Thus ended a stormy decade, but one of adjustment and orientation. The regency had decreed a new code of criminal procedure, passed the first anti-slavery law, set up juries, abolished the death penalty for political crimes. In 1840 Pedro II was declared of age by the Congress and crowned on July 18, 1841. In 1843 he married, by proxy, Princess Teresa Cristina, sister of Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies, who was a true benefactor of his new people, so much so as to deserve the title of “mother of the Brazilians”. Pedro II, just sixteen at the time of his coronation, had had a very studious adolescence, guided by enlightened tutors, always showing and maintaining a real interest in all manifestations of the spirit. He had, like his father, the feeling of his duties was deeply rooted, but he was disdainful of the external forms of the monarchy. He used to call himself the most republican of his subjects, and clearly foresaw the end of the empire. He conceived his mission as a patriarchate, and, more than anything else, he wanted to earn the sympathy and love of his subjects. That he, assisted by the angelic empress, would achieve this result is beyond question. The great regret he left after his exile and after his death, and the great honors that republican Brazil bestowed on his memory, suffice to demonstrate this. he wanted to earn the sympathy and love of his subjects. That he, assisted by the angelic empress, would achieve this result is beyond question. The great regret he left after his exile and after his death, and the great honors that republican Brazil bestowed on his memory, suffice to demonstrate this. he wanted to earn the sympathy and love of his subjects. That he, assisted by the angelic empress, would achieve this result is beyond question. The great regret he left after his exile and after his death, and the great honors that republican Brazil bestowed on his memory, suffice to demonstrate this.
According to HEALTH-BEAUTY-GUIDES, the half-century (1840-1889) of Pedro II’s government represents a period, unique in the history of all Latin America, of internal peace, of progress, of development of liberal institutions. In 1845, as already mentioned, the pacification of Rio Grande do Sul was carried out; and a last burst of the revolutionary spirit, burned for so many years in the northern provinces, came with the revolt of the praieiros (1848-49), late reaction of the natives against the Portuguese element, promptly subdued. Girding the imperial crown, Don Pedro placed himself at the head of a people of 6 million and more, which represented just one resident per sq. Km, in a country not yet fully known, and whose enormous natural resources had been, up to that moment, exploited only minimally, both for the lack of manpower and for the difficulty of communications. The efforts of the emperor, who in the first decade of his reign, were aimed above all at internal pacification, fully achieved, intended from 1850 onwards to favor the demographic and economic development of the nation. The great explorations were resumed, the results of which there was a monumental example in the work, still famous today, of the German naturalists Spix and Martius, and who were continued, in competition, by Brazilians and foreigners (among the latter the Italian Gaetano Osculati should be remembered); in this way the survey of the great rivers was completed, climbing them up to the sources, and of the immense forests, largely still unexplored, while a group of scientists (and here too we find two Italian botanists, Casaretto and Raddi) awaited the study of the many products of the most fertile land. The ascending curve of the Brazilian economy began, with the intensification of agriculture, the prevalence of exports, the multiplication of anonymous companies, the merger of Banco Commerciale with Banco del Brasile, which became an issuing institution (1854). In 1852 there was the first electric telegraph; in 1854, the first railway (at the fall of the empire, in 1889, Brazil had 8966 km. of railways); merchant navy also developed, but to a lesser extent. The grave problem of colonization was also largely resolved in this period, which had been worrying since England had begun its crusade against slavery, and had become frightening when the law of 1850 gave the coup de grace to the slave trade, which completely disappeared in 1856. We have already mentioned an attempt at Swiss colonization. In 1824, there was a German one, in S. Leopoldo, where the settlers, in 1830, were already about 5000: precursors of that vast Germanic penetration in the southern provinces, which at a certain moment aroused apprehensions, however not justified. There had also been some very important experiments in private colonization: notable those of Senator Vergueiro, in the state of S. Paolo. But a real emigration current towards Brazil did not begin until 1850: from which year to 1875, 279,000 immigrants entered the country, a very small thing in front of the imposing flow from 1885 to 1901, a period in which immigrants ascended. to the figure of 2,023,693, of which about half (996,814) Italians: labor in the majority of agriculture, to which many states of today’s Brazil (and in particular that of S. Paolo for the cultivation of coffee) much of their great prosperity.