Chronography of Brazil
Page last modified 30 January 2023
See also South & Central America
Click here for image of Rio de Janeiro 1955
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31 October 2022, :Lula da Silva won the Brazilian presidential elections, defeating Jair Bolonaro by 50.9% to 49.1% of the vote.
28 October 2018, Jair Bolsanaro was elected as 38th President of Brazil, with 55.1% of the vote. He was a populist with nationalist policies.
2004, Brazil launched its first space rocket.
6 October 2002, Da Silva (Lula) won the Presidential elections by a wide margin. He was a Leftist from a poor background. He inhertited an economy in trouble; due to rsing public debt the Brazilian currency, the real, had lost 40% of its value. However he curbed the more radical elements of his Party and promised to work with the IMF and not to default on this international debt.
12 June� 1998, Transpetro, the largest oil and gas pipeline transportation company in Brazil, was established.
17 April 1996, In Para, Brazilian troops opened fire on a demonstration by the Landless Workers Movement. 23 people were killed.
3 October 1994, Fernando Henrique Cardoso was elected President of Brazil.
15 August 1993, Massacre of members of the Yanomami tribe in Brazil by gold and tin miners.
1992, Collor was forced to resign, his Presidency had been plagued by high levels of corruption.
3 June� 1992. The Earth Summit began in Rio de Janeiro.
18 December 1991, The World Bank, the European Commission and the Group of Seven leading industrial nations granted Brazil US$ 250 million for conservation work in the Amazon rainforest. $ 100 million of that sum was for scientific research; the rest was for the establishment of national parks, tribal reserves, and promoting non-destructive use of Amazon Forest, such as rubber tapping and brazil-nut harvesting.
17 December 1989. Brazil held its first free elections in 29 years. Ferdinand Collor de Mello defeated Jose Sarney. Brazil faced a massive foreign debt burden; interest payments ate up 40% of export earnings. The IMF imposed austerity measures on Brazil, despite recent rapid growth in the economy, to guarantee loan repayments. Prices rose, wages were cut, and annual inflation stood at 700%. Economic problems increased calls for democracy.
1988, Brazil recognized the legitimacy of Quilombo land. Quilomobos were communities set up by escaped slaves; one of the largest was Brotas Quilombo, in NE Brazil; set upo in 1630, it was about the size of modern-day Portugal. 1,408 Quilomobos are now recognised in Brazil.
22 September 1988, Brazil reached an agreement with its creditors to reschedule debts of US$62.1 billion.
1987, Gold was found on Yanomami indigenous lands in Roraima State, Amazon region. Thousands of illegal diggers moved in, threatening the indigenous peoples� way of life and the forest ecosystem.
15 March 1985, Brazil returned to civilian rule under President Jose Sarney, after 21 years of military rule.
Military rule in Brazil 1964-85
1979, Military rule became less oppressive. More political Parties were allowed. A period of rapid industrial growt began, lasting until 1985
6 December 1976, Joao Goulart, President of Brazil, died.
5 February 1974, Manuel dos Reis Machado died (born 23 November 1899). In 1932 he set up a School of Capoeira, the martial arts/music culture of Quilombo Black Brazilians.
1973, The world oil crisis ended the economic boom, and Brazil�s foreign debt became the largest in the world.
10/1969, President Costa e Silva fell ill, and was replaced by Emilio Garrastazu Medici. Medici�s rule, lasting for 5 years, was even more repressive than his predecessor, with press censorship and torture.
12/1968, President Costa e Silva introduced the A-15 Act, giving him dictatorial powers to dismiss the National Congress and remove politicians from office. It was a response to Church criticism and student riots against military rule, and was �the start of 12 years of oppressive rule in Brazil.
3 September 1968, Student riots in Sao Paulo, Brazil, inspired by similar riots in France and Mexico. They were protesting against the military dictatorship that had ruled Brazil since 1964.
1965, Brazil banned political Parties.
11 April 1964, Marshal Humberto Castello Branco became President of Brazil,
1 April 1964, President Goulart of Brazil was overthrown in a military coup, with US support; he fled to Uruguay. President Johnson of the USA had feared a socialist takeover of Brazil. Brazil now endured heavy-handed military rule for the next 21 years. The Brazilian Communist Party was banned, land reform cancelled, and trades unions were curbed. However the economy thrived with GDP growth rising from 4% a year to nearly 10% by the early 1970s. The oil crisis of 1973 put a halt to this growth, as did rising levels of foreign debt.
31 March 1964, The Brazilian 4th Military District, disturbed at events earlier (see 15 March 1964) mounted an insurrection that was soon joined by other sections of the military. The few troops loyal to Goulartt were soon overcome, and also a General Strike called by the General Confederation of Workers caused disruption but failed to prevent the military takeover.
25 March 1964, 1,400 sailors seized a Trades Union building to protest against the arrest of their association�s President. They surrendered to the Army two days later and were swiftly pardoned. The top military were shocked and accused President Goulart of undermining discipline, see 31 March 1964.
1961, The Xingu National Park was established to attempt to save the culture of the indigenous Amazonian Indians. These were reported by the German explorer Karl von den Steinen to number 3,000 in 35 villages in 1884, but by 1962 numbered just 500, accoridng to the WHO.
1960, Kubitschek lost the Brazilian Presidential elections to Goulart. Goulart had more Leftist policies, promising land reform, greater enfranchisement of Brazil�s illiterate, paid for with tax reforms to increase government revenues. Goulart shifted foreign policy to a more neutral stance, increasing links with the USSR and legalising the Brazilian Communist Party. Goulart was strongly supported by the peasantry, but hated by the middle class and military. Goulart�s spending policies raised inflation, which eroded the savings of the middle clssses, further alienating them.
MCP, and improved literacy
1 May 1960, In Brazil, the MCP began to establish primary schools, opening 10 on this day. By September 1962 the region had 201 new schools with 452 teachers and 19,646 students, and teaching literacy to adults now bagn as well. This grew, by 1964, to 414 schools with 30,405 students. In 1964, however, the Brazilian military forcefully suppressed the MCP.
1960, The MCP, the Movimento de Cultira Popular, began in north-eastern Brazil. One of its aims was to increase literacy. Then, only the literate could vote in Brazil. The Ne was poor due to recurrent droughts and outward migration, and 59.7% oif NE Brazil adults were illiterate. They were disenfranchised, so incapable of improvoing their situation via the ballot box.
21 April 1960. Brasilia was inaugurated as the new capital of Brazil. The city was planned by Lucio Costa.
1956, Construction work began at Brasilia. The site was then 100km fron any railway or surfaced road.
1956, Juscelino Kubitschek became President (Brazilian Labour Party). He attracted new foreign investment, particularly from the US.
1954, Oil was made a State monopoly.
24 August 1954, President Vargas of Brazil resigned under pressure, and committed suicide. He was succeeded by Vice-President Filho. The US had opposed his Socialist policies
3 October 1950, Brazil re-elected former dictator Getulion Vargas as President as the economy deteriorated and inflation rose. Vargas was ousted again in 1954.
29 October 1945, President Vargas was forced out by the military, but regained the Presidency in 1950 elections.
27 October 1945, Luis Inacio da Silva, who was elected President of Brazil on� 6 October 2002, was botn.
1 November 1942, Brazil replaced the Millreis with the Cruzerio as its currency.� One millreis = 1 cruzerio. �The millreis was the old currency of Portugal.
11 March 1942, Brazilian President Get�lio Vargas reiterated his powers to declare war or a state of national emergency, clearing the way for the seizure of subjects and property of Axis countries. He declared war on Germany.
For main events of World War Two in Europe see France-Germany. For main events in the Pacific see China-Japan
1932, Manuel dos Reis Machado, also known as Mestra Bimba, (1899-1974), a Black Brazilian professional fighter from Salvador Province, founded a Capoiera school, reviving a tradition going back to the 1600s when escaped slaves set up Quilombo communities (see 1988 above, also Race Equality) and developed Capoeira as a means of self-defence. This form of martial art combines elements of music, dance and acrobatics, and has now spread worldwide.
1 November 1930, Vargas dissolved the Brazilian Congress and assumed dictatorial powers. However despite his absiolute power he was admired for his nationalist policies and economic success.
26 October 1930, Vargas became President of Brazil. He was known as the �Father of the Poor�, as he boosted job opprortunities through rapid industrialisation, to make up for job losses in the coffee sector.
24 October 1930, Brazilian president Washington Luis Pereira was deposed in a bloodless coup.
10/1930, Vargas called for revolt, and was supported by the military. He seized the Presidency, forcing Luiz to resign and Prestes to take refuge in the British Legation.
19 April 1883, Getulio Vargas, dictatorial President of Brazil, was born.
3/1930, In the Brazilian Presidential elections, Prestes was declared the winner.
1930, Incumbent Brazilian President Washington Luiz Pereira de Souza nominated fellow citizen of Sao Paulo (=Paulista) Julio Prestes as the official Consevrative candidate to succeed him in the upcoming 1930 election. However this was a breach of the normal protocol whereby the chief politicians in the States of Sao Paulo amnd Minas Gerais alternated in selecting Presidential candidates. Minais Gerais supported Getulio Dornelles Vargas for President.
1929, The Wall Street Crash slashed the global demand for coffee. The coffee price collapsed
1927, Henry Ford founded the town of Fordlandia, in 6,000 square miles of the Amazon rainforest on the banks of the Tapajos River. It was 18 hours by riverboat from the nearest town. He aimed to provide living conditions similar to those at his North American car plants, and the Brazilian rubber plantation workers were paid 35 cents an hour, 10 cents more than workers on rubber plantations in south east Asia. Howerver the Brazilina workers disliked the food available, the strict laws on alcohol and relationships with women, and being forced to attend square dances. The housing was unsuitable as unlike traditional accommodation, it was not raised on stilts to keep out insects. Finally, the local soil was found unsuitable to growing rubber plants. In 1934 Fordlandia was abandoned and operations transferred to Belterra, 14 km away, a much larger operation. This too was abandoned in 1945 when it proved unprofitable. However whilst Fordlandia was left derelict, Belterra survives today as a tourist town.
12 June� 1926. Brazil left the League of Nations.
23 August 1916, The Brazilian Navy established an air force, starting with a naval aviation school.
12 September 1902, Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira, 21st President of Brazil, was born.
3/1900, The secessionist province of Acre, which had declared independence in 7/1899, was regained by Brazil.
1899, Brazil became a Republic.
23 November 1899, Manuel dos Reis Machado was born (died 5 February 1974). In 1932 he set up a School of Capoeira, the martial arts/music culture of Quilombo Black Brazilians.
15 November 1898, In Brazil, President Moraes was succeeded by Dr Campos Salles, who had previously been Governor of the State of Sao Paulo.
1897, The original �favela� was erected on the Morro de Castelo, Rio de Janiero, by soldiers returning from the Canudos Campaign, who had gone unpaid. It is now a generic word for shanty towns, especially in South America.
1896, The Manaus Opera House, costing 5 million US$ to construct, opened some 1100 kilometers up the Smazon River; built by rubber barons whose wealth had soared as bicycle and car traffic grew. Their business had not yet been made unprofitable by rubber plantaions in the East Indies.
1895, Belo Horizonte, capital of Minais Gerais province, was founded.
15 November 1894, In Brazil, General Peixoto was succeeded by Dr Prudente de Moraes Barros, Brazil#s �first civilian President�. The influence of the military on Brazilian politics was thereafter gradually reduced.
1889-94, Military rule and rebellions
16 April 1894, President Peixoto of Brazil managed, with great difficulty, to defeat the rebels, using warchips ordered in from abroad; rebel activity in Rio Grande do Sol (see 8/1893) until August 1895, stopping only when Peixoto died.
8/1893, The Brazilian Navy, alarmed at Piexoto�s authoritarian rule (see 25 February 1891), revolted. The rebellion was led by the Naval Chief, Admiral Custodio Jose de Mello. The Navy gained control of Rio de Janiero harbour, whilst another rebellion in tye south of Brazil, in Rio Grande do Sol, was also backed by Mello. A third rebel group also emerged, who wanted to restore the monarchy.
23 August 1982, Manoel Fonseca, First President of Brazil, born 1827, died.
1891, Brazil adopted a Federal Constitution. Rivalry between the States and also the military caused political tensions.
5 December 1891, Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil, died.
25 February 1891, The new Provisional Government of Brazil, having excersised dictatorial powers for a year, now held elections. Manoel Fonseca was elected First President. However later in 1891 opposition mountd to Fonseca�s dictatorial policies, as he tried to curtail the power of the military. Fonseca was forced to resign in favour of his Vice President (also a General), Floriano Piexoto. However Piexoto also embarked on authoritarian anti-corruption policies, see 9/1893.
15 November 1889, The Brazilian monarchy was overthrown in a military revolt, headed by Manoel Fonseca. Dom Pedro was dethroned as Emperor of Brazil, and the First Republic was proclaimed. Pedro II went into exile in Paris, departing Brazil on 17 November 1889. Global demand for coffee was boosting the Brazilian economy.
1888, Whilst Pedro II was away in Europe, his daughter Isabella governed Brazil. Slavery was completely abolished, but this led to a revolt by the military and landowners.
14 May 1887, Manoel Fonseca called for more political rights for officers in the Brazilian Army.
1871, Brazil passed a law for the (gradual) emancipation of slaves.
1870, Brazil won the War of the Triple Alliance with Argentina and Uruguay against Paraguay, gaining some territory from Paraguay.
6 September 1850, Emperor Dom Pedro II of Brazil enacted a law authorising steam navigation on the River Amazon, The Compania de Navigicao e Commercio do Amazonas was then formed in Rio de Janeiro in 1852 and in 1853 it began operating steamships on the Amazon.
1845, A ten-year effort by Rio Grande do Sul to break away from Brazil as an independent Republic ended in defeat.
24 September 1834, Pedro I, Emperor of Brazil, died.
7 April 1831, Military revolt after a war with Argentina. Emperor Pedro I abdicated this day, aged 33, and was succeeded by his five-year-old son, Pedro II. Pedro II was crowned in 1841, and ruled until 1889.
2 December 1830, Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil, was born.
5 August 1827, Manoel Fonseca, first President of the United States of Brazil, was born.
Brazil achieves independence from Portugal
29 August 1825, Portugal formally recognised the independence of Brazil.
4 August 1824. The USA gave formal diplomatic recognition to the newly independent Brazil.
2/7/1823, Portuguese forces, sent tio Bahia to recover the rebel colony of Brazil, were forced by Brazilian troops to retreat to their ships.
1 December 1822, Dom Pedro was crowned Emperor of newly independent Brazil.
7 September 1822, Brazil proclaimed its independence from Portugal, with Pedro I as Emperor.
1821, King Joao returned to Portugal. His son Pedro was made Regent of Brazil.
16/1/1816, Brazil proclaimed its independence from Portugal, with the Portuguese Prince Regent Joao as Emperor.
1807, The French under Nnapoleon I invaded Portugal, King Joao I fled to Brazil with a British escort. In return, Brazil opened its ports to foreign trade (benefitting Britain as a major trading nation).
1789, The Inconfidencia rebellion, led by Tiradentes, failed to secure Brazilian independence.
1763, Rio de Janiero became the national capital.
1727, Coffee production began in Brazil.
10 October 1711, Duguay Trouin threatened to burn down Rio de Janeiro, compelling its Governor to negotiate a settlement (see 12 September 1711), Trouin was paid 600,000 Crusados, 500 cases of sugar, and given provisions for the French fleet�s return to Europe. Trouin then sailed to Bahia to attempt to extract more spoils. However a storm sank two of his ships, along with a significant part of the money had had received, and he then sailed directly back to France.
12 September 1711, Another French invasion force attacked Rio de Janeiro, in reprisal for the events of 1710. 6,000 troops landed under Duguay Trouin, and after 4 days fighting they captured the city. However Brazilian reinforcements from Minais were on their way. See 10 October 1791.
1710, France started an invasion of the Portuguese colony of Brazil. Under Duclerc, 1,000 men landed and attacked Rio de Janiero. However half his men were killed asnd the rest taken prisoner, The prisoners were not treated well.
1695, Gold was discovered in what is now the Minas Gerais region of Brazil.
Palmares slave rebellion
20 November 1695, Zumbi dos Palmares, Brazilian of Congolese origin died. He was a leader of African resistance against Brazilian slavery.
6 February 1694, Portuguese forces in Brazil captured Macaco, the past stronghold of the Palmares, after a siege of 42 days. The Palmares were Africans, Mocambos, who had fled from the Brazilian plantations and established their own de-facto independent state in eastern Brazil in the early 1600s. The name Palmares derives from the palm trees of the area which provided food and shelter.
1630, The Republic of Palmares was founded in N E Brazil by escaped slaves. It was about the size of modern-day Portugal.
1674, The settlement of Manaus, Brazil, was founded, 1,601 km from the mouth of the Amazon.
1630, The Dutrch established large sugar plantations in north-east Brazil, which the Portuguese could not expel as they were under Spanish rule. Eventually, in 1554m a naval force from Rio de Janiero did expel them.
1580, Brazil became part of the Spanish Empire, when Spain took control of Portugal � until 1640.
1557, The Portuguese founded the city of Sao Paulo.
1555, French Hugenots fleeing persecution at home established a colony on an uisland in Rio de Janiero harbour. They wre expelled in 1567 by Mem de Sa, who founded the city of Rio de Janeiro.
3/1549, Salvador da Bahia was established as Brazil�s first colonial capital. A Captain-General was sent by Portugal to establish a centralised Government. He was accompanied by Jesuit priests who explored and proselytiused in the interior of Brazil,
12 March 1537, The Portuguese founded the city of Recife, Brazil.
1534, The first African slaves were imported into Brazil by the Portuguese.
1532, The Portuguese established their first colony in Brazil, at Sao Vicente, near Sao Paulo.
22 April 1500. The Portuguese explorer Pedro Alvarez Cabral discovered the coast of Brazil. He claimed this territory for Portugal, which he named Vera Cruz or �true cross� but which was to be called Brazil, after the red-coloured brazil-wood, which grew there.
1494, The Treaty of Tordesillas set a boundary between Spanish and Portuguese colonisation, which was to award Portugal roughly the eastern half of Brazil.