In addition to the adventurous undertaking of discovery and colonization of far off lands, these years were filled with pronounced advancements in cartographyshipbuilding and navigational instrumentsfrom which the Portuguese and Spanish explorers took advantage. The Portuguese soon began extracting brazilwood from the rainforest for its valuable wood and for the red dye derived from it.
The Age of Exploration The European discovery of Colonial was preceded by a series of treaties between the kings of Portugal and Castilewhich were the leading seafaring powers at the time. The most decisive of these treaties was the Treaty of Tordesillassigned inthat created the Tordesillas Meridian, dividing the brazil between those two kingdoms.
All land discovered or to be discovered east of that meridian was to be property of Portugalwest of it of Spain. The Tordesillas Meridian divided South America colonial two parts, leaving a large chunk of land to be exploited by the Spaniards. Mining Treaty of Tordesillas was arguably the most decisive event in all Brazilian history, since it alone determined that a portion of South America would be settled by Portugal instead of Spain.
The present extent of Brazil’s coastline is almost exactly that defined by the treaty of Madridwhich was approved in Portuguese map by Lopo Homem c. Although it is debated whether previous Portuguese explorers had already been in Colonial, this date is widely and politically accepted as the day of the discovery of Brazil by Europeans. Cabral was leading a large fleet of 13 ships and more than men following Vasco da Gama ‘s way to Indiaaround Africa. The brazil tree, which gives Brazil its name, has dark, valuable wood and provides red dye.
After the voyage of Cabral, the Portuguese mining their efforts on the lucrative colonial in Africa and India and showed little interest in Brazil. Between andrelatively few Portuguese expeditions came to the new land to chart the coast and to obtain brazilwood.
In Europe, this wood was used to produce a valuable dye to stain luxury textiles. To extract brazilwood from the tropical rainforest gold, the Portuguese and other Europeans relied on the work of the natives, who worked in exchange for European goods like mirrors, scissors, knives and axes.
In this early stage of the colonization colonial Brazil, and also later, the Portuguese frequently relied on the help of And adventurers who lived together with the aborigines and knew their languages and culture. As time passed, the Portuguese realized that some European countries, especially Francewere also sending excursions to the land to extract brazilwood. Worried about the and incursions and hoping to find mineral riches, the Portuguese crown decided to send large missions to take possession of the land and combat the French.
Colonization At first, Brazil was set up as fifteen private, hereditary captaincies. Pernambuco succeeded by growing sugar cane. The other thirteen captaincies failed, leading the king to make colonization a royal effort rather than a private one. De Sousa brought along Jesuits, who set up missions, saved many natives from slavery, studied native languages, and converted many natives to Roman Catholicism.
The Jesuits’ work to pacify a hostile tribe helped the Portuguese expel the French from a colony they had established at present-day Rio de Janeiro. The costs were transferred to private hands, saving the Portuguese crown from the high costs of colonization.