Until recently, scientists thought Brazil was first settled by Asians about 10,000 years ago. But new evidence clearly indicates that people were living there at least 32,000 years ago. Some experts think they may have arrived from islands in the Pacific Ocean.
Brazil was added to the map of the world during the great European explorations in the late 15th century let by Portugal and Spain. When Europeans first reached the coast of Brazil, the country was home to about 30 million indigenous people, or Amerindians. Today, only about 3000,000 remain, living primarily in Brazil’s remotest places. Little remains of Brazil’s prehistoric inhabitants. Prior to the first Portuguese explorers, arriving in 1500, Brazil is believed to have been colonized by semi-nomadic populations for at least a decade.
Portugal established its first colony in Brazil in 1530. Colonists created sugarcane plantations along the coast and sent diamonds and gold back to Europe. Soon, people from West Africa were brought to Brazil to work as slaves the discovery of large inland gold reserves brought thousands of people from the coasts and as far away as Europe to the interior of the country. In 1549 Brazil was declared royal colony.
In 1789, Brazilians tried to kick out their Portuguese rules. The rebellion was soon put down but it started a movement toward independence. By 1822, Brazil was a sovereign nation. Kings of Portuguese blood ruled until 1888, when military leaders and landowners expelled the king, and Brazil became a federal republic.
All said and done, the history of Brazil was remarkably peaceful. Even with so many neighboring countries, the last war was fought ages ago. During the period between 1964 and 1985, Brazil was under military rule. The so called “Cold War”, did not give them a chance to elect a president. It was only in 1982 that direct elections were held.
The late 19th century seen an influx of Arab, European and Japanese immigrants. During this time, there was further colonization, industrialization and exploration. Well, that was years ago. Today, Brazil is a vibrant democracy with magnificent past and lonely beaches awaiting adventurers.