Independence Day in Brazil occurs every 7 September to mark the day in 1822 when Brazil declared independence from its colonial master, Portugal.
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Independence Day is also known as Sete de Setembro. The day is celebrated with much gusto and is attended by an abundance of parades, concerts, and other special patriotic events.
The land now occupied by Brazil was long the abode of a great diversity of native tribes, but the modern nation began to take shape when the Portuguese discovered and settled it during the 16th, 17th, and 18th Centuries. In the early 19th Century, Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Portugal, causing Portugal’s king to move his residence to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
In 1815, the Portuguese crown declared a new political arrangement for their empire, called “the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves.” This meant that Portugal, Brazil, and the southern tip of modern Portugal (called Algarve) were separate countries ruled by one monarch, whose abode was still in Rio de Janeiro.
However, after a revolution broke out in Portugal in 1820, the king returned to Portugal, leaving Prince Pedro I to administrate the Brazilian portion of the Portuguese Empire. In 1821, a demand was made that Brazil be demoted again to its former position as a mere colony. Prince Pedro refused, and on 7 September 1822, he declared Brazil’s independence with the full support of the Brazilian Senate.
A war of independence did break out between Brazil and Portugal, but it was a relatively bloodless one. By 1824, the last Portuguese troops in Brazil had already been defeated, and in 1825, Portugal formally recognised Brazil’s independence. Brazil is the only nation in the Western Hemisphere to ever have been a monarchy. In fact, it took until 1893 before Brazil finally adopted a republican form of government.
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