Brazil continued to increase, the moral and intellectual culture of its inhabitants was left in great measure to chance; they grew up with those robust and healthy sentiments which are engendered by the absence of false teachers, but with a repugnance to legal ordinances, and encouraged in their ascendancy over the Indians to habits of violence and oppression. The Jesuits from the first moment of their landing in Brazil had constituted themselves the protectors of the natives, and though strenuously opposed by the colonists and ordinary clergy, had gathered the Indians together in many aldeas, over which officials of their order exercised spiritual and temporal authority. A more efficacious stop, however, was put to the persecution of the Indians by the importation of large numbers of negroes from the Portuguese possessions in Africa, these being found more active and serviceable than the native tribes.
The Portuguese government, under the administration of Carvalho, afterwards marquis of Pombal, attempted to extend to Brazil the bold spirit of innovation which directed all his efforts. The proud minister had been resisted Reforms of Pombal. in his plans of reform at home by the Jesuits, and, determining to attack the power of the order, first deprived them of all temporal power in the state of Maranhão and Pará. These ordinances soon spread to the whole of Brazil, and a pretext being found in the suspicion of Jesuit influence in some partial revolts of the Indian troops on the Rio Negro, the order was expelled from Brazil under circumstances of great severity in 1760. The Brazilian Company founded by Vieyra, which so materially contributed to preserve its South American possessions to Portugal, had been abolished in 1721 by John V.; but such an instrument being well suited to the bold spirit of Pombal, he established a chartered company again in 1755, to trade exclusively with Maranhão and Pará; and in 1759, in spite of the remonstrance of the British Factory at Lisbon, formed another company for Parahyba and Pernambuco. Pombal's arrangements extended also to the interior of the country, where he extinguished at once the now indefinite and oppressive claims of the original donatories of the captaincies, and strengthened and enforced the regulations of the mining districts. The policy of many of Pombal's measures is more than questionable; but his admission of all races to equal rights in the eye of the law, his abolition of feudal privileges, and the firmer organization of the powers of the land which he introduced, powerfully co-operated towards the development of the capabilities of Brazil. Yet on the death of his king and patron in 1777, when court intrigue forced him from his high station, he who had done so much for his country's institutions was reviled on all hands.
The most important feature in the history of Brazil during the first thirty years following the retirement of Pombal was the conspiracy of Minas in 1789. The successful issue of the recent revolution of the English colonies in North America had filled the minds of some of the more educated youth of that province; and in imitation, a project to throw off the Portuguese yoke was formed,—a cavalry officer, Silva Xavier, nicknamed Tira-dentes (tooth-drawer), being the chief conspirator. But the plot being discovered during their inactivity, the conspirators were banished to Africa, and Tira-dentes, the leader, was hanged. Thenceforward affairs went on prosperously; the mining districts continued to be enlarged; the trading companies of the littoral provinces were abolished, but the impulse they had given to agriculture remained.
Removed from all communication with the rest of the world except through the mother country, Brazil remained unaffected by the first years of the great revolutionary war in Europe. Indirectly, however, the fate of this isolated Portuguese royal family in Brazil, 1807. country was decided by the consequences of the French Revolution. Brazil is the only instance of a colony becoming the seat of the government of its own mother country, and this was the work of Napoleon. When he resolved upon the invasion and conquest of Portugal, the prince regent, afterwards Dom John VI., having no means of resistance, decided to take refuge in Brazil. He created a regency in Lisbon, and departed for Brazil on the 29th of November 1807, accompanied by the queen Donna Maria I., the royal family, all the great officers of state, a large part of the nobility and numerous retainers. They arrived at Bahia on the 21st of January 1808, and were received with enthusiasm. The regent was requested to establish there the seat of his government, but a more secure asylum presented itself in Rio de Janeiro, where the royal fugitives arrived on the 7th of March. Before leaving Bahia, Dom John took the first step to emancipate Brazil, opening its ports to foreign commerce, and permitting the export of all Brazilian produce under any flag, the royal monopolies of diamonds and Brazil-wood excepted. Once established in Rio de Janeiro, the government of the regent was directed to the creation of an administrative machinery for the dominions that remained to him as it existed in Portugal. Reorganization on Portuguese model. Besides the ministry which had come with the regent, the council of state, and the departments of the four ministries of home, finances, war and marine then existing, there were created in the course of one year a supreme court of justice, a board of patronage and administration of the property of the church and military orders, an inferior court of appeal, the court of exchequer and royal treasury, the royal mint, bank of Brazil, royal printing-office, powder-mills on a large scale, and a supreme military court. The maintenance of the court, and the salaries of so large a number of high officials, entailed the imposition of new taxes to meet these expenses. Notwithstanding this the expenses continued to augment, and the government had recourse to the reprehensible measure of altering the money standard, and the whole monetary system was soon thrown into the greatest confusion. The bank, in addition to its private functions, farmed many of the regalia, and was in the practice of advancing large sums to the state, transactions which gave rise to extensive corruption, and terminated some years later in the breaking of the bank.
Thus the government of the prince regent began its career in the new world with dangerous errors in the financial system; yet the increased activity which a multitude of new customers and the increase of circulating medium gave to the trade of Rio, added a new stimulus to the industry of the whole nation. Numbers of English artisans and shipbuilders, Swedish iron-founders, German engineers and French manufacturers sought fortunes in the new country, and diffused industry by their example.
In the beginning of 1809, in retaliation for the occupation of Portugal, an expedition was sent from Pará to the French colony of Guiana, and after some fighting this part of Guiana was incorporated with Brazil. This conquest was, however, of short duration; for, by the treaty of Vienna in 1815, the colony was restored to France. Its occupation contributed to the improvement of agriculture in Brazil; it had been the policy of Portugal up to this time to separate the productions of its colonies, to reserve sugar for Brazil, and spices to the East Indies, and to prohibit the cultivation of these in the African possessions. Now, however, many plants were imported not only from Guiana but from India and Africa, cultivated in the Royal Botanic Garden, and thence distributed. The same principle which dictated the conquest of French Guiana originated attempts to seize the Spanish colonies of Montevideo and Buenos Aires, Portugal being also at war with Spain. The chiefs of these colonies were invited to place them under the protection of the Portuguese crown, but these at first affecting loyalty to Spain declined the offer, then threw off the mask and declared themselves independent, and the Spanish governor, Elio, was afterwards defeated by Artigas, the leader of the independents.
The inroads made on the frontiers of Rio Grande and São Paulo decided the court of Rio to take possession of Montevideo; a force of 5000 troops was sent thither from Portugal, together with a Brazilian corps; and the irregulars Brazil declared an integral portion of the monarchy. of Artigas, unable to withstand disciplined troops, were forced, after a total defeat, to take refuge beyond the River Uruguay. The Portuguese took possession of the city of Montevideo in January 1817, and the territory of Misiones was afterwards occupied. The importance which Brazil was acquiring decided the regent to give it the title of kingdom, and by decree of the 16th January 1815, the Portuguese sovereignty thenceforward took the title of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Algarves. Thus the old colonial government disappeared even in name. In March 1816 the queen Donna Maria I. died, and the prince regent became king under the title of Dom John VI.
Although Brazil had now become in fact the head of its own mother country, the government was not in the hands of Brazilians, but of the Portuguese, who had followed the court. The discontent arising among Brazilians from this cause was heightened by a decree assigning a heavy tax on the chief Brazilian custom houses, to be in operation for forty years, for the benefit of the Portuguese noblemen who had suffered during the war with France. The amiable character of the king preserved his own popularity, but the government was ignorant and profligate, justice was ill administered, negligence and disorder reigned in all its departments. Nor was the discontent less in Portugal on account of its anomalous position. These causes and the fermentation of liberal principles produced by the French Revolution originated a conspiracy in Lisbon in 1817, which was, however, discovered in time to prevent its success. A similar plot and rebellion took place in the province of Pernambuco, where the inhabitants of the important commercial city of Recife (Pernambuco) were jealous of Rio and the sacrifices they were compelled to make for the support of the luxurious court there. Another conspiracy to establish a republican government was promptly smothered in Bahia, and the outbreak in Pernambuco was put down after a republic had been formed there for ninety days. Still the progress of the republican spirit in Brazil caused Dom João to send to Portugal for bodies of picked troops, which were stationed throughout the provincial capitals. In Portugal the popular discontent produced the revolution of 1820, when representative government was proclaimed—the Spanish constitution of 1812 being provisionally adopted. In Rio, the Portuguese troops with which the king had surrounded himself as the defence against the liberal spirit of the Brazilians, took up arms on the 26th of February 1821, to force him to accept the system proclaimed in Portugal. The prince Dom Pedro, heir to the crown, who now for the first time took part in public affairs, actively exerted himself as a negotiator between the king and the troops, who were joined by bodies of the people. After attempting a compromise the king finally submitted, took the oath and named a new ministry. The idea of free government filled the people with enthusiasm, and the principles of a representative legislature were freely adopted, the first care being for the election of deputies to the Cortes of Lisbon to take part in framing the new constitution. As the king could not abandon Portugal to itself he determined at first to send the prince thither as regent, but Dom Pedro had acquired such popularity by his conduct in the revolution, and had exhibited such a thirst for glory, that the king feared to trust his adventurous spirit in Europe, and decided to go himself. The Brazilian deputies on arriving in Lisbon expressed dissatisfaction with the Cortes for having begun the framing of the constitution before their arrival, for Brazil could not be treated as a secondary part of the monarchy. Sharp discussions and angry words passed between the Brazilian and Portuguese deputies, the news of which excited great discontent in Brazil. An insulting decree was passed in the Cortes, ordering the prince Dom Pedro to come to Europe, which filled the Brazilians with alarm; they foresaw that without a central authority the country would fall back to its former colonial state subject to Portugal. The provisional government of São Paulo, influenced by the brothers Andrada, began a movement for independence by asking the prince to disobey the Cortes and remain in Brazil, and the council of Rio de Janeiro followed with a similar representation, to which the prince assented. The Portuguese troops of the capital at first assumed a coercive attitude, but were forced to give way before the ardour and military preparations of the Brazilians, and submitted to embark for Portugal. These scenes were repeated in Pernambuco, where Pedro proclaims the independence of Brazil, 1822. the Portuguese, after various conflicts, were obliged to leave the country; in Bahia, however, as well as in Maranhão and Pará, the Portuguese prevailed. In the agitation for independence continued. The two brothers Andrada were called to the ministry; and the municipal council conferred upon the prince regent the title of Perpetual Defender of Brazil. With great activity he set off to the central provinces of Minas and São Paulo to suppress disaffected movements and direct the revolution. In São Paulo, on the 7th of September 1822, he proclaimed the independence of Brazil. On his return to Rio de Janeiro on the 12th of October he was proclaimed constitutional emperor with great enthusiasm.
The Cortes at Lisbon chose Bahia as a centre for resisting the independence, and large forces were sent thither. But the city was vigorously besieged by the Brazilians by land, and finally the Portuguese were obliged to re-embark on the 2nd of July 1823. A Brazilian squadron, under command of Lord Cochrane, attacked the Portuguese vessels, embarrassed with troops, and took several of them. Taylor, another Englishman in Brazilian service, followed the vessels across the Atlantic, and even captured some of the ships in sight of the land of Portugal. The troops in Montevideo also embarked for Portugal, and the Banda Oriental remained a part of Brazil with the title of the Provincia Cisplatina. Before the end of 1823 the authority of the new emperor and the independence of Brazil were undisputed throughout the whole country.
Republican movements now began to spread, to suppress which the authorities made use of the Portuguese remaining in the country; and the disposition of the emperor to consider these as his firmest supporters much influenced the course of his government and his future destiny. The two Andradas, who imagined they could govern the young emperor as a sovereign of their own creation, encountered great opposition in the constitutional assembly, which had been opened in Rio in May 1823, to discuss the project of a new constitution. In July the emperor resolved to dismiss them and form a new ministry, but against this the brothers raised a violent opposition. In November the emperor put an end to the angry debates which ensued in the assembly by dissolving it, exiling the Andradas to France, and convoking a new assembly to deliberate on a proposed constitution more liberal than the former project. The proclamation of a republic in the provinces of Pernambuco and Ceará, with the rebellion of the Cisplatina province, favoured by Buenos Aires and its ultimate loss to Brazil, were the result of the coup d'état of November 1823. The Brazilians were universally discontented—on one side fearing absolutism if they supported the emperor, on the other anarchy if he fell. Knowing the danger of an undefined position, the emperor caused the councils to dispense with their deliberations, and adopt, as the constitution of the empire, the project framed by the council of state. Accordingly, on the 25th of March 1824, Constitution of 1824. the emperor swore to the constitution with great solemnity and public rejoicings. By this stroke of policy he saved himself and Brazil. Negotiations were opened in London between the Brazilian and Portuguese plenipotentiaries, treating for the recognition of the independence of Brazil; and on the 25th of August 1825 a treaty was signed by which the Portuguese king, Dom John VI., assumed the title of emperor of Brazil, and immediately abdicated in favour of his son, acknowledging Brazil as an independent empire, but the treaty obliged Brazil to take upon herself the Portuguese debt, amounting to nearly two millions sterling.
The rebellion of the Banda Oriental was followed by a declaration of war with Buenos Aires which had supported it, and operations by sea and land were conducted against that republic in a feeble way. Meanwhile the well-deserved popularity of the emperor began to decline. He had given himself up to the influence of the Portuguese; the most popular men who had worked for the independence were banished; and a continual change of ministry showed a disposition on the part of the sovereign to prosecute obstinately measures of which his advisers disapproved. His popularity was regained, however, to some extent, when, on the death of his father, he was unanimously acknowledged king of Portugal, and especially when he abdicated that crown in favour of his daughter, Donna Maria; but his line of policy was not altered, and commercial treaties entered into with European states conceding them favours, which were popularly considered to be injurious to Brazilian trade, met with bitter censure.
During the year 1827 the public debt was consolidated, and a department was created for the application of a sinking fund.
The year 1828 was a calamitous one for Brazil. It began with the defeat of the Brazilian army by the Argentine forces, and this entirely through the incapacity of the commander-in-chief; and misunderstandings, afterwards compensated by humbling money-payments on the part of Brazil, arose with the United States, France and England on account of merchant vessels captured by the Brazilian squadron blockading Buenos Aires. Financial embarrassments increased to an alarming extent; the emperor was compelled by the British government to make peace with Buenos Aires and to renounce the Banda Oriental; and to fill the sum of disasters Dom Miguel had treacherously usurped the crown of Portugal. It was under these unlucky auspices that the elections of new deputies took place in 1829. As was expected the result was the election everywhere of ultra-liberals opposed to the emperor, and in the succeeding year people everywhere exhibited their disaffection. During the session of 1830 the chambers adopted a criminal code in which punishment by death for political offences was abolished. It was openly suggested in the journals to reform the constitution by turning Brazil into independent federal provinces, governed by authorities popularly elected, as in the United States. Alarmed at length at the ground gained by this idea in the provinces, the emperor set off to Minas to stir up the former enthusiasm in his favour from recollections of the independence, but was coldly received. On his return to Rio in March 1831 scenes of disorder occurred, and great agitation among the Liberal party. Imagining himself sure of a brilliant destiny in Europe if he lost his Brazilian crown, the emperor attempted to risk a decisive attack against the Liberals, and to form a new Abdication of Pedro I., 1831. ministry composed of men favourable to absolutism. This step caused excited public meetings in the capital, which were joined in by the troops, and deputations went to ask the emperor to dismiss the unpopular ministry. He replied by dissolving the ministry without naming another, and by abdicating the crown in favour of the heir apparent, then only five years of age. Dom Pedro immediately embarked in an English ship, leaving the new emperor Dom Pedro II. and the princesses Januaria, Francisca and Paula. The subsequent career of this unfortunate prince belongs to the history of Portugal.
A provisional and afterwards a permanent regency, composed of three members, was now formed in Brazil, but scenes of disorder succeeded, and discussions and struggles between the republican party and the government, and a reactionary third party in favour of the restoration of Dom Pedro, occupied the succeeding years. In 1834 a reform which was well received consisted in the alteration of the regency, from that of three members elected by the legislative chambers, to one regent chosen by the whole of the electors in the same manner as the deputies; and the councils of the provinces were replaced by legislative provincial assemblies. Virtually, this was a republican government like that of the United States, for no difference existed in the mode of election of the regent from that of a president. The ex-minister Feijoó was chosen for this office. With the exception of Pará and Rio Grande the provinces were at peace, but these were in open rebellion; the former was reduced to obedience, but in the latter, though the imperial troops occupied the town, the country was ravaged by its warlike inhabitants. The regent was now accused of conniving at this rebellion, and the opposition of the chamber of deputies became so violent as to necessitate his resignation. Araujo Lima, minister of the home department, who strove to give his government the character of a monarchical reaction against the principles of democracy, was chosen by a large majority in his stead. The experiment of republican government had proved so discreditable, and had so wearied the country of cabals, that men hitherto known for their sympathy with democratic principles became more monarchical than the regent himself; and under this influence a movement to give the regency into the hands of the princess Donna Januaria, now in her 18th year, was set on foot. It was soon perceived, however, that if the empire could be governed by a princess of eighteen it could be managed better by the emperor himself, who was then fourteen.
A bill was accordingly presented to the legislature dispensing with the age of the emperor and declaring his majority, which after a noisy discussion was carried. The majority of the emperor Dom Pedro II. was proclaimed on the Majority of Pedro II., 1840. 23rd of July 1840. Several ministries, in which various parties predominated for a time, now governed the country till 1848, during which period the rebellious province of Rio Grande was pacified, more by negotiation than force of arms. In 1848 hostilities were roused with the British government through the neglect shown by the Brazilians in putting in force a treaty for the abolition of the slave trade, which had been concluded as far back as 1826; on the other hand the governor of Buenos Aires, General Rosas, was endeavouring to stir up revolution again in Rio Grande. The appearance of yellow fever in 1849, until then unknown in Brazil, was attributed to the importation of slaves. Public opinion declared against the traffic; severe laws were passed against it, and were so firmly enforced that in 1853 not a single disembarkation took place. The ministry of the Visconde de Olinda in 1849 entered into alliances with the governors of Montevideo, Paraguay and the states of Entre Rios and Corrientes, for the purpose of maintaining the integrity of the republics of Uruguay and Paraguay, which Rosas intended to reunite to Buenos Aires, and the troops of Rosa's which besieged Montevideo were forced to capitulate. Rosas then declared war formally against Brazil. An army of Correntine, Uruguayan and Brazilian troops, under General Urquiza, assisted by a Brazilian naval squadron, advanced on Buenos Aires, completely routed the forces of Rosas, and crushed for ever the power of that dictator. From 1844 Brazil was free from intestine commotions, and had resumed its activity. Public works and education were advanced, and the finances rose to a degree of prosperity previously unknown.
In 1855 the emperor of Brazil sent a squadron of eleven men-of-war and as many transports up the Paraná to adjust several questions pending between the empire and the republic of Paraguay, the most important of which War with Paraguay. was that of the right of way by the Paraguay river to the interior Brazilian province of Matto Grosso. This right had been in dispute for several years. The expedition was not permitted to ascend the river Paraguay, and returned completely foiled in its main purpose. Though the discord resulting between the states on account of this failure was subsequently allayed for a time by a treaty granting to Brazil the right to navigate the river, every obstacle was thrown in the way by the Paraguayan government, and indignities of all kinds were offered not only to Brazil but to the representatives of the Argentine and the United States. In 1864 the ambitious dictator of Paraguay, Francisco Solano Lopez, without previous declaration of war, captured a Brazilian vessel in the Paraguay, and rapidly followed up this outrage by an armed invasion of the provinces of Matto Grosso and Rio Grande in Brazil, and that of Corrientes in the Argentine Republic. A triple alliance of the invaded states with Uruguay ensued, and the tide of war was soon turned from being an offensive one on the part of Paraguay to a defensive struggle within that republic against the superior number of the allies. So strong was the natural position of Paraguay, however, and so complete the subjection of its inhabitants to the will of the dictator, that it was not until the year 1870, after the republic had been completely drained of its manhood and resources, that the long war was terminated by the capture and death of Lopez with his last handful of men by the pursuing Brazilians. From its duration and frequent battles and sieges this war involved an immense sacrifice of life to Brazil, the army in the field having been constantly maintained at between 20,000 and 30,000 men, and the expenditure in maintaining it was very great, having been calculated at upwards of fifty millions sterling. Large deficits in the financial budgets of the state resulted, involving increased taxation and the contracting of loans from foreign countries.
Notwithstanding this the sources of public wealth in Brazil were unaffected, and commerce continued steadily to increase. A grand social reform was effected in the law passed in September 1871, which enacted that from that date every child born of slave parents should be free, and also declared all the slaves belonging to the state or to the imperial household free from that time. The same law provided an emancipation fund, to be annually applied to the ransom of a certain number of slaves owned by private individuals.
Under the long reign of Dom Pedro II. progress and material prosperity made steady advancement in Brazil. Occasional political outbreaks occurred, but none of very serious nature except in Rio Grande do Sul, where a long Character of Pedro II.'s reign. guerrilla warfare was carried on against the imperial authority. The emperor occupied himself to a far greater extent with the economic development of his people and country than with active political life. Unostentatious in his habits, Dom Pedro always had at heart the true interests of the Brazilians. Himself a highly-educated man, he sincerely desired to further the cause of education, and devoted a large portion of his time to the study of this question. His extreme liberalism prevented his opposing the spread of Socialist doctrines preached far and wide by Benjamin Constant. Begun about 1880, this propaganda took deep root in the educated classes, creating a desire for change and culminating in the military conspiracy of November 1889, by which monarchy was replaced by a republican form of government.
At first the revolutionary propaganda produced no personal animosity against the emperor, who continued to be treated by his people with every mark of respect and affection, but this state of things gradually changed. In 1864 the princess Isabella, the eldest daughter of the emperor and empress, had married the Comte d'Eu, a member of the Orleans family. The marriage was never popular in the country, owing partly to the fact that the Comte d'Eu was a reserved man who made few intimate friends and never attempted to become a favourite. Princess Isabella was charitable in many ways, always ready to take her full share of the duties falling upon her as the future empress, and thoroughly realizing the responsibilities of her position; but she was greatly influenced by the clerical party and the priesthood, and she thereby incurred the hostility of the Progressives. When Dom Pedro left Brazil for the purpose of making a tour through Europe and the United States he appointed Princess Isabella to act as regent, and she showed herself so swayed in political questions by Church influence that Liberal feeling became more and more anti-dynastic. Another incident which gave strength to the opposition was the sudden abolition of slavery without any compensation to slave-owners. The planters, the principal possessors of wealth, regarded the measure as unnecessary in view of the act which had been passed in 1885 providing for the gradual freeing of all slaves. The arguments used were, however, of no avail with the regent, and the decree was promulgated on the 13th of May 1888. No active opposition was offered to this measure, but the feelings of unrest and discontent spread rapidly.
Towards the close of 1888 the emperor returned and was received by the populace with every demonstration of affection and esteem. Even among the advocates of republicanism there was no intention of dethroning Dom Establishment of the Republic, 1889. Pedro, excepting a few extreme members of the party, now gained the upper hand. They argued that it would be much more difficult to carry out a successful coup d'état when the good-natured, confiding emperor had been succeeded by his more suspicious and energetic daughter. Discontented officers in the army and navy rallied to this idea, and a conspiracy was organized to depose the emperor and declare a republic. On the 14th of November 1889 the palace was quietly surrounded, and on the following morning the emperor and his family were placed on board ship and sent off to Portugal. A provisional government was then formed and a proclamation issued to the effect that the country would henceforth be known as the United States of Brazil, and that in due time a republican constitution would be framed. The only voice raised in protest was that of the minister of war, and he was shot at and severely wounded as a consequence. Dom Pedro, completely broken down by the ingratitude of the people whom he had loved so much and laboured for so strenuously, made no attempt at resistance. The republican government offered to compensate him for the property he had held in Brazil as emperor, but this proposal was declined. His private possessions were respected, and were afterwards still held by Princess Isabella.
The citizen named as president of the provisional government, was General Deodoro da Fonseca, who owed his advancement to the personal friendship and assistance of Dom Pedro. Second in authority was placed General Floriano Peixoto, an officer also under heavy obligations to the deposed monarch, as indeed were nearly all of those who took active part in the conspiracy.
Though the overthrow of the imperial dynasty was totally unexpected throughout, the new regime was accepted without any disturbances. Under the leadership of General Deodoro da Fonseca a praetorian system of government, Brazil under the Republic. in which the military element was all-powerful, came into existence, and continued till February 1891, when a national congress assembled and formulated the constitution for the United States of Brazil. The former provinces were converted into states, the only right of the federal government to interfere in their administration being for the purposes of national defence, the maintenance of public order or the enforcement of the federal laws. The constitution of the United States of America was taken as a model for drawing up that of Brazil, and the general terms were as far as possible adhered to (see above, section Government).
General da Fonseca and General Floriano Peixoto were elected to fill the offices of president and vice-president until the 15th of November 1894. This implied the continuance of praetorian methods of administration. The older class of more conservative Brazilians, who had formerly taken part in the administration under the emperor, withdrew altogether from public life. Many left Brazil and went into voluntary exile, while others retired to their estates. In the absence of these more respectable elements, the government fell into the hands of a gang of military adventurers and unscrupulous politicians, whose only object was to exploit the national resources for their own benefit. As a consequence, deep-rooted discontent rapidly arose. A conspiracy, of which Admiral Wandenkolk was the prime instigator, was discovered, and those who had taken part in it were banished to the distant state of Amazonas. Disturbances then broke out in Rio Grande do Sul, in consequence of disputes between the official party and the people living in the country districts. Under the leadership of Gumercindo Saraïva the country people broke into open revolt in September 1891. This outbreak was partially suppressed, but afterwards it again burst into flame with great vigour. In view of the discontent, conspiracies and revolutionary movements, President da Fonseca declared himself dictator. This act, however, met with such strong opposition that he resigned office on the 23rd of November 1891, and Vice-President Floriano Peixoto assumed the presidency.
Floriano Peixoto had been accustomed all his life to use harsh measures. For the first year of his term of office he kept seditious attempts in check, but discontent grew apace. Nor was this surprising to those who knew the corruption in the administration. Concessions and subsidies were given broadcast for worthless undertakings in order to benefit the friends of the president. Brazilian credit gave way under the strain, and evidences were not wanting at the beginning of 1893 that an outburst of public opinion was not far distant. Nevertheless President Peixoto made no effort to reform the methods of administration. Meanwhile, the revolution in Rio Grande do Sul had revived; and in July 1893 the federal government was forced to send most of the available regular troops to that state to hold the insurgents in check.
On the 6th of September prevailing discontent took definite shape in the form of a naval revolt in the Bay of Rio de Janeiro. Admiral Custodio de Mello took command of the naval forces, and demanded the resignation of the president. Naval revolt and civil war, 1893. General Peixoto replied by organizing a defence against any attack from the squadron. Admiral Mello, finding that his demands were not complied with, began a bombardment of the city, but did not effect his purpose of compelling Peixoto to resign. The foreign ministers then arranged a compromise between the contending parties, according to which President Peixoto was to place no artillery in the city, while Admiral Mello was to refrain from bombarding the town, which was thus saved from destruction. Shortly afterwards the cruiser “Republica” and a transport ran the gauntlet of the government forts at the entrance of the bay, and proceeded south to the province of Santa Catharina, taking possession of Desterro, its capital. A provisional government was proclaimed by the insurgents, with headquarters at Desterro, and communication was opened with Gumercindo Saraïva, the leader of the insurrection in Rio Grande do Sul. It was proposed that the army of some 10,000 men under his command should advance northwards towards Rio de Janeiro, while the insurgent squadron threatened the city of Rio. In November Admiral Mello left Rio de Janeiro in the armoured cruiser “Aquidaban” and went to Desterro, the naval forces in Rio Bay being left in charge of Admiral Saldanha da Gama, an ardent monarchist, who had thrown in his lot with the insurgent cause. All was, apparently, going well with the revolt, Saraïva having invaded the states of Santa Catharina and Paraná, and defeated the government troops in several encounters. Meanwhile, President Peixoto had fortified the approaches to the city of Rio de Janeiro, bought vessels of war in Europe and the United States and organized the National Guard.
Early in 1894 dissensions occurred between Saraïva and Mello, which prevented any advance of the insurgent forces, and allowed Peixoto to perfect his plans. Admiral da Gama, unable to leave the Bay of Rio de Janeiro on account of lack of transport for the sick and wounded and the civilians claiming his protection, could do no more than wait for Admiral Mello to return from Desterro. In the meantime the ships bought by President Peixoto arrived off Rio de Janeiro and prevented da Gama from escaping. On the 15th of March 1894 the rebel forces evacuated their positions on the islands of Villegaignon, Cobras and Enxadas, abandoned their vessels, and were received on board two Portuguese warships then in the harbour, whence they were conveyed to Montevideo. The action of the Portuguese commander was prompted by a desire to save life, for had the rebels fallen into the hands of Peixoto, they would assuredly have been executed.
When the news of the surrender of Saldanha da Gama reached Gumercindo Saraïva, then at Curitiba in Paraná, he proceeded to retire to Rio Grande do Sul. Government troops were despatched to intercept his retreat, and in one of the skirmishes which followed Saraïva was killed. The rebel army then dispersed. Admiral Mello made an unsuccessful attack on the town of Rio Grande, and then sailed to Buenos Aires, there surrendering the rebel squadron to the Argentine authorities, by whom it was immediately delivered to the Brazilian government. After six months of civil war peace was once more established, but there still remained some small rebel groups in Rio Grande do Sul. These were joined by Admiral da Gama and a number of the naval officers, who had escaped from Rio de Janeiro; but in June 1895 the admiral was killed in a fight with the government troops. After the cessation of hostilities, the greatest barbarities were practised upon those who, although they had taken no part in the insurrection, were known to have desired the overthrow of President Peixoto. The baron Cerro Azul was shot down without trial; Marshal de Gama Eza, an old imperial soldier of eighty years of age, was murdered in cold blood, and numerous executions of men of lesser note took place, among these being two Frenchmen for whose death the Brazilian government was subsequently called upon to pay heavy compensation.
General Peixoto was succeeded as president on the 15th of November 1894 by Dr Prudente de Moraes Barros. It was a moot question whether Peixoto, after the revolt was crushed, would not declare himself dictator; certainly many of his friends were anxious that he should follow this course, but he was broken down by the strain which had been imposed upon him and was glad to surrender his duties. He did not recover his health and died shortly afterwards.
From the first day that he assumed office, President Moraes showed that he intended to suppress praetorian systems and reduce militarism to a minimum. This policy received the approval and sympathy of the majority of Brazilians, but naturally met with bitter opposition from the military element. The president gradually drew to him some members of the better conservative class to assist in his administration, and felt confident that he had the support of public opinion. Early in 1895 murmurings and disorderly conduct against the authorities began to take place in the military school at Rio de Janeiro, which had always been a hotbed of intrigue. Some of the officers and students were promptly expelled, and the president closed the school for several months. This salutary lesson had due effect, and no more discontent was fomented from that quarter. Two great difficulties stood in the way of steering the country to prosperity. The first was the chaotic confusion of the finances resulting from the maladministration of the national resources since the deposition of Dom Pedro II., and the corruption that had crept into every branch of the public service. Much was done by President Moraes to correct abuses, but the task was of too herculean a nature to allow of accomplishment within the four years during which he was at the head of affairs. The second difficulty was the war waged by religious fanatics under the leadership of Antonio Maciel, known as “Conselheiro,” against the constituted authorities of Brazil.
The story of Conselheiro is a remarkable one. A native of Pernambuco, when a young man he married against the wishes of his mother, who took a violent dislike to the bride. Shortly after the marriage the mother assured her son that his wife held clandestine meetings with a lover, and stated that if he would go to a certain spot not far from the house that evening he would himself see that her assertion was true. The mother invented some plea to send the wife to the trysting-place, and then, dressing herself in male clothing, prepared to come suddenly on the scene as the lover, trusting to be able to make her escape before she was recognized. The three met almost simultaneously. Conselheiro, deeming his worst suspicions confirmed, shot and killed his wife and his mother before explanations could be offered. He was tried and allowed to go at liberty after some detention in prison. From that time Conselheiro was a victim of remorse, and to expiate his sin became a missionary in the sertao or interior of Brazil among the wild Jagunço people. He built places of worship in many different districts, and at length became the recognized chief of the people among whom he had thus strangely cast his lot. Eventually he formed a settlement near Canudos, situated about 400 m. inland from Bahia. Difficulty arose between the governor of Bahia and this fanatical missionary, with the result that Conselheiro was ordered to leave the settlement and take away his people. This order was met with a sturdy refusal to move. Early in 1897 a police force was sent to eject the settlers, but encountered strong resistance, and suffered heavy loss without being able to effect the purpose intended. In March 1897 a body of 1500 troops, with four guns, was despatched to bring the Jagunçoes to reason, but was totally defeated. An army comprising some 5000 officers and men was then sent to crush Conselheiro and his people at all costs. Little progress was made, the country being difficult of access and the Jagunçoes laying ambuscades at every available place. Finally strong reinforcements were sent forward, the minister of war himself proceeding to take command of the army, now numbering nearly 13,000 men. Canudos was besieged and captured in September 1897, Conselheiro being killed in the final assault. The expense of these expeditions was very heavy, and prevented President Moraes from carrying out many of the retrenchments he had planned.
Soon after the Canudos affair a conspiracy was hatched to assassinate the president. He was watching the disembarkation of some troops when a shot was fired which narrowly missed him, and killed General Bitencourt, the minister of war. The actual perpetrator of the deed, a soldier, was tried and executed, but he was apparently ignorant of the persons who procured his services. Three other men implicated in the conspiracy were subsequently sentenced to imprisonment for a term of thirty years. The remainder of the presidency of Dr Moraes was uneventful; and on the 15th of November 1898 he was succeeded by Dr Campos Salles, who had previously been governor of the state of São Paulo. President Salles publicly promised political reform, economy in the administration, and absolute respect for civil rights, and speedily made efforts to fulfil these pledges.
The difficulties in the reorganization of the finances of the state, which Dr Campos Salles had to face on his accession to power, were very great. The heavy cost involved in the suppression of internal disorders, maladministration, Reform under President Campos Salles. and the hindrances placed in the way of economical development by the semi-independence of the federal states had seriously depreciated the national credit. The president-elect accordingly undertook with the full approval of Dr Moraes, who was still in office, the task of visiting Europe with the object of endeavouring to make an arrangement with the creditors of the state for a temporary suspension of payments. He was successful in his object, and an agreement was made by which bonds should be issued instead of interest payments from the 1st of July 1898, the promise being given that every effort should be made for the resumption of cash payments in 1901. President Campos Salles entered upon his tenure of office on the 15th of November 1898, and at once proceeded to initiate fiscal legislation for the purpose of reducing expenditure and increasing the revenue. He had to face opposition from sectional interests and from the jealousy of interference with their rights on the part of provincial administrations, but he was able to achieve a considerable measure of success and to lay the foundation of a sounder system under which the financial position of the republic has made steady progress. The chief feature of the administration of Dr Campos Salles was the statesmanlike ability with which various disputes with foreign powers on boundary questions were seriously taken in hand and brought to a satisfactory and pacific settlement. There had for a long period been difficulties with France with regard to the territory which lay between the mouth of the Amazon and Cayenne or French Guiana. The language of various treatises was doubtful and ambiguous, largely owing to the ignorance of the diplomatists who drew up the articles of the exact geography of the territory in question. Napoleon had forced the Portuguese government to cede to him the northernmost arm of the mouth of the Amazon as the southern boundary of French Guiana with a large slice of the unexplored interior westwards. A few years later the Portuguese had in their turn conquered French Guiana, but had been compelled to restore it at the peace of Paris. The old ambiguity attaching to the interpretation of earlier treaties, however, remained, and in April 1899 the question by an agreement between the two states was referred to the arbitration of the president of the Swiss confederation. The decision was given in December 1900 and was entirely in favour of the Brazilian contention. A still more interesting boundary dispute was that between Great Britain and Brazil, as to the southern frontier line of British Guiana. The dispute was of very old standing, and the settlement by arbitration in 1899 of the acute misunderstanding between Great Britain and Venezuela regarding the western boundary of British Guiana, and the reference to arbitration in that same year of the Franco-Brazilian dispute, led to an agreement being made in 1901 between Brazil and Great Britain for the submission of their differences to the arbitration of the king of Italy. The district in dispute was the site of the fabled Lake of Parima and the Golden City of Manoa, the search for which in the early days of European settlement attracted so many adventurous expeditions, and which fascinated the imagination of Raleigh and drew him to his doom. The question was a complicated one involving the historical survey of Dutch and Portuguese exploration and control in the far interior of Guiana during two centuries; and it was not until 1904 that the king of Italy gave his award, which was largely in favour of the British claim, and grants to British Guiana access to the northern affluents of the Amazon. Before this decision was given Senhor Rodrigues Alves had been elected president in 1902. Dr Campos Salles had signalized his administration, not only by the settlement of disputes with European powers, but by efforts to arrive at a good understanding with the neighbouring South American republics. In July 1899 President Roca had visited Rio de Janeiro accompanied by an Argentine squadron, this being the first official visit that any South American president had ever paid to one of the adjoining states. In October 1900 Dr Campos Salles returned the visit and met with an excellent reception at Buenos Aires. The result was of importance, as it was known that Brazil was on friendly terms with Chile, and this interchange of courtesies had some effect in bringing about a settlement of the controversy between Chile and Argentina over the Andean frontier question without recourse to hostilities. This was indeed a time when questions concerning boundaries were springing up on every side, for it was only through the moderation with which the high-handed action of Bolivia in regard to the Acré rubber-producing territory was met by the Brazilian government that war was avoided. Negotiations were set on foot, and finally by treating the matter in a give-and-take spirit a settlement was reached and a treaty for an amicable exchange of territories in the district in question, accompanied by a pecuniary indemnity, was signed by President Alves at Petropolis on the 17th of November 1903. During the remainder of the term of this president internal and financial progress were undisturbed save by an outbreak in 1904 in the Cunani district, the very portion of disputed territory which had been assigned to Brazil by the arbitration with France. This province, being difficult of access, was able for a time to assert a practical independence. In 1906 Dr Affonso Penna, three times minister under Pedro II., and at that time governor of the state of Minas-Geraes, of which he had founded the new capital, Bello Horizonte, was elected president, a choice due to a coalition of the other states against São Paulo, to which all the recent presidents had belonged. Penna’s presidency was distinguished by his successful efforts to place the finances on a sound basis. He died in office on the 14th of June 1909. (K. J.; C. E. A.; G. E.)
- The areas are reduced from the planimetrical calculations made at Gotha and used by A. Supan in Die Bevölkerung der Erde (1904). They are corrected to cover all boundary changes to 1906.
- The census of 1890 is the last one of which complete returns are published. That of 1900 was notoriously inaccurate in many instances.
- The census returns are for municipalities, and not for cities proper. As a municipality covers a large extent of country, the population given is larger than that of the urban parishes, and is therefore not strictly correct according to European practice.
- The Brazilian official titles are given for the state capitals: Belem for Pará; São Luiz for Maranhão; São Salvador for Bahia; and Recife for Pernambuco.
- The capital of Minas Geraes in 1890 was Ouro Preto; it has since been transferred to Bello Horizonte, or Cidade de Minas, which has an estimated population of 25,000.
- Since the naval revolt of 1893 – 1894 the name of the capital of Santa Catharina has been changed from Desterro to Florianopolis in honour of President Floriano Peixoto.
- The “bran” exported is from imported wheat and cannot be considered a national product.
- The “old metals” consist of old iron, brass, &c., derived from railway material, machinery, &c., all imported, and should not be considered a Brazilian product.
The “sundry products” would probably be included in the four general classes were the items given.
- Previous to 1907 these two departments were united in one under the designation of “Industry, Communications and Public Works.” The division was decreed December 29, 1906