Brazil History Part 13

With the love of literature, there was also a notable activity in the field of historiography; music was widely cultivated; architects and painters contributed to the increase and embellishment of the sacred buildings of the major cities. Among the best known painters of that time, we meet an Italian, Giovan Francesco Muzzi. Even the sciences, especially if applied to mineralogy and metallurgy, were very much in honor: as early as the end of the 17th century, a school of artillery and military engineering had been founded in Bahia. Among the Brazilian scientists of the time, it is worth remembering his father Bartolomeo Lorenzo de Gusmão (1685-1724), a precursor of air navigation. In all this, the Jesuits acquired many merits:

According to BEAUTYPICALLY, during the reign of Joseph I (1750-1777), ie under the dictatorship of Pombal, important political and economic reforms were implemented in Brazil: the redemption of the last captaincy still in the possession of the concessionaires; the restoration of the Companhia de Commercio do Grão Pará e Maranhão (later abolished again); the restoration in Minas of the fifth of the gold, instead of the ungrateful “capitation”, now abolished; the impulse to new crops (eg rice); some navigation aids. The collection of all laws relating to Brazil was ordered; Rio de Janeiro, which became the capital, also had the court of the Rela ç ão ; Juntas of Justice were created, small provincial courts, with summary procedure, especially entrusted with the task of accepting appeals against the abuses of the clergy. Throughout the state, then, important explorations were organized and carried out, for strictly scientific purposes: for example, the travels of Dr. Alessandro Rodrigues Ferreira. With the treaty of S. Idelfonso (1777), the centuries-old dispute over the Colonia del Sacramento, which remained with Spain, was finally closed. But, under Queen Maria I, the reforming spirit embodied by the Pomhal faded, new restrictions began to be imposed, generating great discontent in the distant colony: thus an alvará of 1785, under the pretext of not stealing arms from agriculture, but actually to favor the metropolis, prohibited any manufacture of gold, silver, silk, linen, wool, etc., allowing only coarse cotton fabrics. At the end of the century XVIII, according to the calculations of Santa Apollonia, Brazil had 3,248,000 residents, divided as follows: 1,010,000 Whites, 250,000 Indians, 406,000 freedmen and 1,582,000 slaves, of which 1,361,000 were Negroes and 221,000 Mulattos.

But more than the new squeeze of the brakes, which was very transient in any case, it was perhaps the ideas of the reforming prince and his minister that determined the first uprisings of the spirit of independence in Brazil. By granting the Pombal great concessions to young Brazilians who came to study in Portuguese universities, it put them in direct contact with European civilization, made them enter the tumultuous current of new ideas, which had to quickly bear fruit. A group of Brazilian students in Coimbra, a dozen, held frequent conciliaboli, longing for the independence of their country and studying the means to implement it. Three other medical students in Montpellier, Domenico Vidal Barbosa, Giuseppe Mariano Leal and Giuseppe Gioacchino da Silva, infatuated with the North American revolution, they proposed to imitate her in Brazil and for this purpose Maia took the bait, in Nîmes, with Jefferson, the American minister in Paris. At the same time, the count of Aranda formulated the project of the Iberian Union, including Spain and Portugal under the Bourbon dynasty, while the Braganza would have occupied the throne of a huge kingdom from the Atlantic to the Pacific, including Brazil, Peru and Chile. The students of Montpellier, now remembered, decided to return to Brazil, to spread their ideas there; but the Maia died in Lisbon, before embarking, and the only Barbosa reached the native province of Minas, at that time very oppressed by the governor Luigi da Cunha Meneses and trembling for the threat of the gold derrama, that is the collection of taxes back off on that metal. It should be added here that, at the end of the century. XVIII, the mines were in great decline and the populations suffered greatly: suffice it to say that the city of Villa Rica, already very opulent, began to be called, in mockery, Villa Pobre. The germ introduced by Barbosa, by students returning from Coimbra and by dr. Giuseppe Alves Maciel, coming from England, found favorable ground, did not fail to produce its fruits, with what was called the “mineira conspiracy” (Inconfidencia), notable above all for the quality of the conspirators. At the head of it were the poet Ignazio Giuseppe de Alvarenga Peixoto who, awaiting the revolution, was carefully preparing the laws and the flag, with the motto: Libertas quae sera tamen ; the other poet Claudio Emanuele da Costa, all imbued with European culture (in the collection of his lyrics there are some Tuscan poems, of metastasian imitation, written directly in Italian); a third poet, the famous Tomaso Antonio de Gonzaga, author of the Marilia de Dirceu ; the clergyman Carlo Correa de Toledo; Colonel Francesco di Paola Freire de Andrada, commander of the line regiment of Villa Rica, and other personalities of the judiciary and the forum, of the clerical order and of the army. Above all enthusiastic and active, and animated by an almost religious faith, was the standard bearer Joachim Giuseppe da Silva Xavier, nicknamed Tiradentes, who was sent to Rio de Janeiro to proselytize and collect weapons. But before it broke out, the conspiracy was denounced by three senior officials: Colonel dos Reis, Lieutenant Colonel de Brito Malheiro and Field Master Correa Pamplona. The new governor of Minas, viscount of Barbacena, having the ranks of the plot in his hands, had all the conspirators arrested; the poet da Costa committed suicide in prison; another seven were sentenced to the death penalty, which Queen Maria later commuted to deportation. Tiradentes alone was executed (April 21, 1792) and the body was quartered and exposed in the most beaten streets of the captain’s office.

Brazil History 13