O september 7th is one of the most important commemorative dates in Brazil, precisely because it houses one of the main events in our history: our independence. It was on that day, in 1822, that d. Pedro started our journey as an independent nation. Currently, the 7th of September is a National holiday which is marked by public celebrations in large cities.
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Brazil’s independence took place on September 7, 1822, when, supposedly, d. Pedro (future D. Pedro I) proclaimed the cry of independence on the banks of the Ipiranga River, in the current city of São Paulo. With that, Brazil broke its connection with Portugal and consolidated itself as an independent nation.
What were the causes of independence?
Independence was the result of a process of wear in relations between Brazilian settlers, especially the elite, with Portugal. This was directly related to the Porto’s Liberal Revolution of 1820but we can consider that it all started with the transfer of the Portuguese royal family to Brazil, in 1808.
The transfer of the royal family was a consequence of the Napoleonic Era and motivated by the Invasion of Portugal by French troops. The move of the Portuguese royal family to Rio de Janeiro was therefore an escape. After settling in Rio de Janeiro, what became known as the Joanine Period began.
This name refers to d. João VI, regent who was at the head of Portugal and only became Portuguese king from 1816. Here in Brazil, d. João VI carried out a series of measures that contributed to the modernization of Brazil, promoting economic development and cultural and artistic flourishing.
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Two outstanding measures were the opening of portsin 1808, and the elevation of Brazil to the status of a kingdom, in 1815. With this last measure, Brazil ceased to be a colony and became part of the Portuguese kingdom. This situation, however, displeased many in Portugal. Thus, in 1820, the aforementioned Liberal Revolution in Porto broke out.
This revolution mobilized the elite of Portugal for the desire for reforms in the country, which included the return of the king to Lisbon. The starting point for Brazil’s independence process was, therefore, the intention of the Cut Portuguese (institution at the head of that revolution in Portugal) to revoke all the measures taken by d. João VI during the Johannine Period.
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Brazil’s independence process
It was because of the possibility of recolonizing Brazil that our independence process began. The country’s economic elite – in this case, the elite of the Southeast – did not accept this possibility because it would affect their economic interests. Negotiations continued during 1820 and 1821, but from 1822 separatist sentiment began to gain strength.
Who headed the independence of Brazil was the prince regent d. Pedro. As the situation became irreconcilable, the prince was persuaded to lead Brazil’s independence process. On September 7, 1822, the situation proved untenable, and the regent declared independence.
It is important to say that our independence process it was not peaceful, since there was resistance, which resulted in battles in places like Bahia, Pará and Cisplatina (now Uruguay). The so-called “Brazilian” troops won and managed to subdue the resistance movements.
Portugal ended up recognizing our independence in 1824, after the British mediated an agreement between Brazilians and Portuguese. Brazil, as an independent nation, was organized as a monarchy and d. Peter went acclaimed It is crowned as Emperor of Brazil. Thus, from 1822, he began to be d. Pedro I.
If you want to know more about the whole process of independence in Brazil, we suggest reading the following texts: Independência do Brasil and Guerras de Independência.
The 7th of September is an extremely important day in our history. The collective memory in our country consolidated this date as the day on which d. Pedro performed the cry of our independence, this event being a foundation milestone of our country. Despite that, the Historians are currently not sure if d. Pedro did, in fact, the Scream of the Ipiranga.
Being considered one of the founding milestones, the date is understood as an important moment for the collective memory of Brazilians and, therefore, should be celebrated. The importance of the date is easily identified by the fact that it is a National holiday and it is one of the three holidays that commemorate significant events in Brazilian history (the others are Tiradentes Day and Republic Day).
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September 7 was only transformed into a national holiday during the government of Eurico Gaspar Dutra, the first president of Brazil after the Vargas dictatorship. This law decreed the existence of seven holidays in the Brazilian calendar and was reinforced and modified by a law signed during the government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso.
The two laws were as follows:
Law No. 662of April 6, 1949;
Law No. 10,607dated December 19, 2002.
Independence celebrations in Brazil take place mainly in the big cities of Brazil and are marked by parades carried out by the Brazilian Army. In the capital, Brasilia, parades of members of the Forces Armed (Navy, Army and Air Force), as well as parades of bands and even veterans of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force, which fought in World War II.
On September 7th, military parades are held in the major cities of Brazil.
A Smoke Squadron, an Air Force detachment famous for performing acrobatic displays with planes, performs in the capital. The September 7th celebrations are so significant that, in 2018, for example, around 30,000 people attended the parades in São Paulo and Campo Grande, and 10,000 in Florianópolis.|1|.
gustavomellossa and Shutterstock
|1| Parade on September 7th attracts thousands of Brazilians from north to south of the country. To access, click here.
By Daniel Neves
Graduated in History