A brief update on the on-going corruption investigations and current political situation in Brazil. Thousands, sometimes millions of people have protested against (in some combination): corruption, the currently-in-power Workers’ Party, President Rousseff, and ex-President Lula.There have been counter-protests, but in general they have been smaller as the Workers’ Party’s support has plummeted as a result of the scandal. Impeachment seems imminent.
The 18th century brings unforeseen prosperity to the Portuguese Empire and Brazil in particular. People, political power, economic power and attitudes would all soon be on the move.
Gold and diamonds spill from the backcountry. Much is smuggled, but much makes into the crown’s coffers. The crown takes barely a look at the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution and conservatively buries its head in precious minerals.
The riches are in the southeast, until this point little more than a hinterland. But they would draw people and slaves not only from Portugal and its empire, but from within Brazil itself. The shift was seismic and Brazil would be forever altered. As if to counter this, Lisbon used the windfall to remain as much the same as it could.
But change is the only constant.
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Continue reading Episode 7 – Gold in Them Thar Hills (Quick History #4)