Portugal Begins to Colonize Brazil (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: Portugal begins to colonize Brazil, launching the growth of an overseas Portuguese empire in South America.
Summary of Event
Pedro Alvares Cabral, the commander of the second fleet to India, sailed farther west than previous expeditions and discovered Brazil on May 8, 1500. Cabral founded the port of Cobralia (located 101 leagues north of modern Porto Seguro) and left ashore two degredados, men who were stranded as punishment, and two boys who hid on shore. After investigating a short time and losing a few men to cannibalistic natives, he sent Gaspar de Lemos in the supply ship back to Portugal to inform King Manuel I that he had discovered a large island on the Portuguese side of the Line of Demarcation. The king intended to assert control over the “new discovery” and informed Spain of his intentions. Whether Cabral was the first to discover Brazil is uncertain. Probably Christopher Columbus, Alonso de Ojeda, and Amerigo Vespucci had touched territory included in the modern boundaries of Brazil. Vespucci did make two voyages to Brazil, the first in 1501 and the second in 1503. The question of previous Portuguese explorations cannot be settled. In 1501, Fernão de Noronha, a wealthy nobleman of Jewish descent, received permission to establish a profitable trade that attracted some New Christians to Brazil. Portugal was not the only nation showing an interest in the area. The French king...
(The entire section is 1491 words.)
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