From its discovery by Cabral in 1500 to the end of the millennium in 2000, Brazil developed from a precarious colonial outpost to become the giant of South America and one of the largest and most populated nations of the modern world. During the colonial period that lasted for three centuries, the land was colonised and conquered by the Portuguese. At the same time a society of ethnic diversity emerged and an economic pattern of boom and bust was experienced by the sugar and mining industries. Brazil declared its independence from Portugal in 1822, but remained a monarchy until 1889 when the country became a republic. The republican system of government endured during the twentieth century and economic growth ensured that Brazil entered the 21st century as a society which was still ethnically diverse but markedly different from that of the colonial period. History of Brazil tells the story of five centuries of Brazilian history from Cabral's discovery to the presidency of Fernando Henrique Cardoso.
Divided chronologically into five main historical periods, the chapters are also organised into separate sections so that coverage is given of political, economic, social and diplomatic aspects. Including a useful Guide to Further Reading, History of Brazil provides an invaluable informative synthesis of the key developments and events in Brazilian history. Joseph Smith is Reader in American Diplomatic History at the University of Exeter. Francisco Vinhosa is Professor of History at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Joseph Smith teaches in the Department of History, University of Exeter. He has published several books on diplomatic history and Latin America.