What to know about Brazil

🏛️ Brasília

Portuguese settlers began colonizing parts of Brazil during the end of the 16th century. This was unique in that much of South America and the New World were settled by Spanish explorers at the time. During the 17th century, Dutch explorers arrived to several parts of the country too, not recognizing Portuguese rule.  Thriving from the sugar cane industry, the Dutch aimed to continue settlements, despite Portuguese hostility. Dutch and Portuguese forces fought in jungle warfare in the 1650’s, leading to the expulsion of the Dutch from their territory. However, a war with Dutch armies off the coast of Portugal in the 1660’s eventually led to Portugal losing its Asian colonies. Meanwhile, Brazil became solely a Portuguese colony. In 1808, following two centuries of Portuguese colonization, Brazil became the center of their vast empire. Napoleon invaded Portugal at the height of his reign, forcing King Dom Joao VI to flee to Rio de Janeiro. Subsequently, Rio became the political and economic heart of the empire until 1821.

Featured Brazil