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Posts Tagged ‘Brazil’

Brazil vs Germany

Posted by RB Kollannur on July 6, 2014

In the southern corner of Brazil there are the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. Along with neighboring Uruguay, they were a bone of contention for Spain and Portugal with competing claims. Eventually Uruguay fell under Spanish influence, while the Brazilian states were taken into Portugal. This changed in 1820s when Argentina and Brazil separated from Spain and Portugal respectively. A war was fought and Uruguay became independent.  The aforementioned states also formed a republic, Riograndese Republic, which was subsequently conquered by Brazil in 1845.

The formative years of the Riograndese Republic also saw a huge influx of immigrants from Germany. Germany, at that time, was a loose confederation of kingdoms, principlaties, duchies and counties, before being united into the German Empire in 1871. The 1820s saw an exodus of Germans to America for better opportunities away from the political uncertainties at home. Most of these immigrants went to USA, but a large chunk went to Brazil.

Today, Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina share a strong German heritage. But things haven’t been all easy for Germans in Brazil. In its initial years. the Nazi party, looking to extend its influence outside Germany, looked for the German Brazilian population. For a while, the Nazi party in Brazil was the party’s largest foreign contingent. In both the world wars, Brazil started at a neutral position. But after Germany sunk Brazilian merchant ships during both the wars, Brazil took up arms against Germany.

Posted in History | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Brazil vs Colombia

Posted by RB Kollannur on July 5, 2014

Brazil and Colombia share a boundary in the Amazon rain forest. One of the last places in the continent to be colonized, Brazil now controls most of the rainforest. Ironically it was the Spanish who made the initial settlements. Barred by the Treaty of Torsedillas of 1494, Portuguese stayed out of Amazon initially while Spanish conquistadors explored the region in search for booty. It was in 1615 that the Portuguese ventured out of their assigned area. Spain and Portugal was in union at this time, but it won’t be along before Portugal became independent.

In 1615, Portuguese seized the French base of Saint Louis (Present day Sao Luis in Brazilian state of Maranhao) and the next year gained control of the mouth of Amazon. Portugal gradually gained more land along the river moving upriver. Manaus, one of the host cities  of the World Cup and one of the city of Amazon’s origin was founded in 1694 by the Portuguese.  Soon it became a fight for control between Spain and Portugal. But instead of a fight by soldiers, it was by competing Catholic missionaries – Spanish Jesuits and Portuguese Carmelites. Eventually the Portuguese won out.

In 1750, the western border of Brazil separating it from the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru was decided. It took another decade or so to decide on the northern border separating Brazil from the Spanish Viceroyalty of New Granada (Of which Colombia and Venezuela were part).

Posted in Football | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Brazil vs Chile

Posted by RB Kollannur on June 28, 2014

While Brazil and Chile hail from the same continent, historically they have little in common. Separated by the natural barrier of Andes mountains, Chile could grow independently from influences from the other side of Andes. Brazil, as many would guess, is the stand out nation of the continent and not just on the football pitch. While most nations south of USA speak Spanish, Brazil stands apart speaking Portuguese.

The reason for the linguistic separation of Brazil has to do with a certain treaty of 1494.

The Iberian peninsula had just been recaptured by Catholic rulers from Muslims after an 800 year war called Reconquista*. Looking for newer avenues for conquest, Spain and Portugal were looking outside Europe. They started with Africa, dividing it up with the Treaty of Alcacovas , but when Columbus landed in the Caribbean, the situation changed. A new treaty, Treaty of  Tordesillas, was drawn up which effectively gave the eastern bulge of South America to Portugal and the remaining part of America (including North America) to Spain. Of course, conquest had to happen. Without interference from other European powers, they went on their merry way and the Treaty got carried out for most part in South America.

Incidentally, Brazil for a brief time would host the capital and the crown of their colonial rulers, Portugal. But that story can wait for Brazil’s qualification to the next round.

*Three nations survived in Iberia –  Castile, Aragon and Portugal. Castile and Aragon were in personal union with the Queen of Castile married to the King of Aragon. (Their daughter Joanna would be the first monarch of reunited Spain, although her powers were largely curtailed by her father, her husband and later her son, who confined her in a convent for being mentally ill.)

Posted in History | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »