Brazil History Part 16

Yet, the tax burden could have been lightened, only if the customs collections had been done wisely and honestly; but here, as in the other offices, the greatest corruption reigned, and smuggling developed on a large scale, with the complicity of the officials. Suffice it to say that a post in the finance administration, which legally should have yielded 6,000 francs, was subcontracted for 40,000. This quarry it could not fail to arouse general discontent, even for the favoritism openly benefited the English traders, who paid 8 or 10%, instead of 16%, at customs. In Rio, in any case, there was the compensation of the presence of the court, which some advantage even gave; but in the north, which had seen itself displaced from its traditional supremacy, the frond wind blew much stronger. Indeed, it seems that one of the many reasons that led to the elevation of Brazil to a kingdom – an idea suggested by Talleyrand to the Count of Palmella – was precisely to calm the rebellious spirits of the northern captains. This did not prevent, as we shall now see, the revolution of 1817. Nor, apart from the providences mentioned above, and which almost all benefited the capital alone, there were really important public works and serious attempts to favor the agricultural development of the country. It is true that in 1808 the concession of sesmariasto foreigners; it is true that, in anticipation of the results of the great struggle that England was beginning to wage against slavery, the Comte de Linhares had made an attempt at Chinese colonization; it is true that, afterwards, a few hundred condemned men came from the Two Sicilies; It is true that the experiment of Swiss colonization was attempted, with the foundation of “Nova Friburgo”. But these were all efforts of little importance; and it was necessary to wait for the reign of Pedro I to have the serious experiences of immigration and colonization. Nor was the age-old problem of the Indians satisfactorily resolved under John VI.

According to CLOTHESBLISS, the effects of the serious discontent spreading in the north came with the revolution that broke out in Pernambuco in March 1817. By giving the news, the Correio braziliense sought the causes in the “heavy contributions and excessive conscriptions”, due to the conquest of the “Banda Oriental”, “in which the people of Brazil not only have no part, but consider it contrary to their own interests”. The captain-general of Pernambuco, Gaetano Pinto de Miranda Montenegro, understood the truth better when he explained it with “the discord between the Brazilians and the Portuguese, these accused of monopolizing the best civil and military jobs, the greatest proceeds and all the best of the earth. “. It was, in short, another nativist revolution, emboabas. Its main promoter was Domenico Martins from Bahia, educated in England and settled in Pernambuco, where he had promoted liberal ideas in the military element. Things had reached such a point that the captain-general Gaetano Pinto, in agreement with the Portuguese senior officers, ordered the arrest of Martins and the most compromised officers. These arrests were carried out without disturbances, except that the brigadier Barbosa, Portuguese, reproaching the Brazilian-born officers, called them traitors, whereby he was attacked and killed by Captain Giuseppe de Barros Lima, nicknamed Leone crowned. This was the spark that furiously sparked the revolt in the North, while the central provinces remained faithful and provided volunteers. The captain general, who was a mild man of the law, was unable to put up the necessary resistance, capitulated and left for Rio de Janeiro. The victorious revolutionaries organized a provisional government, with the priest Giovanni Ribeiro Pessoa, a man of undisputed honesty, governor; the father Miguelinho (Michele Gioacchino de Almeida), Minister of the Interior; the artillery captain Domenico Teotonio Jorge, commander of the arms; Giuseppe Luigi de Mendonça and the Martins. An increase in money was immediately decreed to the troops and promotions to officers and graduates, and some taxes were abolished. The revolution quickly spread to Rio Grande do Norte, Parahyba and Alagôas. But the seminarian Giuseppe Martiniano de Alencar, sent to proselytize in Ceará, was caught and arrested; and worse fate fell to his father Rome (Giuseppe Ignazio de Abreu and Lima), who, sent with the same purpose to Bahia, was arrested and shot there. The repression, organized by the Count of Arcos, was bloody. As early as March 1816, John VI, taking advantage of the peace in Europe, had 4800 veterans of the penisolar war brought from Portugal, quartering them in Rio. An expeditionary force, commanded by Marshal Leite Cogominho, laid siege to the Recife, already blocked by Rodrigo Lobo’s team: 2000 rioters fled, the city raised the royal flag. The martial tribunal began to function: Teotonius and 8 of his followers went up to the gallows; in Bahia Martins, father Miguelinho and Mendonça were shot; the priest Ribeiro committed suicide before the sentencing. The trial was continued before the civil courts,

Brazil History 16