Today we’re going to talk about Pedro I’s successor, his son, Pedro II. He will rule the Empire of Brazil for 58 years, until its demise in 1889—making him one of the longer ruling monarchs in all of history. e will guide Brazil through a series of revolts to prosperity then through a devastating war and beyond. Like many of his peers in this group, he became a monarch young, at age 5.
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Continue reading Episode 12 – Forging an American Empire
In this episode we explore the period from 1808 to 1831: how Brazil fared with the royal family in residence, the oblique path it took to independence, and the turbulent rule of its first emperor, Dom Pedro I.
For all their faults, without the royal family’s presence, Brazil could not have made the first steps toward economic independence so quickly nor likely remained a single country. The other side of this is that their tenure in Brazil made independence a prolonged process instead of a clean break. Although that break would be accomplished with less bloodshed than others in the Americas. At the same time tensions over the form of the government, the role of the emperor, successions issues, and resistance to independence itself would force Brazil’s firt leader to abdicate not one but two thrones.
Continue reading Episode 10 – A Trans-Atlantic Game of Thrones (Quick History #6)
Wars and revolutions wrack the Americas and Europe. Colonies are becoming nations and monarchies are falling. And it’s all because of the French. (Okay, not all, but a lot of the blame is theirs.) Brazil starts making tentative steps toward independence, but the revolts are interrupted when the royal family enacts plan B.
Sources for this episode:
1808, Laurentino Gomes
Brazil: Five Centuries of Change, Thomas E. Skidmore
Brazil: uma biografia, Lilia Moritz Schwartz
A History of Portugal and the Portuguese Empire: From Beginnings to 1807, Volmes 1 & 2, A. R. Disney
It’s with a twinge of regret that after this episode we have to set aside A. R. Disney’s excellent two volume history of Portugal and its empire. (Note the “to 1807” part of the title.) It has been a great resource for these first few history episodes!