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Brazil celebrates 200 years of independence – African Markets

The Bicentenary of Brazilian Independence is celebrated this year on September 7, completing 200 years from the date that began Brazilian independence, which was September 7, 1822, when the event known as ” Grito do Ipiranga”, on the banks of the Ipiranga stream, located in the current city of São Paulo.

On October 12, 1822, Prince Dom Pedro was acclaimed Pedro I, Emperor of Brazil, crowned and consecrated on December 1, 1822, the country being known as the Empire of Brazil.

As part of the celebrations, the heart of Dom Pedro I, preserved in Formol and housed in the Church of Lapa, in Porto, Portugal, was exceptionally transported to Brazil, to be exhibited at the Itamaraty, in Brasilia.

The Ipiranga Museum, a historic place where the events of September 7, 1822 took place, closed in 2013 for restoration work, will reopen to the public on the 8th, as part of the Bicentenary celebrations.

the celebrations

The epicenter of the celebrations for the bicentenary of Brazilian independence will be the country’s capital, Brasília, which will be attended by the Portuguese President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the President of the Assembly of the Portuguese Republic, Augusto Santos Silva, and the heads of state of Cape Verde, José Maria Neves, and of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embaló.

In addition to these foreign personalities, the executive secretary of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP), Zacarias da Costa, will also participate in the celebrations.

All these personalities will be received, during a state ceremony, by a representative of the Brazilian government.

The exhibition “200 years of citizenship: the people and the Parliament” also started as part of the commemorations of the Bicentenary of Independence.

The exhibition was mounted jointly by the Senate Museum and the Cultural Center of the Chamber of Deputies and revisits Independence to show the evolution of civil, political, social, ethnic-racial and collective rights, up to legislative achievements. the most recents.

The heart of Don Pedro

The heart of “Dom Pedro IV (I of Brazil)”, since his delivery to Portugal, had never left the country, and this is the first time that this has happened. He arrived in Brazil in a golden urn and was received at the Brasilia air base with the honors of a head of state, taken under tight security to the Itamaraty Palace, the seat of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Before temporarily going to Brazil, which became independent from Portugal 200 years ago, under the leadership of the monarch who became the first emperor of Brazil, the heart of the “Soldier King” arrived in Porto in February 1835, at the request of Dom Pedro . and which rarely left the mausoleum of the choir of the church of Lapa, was during the weekend exposed open to the public.

To get him out of the small mahogany coffin kept in the mausoleum, five keys, a thousand treatments and a complex operation are necessary.

Preserved in formaldehyde inside a glass container, and this, inside a gilded silver coffin, the heart of “Dom Pedro IV (I of Brazil)”, enchanted, in two days , 6,294 children and adults, from Porto and abroad (3,426 visitors on Saturday and 2,868 on Sunday).

The heart of the monarch, whose body is in the Brazilian city of São Paulo, crossed the Atlantic Ocean at night, in a pressurized environment, to be present at the celebrations of the bicentenary of the independence of Brazil.

In Itamaraty, the relic of “Dom Pedro IV (I of Brazil)” will be exhibited from Thursday as part of the tributes for the Bicentenary of the country’s independence and will return to Portugal on September 8.

Brazil’s independence

Brazil’s independence, as a historical process, was conceived long before the Prince Regent, Dom Pedro, proclaimed the end of ties with Portugal on the banks of the Ipiranga River.

In fact, to understand how Brazil became an independent nation, it is necessary to understand how the political, economic and social transformations, inaugurated with the arrival of the Portuguese royal family in the country, opened up space for the possibility of independence.

The arrival of the royal family in Brazil was an episode of great importance in launching the justifications for independence. By marching on Brazilian soil, Dom João VI tried to respect the agreements signed with England, which had pledged to defend Portugal against Napoleon’s troops and to escort the Portuguese Court to the Brazilian coast.

Thus, even before arriving in the capital of the Brazilian province, the Portuguese king opened the ports to other nations of the world. From an economic point of view, this measure can be seen as a first “cry of independence”.

With this measure, the great agricultural producers and national traders were able to increase their businesses and experience a time of material prosperity never known in all history to date, which led them to reflect on feelings of freedom.

The urban reform carried out by Dom João VI favored an embellishment of Rio de Janeiro, hitherto never experienced in the Brazilian capital, which was elevated to the rank of capital of the United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves. While the measure honored the new subjects, it soon aroused the discontent of the Portuguese who were left at the mercy of the administration of the Lord Protector of the English army.

These measures, taken until 1815, fueled a movement for change on the part of the Lusitanian elites who felt abandoned. It was in this context that a constitutionalist revolution seized Portuguese political cadres in August 1820.

The Porto Liberal Revolution aimed to restructure Portuguese political sovereignty through a liberal reform that would limit the powers of the king and restore Brazil to the status of a simple province.

The Lusitanian revolutionaries formed a kind of National Assembly which was called “Cortes”. In the Cortes, the main Lusitanian political figures demanded that King Dom João VI return to his homeland in order to legitimize the political transformations taking place.

Afraid of losing his royal authority, Dom João VI left Brazil in 1821 and appointed his son Dom Pedro as Prince Regent of Brazil.

Amid political upheaval deemed contrary to the political intentions of the Lusitanians, Dom Pedro attempted to take action in favor of the local population. Among his first measures, he lowered taxes and assimilated the Brazilian military authorities to the Portuguese. Naturally, such actions greatly displeased the Cortes in Portugal.

Thanks to Dom Pedro’s clear intentions, the Cortes demanded that the prince return to Portugal and return Brazil to the control of an administrative junta formed by them. The threat from Portugal has awakened the Brazilian economic elite to the risk of seeing the economic benefits acquired during the Johannine period disappear.

Because of this fear, large landowners and merchants began to defend Dom Pedro’s political rise to the leadership of Brazilian independence.

At the end of 1821, when the pressures of the Cortes reached their maximum force, the defenders of independence organized a petition demanding the permanence of Dom Pedro in Brazil.

The show of support given was reciprocated by Dom Pedro, when, on January 9, 1822, he reaffirmed his permanence in the famous “Dia do Fico”. From this public act, the Prince Regent indicated his political position.

Soon after, Dom Pedro incorporated pro-independence political figures into the administrative staff of his government. Among them was José Bonifácio, a great political adviser to Dom Pedro, known as the Patriarch of Independence and defender of an independence process carried out at the hands of a monarchical regime.

Moreover, Dom Pedro signed a resolution in which he said that no order from Portugal could be adopted without his prior authorization.

This last measure by Dom Pedro made his political relationship with the Cortes practically untenable. In September 1822, the Portuguese assembly sent a new document to Brazil demanding the prince’s return to Portugal under threat of military invasion, if the demand was not immediately met.

Upon learning of the document, Dom Pedro (who was travelling) declared the country’s independence on September 7, 1822, on the banks of the Ipiranga River, becoming Pedro I Emperor of Brazil.

Brazilian independence and the African reflex

With the independence of Brazil from Portugal, in 1822, the other Portuguese overseas provinces of Africa, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and São Tomé and Príncipe, dreamed of their turn of independence of Portugal, by annexation to the Brazilian empire. .

However, this dream never materialized, due to the terms of the treaty of recognition of the independence of Brazil by Portugal, celebrated in 1825.

The third article of the treaty kills at birth the hypothesis of any type of annexation by Brazil of the Portuguese territories in Africa, preventing it from turning into a great empire, as the elements of the societies of Angola wanted, Cape Verde and Guinea. -Bissau at the time.

The treaty says:

“YOUR IMPERIAL MAJESTY promises not to accept the proposals of any Portuguese colony to join the Empire of Brazil”.

Indeed, with this treaty, the two kingdoms established that Brazil would never annex the territories of Portugal located on the African continent, Brazil agreeing to leave these territories to its fate.

Paradoxically, and perhaps as an act of contrition, Brazil was the first country to officially recognize Angola’s independence, ending a cycle that lasted 150 years.


In this Bicentenary of the Independence of Brazil, it is necessary to reflect on the past, but without using the eyes of the present. The realities of this time must be analyzed in the context of this time and serve as a learning experience, thus allowing the construction of a sovereignty, a destiny and a total and effective independence, based on the identity collective and plural that Brazil has become today.

What do you think of this Bicentenary of Brazilian Independence? Should Brazil learn from past mistakes and do more in the future than in the past 200 years? We want to know your opinion, do not hesitate to comment and if you liked the article, share and give a “like / like”.

See also:

From transgenics to the importance of Brazil for Africa

Picture: © 2022 DR
  • A former Olympic athlete, he holds a doctorate in the anthropology of art and two master’s degrees, one in high-level coaching and the other in fine arts. A prolific writer, he has published several books of poetry and fiction, as well as several essays and scientific articles. he currently works as editor of Mercados Africanos.

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