Bandeirantes

The Bandeirantes (Brazilian Portuguese: [bɐ̃dejˈɾɐ̃t(ʃ)is]) were 17th-century Portuguese settlers in Brazil and fortune hunters. This group mostly hailed from the São Paulo region, which was known as the Captaincy of São Vicente until 1709 and then as the Captaincy of São Paulo. They led expeditions called bandeiras (Portuguese, "flags") which penetrated the interior of Brazil far west of the Tordesillas Line of 1494, which officially divided the Castilian, later Spanish, (west) domain from the Portuguese (east) domain in South America.[1]

The São Paulo settlement served as the home base for the most famous bandeirantes.[Note 1] Most bandeirantes were descendants of first- and second-generation Portuguese who settled in São Paulo,[2] but their numbers also included many people of mameluco background (people of both European and Indian ancestries). Though they originally aimed to capture and enslave Indians, the bandeirantes later began to focus their expeditions on finding gold, silver, and diamond mines. As they ventured into unmapped regions in search of profit and adventure, they expanded the effective borders of the Brazilian colony.

Bandeirantes
Domingos Jorge Velho
Domingos Jorge Velho, a notable bandeirante
Date15th-18th century
LocationPortuguese colony of Brazil, Portuguese Empire
ParticipantsPaulista bandeirantes
OutcomeBandeirantes explored unmapped regions of the Brazilian colony, captured and enslaved Indians, and conducted expeditions to locate gold, silver, and diamond mineral deposits.

Expansion of the Brazilian territory

The main focus of the bandeirantes' earlier missions was to expand the territory.

Slavery

The main focus of the bandeirantes' earlier missions was to enslave native populations. They carried this out by disguising themselves as Jesuits, often singing Mass to lure the natives out of their settlements. However, they usually relied on surprise attacks. If luring the natives with promises did not work, the bandeirantes would surround the settlements and set them alight, forcing inhabitants out into the open. At a time when imported African slaves sold from $100–$500 the bandeirantes were able to sell large numbers of native slaves at a huge profit due to their relatively inexpensive price.

The first bandeira took place in 1628 and was organized by Antônio Raposo Tavares. This bandeira raided 21 Jesuit villages in the upper Paraná Valley, ultimately capturing about 2,500 natives. A bandeira tactic was to set native tribes against each other in order to weaken them, and then to enslave both sides.

In 1628, Tavares led a bandeira, composed of 2,000 allied Indians, 900 mamelucos, and 69 white Paulistas, to find precious metals and stones and to capture Indians for slavery. This expedition alone was responsible for the destruction of most of the Jesuit missions of Spanish Guayrá and the enslavement of over 60,000 indigenous people. Between 1648 and 1652 Tavares also led one of the longest known expeditions from São Paulo to the mouth of the Amazon river, investigating many of its tributaries, including the Rio Negro, ultimately covering a distance of more than 10,000 kilometers. The expedition travelled to Andean Quito, part of the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru, and remained there for a short time in 1651. Of the 1,200 men who left São Paulo, only 60 reached their final destination in Belém.

Gold hunting

In addition to capturing natives as slaves, bandeiras also helped to extend the power of Portugal by expanding its control over the Brazilian interior. Along with the exploration and settlement of this territory the bandeiras also discovered mineral wealth for the Portuguese, which they had been previously unable to profit from.

In the 1660s, the Portuguese government offered rewards to those who discovered gold and silver deposits in inner Brazil. So the bandeirantes, driven by profit, ventured into the depths of Brazil not only to enslave natives, but also to find mines and receive government rewards. As the number of natives diminished, the bandeirantes began to focus more intensely on finding minerals.

Legacy

The bandeirantes were responsible for the discovery of mineral wealth, and along with the missionaries, for the territorial enlargement of central and southern Brazil. This mineral wealth made Portugal wealthy during the 18th century. As a result of the bandeiras, the Captaincy of São Vicente became the basis of the vice-kingdom of Brazil, which would go on to encompass the current states of Santa Catarina, Paraná, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Goiás, part of Tocantins, and both Northern and Southern Mato Grosso. With only a few outlying Spanish settlements surviving and the majority of Jesuit missions overrun, the de facto control by Portugal over most of what is now the Southeast, Southern, and Central West territory of Brazil was recognized by the Treaties of Madrid in 1750 and San Ildefonso in 1777.

In spite of their ignorance of geography, a science unknown to the Paulistas of olden times, and with only the help of the sun, they penetrated the interior of the Americas, conquering tribes. Some went to the hinterland of Goias, as far as the Amazon river; others went all the way to the coast from the river Patos until the river Plate and as far as the rivers Uruguay and Tibagi; and going upstream along the Paraguay river as far as the Paraná [...] some crossed the vast hinterland beyond the Paraguay river all the way to the high mountains of the kingdom of Peru. The Paulistas had to fight against their enemies and against nature: in respect of the latter they had to battle against the weather and in respect of the former they had to battle against wrath and hate. The lack of supplies could have driven them to despair had it not been that they were used to eating the fruits of the hinterland: wild honey, wild nuts, sweet and bitter palmitos, and the roots of edible plants. (Pedro Taques de Almeida Paes Leme)[3]
However, a new breed of men was growing, wild, yes, and ungovernable, but one in whom the infusion of native American blood would soon result in a relentless increase in action and achievement. So while the Spaniards in Paraguay stayed where Irala had placed them, mostly treating with indifference the discoveries which the first Conquistadores had made, the Brazilians continued for two centuries to explore the country. These determined adventurers would spend months and months in the wild hunting slaves and looking for gold and silver, guided by what they had learnt from the native Americans. Eventually they managed to secure for themselves and the House of Braganza the richest mines and the largest territory in South America This acquisition was of all the inhabited earth the most beautiful part. (Robert Southey, 1819)[4]

Notable bandeirantes

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Well-known bandeirantes included Bartolomeu Bueno da Silva (the Anhanguera), Antônio Dias de Oliveira, Fernão Dias Pais (the Hunter of Emeralds), Domingos Rodrigues do Prado, Antônio Rodrigues de Arzão, Domingos Jorge Velho, Salvador Furtado Fernandes de Mendonça, Antônio Raposo Tavares, Estêvão Ribeiro Baião Parente, Brás Rodrigues de Arzão, Manuel de Campos Bicudo, Francisco Dias de Siqueira (the Apuçá), Pascoal Moreira Cabral, Antônio Pires de Campos, Manuel de Borba Gato, Francisco Pedroso Xavier, Lourenço Castanho Taques, Tomé Portes del-Rei, Antonio Garcia da Cunha, Matias Cardoso de Almeida, Salvador Faria de Albernaz, José de Camargo Pimentel, João Leite da Silva Ortiz, João de Siqueira Afonso, Jerônimo Pedroso de Barros and Bartolomeu Bueno de Siqueira.

Bibliography

  • Leme, Luís Gonzaga da Silva, "Genealogia Paulistana" (1903-1905)
  • Leme, Pedro Taques de Almeida Paes, "Nobiliarquia Paulistana Histórica e Genealógica", Ed. São Paulo University (1980, São Paulo).
  • Taunay, Afonso de E., "Relatos Sertanistas", Ed. São Paulo University (1981, São Paulo) *
  • Taunay, Afonso de E., "História das Bandeiras Paulistas", Ed. Melhoramentos (São Paulo)
  • Franco, Francisco de Assis Carvalho, "Dicionário de Bandeirantes e Sertanistas do Brasil", Ed. São Paulo University, São Paulo, Ed Itatiaia, Belo Horizonte (1989)
  • Deus, Frei Gaspar da Madre de, "História da Capitania de São Vicente", Ed. São Paulo University (1975, São Paulo)
  • Crow, John A., “The Epic of Latin America,” (London, 1992)
  • Hemming, John, "Red Gold: The Conquest of the Brazilian Indians, 1500–1760 (London, 1978)

External links

References

  1. ^ "Um Governo de Engonços: Metrópole e Sertanistas na Expansão dos Domínios Portugueses aos Sertões do Cuiabá (1721-1728)". www.academia.edu. Retrieved 2016-03-12.
  2. ^ CARVALHO FRANCO, Francisco de Assis, Dicionário de Bandeirantes e Sertanistas do Brasil, Editora Itatiaia Limitada - Editora da Universidade de São Paulo, 1989
  3. ^ Integral edition of the book 'Paulistana nobility - Genealogy of the main families from São Paulo, in Portuguese, by Pedro Taques de Almeida Paes Leme
  4. ^ History of Brazil
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Alagoa was founded on 28 December 1962.

Turned into a municipality in 1962, the village of Alagoa was born by the Bandeirantes in the 18th Century. It was part of the "Royal Road" to move gold and precious gems (including diamonds) from the State of Minas Gerais to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo sea ports.

The municipality contains 5.38% of the 22,917 hectares (56,630 acres) Serra do Papagaio State Park, created in 1998.

On top of the Mantiqueira (The Crying Mountain, in the local Indians language) mountain range, it contains part of the most important remains of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and fresh water drained from the mountains to the State of Minas Gerais valleys.

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The rush began when bandeirantes discovered large gold deposits in the mountains of Minas Gerais. The bandeirantes were adventurers who organized themselves into small groups to explore the interior of Brazil. Many bandeirantes were of mixed indigenous and European background who adopted the ways of the natives, which permitted them to survive in the interior rain forest. While the bandeirantes searched for indigenous captives, they also searched for mineral wealth, which led to the gold being discovered.

More than 400,000 Portuguese and half a million African slaves came to the gold region to mine. Many people abandoned the sugar plantations and towns in the northeast coast to go to the gold region. By 1725, half the population of Brazil was living in southeastern Brazil.

Officially, 850 tons of gold were sent to Portugal in the 18th century. Other gold circulated illegally, and still other gold remained in the colony to adorn churches and for other uses.The municipality became the most populous city of Latin America, counting on about 40 thousand people in 1730 and, decades after, 80 thousand. At that time, the population of New York was less than half of that number of inhabitants and the population of São Paulo did not surpass 8 thousand.Minas Gerais was the gold mining center of Brazil. Slave labor was generally used for the workforce. The discovery of gold in the area caused a huge influx of European immigrants and The government decided to bring in bureaucrats from Portugal to control operations. They set up numerous bureaucracies, often with conflicting duties and jurisdictions. The officials generally proved unequal to the task of controlling this highly lucrative industry. In 1830, the St. John d'el Rey Mining Company, controlled by the British, opened the largest gold mine in Latin America. The British brought in modern management techniques and engineering expertise. Located in Nova Lima, the mine produced ore for 125 years.

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Recreio dos Bandeirantes (or simply Recreio) is both the name of a beach and neighborhood in the West Zone of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is a recent development, with no skyscrapers, and the area also contains jungles atop rocky cliffs and hills. High waves permit surfing at Recreio Beach and the white sand beach is used by beach volleyball players. It is about 35 km from the Rio de Janeiro city centre, and most of the people living there are middle-class and high middle-class families, who moved in trying to escape the growing violence of both the North and South Zones.Apocryphally, the neighborhood received the name Recreio dos Bandeirantes, or "Bandeirantes' Leisure" because the company that mapped and hired a real estate agent to sell lots there had that name. Another version says that many of the newcomers were from São Paulo, the city from which the Bandeiras departed in colonial times, and therefore Paulistas are associated with them. Still another version states that Recreio was the first (or last) resting place with fresh water for Bandeirantes traveling between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

Development in the area began in 1959, and only more recently, have well-to-do residents discovered and made Recreio their home. It does not have the hustle and bustle of bohemic Lapa, Copacabana, Leblon, and Ipanema, but there has been an increase in the number of restaurants, pizzerias, bars, private schools and colleges. There are a few favelas, or slums, in the section. However, the Taxas Canal is often polluted by slum residents through trash dumping. Recreio has an organized association of residents who communicate online with tips and news about the neighborhood. They have been able to address the need for the city building a ciclovia—a road for bicycles—and authorities have been persuaded to build, in the future, two subway stations in the section to facilitate commuting to downtown and the South Side (which would otherwise take about 1.5 h).

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Once the traffic capacity of Anhangüera Highway was exceeded in the 1960s, the state government decided to build another highway, with a much higher capacity and modern design, directly connecting São Paulo City to Jundiaí, Campinas and merging into the Anhangüera just after Campinas. Among the first six-lane highways in Brazil, it opened to traffic in 1978.

It has always been a toll road, and since 1998, the highway is managed by a state contract with a private company, AutoBan.

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