It’s not been a easy week for Brazil. Fire ravaged one of its most important Museums and its Presidential election has been thrown into disarray. But Brazilian people everywhere have much to be proud of as the nation celebrates its 196th Brazilian Independence Day as one of the world’s most vibrant democracies.
1. Brazil celebrated its 196th anniversary as a nation on September 7th this year.
2. The Brazilian flag recreates the night sky over Rio de Janeiro (the former capital city) as seen on November 15th, 1889.
3. The Provisional Flag of the Republic of the United Sates of Brazil preceded the official flag and is very similar to America’s ‘Stars and Stripes.’
4. Officially, more than 210,000 Brazilians live here in the US and they celebrate Brazilian Independence Day in cities coast-to-coast. That’s about 10% of Brazil’s total population and about half of all people living in South America.
5. New York’s Brazilian Independence Day Bash is America’s biggest Brazilian Day street party.
6. On August 31, 2016, Michael Temer, 76, was sworn in as Brazil’s 37th President. He succeeds impeached Prsident Dilma Rouseff and will serve the remainder of her term, until 2018.
7. Brazil’s push for independence from the Portuguese Empire began with Napoleon’s loss at Waterloo in 1815, which left the Iberian peninsula in severe economic hardship.
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Image: Ilha Fiscal – Rio de Janeiro by Halley Pacheco de Oliveira8. Rio de Janeiro was Brazil’s first capital and before that was the seat of the Portuguese Empire when the Royal court left Lisbon to avoid the Napoleonic threat.
9. Portugal’s Cortes placed increasing and deliberate pressure on Brazil in 1821, subordinating Brazil and the allocation of its gold and other exported resource to pay for Portugal’s debut without compensation.
10. Just like the United States, higher taxes and the retraction of guaranteed freedoms ignited the passions of Brazilians and Prince Regent Dom Pedro (later the first Emperor of Brazil) who wanted independent control over their country and their lives.
11. Although considered ‘bloodless’, Brazil’s Independence War raged on in the Brazilian northeast for 22 months, before a final battle in 1823 pushed the remaining Portuguese sympathizers of the Cortes back to their homeland.
12. Tiradentes is a national hero of Brazilian independence and is honored with a Federal holiday.
13. Brazil has implemented seven constitutions since its founding as a nation in 1822.
14. During it’s nearly 200 years as a nation, Brazil has been governed as an Empire, a representative Republic, a Fascist state, a Military dictatorship and a constitutional democracy.
15. Another thing to remember about Brazilian Independence Day is that Brazil is the only country in Latin America that does not speak Spanish as its native language. The official language of Brazil is Portuguese and this is why.