Pre Colonial Brazil

The Amerindians were the original inhabitants of Brazil, and about 6 million lived there before the Portuguese invaded. They had rule systems and customs regarding pretty much everything, from relationships to warfare. Amerindians thrived in most parts of Brazil by foraging, hunting, fishing, trading, and farming. Most lived in villages and had complex rules and customs regarding leadership, trade and many other aspects of their lives.

Portuguese Colonisation of Brazil

In early March of 1500, there was a launching of a new ocean fleet. This included thirteen ships with a total of 1,200 crewmates and passengers. The aim of the expedition was to head for the Southern tip of Africa, sail around the Cape of Good Hope and head towards India through the Indian Ocean. However, the lead ship swung off course towards the Atlantic and reached the coast of Bahia on the 23rd of April. Although Portuguese navigators have claimed to have reached this land accidentally (to have stumbled upon it) many have stated that this was done intentionally to outflank the Spanish. The Amerindians were hunted, and taken as slaves by militant explorers, aka or converted to Christianity by missionaries, who in return would protect them from slavers. 50-90% of this population died from European diseases like smallpox, or war, slavery and other problems suffered at the hands of militant explorers. They were made to give up their customs and work for the rest of their lives. One of Brazil’s main issues is (or more accurately was) slavery. The slaves came from different African regions. Most slaves came from the Yoruba nation.Slaves crossed the Atlantic under very harsh conditions. They were kept in brutal conditions and many died during the trip. Slaves who survived most often turned up in Brazil through the ports of Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Recife, and Sao Luís and were sold throughout the country. At first they were made to work in the sugar fields in the northeast, then the gold and diamond mines and coffee plantations in the east and southeast. A total of 3.6 million African slaves were brought to Brazil. By the middle of the seventeenth century, the enslaved population in Brazil was supposedly bigger than the free population.his continued until 1888, when the emperor of Brazil relinquished his hold on the slaves under pressure from the British. Until then, the Portuguese had expanded their hold on Brazil’s natural resources, like brazilwood and rubbertrees, and also setting up many sugar plantations, manned by slaves from Brazil, and also Africa.


After many wars Brazil has now finally acheived political stability. Today there is a full democratic system in place, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is currently the president of Brazil.

By Sarah, Natasha and Katie​