Brazil became independent with less political and social conflict than most regions of the Americas. Beginning as a Portuguese colony, it remained tied to Britain through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It flourished after 1800 as sugar, coffee, and slavery expanded to fill markets abandoned by revolutionary Haitians. Focusing on coffee, Brazil ruled the rising market for stimulants in the industrializing world. The chapter details how Portugal tied Brazil to Britain in the early eighteenth century, as gold mined by slaves became a key export. It explores the persistence of those ties as gold waned, sugar revived, and Britain escorted the Portuguese monarchy to Rio in the face of Napoleon’s Iberian invasion. Brazil’s wealth funded Britain years of war. When the king returned to Lisbon, his son Dom Pedro in 1822 proclaimed a Brazilian monarchy tied to Britain and sustained by sugar, coffee, and slave imports that expanded until 1850 despite England’s loud opposition.
Figures & Tables
New Countries: Capitalism, Revolutions, and Nations in the Americas, 1750-1870
John Tutino is Professor of History at Georgetown University and author of Making a New World: Founding Capitalism in the Bajío and Spanish North America, also published by Duke University Press. He leads the Georgetown Americas Initiative, which sponsored the workshops which led to this volume.