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On This Day… The Portuguese Discovered Brazil!

Written by: George Chittenden : 24 Apr 2019

It was on this day, 22nd April, back in 1500 when Pedro Álvares Cabral officially discovered Brazil. Of course, people were already living there, but Europeans were not aware of its existence. Cabral was a Portuguese diplomat in command of a fleet that was on its way to India. The sailors sighted the hump of the mountain Monte Pascoal and sailed north for three days to find landfall. On April 21st a reconnaissance party went ashore and the following day the land was formally claimed by Portugal when Cabral erected a cross and held a Christian service to mark the occasion.

Cabral spots Brazil

Cabral spots Brazil

Brazil's first colonisers were met by Tupinamba Indians, but no record of conflict exists. Lisbon's goals were simple: monopolize the lucrative trade of pau-brasil, the red wood that was valued for making dye and establish settlements. The discovery of Brazil was an episode in the creation of a Portuguese commercial empire which in less than a hundred years extended to four continents. Historians have debated for many years whether Cabral was the first European to discover Brazil. Strong evidence suggests that other Portuguese adventurers preceded him. Duarte Pacheco Pereira, in his book De Situ Orbis, tells of being in Brazil in 1498.

Pedro Álvares Cabral

Pedro Álvares Cabral

Are you already curious to discover what happened tomorrow? Have a great day.

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