Rio de Janeiro history was marked by great progression after the
finding of gold in Minas Gerais 1693. The gold route went through
the port of Rio de Janeiro and made Portugal one of the richest
countries in Europe.
The goldstream made Rio even more attractive to the rivalling countries
france and the dutch, and the city is attacked and defeated by the
French admiral Duguay – Trouin with approximately 6000 men
in 1711. To redeem it Portugal pays a huge ransome.
By 1763 the population of Rio de Janeiro exceeds 50,000 and is
declared the capitol of Brazil.
Napoleon of France also has an important part in the development
of Brazil. As he took on war in Europe, the seat of all Portuguese
regency court fled to Brazil in 1808. 15,000 of the aristocracy,
led by the regent Dom Joao VI, moved to Rio de Janeiro and resulted
in a massive expansion of Rio de Janeiro’s streets, schools,
banks, newspapers and so on.
Dom Joao made an important decision which made the economy boom;
he opened the harbours to free trade with everyone, which had earlier
been restricted to Portugal. The beginning of independence for Brazil.
In 1821 Dom Joao returns to Portugal to fight an uprising revolution,
but leaves his son Dom Pedro behind to govern the colony. Rio de
Janeiro population has grown rapidly and now exceeds over 100,000
Influenced by brazilian nationalists, Dom Pedro declares independence
one year later, in 1822. Dom Joao, unable to fight his own son,
accepts Brazil independence and Dom Pedro is named Emperor Pedro
By 1826 Dom Pedro’s father dies in Lisbon making Dom Pedro
the natural overtaker of Portugal. Dom Pedro abdicates as emperor
and his son aged 15, assumes the throne; Emperor Betrau II
Rio de Janeiro continues to grow. In 1854 streets of Rio are lit
by gas lamps and in 1874 the city is connected to London with a
telegraph cable. Slavery which has influenced so many of Brazilian
culture and tradition like Brazil’s national dish, feijoada
and the ever so famous carnival with rhythms, feathers and dance
is abolished in 1888.
In 1889 rich landowners take over control of the political power
in Brazil by demanding a republic. The emperor abdicates to prevent
a revolution and a bloodbath. The landowners divide the revenues
between themselves. The differences between poor and rich increase.
Presidents of Brazil are controlled by the landlords, and new presidents
come and go.
Passing into the 1900 century, tunnels are built to connect the
south zone of Rio with the centre of the city. The world opens it’s
eyes for Brazil and Rio de Janeiro in 1920, with the opening of
the great Copacabana Palace. Brazil and Rio is considered exotic
and several films brings samba to Europe and the states. ( More
of Copacabana history here )
By 1930 however, Getulio Vargas
assumes control of Brazil through a military coup and the will of
the people was supposed to be the country’s primary aim once
again. Vargas role model is “the new state” based on
Italian Facism. Vargas stays president of Brazil until 1954 when
he is accused of corruption and possible political murder. He ends
up committing suicide.
In 1960 the capitol is moved from Rio de Janeiro to Brasilia to
spread power to the inner parts of the huge country.
In 1996 Rio’s bid for the 2004 olympic games fails.
Rio prepares for the Pan American cup in 2007
From Rio de Janeiro Independence back to Rio-de-janeiro.info