Saturday, July 4, 2009

Brasil's Independence Day

The video today is of the Brasilian National Anthem, a very long, complicated anthem, that appears more Austrian than Brasilian. Nonetheless, it is interesting.

Today is independence day in America, when we celebrate our independence from England. Brasilians celebrate their independence day on September 7, the day they gained their independence from Portugal unofficially. There are a couple of things that set Brasil apart from most other countries in their history of gaining independence.

First, Brasil was a monarchy, the only monarchy in South America. It was ruled by the King of Portugal, Dom Pedro. In 1822, when Portugal ordered King Dom Pedro back to Portugal, planning on returning Brasil to colonial status, the King, fearing a revolution of his people, defied the order, ripped the Portuguese colors of blue and white from his chest and declared these words "Independence or Death." That was the beginning of the process of independence for Brasil, without bloodshed. Just a declaration. On May 3, 1823, Dom Pedro and others met in an assembly to create the first Brasilian Constitution.

On August 29, 1825 Portugal finally recognized Brasil as an independent nation, and from then on, Brasil was a free nation. For many years after that, Brasil was ruled by Dom Pedro as Emperor, until April 7, 1831, when he abdicated the throne. On July 23, 1840, Dom Pedro's son, Dom Pedro II, took the throne as Emporor at just 14 years of age.

Who ruled Brasil between 1831 and 184o, I do not know. I do know that Dom Pedro II remained Emporor of Brasil for the next 49 years.

Then, on November 15, 1889, a new republic formed in Rio de Janeiro, and two days later, Dom Pedro II and his family returned to Europe, ending the monarchy in Brasil, leaving it a Republic.

I hope I got this right. At any rate, my purpose was to show similarities and differences between our day of independence and that of Brasil. I hope I succeeded.


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