Brazil is the largest countryon the South American continent with a rich culture and diverse population.
Itis often called the “Land of Contrasts” A. Brazil Scores a 69 on Powerdistance and is considered high. As such many people accept the social hierarchythat is prevalent in Brazil. Colonization, slavery, mass migration, andan unstable political history, all seem to have contributed to the acceptanceof this hierarchy. Pre colonization: Before Portuguese colonization in 1500 it isestimated that the indigenous population was between 2-4 million people. Theorigins of this population had migrated from Asia over 40,000 years agobreaking into numerous small tribes B.
Colonization and Slavery: In April 1500 Pedro AlvarezCabral, a Portuguese explorer and his crew landed in what is now called “Porto Seguro” Safe Harbor. He called thenew land “Ihla de Vera Cruz” Island of the True Cross. ThePortuguese soon began to export the hard, red, wood found in the new territorywhich was similar to wood found in East India called Pao Brasil and led to theterritory being called Brazil.
A By 1530 The Portuguese beganto colonize the land and create large plantations to grow cash crops likesugar. While the indigenous population was first exploited as slave labor theirrapid decline in population due to disease and their refusal to submit toslavery led to the importation of slaves from Africa. By 1570 a vigorous slavetrade was in existence. It is estimated that between 4 and 5 million Africanswere shipped to Brazil until importation of slaves was outlawed in 1850.Slavery was abolished on May 13, 1888 C Mass Migration: After 1888 Brazil began toencourage mass migration as a way to “whiten” and “civilize” its country and asa source of cheap labor.
The first and second waves lasted from 1880-1930 andconsisted of about 4 million people from Europe. Migrants from China, Korea,and Japan also came at this time. The third wave of migrants came between 1930-1953were mainly Japanese agricultural workers and were later followed by a small wave ofSyrians, Spaniards, and Lebanese who came between 1953-1960 to work in theindustrial sector. D Political History: 1500-1930 During colonization, captaincies were given tominor nobles and merchants as a central government was impossible for Portugalto maintain.
From 1549-1808 a Governor General was established over theseCaptaincies to make a more cohesive and centralized government. In 1808 TheRoyal Family, fleeing Napoleon, arrived to take up rule in Brazil. In 1822 TheRoyal Family returned to Portugal leaving Pedro I in charge. He promptlydeclared independence from Portugal and established a Constitutional Monarchy.
In 1889 the monarchy was overthrown and a series of Presidents followed. E1930-2016 In 1930 a Revolution led to a series ofmilitary coups, military rule, dictatorship, and presidencies. Many presidentshave resigned or been removed from office. Due to corruption and civil unrest.The most recent being the impeachment of President Rousseff in May of 2016. F Religion: The early colonists brought with them theRoman Catholic religion and forced it upon the indigenous people in Brazil asthe unofficial state religion. From 1824-1891 it was made the official statereligion.
In 1891 Brazil became a secular nation but Catholicism had a largeinfluence. To the present date Catholicism accounts for 64.6% of thepopulation. In the 1880’s and the influx of European immigrants broughtProtestantism with them. G Currently Pew Research shows the followingreligious breakdown: Catholicism 65%, Protestantism 22%, others 5% these include: Afro-Brazilian(Spiritism), Buddhism, and Islam. 8% have no affiliation and considerthemselves atheist or agnostic.
In all, with 92% of Brazil’s populationaffiliated with a religion it is clear that religion plays an important role inBrazil. H