World History 2 123 - 8.4 Portuguese South America

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the relocation of the Portuguese monarchy to Brazil
  • Describe Brazil’s path to independence
  • Explain what differentiated the Empire of Brazil from neighboring republics

Imagine transporting the U.S. president and all the members of Congress and their families across the ocean in forty vessels on a trip that lasted months. This is what the Portuguese royal House of Braganza did in 1807, and for more than a decade after that, Portugal ruled its empire from the Americas rather than from Europe. This unprecedented move set the tone for the independence of Portuguese America, which was pursued relatively peacefully compared to the liberation movements in Spanish America. Furthermore, whereas Spanish America fragmented into many countries, Portuguese America remained one nation, Brazil. In September 1822, Brazil became independent under a Portuguese-born king and adopted a constitutional monarchical system. The monarchy brought political stability to the region but did not challenge colonial hierarchies.

This lesson has no exercises.

The content of this course has been taken from the free World History, Volume 2: from 1400 textbook by Openstax